Etcher broke my USB stick … or did it?

Same problem as “swifter” on a very little-used SanDisk 128GB USB drive.

I’ve also registered on the forum to throw my hat in the ring.

I have 3 USBs bricked after using Balena Etcher to write iso. I have specifically used iso extracted from arc-23.7.33.img.zip .

I was able intially to boot from the USBs, but after I reconnected them to W10 machine to re-write they stopped working completely.

I have used a bunch of tools to revive them (incl. HP USB formatter tool) but they seem to be completely bricked.

For all USB sticks, the name is: ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ and they all show 64MB/67MB (they are 8GB from different brands - i don’t believe a certain brand is to blame).

The error I get everywhere is: Write error [0x00000079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.

I have also tried to format/reformat using Rufus - no joy.

Here is a print screen from my attempt to restore with Rufus (and the log below).

Log:

Rufus x64 v4.1.2045
Windows version: Windows 10 Home x64 (Build 19045.3208)
Syslinux versions: 4.07/2013-07-25, 6.04/pre1
Grub versions: 0.4.6a, 2.06
System locale ID: 0x0809 (en-GB)
Will use default UI locale 0x0809
SetLGP: Successfully set NoDriveTypeAutorun policy to 0x0000009E
Localization set to ‘en-US’
Notice: The ISO download feature has been deactivated because ‘Check for updates’ is disabled in your settings.
Found USB 2.0 device ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ (1516:1238)
1 device found
No volume information for drive 0x81
Disk type: Removable, Disk size: 67 MB, Sector size: 512 bytes
Cylinders: 8, Tracks per cylinder: 255, Sectors per track: 63
Partition type: SFD (Super Floppy Disk) or unpartitioned
Found USB 2.0 device ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ (1516:1238)
1 device found
No volume information for drive 0x81
Disk type: Removable, Disk size: 67 MB, Sector size: 512 bytes
Cylinders: 8, Tracks per cylinder: 255, Sectors per track: 63
Partition type: SFD (Super Floppy Disk) or unpartitioned

Format operation started
Requesting disk access…
No drive letter was assigned…
Will use ‘E:’ as volume mountpoint
Warning: Could not delete partition(s): [0x80070079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Opened \.\PhysicalDrive1 for shared write access
Requesting logical volume handle…
Analyzing existing boot records…
Drive does not have a Boot Marker
Clearing MBR/PBR/GPT structures…
Erasing 128 sectors
Write error [0x00000079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Retrying in 5 seconds…
Write error [0x00000079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Retrying in 5 seconds…
Write error [0x00000079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Retrying in 5 seconds…
Write error [0x00000079] The semaphore timeout period has expired.
Could not reset partitions
Re-mounted volume as E: after error

Found USB 2.0 device ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ (1516:1238)
1 device found
No volume information for drive 0x81
Disk type: Removable, Disk size: 67 MB, Sector size: 512 bytes
Cylinders: 8, Tracks per cylinder: 255, Sectors per track: 63
Partition type: SFD (Super Floppy Disk) or unpartitioned
Closed Windows format prompt
Found USB 2.0 device ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ (1516:1238)
1 device found
No volume information for drive 0x81
Disk type: Removable, Disk size: 67 MB, Sector size: 512 bytes
Cylinders: 8, Tracks per cylinder: 255, Sectors per track: 63
Partition type: SFD (Super Floppy Disk) or unpartitioned
Found USB 2.0 device ‘SkyMedi SK6238A BLoader USB Device’ (1516:1238)
1 device found
No volume information for drive 0x81
Disk type: Removable, Disk size: 67 MB, Sector size: 512 bytes
Cylinders: 8, Tracks per cylinder: 255, Sectors per track: 63
Partition type: SFD (Super Floppy Disk) or unpartitioned

Also, from Event viewer (removed images because “An error occurred: Sorry, new users can only put one embedded media item in a post.”.

I’ve also downloaded “Skymedi SK6238 MPTool 2015-05-08 (SK6238_MPT_20150508)” and it seems to read properly the USB

LE: (as I am limited on how much I can post) after using the tool a bit more, i was able to revive one of the USB’s (i’ll try with the other two), but here are the steps:

  1. Open MPTool
  2. Go to Setup - leave password field empty
  3. Leave auto detect, just change the flash size to the actual size of the disk.
  4. On the right, yu have Erase option - select Erase all
  5. Hit OK
  6. Hit Start

Print screen below.

PS: I’ve deleted my previous post #because

“Multiple errors occurred: 1) We’re sorry, but new users are temporarily limited to 3 replies in the same topic. 2) No more than 3 consecutive replies are allowed. Please edit your previous reply, or wait for someone to reply to you.”

Out of curiosity, why most USB writers don’t have a restore option? If it can destroy a device it should have the option to restore it too. I was in the same shoes couple of years ago, I used a flash drive to install linux and then I couldn’t restore the flash drive into a working condition for some reason using any of the GUI tools until I found out how to dd it with zeros. (it was detected as a cd/dvd rom before) Clearing the MBR/GPT or whatever and creating an empty partition probably wouldn’t take much to implement into this software.

It’s evident that it is a necessary and missing feature.

For peeps having issues restoring their drives, try Fedora Media Writer, if it detects a device when launched, it will show the option to restore it to its original state.

I just lost two drives after trying to flash Batocera. It worked at first, I thought, but then both drives became completely inoperable. I am going to try Rufus. If anyone else has flasher recommendations I’d appreciate it. Though, that may get this post removed. We’ll see.

Welp, that didn’t work…
I’ve been trying to use balenaEtcher to flash Linux Mint. Either the software is broken or Linux Mint, but it gives some kind of security error when trying to boot Linux Mint. Never had this before.

Blockquote

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt


Disk 0 Online 119 GB 0 B *
Disk 1 Online 28 GB 25 GB *
Disk 2 Online 7580 MB 3072 KB

DISKPART> select disk 1

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> format quick

There is no volume selected.
Please select a volume and try again.

DISKPART>

Appears as a drive in File Explorer that remains inaccessible (prompts to insert a disk). DiskPart is unable to perform a clean or format, chkdsk cannot check it due to its raw state, properties lack the ability to conduct a check, and it remains non-functional on another computer where I attempted to use it.

Nice thanks for sharing this.

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Great guide. It would be awesome to have this built-in the Balena Etcher app

Thank you! This unbricked a new USB flash drive I had only used to flash two Linux images yesterday (Ubuntu and MX Linux). I couldn’t flash the third today (Mint). I couldn’t even format the drive in Windows. Thank you!