Seen here is the same model as mine, the Kingston 2GB DataTraveler 100 USB 2.0 Flash Drive. The condition of the outer portion (casing) of my aging thumb drive was so poor that I felt not worthy to get its picture taken for everyone to see ;). Some 3 years ago, it will cost you nearly RM45 to get it, but now cost you only around RM17, and hard to find (impossible at many PC stores) because there are much more bigger capacity flash drives out there. Thumb drive, flash drive, USB drive, USB stick, or pen drive - call it what you want, we are talking about the same thing here. For me, i like to call it a thumb drive. It reminds me of thumbellina - the girl so small I can't even see with my naked eyes hehee...
Bear in mind, this type of drive come with a 5-year warranty. Meaning it was tested thoroughly by Kingston to operate for at least 5 years. So why failed before that??? I never subject the drive to any kind of physical abuse - throwing it to the wall, dropping it to the floor or even suffocating it in my bathroom's pail. The only harsh punishment I gave to it were the endless tasks of copying and deleting humongous amount of data from my PC to my brother's PC and vice-versa and also reformating it should my PC (or the destination PC) got infected with nasty viruses and it also got infected in the process.
So, it was heavily used to do continous tasks like reading, writing, copying, deleting, transfering a large sum of data. Is'nt that's a job description for a thumb drive??? ;) The name " Data Traveller" is indeed so precise. A very good job by Kingston in branding their products and also keeping their quality and reliability.
What to do when your thumb drive suddenly stop functioning?
I'm not a computer hardware expert to begin with. My PC-related knowledge is some what limited. I learn through experiences, trial and error and also from a huge free library of knowledge ever created by mankind - the Internet. In my case, the thumb drive can still be detected by Windows XP. The icon still showed in My Computer folder, but when I want to add new files or deleting existing files on the drive, this error showed up:
Error Deleting File or Folder - Cannot delete (file name): The disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk.
To begin with, these steps are to be taken if you use Windows XP and have administrative rights to your PC.
First, remove the thumb drive properly - left click the USB drive icon at the bottom of your PC and choose Safely remove USB Mass storage Device. If got problem, your PC might already got attacked by virus. Do a complete virus scanning with updated virus patterns later. If cannot dismount properly, you have no other way - just remove your thumb drive.
Click START -> Run... then type REGEDIT. You'll get an error if you don't have the adminstrative rights to the PC you are working on.
Hightlight My Computer (inside the REGEDIT not on your desktop) Click Edit -> Find... then type WriteProtect. Make sure you have a tick on each Keys, Value and Data boxes. Click Find Next. After a while, you should have something like this appears:
Now double click the WriteProtect and change the value from 1 to 0 (zero). Click OK.
Then press F3 on your keyboard to repeat the search for more WriteProtect data. Do the same for every WriteProtect data you found - change the value from 1 to 0 (zero). Press F3 again until a pop-up appears which notify you the search for WriteProtect is finished.
After that, close the regedit and plug in your USB drives and it should work normally - try adding a new file or deleting an existing file to the thumb drive. Else just reboot the machine and try plug in the device again.