We love getting great tips on how to use common household items in unintended ways. This tip comes from James Fallows at The Atlantic. After a dramatic ordeal with replacing missing files on a lost USB flash drive, he discovered that his little storage friend took a trip through the wash and dry cycles in his pants pocket. He was excited it still worked (and said so on his blog), until a reader warned him that his USB drive is a time bomb ticking away, and could lose its life in any instant due to rust. But another reader suggested a patch that might save his buddy—forever!
A bath in the common US lubricant WD-40 helps to keep the internal components of a USB drive from rusting.
When your drive takes a dip, pry open its case and let it dry for about 24 hours before your spray it with the WD-40. It's a little smelly, but your data should be intact and your drive should still be working fine. Especially handy if you have something cool, expensive or unique, like the Steampunk USb Drive.
[ image from WikiMedia Commons ]