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Smashed USB Thumb Drive

“Arrived at the office to find the remains of a USB thumb drive hanging from the front of the computer. It appears to have been malicious, as most of the files had been deleted from the computer. Many thanks for all the hard work in recovering the files stored on the thumb drive.”

T Fairclough, Headington

We received a broken 32GB USB thumb drive from Headington at our laboratory in Oxford. An inspection revealed that not only had the casing been smashed but the circuit had been snapped, also causing damage to the USB connector. Further analysis found that the timing chip had also suffered damage when the thumb drive was broken.

When a USB thumb drive is broken, particularly if the device in in use, it is a fairly common occurrence for the timing chip to suffer damage. Our hardware data recovery engineers were able to replace the timing chip and repair the circuit board, enabling them to secure an image copy of the thumb drive.

An analysis of the image by our data recovery specialists revealed the thumb drive contained a FAT32 partition. The volume was analysed which revealed that it contained approximately 20GB of assorted office documents, pdf documents, photographs, Photoshop images and website code files, all of which appeared to be intact.

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