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Case Study received 23/07/2020. USB drive with a damaged USB connector after it was dropped while inserted into a laptop. The device has had previous work done to it and whoever did it made a rather terrible mess with their soldering job.

The USB connector that is attached is unusable so first we need to remove it by heating it up and pulling it off with some tweezers. Upon removal we noticed the USB header was upside down. If the person ‘repairing’ the drive was successful in soldering it, they would have blown the drive up by having the power supplied in the wrong direction.

With the header and excess solder removed we can see significant damage around the area, obviously from the initial impact. Despite the damage to the board, we can see the memory controller is still intact and initial tests show it seems to be working ok. Our next step is to solder a new USB connector onto the board.

With the new USB connector soldered on we need to re-make the missing connections. The Ground connection is intact and strong but we are missing the 5 volt pin and the 2 data pins. We can use small diameter enameled motor wire to re-connect these and after a few minutes of careful soldering, the USB connector is wired back into power and data.

No short circuits are found so we move onto testing the device on a current monitored USB port. Everything checks out OK and we have a data link to the PC which we can now use to pull the data off the USB drive.

All data was successfully retrieved and the customer is happy with the outcome.