USB Device Descriptor Failed


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    A female friend is in a bit of a conundrum. She has a USB flash drive that has tons of important stuff on it, and no backups of that information. Her CV, billables information, lots of shit that will take a long time to reproduce, if she is even able to.

    She plugs it in to her computer yesterday and Windows tells her the device malfunctioned, so she called me, and I immediately asked why the hell she was storing this shit on a USB drive that could easily be lost instead of putting everything on Google Drive or Dropbox, etc. Soooooo, that is what she is going to do moving forward. But for now, we need to recover this information so we can get it put on one of those services in the future.

    When I plug it in to my computer, Device Manager shows it as "USB Device Descriptor Failed". I have never seen this error before. Is it totally borked? Or is there a way to resolve this issue well enough to get the information off of it?

    0_1465311999963_upload-f0f802fb-4fd9-4f44-a546-1cb096d57297



  • @Polygeekery I've had a quick Google and nothing jumps out. The first thing I'd try is manually changing the driver to a USB mass storage device:

    I'm on Win7 so ymmv:

    right click the device in device manager
    properties
    driver tab
    update driver
    browse my computer...
    let me pick...
    USB controllers
    Manufacturer: Compatible USB storage device
    Model: USB Mass storage device

    Never seen that error before though so v0v


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Boner Will try it when I get back to the office. It is a Hail Mary, so I will try anything.



  • This post is deleted!

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Depending which part of it is fucked, and how far you want to go in helping her, there's always hardware hacking



  • My condolences to your friend on the loss of her data.

    I had a cheap flash drive fail on me with a similar message (may have been the same one, but I didn't take notes) earlier this year. Depending on which device I connected it to it was either completely dead, an unrecognized device, or completely fine but likely to crash after a few minutes of sustained use.

    Luckily I didn't really care about any of the data that was on it, but using different USB ports, chipsets, drivers and so on did make a difference.



  • @Polygeekery I would try it on a Linux machine.



  • @TimeBandit said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    @Polygeekery I would try it on a Linux machine.

    Yes, or a rescue OS, and ddrescue it immediately before anything else.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Polygeekery said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    When I plug it in to my computer, Device Manager shows it as "USB Device Descriptor Failed". I have never seen this error before. Is it totally borked? Or is there a way to resolve this issue well enough to get the information off of it?

    This happened to me when the plug became just loose enough from the board that a reliable connection between the plug and the board wasn't working. I had to break open the case and do a bit of re-soldering so I could use it, but YMMV.
    I also have a borked ASUS motherboard that hates USB devices in general where this type of error happens all the time.

    In my case, it was terribly obvious what was wrong because the plug was at a slight angle from the rest of the device, but it might not be so glaring, especially if it was just "bent back into place" by the user.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @TimeBandit said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    @Polygeekery I would try it on a Linux machine.

    I tried it on my MacBook. Disk Utility just sat and spun.

    @Jaloopa said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    Depending which part of it is fucked, and how far you want to go in helping her, there's always hardware hacking

    I had already considered that, but was hoping for some easy solution before going crazy with a soldering iron. I have another flash drive that looks identical from the outside. I could scavenge parts from it if need be.

    Also, it has been tried on multiple different Windows machines at this point. She probably tried 3-4 before even calling me. I have tried two different Windows boxes and a MacBook.

    Chances are, she is screwed.



  • @Polygeekery said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    I tried it on my MacBook. Disk Utility just sat and spun.

    Your MacBook is running Linux ?

    Chances are, she is screwed.

    Often, the lesson to always have multiple backups for important files comes through a lot of pain.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @TimeBandit said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    Your MacBook is running Linux ?

    A FreeBSD variant. :trophy:



  • Sounds like it's time to break out the soldering iron. The odds are good that all the data on the drive is still intact, but a data pin connector or trace has broken after so many insert/remove cycles.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @kdev said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    Sounds like it's time to break out the soldering iron. The odds are good that all the data on the drive is still intact, but a data pin connector or trace has broken after so many insert/remove cycles.

    This.

    By the way, let me tell you how much I hate working on microcircuitry with a fat soldering iron (because the local electronics store is closed and I don't have a real workbench and the kids will need the table for breakfast tomorrow so I'm going to have to fix this POC by tonight or else!).

    Yeah, totally didn't have any bad experiences last night...



  • @TimeBandit said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    @Polygeekery I would try it on a Linux machinehardware.

    FTFY.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Jaloopa said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    Depending which part of it is fucked, and how far you want to go in helping her, there's always hardware hacking

    This was the winner. The crystal oscillator was broken on it. I broke out the soldering iron, and a stack of old low-capacity flash drives. After getting the old one off, and checking that I did not have a 12mhz can oscillator to bodge in I finally got a crystal oscillator off of another drive without cracking it. (those tiny surface mount bastards are sensitive to heat) I got all the data off. Thanks for the tip.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Polygeekery woohoo. What do I win?


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @Jaloopa said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    woohoo. What do I win?

    You already received acknowledgement. What more could you possibly want?



  • @Tsaukpaetra
    Fuck you, give him money!


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Tsaukpaetra said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    What more could you possibly want?

    A photo of @Polygeekery's wife wearing a latex poncho



  • @Tsaukpaetra said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    @kdev said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    Sounds like it's time to break out the soldering iron. The odds are good that all the data on the drive is still intact, but a data pin connector or trace has broken after so many insert/remove cycles.

    This.

    By the way, let me tell you how much I hate working on microcircuitry with a fat soldering iron (because the local electronics store is closed and I don't have a real workbench and the kids will need the table for breakfast tomorrow so I'm going to have to fix this POC by tonight or else!).

    Yeah, totally didn't have any bad experiences last night...

    If you're in the market for a nice microelectronics one then Metcal's decent irons are amazing (stay away from the budget range).

    I have the predecessor to this one: http://www.okinternational.com/hand-soldering-systems/id-MX-500S/NEW_MX-500S_Soldering__Rework_System

    They're RF induction irons so they reach operating temperature in a few seconds and you can work on 3oz copper ground planes without the temperature control failing. Magic bits of kit.



  • @Tsaukpaetra said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    ASUS motherboard that hates USB devices in general

    Yup. When I worked in computer shop around 2003, there was lots of motherboard return for repair because of USB port fails (about 1 motherboard in 2 being sell has at least one USB that do not work, mostly the one located on front panel. And no, the port on panel itself has no problem as even if you replace the panel from another motherboard, it still fails. Likely to be a problem on the frontpanel expansion connector port on motherboard).

    I have the impression that ASUS is particularly bad on building onboard USB controllers, at least during that time.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Jaloopa said in USB Device Descriptor Failed:

    A photo of @Polygeekery's wife wearing a latex poncho

    That is quite the specific fetish you have there...


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.