USB flash-drive broken, recover files help?

I have an issue with a sandisk cruzer 4gb. I have tried other cruzers in the same computer and tried the flash-drive in other computers; so I know the problem isn't the computer. I have three or four years of work in that drive, and it is really important I get it back, if I can.

The drive appears to be broken, my computer will not even acknowledge that I plugged anything in unless I wiggle it about a bit, at which point a message will pop up saying that Windows "cannot regconise driver software".

My question is, is there any way for me to recover the files, or are three years of hard work down the drain forever? I have no computer without the ever-dreaded admin. message popping up when I try to change certain things or download a website-hosted file.

This is with Windows 7, by the way.

I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help, maybe?

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  1. You may be out of luck if the drive has some broken solder points. Never trust back ups to just one device or media if they are important.

    I have had success removing USB drives carefully from their outer plastic cases and then gently plugging them in, sometime a little wiggle one way or another to make a sufficient contact -- if you get it to work, remove all data you need and assume that the drive will not work again, although I use many in that condition for a long time.

    Also, try it on different USB ports and on a second computer if you have one.
  2. I would guess that either the usb flash drive either isn't being properly powered (disconnected power pins) or the on board microcontroller may have possibly stopped working..

    You can try opening up the drive (WARNING : this will void any warranty) to see if any of the pins on the USB connector are loose or disconnected. If they are you can try to bridge a connection and pull off your files.

    If that fails, you may need to use a flash drive recovery service and have them repair the drive or just extract your data off the drive.

    For example,
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