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Flash Drives offer potential advantages over other portable storage
devices. They are more compact in shape, operate faster, hold much
more data, have a more durable design, can be reused many times, and
operate more reliably due to the lack of moving parts.
USB ports appear on almost every computer and laptop. These types
of drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported by modern
USB drives all come as standard with USB 2.0 support which operate
faster than an optical disc drive, while storing a larger amount of
data in a much smaller space.
There are no moving parts in a flash drive, the term drive is used
because computers read and write to flash-drive media using the
same system commands as for a computer hard drive.
A flash drive consists of a small printed circuit board protected
inside a plastic, metal, or rubberised case, robust enough for carrying
with no additional protection — in a pocket or on a key chain, for
example. The USB connector is protected by a removable cap or by
retracting into the body of the drive, although it is not liable
to be damaged if exposed. Most flash drives use a standard type-A
USB connection allowing plugging into a port on a personal computer.
Our clients have used USB Flash Drives for the following purposes
View our dedicated USB Printing Website at www.USB-Printing.co.uk
communications both internally and externally leave the recipient
with a powerful brand / campaign message reminder that will be retained
and reused for a long period of time.
Personal data transport
The most common use of flash drives is to transport and store personal
files such as documents, pictures and videos. Individuals also store
medical alert information on MedicTag flash drives for use in emergencies
and for disaster preparation.
Flash drives are particularly popular among system and network administrators,
who load them with configuration information and software used for
system maintenance, troubleshooting, and recovery.
Flash drives enjoy notable success in the PC repair field as a means
to transfer recovery and antivirus software to infected PCs, while
allowing a portion of the host machine's data to be archived in
case of emergency. As the drives have increased in storage space,
they have also replaced the need to carry a number of CD ROMs and
installers which were needed when reinstalling or updating a system.
Flash drives are used to carry applications that run on the host
computer without requiring installation. While any standalone application
can in principle be used this way, many programs store data, configuration
information, etc. on the hard drive and registry of the host computer
forensics and law enforcement
A USB Flash Drive as a good application carrier for the Forensic
Evidence Extraction. Forensic software should not alter the information
stored on the computer being examined in any way.
Booting operating systems
Most current PC firmware permits booting from a USB drive, allowing
the launch of an operating system from a bootable flash drive. Such
a configuration is known as a Live USB.
While a Live USB could be used for general-purpose applications,
size and memory wear make them poor choices compared to alternatives.
They are more suited to special-purpose or temporary tasks, such
Loading a minimal, hardened kernel for embedded applications (e.g.
network router, firewal, anti virus removal).
Bootstrapping an operating system install or disk cloning operation,
often across a network.
Maintenance tasks, such as virus scanning or low-level data repair,
without the primary host operating system loaded.
Many companies make small solid-state digital audio players, essentially
producing flash drives with sound output and a simple user interface.
Examples include the Creative MuVo and the iPod shuffle. Some of
these players are true USB flash drives as well as music players,
others do not support general-purpose data storage.
Many of the smallest players are powered by a permanently fitted
rechargeable battery, charged from the USB interface.
storage and marketing
Digital audio files can be transported from one computer to another
like any other file, and played on a compatible media player (with
caveats for DRM-locked files). In addition, many home Hi-Fi and
car stereo head units are now equipped with a USB port. This allows
a USB flash drive containing media files in a variety of formats
to be played directly on devices which support the format. The files
may be ripped from CD or purchased or downloaded online, and there
have been some cases of pre-encoded music sold or given away for
promotion on USB flash drives:
and product promotion
The availability of inexpensive flash drives has enabled them to
be used for promotional and marketing purposes, particularly within
technical and computer-industry circles (e.g. technology trade shows).
They may be given away for free, sold at less than wholesale price,
or included as a bonus with another purchased product.
we print on USB stick with the companys logo, as a form of advertising
to increase mind share and brand awareness. The drive may be blank
USB Printing drive, or preloaded with graphics, documentation, web
links, Flash animation or other multimedia, and free or demonstration
software. Some preloaded drives are read-only; others are configured
with a read-only and a writeable partition. Dual-partition drives
are more expensive.
Flash drives can be set up to autorun stored presentations, websites
and articles immediately on insertion of the drive. Autoloading
this way does not work on all computers.
Some value-added resellers are now using a flash drive as part of
small-business turnkey solutions (e.g. point-of-sale systems). The
drive is used as a backup medium: at the close of business each
night, the drive is inserted, and a database backup is saved to
the drive. Alternatively, the drive can be left inserted through
the business day, and data regularly updated. In either case, the
drive is removed at night and taken offsite.
This is simple for the end-user, and more likely to be done;
the drive is small and convenient, and more likely to be carried
off-site for safety; the drives are less fragile mechanically and
magnetically than tapes;
the capacity is often large enough for several backup images of
and flash drives are cheaper than many other backup systems.
It is also easy to lose these small devices, and easy for people
without a right to data to take illicit backups.
Advantages of USB Flash Drive
drives are impervious to scratches and dust, and mechanically very
robust making them suitable for transporting data from place to place
and keeping it readily at hand. Most personal computers support USB.
Flash drives also store data relatively densely compared to many
removable media. 64 GB drives are now available, with the ability
to hold many times more data than a DVD.
Compared to hard drives, flash drives use little power, have no
fragile moving parts, and for low capacities are small and light.
Flash drives implement the USB mass storage device class so that
most modern operating systems can read and write to them without
installing device drivers. The flash drives present a simple block-structured
logical unit to the host operating system, hiding the individual
complex implementation details of the various underlying flash memory
devices. The operating system can use any file system or block addressing
scheme. Some computers can boot up from flash drives.
Some flash drives retain their memory after being submerged in water,
even through a machine wash, although this is not a design feature
and not to be relied upon. Leaving the flash drive out to dry completely
before allowing current to run through it has been known to result
in a working drive with no future problems.
Channel Five Gadget
Show cooked a flash drive with propane, froze it with dry ice,
submerged it in various acidic liquids, ran over it with a jeep
and fired it against a wall with a mortar. A company specializing
in recovering lost data from computer drives managed to recover
all the data on the drive. All data on the other removal storage
devices tested, using optical or magnetic technologies, were destroyed