How Does A Flash Drive Work

 How does a flash drive work? A USB flash drive is simply a memory chip or two in a compact case.  The type of memory used is called flash memory.  The memory chip is non-volatile and can be written to, read from and erased electrically. USB flash drives are similar in nature to conventional hard drives and can be used to write and retrieve data.  USB flash drives can be used for data storage, data backups and portable applications. 





What to look for and
look out for in USB flash drives:

1)  USB flash drives are mostly plug and play devices.  A flash drive is inserted into a USB port on any computer.  Most operating systems will detect the flash drive without having to install any software drivers.

2)  USB flash drives come in numerous storage sizes. 512meg, 1gb, 2gb, 4gb, 8gb, 16gb, 64gb and 128gb.  They also come in numerous physical sizes, shapes and colors.

3) USB flash drives prices range from $3.00 for a 512meg to over $200.00 for 128gb. But I have also seen a few USB drives that cost over $350.00 just for 16gb of storage. These high priced USB drives come with Hardware Encryption file security and some are even fully waterproof. High performance USB flash drives that have higher data transfer speeds are also much higher in price with less storage space for your money. 

4) When buying a USB drive you should realized that they normally do not have very fast data transfer rates. Normally the read and write speeds are very slow in comparison to conventional hard drives storage devices. Normal read speeds are around 12mps and write speeds are around 3mps. High performance USB flash drives are 150x or 200x faster than your normal priced drive. There read and write speeds are claimed to be as high as 30mps read and 20mps write speeds.

5) All USB flash drives can not be used for Vista Ready Boost. A new concept in adding memory to a system that is running Windows Vista. They have to have a high enough read and right speed to be useable for Vista Ready Boost. If the USB drive does not say Ready Boost ready it will most likely not work.

However, I have found a few of my older USB flash drives that I bought before Windows Vista came out do in fact work just fine for Ready Boost. So if your USB drive does not support Vista Ready Boost, I suggest that you do try it out. It just might work. Vista Ready boost only supports USB flash drives that are 4gb or less.

6) USB flash drives are normally formatted with FAT. You can however, reformat them in Windows XP and Vista with NTFS. Search the web to learn how.

7) Ever notice that sometimes you have a different drive letter for your flash drive every time you plug it into your PC ? Would like the same drive letter every time you plug it into your computer ? Of course you would. Here is how to make that happen.

  1. Plug your drive into your computer USB port.
  2. Open your Control Panel
  3. Open Administrator Tools
  4. Open Computer Management
  5. Open Disk Management
  6. Right click on your USB drive letter
  7. Scroll down the menu and select Change Drive Letter and Paths

Now change the drive letter to something that you normally would not use. Like drive letter S: and click Ok. Now every time your insert that USB drive device it will always come up as drive S:. You can do this for each USB flash drive device you have. Just assign a different drive letter to each one. That's it. 

USB Jump Drives are also called by other names as well like: flash drives, key drives, USB drives, thumb drives, key chain memory drives and pen drives.