WikipediaA USB flash drive consists of a NAND-type flash memory data storage device integrated with a USB (universal serial bus) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, much shorter than a floppy disk (1 to 4 inches or 2.5 to 10 cm), and weigh less than 2 ounces (56 g). Storage capacities typically range from 64 MB to 64 GB with steady improvements in size and price per gigabyte. Some allow 1 million write or erase cycles and have 10-year data retention, connected by USB 1.1 or USB 2.0. USB Memory card readers are also available, whereby rather than being built-in, the memory is a removable flash memory card housed in what is otherwise a regular USB flash drive, as described below.
USB flash drives offer potential advantages over other portable storage devices, particularly the floppy disk. They have a more compact shape, operate faster, hold much more data, have a more durable design, and operate more reliably due to their lack of moving parts. Additionally, it has become increasingly common for computers to ship without floppy disk drives. USB ports, on the other hand, appear on almost every current mainstream PC and laptop. These types of drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix-like systems. USB drives with USB 2.0 support can also operate faster than an optical disc drive, while storing a larger amount of data in a much smaller space.
Nothing actually moves in a flash drive: the term drive persists because computers read and write flash-drive data using the same system commands as for a mechanical disk drive, with the storage appearing to the computer operating system and user interface as just another 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
Beginners Guides: Essential USB Memory Drive Projects & Tips
PCStatsThe USB memory key appears well on its way to replacing the floppy drive completely; as flash memory prices have dropped, these devices have become cheap enough that anyone can afford them. This, coupled with the easy support of such drives in Windows XP, has made them an extremely attractive device for anyone that needs to move files from place to place. USB memory drives are not just geek toys anymore!
As you will see here though, there's a lot more you can do with your USB memory key than just transfer files. These flexible miniature storage devices can put a whole range of portable applications, and even operating systems in your pocket.
In this guide, PCstats will reveal eleven tips, tricks and projects for getting more out of your current USB memory drives than you may have known was possible. From the mundane to the insane, we're sure you'll find something here that's worth trying, so let's begin!
- Page 1: — Beginners Guides: USB Memory Drive Projects
Page 2: Boot up with a USB drive con't
Page 3: Run Linux on a USB device
Page 4: Private email encryption application
Page 5: USB travel kit A) Portable web browser
Page 6: USB travel kit C) portable word processor
Page 7: WinXP briefcase to synch files on the USB drive
Page 8: Format a USB drive with NTFS file system
Page 9: Create permanent folders and share over a network
Page 10: Take your favourite media player with you
The Portable Freeware Collection
Removing U3 (and associated bundled software) from the SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB flash drive
VMWare Thin App
Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager (Standard)
Registry Hack to Disable Writing to USB Drives
XP and Vista USB 2.0 - Detect if your System has USB2