How can I recover a USB Flash Drive that was washed?

Varun Mashru November 26, 2012
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I accidently put my clothes into the washing machine without checking my pockets…..and here it is….with the usb drive, all sqiushy and wet….

And another mistake!! I allowed it to dry for about 2 hours and the plugged it in my pc(the most foolish thing ever done!!). It got detected for the first time….but showed up nothing….so I plugged it again…but this time, nothing came up!!

So I’ve now opened the drive up to reveal the circuitboard….
Can anyone of you guyz help me out to just recover the data by any means….I can tweak the circuit if needed but with some help!!!

  1. Katen L
    March 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    You may try some flash drive recovery software. You may follow this usb drive recovery tutorial that helped me before

  2. Tony Gonzaga
    December 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    you can try to place it in a bowl of rice overnight to absorb the moisture. you can also dip it in a container of alcohol. alcohol also displaces the moisture.

  3. Dhaval Patel
    November 28, 2012 at 8:21 am

    do not plug in the drive.... open the drive if possible and try to dry it with some warm thing (hair dryer...) but at low temperature ( high temperature can erase your data on pen drive and also shorten its life) give one to two days for drying and then try it... may be it is working...

  4. Duy Nguyen Minh
    November 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Use cd boot and use recovery software can help you find it.

  5. Nikhil Chandak
    November 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    use a data recovery softwares such as Recuva , Panda Recovery
    or u shall follow Mr. Justin Pot's advice ....

  6. Alisa Fish
    November 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

    You can use a windows data recovery software to deal with that.

  7. LovesFLSun
    November 27, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Awesome your drive works. Why wouldn't it. There is no "juice" flowing through the circuits when powered off right? Just let it dry and plug it in. Here's a tip though.. Never save anything of importance on your thumb drives.

  8. ron lister
    November 27, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I'm glad your usb drive works now. Silica beads or decicant and yes even rice can draw the moisture out of electronics and help it to dry out with out heating the piece even "damp rid" can help (just don't place the electronics in the damp rid) near it should suffice and allow it to dry. In the future I would err on the side of caution and give the item a minimum of 24to36 hours before atempting to plug it in and putting power to it, sounds like you got lucky this time, i may be mistaken but I do believe if the computer usb port sences an over draw of power as in a short circuit it stops sending power to the port. Can anyone confirm that? thanks and good luck in the future

  9. jan
    November 27, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Better is to open it, clean it with distilled water and put it in an amount of dry uncooked rice enough to completely cover it from all sides and let it rest for a few days. It will become completely dry and if you're lucky, the files will not be damaged. Workes with cellphones too as long as the water isn't salty...

  10. Darrell Legg
    November 27, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Make sure your dryer is set to High... I have a sandisk drive that has been washed at least seven, yes seven times and of course, run through the dryer as well. As long as it is thoroughly dry, no problem. Any trace of mousiure is bad bad bews.

  11. Jakes
    November 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Nothing will happen to the memory stick if there is no power going through the circuit. Take the memory stick apart and rub, or preferably soak it in surgical spirits, the surgical spirits goes where the water was and evaporate leaving you a nice dry and germs free memory stick :)

  12. Anonymous
    November 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I see you solved it! My drive has been washed (but not dried) more than once. I wait 24 hours and it has always worked.

  13. Achraf Almouloudi
    November 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    You should have put it is a bag with a packet of silica (that small piece that comes with semiconductors and some clothes) then keep it dry for about 10 days. But as it didn't show anything at the first try then it didn't show anymore, then I'm afraid to say it is probably fried and even the costly recovery services (cost $500 or more) may not be able to return your content. If it was containing some serious work you may try to send it to them as they can try for free but, if it is just for the drive itself, then just buy another one .

  14. Alex Perkins
    November 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Try putying it in a tray of silica pellets over night, if you have no silica then a jar of rice will suffice.

  15. Ryan Campbell
    November 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    My drive has gone through the washer AND dryer numerous times. It still continues to work!

  16. Anonymous
    November 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    yeah hang it Plug side down and choose a better one next time i haven't run into problems washing mine... other than the Backing up and reformatting every once in a while Sandisk I suggest mildly...

  17. Abba Jee
    November 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    place it in direct sun as long as you can at least for 3 hours minimum , dont even think of to use it or plug it during that process , if you have a good luck like me & mike smith... plugin that usb after 3 hours , hopefully it will work :)
    best wishes for you :)

  18. Justin Pot
    November 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    It's probably too late, but putting it into a bowl of dry rice can help. Beyond that there's prayer and incantations.

  19. Anonymous
    November 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Thanks everyone!! I actually plugged in my drive after one day.....and Voila!! It worked. Though I had split up the body into two!! :P But atleast the data is safe!!

    Kudos to SanDisk!!! :P

  20. ha14
    November 26, 2012 at 10:10 am

    if windows do not recognize then recovery soft will not work, you can buy the same USB key and move all hardware from the one wet to the new non wet and see if this can help.

  21. Jim Chambers
    November 26, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Rinse the circuit board well with hot tap water, some distilled water and dry with a hair drier on low heat. Check contacts in connector for damage. Connect and try partition recovery software.

  22. Qin Tang
    November 26, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Hi, Varun Mashru, there are so many recovery software like Power Data recovery which can help you get your data back. Just have a try and good luck.

  23. Mike Smith
    November 26, 2012 at 2:13 am

    i did the same thing once. first, do not try and plug it in. instead place it in front of a fan for a couple hours. you wanna make good and sure that its totally dry. then after your sure its dry plug it in . it should work as long as the components inside are not wet.

    • Matt Meyerson
      November 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Dont put it in front of a fan

      I had a computer from 2003 that got spilled with tea

      let it sit with battery out for week totally fine for 10 years

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