# Memory Stick Partially Corrupt

My memory stick has recently become partially corrupt and has slowly been getting worse. About a week ago or so I unzipped a Windows .rar archive and placed the contents unto the flash drive, I believe this to have caused the problem.

Basically, at first I had simple I/O problems that were easily overcome. Over time though I was unable to access certain areas and now I am unable to access past the first 2GB of my 8GB drive.

In gparted it says only 2GB is in use. Nautilus shows the folders are there but they're empty and on Windows, performing chkdsk /f on it chucks up an error in the same place. I don't want to have to format it unless I have to.

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Is there any reason to think the memory stick hasn't just failed? They do that. Formatting probably won't help — it's time to replace it. –  mattdm May 9 '12 at 10:46
Yeah. Unless windows uses "I/O error" to refer to filesystem issues, this is a hardware-level issue. Formatting won't fix it. You could partition in a way that avoids the errors, but if the stick is already showing errors, chances are it will get worse. –  njsg Jun 8 '12 at 10:40
Is there still warranty on the stick? At least you could get a replacement from the manufacturer. And for you next stick: Only use it with encrypted data, like a truecrypt container. –  ott-- Jan 4 '13 at 14:06

In my experience, hard disks that start showing problems have a few hours of (somewhat) useful life left. Turn it off, get a replacement and pray to assorted $DEITIES that the data can be saved. I haven't had hand-on experience with failing memory sticks, but the discussions I've seen point in the same direction: If it starts showing problems, it is drawing its last breaths. In any case: Safest course is just to replace the &%$# thing (luckily, they aren't as expensive as they used to be).
By default, dd stops on input/output errors. You want to run it with the conv=noerror,sync parameters to skip errors and put zeros there instead. Have a look at ddrescue too. This will help you getting a backup of the contents. You could then write back that same image, but it won't help fixing a bad memory stick. –  njsg Jun 8 '12 at 10:42