Recently I had an issue with an apparently bad USB flash drive. I no longer use that drive, and all of its data has been safely transferred to other drives. What I am doing here is telling the drive's story, then asking if any of you are familiar with this particular problem.
About the beginning of January 2011, I purchased an 8-gig PNY mini-attache drive, using it with my Gateway MX6214 laptop which runs Windows XP. It was well into the first week of February 2011 when the trouble occurred. I shut down the computer with the drive still attached, then returned to the computer hours later and turned it on with the flash drive still attached.
The computer started up with the normal Gateway bios screen but never got past that, never got to Windows. I shut the computer down, started it up again, flash drive still attached, and the same result. After two more failed start-up attempts, each with the drive still attached, I decided something was wrong with the computer and shut it down.
Then, some time later I came back to the computer. The flash drive had been removed after the last shutdown. I turned the laptop on, and PRESTO she fired right up. Thinking all was well, I went back to work, reattaching the PNY flash drive, which fired up and worked fine.
Then after a while, I shut down the computer with the drive attached, came back a little later to restart it with the drive attached, and the same start-up interruption that happened earlier happened again.
It took a little while of trial and error, including start-ups using a 640-gig external drive, as well as two different 1-gig flash drives, before I came to the conclusion that it was the 8-gig PNY flash drive that was the cause of the problem.
After nailing the cause, I bought a 4-gig SanDisk Cruzer drive and was able to successfully transfer to it all data from the PNY 8-gig drive, which is now out of use.
From then on, I've had no trouble with any external drives I use with the computer.
So, now that is my story. Does anyone here have (or know of) a similar story?