PNY 32GB USB Flash Drive Data Recovery - Damaged Controller - Part 1 (No Music)

4 months ago

This video illustrates a data recovery attempt from a PNY 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Memory Drive. The drive was first used successfully, then safely ejected from the computer that was using it, and finally 15 minutes failed to mount to a different computer.

A DeepSpar USB Stabilizer Pro 10Gb was first used to attempt to initialize the drive but that attempt was unsuccessful. The drive would consume a steady 93mA of current and occasionally drop down to 73mA for a brief moment. In addition, the drive was unable to report its total capacity.

Next, the circuit board of the USB drive was removed from its protective plastic case and visually inspected for damage. After no apparent damage was found, a LCR meter was used to test the passive components on the logic board. One capacitor, C99, was discovered to be malfunctioning due to the high measured resistance across the entire testable frequency range of 100Hz - 100kHz.

The faulty C99 capacitor was then removed using hot air and tested out of circuit to confirm its damaged condition. After plugging into the DeepSpar USB Stabilizer 10Gb again, the USB Flash drive behaved identically to how it did before: consuming 93mA and periodically dropping momentarily to 73mA. Again, the drive was unable to report its total capacity.

To conclude testing, the USB Flash drive was provided electrical power and observed running with a thermal infrared camera. Unfortunately, a hot spot immediately developed in the center of the Phison controller QFP chip located on the transverse side of the BGA Flash memory chip, indicating a failure of some kind. This is consistent with the controller being unable to provide the USB Stabilizer 10Gb a total drive capacity.

Lastly, the BGA Flash memory chip was prepared for a chip-off data recovery attempt using an ACELab PC-3000 Flash by removing the excess non-leaded solder from the BGA chip pads and cleaning the chip of flux and debris using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and cotton swabs.

Part 2 (coming soon) will showcase the use of an ACELab PC-3000 Flash to perform a chip-off NAND Flash data recovery.

If you need help with a data recovery, please feel free to contact us 7 days a week by telephone and text at 1.858.692.0541, by e-mail at, or visit our website at

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