Reasons a Thumb Drive Won't Work

by Gregory Thompson

Depending on the degree of malfunction, fixing a thumb drive might not be feasible.


Thumb drives are capable of getting viruses. A program or a corrupt file can be placed on the drive that will freeze the drive, delete files or infect any computer you place the drive into. A simple virus scan of the drive is probably all you need to fix this problem.


Over time, continuous use of the drive will wear out the USB portion of the thumb drive. The metal contacts will eventually wear until USB ports can't read the drive. Clean the contacts periodically with rubbing alcohol to give the drive longevity.

Loose Pieces

Because most people keep their thumb drives on a key chain or in their pockets, it's possible the insides can loosen. This is one reason a thumb drive won't work, and there's not much you can do except to use protective cases.


Moisture can ruin a circuit board quickly. Rain, condensation and sweat can short a thumb drive quickly. Keep the Flash drive away from liquids and use a protective cover if you keep it in your pocket because the heat can create condensation.


Heat is another factor that can ruin electronics. Anytime a circuit board gets too hot to operate, it overheats and malfunctions. Data can be lost and the thumb drive might become unusable if it is kept in the heat too long.

About the Author

Based near Chicago, Gregory M. Thompson is a freelance writer of over 20 years. He has screenwriting credits as well as other print and online media credits and recently has done a number of interviews in the entertainment industry.

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