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Our “unbreakable” flash USB memory from Corsair, Flash Voyager, simply broke, as you can see on the pictures below. How? We hit it by accident with our chair while it was plugged to our desktop. It happened to us, so it can happen to you. In this tutorial we are going to show you how we were able to recover the data stored inside this broken USB flash memory.
So, this USB flash memory is not so robust as it looks like and as Corsair claims. Even tough it is water and shock resistant, we found out that this “shock resistance” is only regarding free falls. If you push it hard enough while it is connected to your PC, it will break, as it happened to us.
So, what to do? Of course we had important data stored inside this memory that we didn’t have backup (Murphy’s Law, of course), so we are more worried about recovering the data than calling Corsair to check if their warranty covers this (by the way, Corsair’s warranty doesn’t cover this, since it is a physical damage).
Since it was the USB plug that broke, we decided to open the drive and solder a regular USB cable to it. We used a pair of scissors to cut off its rubber cover.
Opening it we could understand why it broke. We put the connector back on its original position and we think that there is a huge gap between the printed circuit board (PCB) and the connector (see red arrow in Figure 4), which allows the connector to bend and break. Maybe by removing this gap or by fastening the PCB to the two sides of the connector could solve this issue.
Let’s now see how we recovered our data.
[nextpage title=”The Operation”]
We decided to get an USB extension cable (the one that usually comes with USB flash drives), cut off one of its ends, and solder the wires to place where the original connector was soldered.
So, we cut the plug that we didn’t need (we kept the plug that was identical to the one originally attached to the USB drive). On the cable shown in Figure 5, we cut off the plug located on the left hand side and kept the plug located on the right hand side.
We peeled off the wires and with a multitester we checked how the wires were connected to the plug, i.e., to which pin each wire was connected. You should do this by yourself, since the wires on your cable can be connected differently from ours.
After that we soldered each wire to the corresponding pin on the flash drive PCB. This should be done observing where each pin on the flash USB drive PCB was connected on its original plug.
After soldering all wires and checking to ensure that there was no connection between them, we connected the cable to our desktop and transferred all data to our hard drive. We could keep using our USB drive that way for ages, but we thought it was too risky. We wanted a better product to carry our data around. So after this procedure our disassembled Corsair Flash Voyager went to our trash bin.