It doesn’t help that the closest non-university supplier of USB drives that I know of has such a limited selection.

If you use USB drives… and you’re fed up with losing caps and thinking of getting a retractable connector… and you want your USB drives to last a long time… especially if you store your stuff on them…

…then no matter how tempted you may be, do NOT pick up a SanDisk Cruzer Micro, especially the cheap kind. Most of the complaints I’ve read online have to do with the “U3” feature, but I have read a few people who, like me, have had a problem with the drive failing. Before this one, I’ve used four different USB drives, and all either stopped working (due to lost caps and bent connectors, or in one case, a connector that slid in and out) or got lost… but NONE failed anywhere near as fast as this one, which I got in May or June, and which failed in late August. I read one review that said not to press your hands on the part that slides in and out; unfortunately, I kinda have to to slide the drive into my computer, because it’s not a perfect fit.

So I’ve sent that drive in to two different companies promising to fix it right up. Unfortunately, the first told me they couldn’t do it, and the second told me they couldn’t do it without doing an advanced recovery procedure that will set me back $825… if it works. And $150 if it doesn’t.

I was panicking when the drive stopped working. It contained everything I had worked on (and was able to recover from my laptop’s old hard drive) that wasn’t on the web site or my desktop dating back to April of 2007. A list of books I was going to recommend/ask for… a file I was thinking of using for tracking election results… some other things too personal for me to mention and/or that I’ve just plain forgotten about… and perhaps most importantly of all, almost every ounce of work I had done on the 100 Greatest Movies Project… all threatened to be gone. But when I was confronted with that price tag, I was actually considering cutting my losses and walking away. Maybe I could find the previous USB drive and it would have most but not all of the things I was dreading losing.

I can cover it – thanks to a recent influx of cash associated with the start of the school year – but I’m not happy about it and I’m going to attempt to discern every penny I may make in the future from recovering this stuff, just so I can find out if it turns out to be worth it. And I may be about to attempt to make some money back right now. Unfortunately, I have heard bad things about PayPal but I don’t know of any real competitors to it, so if you are willing to give me any sort of donation, e-mail me at mwmailsea at yahoo dot com and let me know so I know if it would be worth it to establish the account.

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