USB Flash Drives are portable USB drives that rely upon flash storage, also known as pen drives or USB sticks.

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126
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14answers
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How do I place a bootable ISO on a USB drive?

What's the best way of placing a bootable ISO on a USB drive? ISOs such as a live Linux preview disk, Windows installation ISO, etc.
109
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the danger of inserting and browsing an untrusted USB drive?

Suppose someone wants me to copy some files to their USB stick. I'm running fully-patched Windows 7 x64 with AutoRun disabled (via Group Policy). I insert the USB drive, open it in Windows Explorer ...
70
votes
3answers
11k views

I washed my USB drive. Any long-term risks?

I accidentally left a USB flash drive in my clothes, which was then washed with my laundry. This was a colored load, hot water. The drive survived just fine and was very clean. All data was still ...
65
votes
7answers
164k views

How do I burn an ISO on a USB drive on Mac OS X?

what's the best way to get an ISO "burned" to a USB stick on a Mac? Restoring using Disk Utility does not work. The ISO is ubuntu mini.iso. It is the minimalist install ISO for installing ubuntu. It ...
53
votes
5answers
11k views

Why are USB flash drives so much slower than solid-state drives?

From what I understand, USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are based on similar technologies, NAND flash memory. But, USB flash drives are usually quite slow, with a read and write speed ...
53
votes
8answers
72k views

Install Windows 7 from USB flash drive

I have an ISO image of the Windows 7 installation DVD, but I can't burn it to CD or DVD. I have an empty flash drive with plenty of space. Is there any way I can put the ISO image on it and install ...
49
votes
10answers
62k views

Automatically mount external drives to /media/LABEL on boot without a user logged in?

This question is similar, but kind of the opposite of what I want. I want external USB drives to be mounted automatically at boot, without anyone logged in, to locations like /media/<label>. I ...
48
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “Stopping” USB drives actually affect the drive?

I have always just unplugged my USB drives from my computer for years and nothing bad has happened; but I heard that you are supposed to use "Safely Remove Hardware" before removing a drive. What does ...
47
votes
6answers
17k views

Using UDF on a USB flash drive

After failing to copy a file bigger than 4G to my 8G USB flash drive, I formatted it as ext3. While this is working fine for me so far, it will cause problems if I want to use it to copy files to ...
36
votes
10answers
73k views

Why did my flash drive become “read only” and (how) can I fix it?

I have a brand new flash drive (one week old) that has become marked as read only, by Windows, Kubuntu and a bootable partitioner. Why did this happen? Is it fixable? If it is, how can I fix this? ...
34
votes
4answers
27k views

USB-Sticks and multiple Partitions

I've got an USB-Stick with multiple Partitions on it (FAT32 (active), FAT32, Ext2 but that's another story) and it seems like that my Windows XP can only mount the first partition of the stick. If I ...
31
votes
6answers
56k views

How to boot from a flash drive OS using VirtualBox?

I have two flash drive, one with Slax installed and another for Android x86 Live installed, but they do not boot in my laptop (in my work they boot perfectly). I can boot from some live CDs/DVDs or ...
30
votes
5answers
20k views

check the physical health of a USB stick in Linux

How to check the health status of a USB stick? How do I know that a USB is broken beyand repair, or repairable?
29
votes
15answers
21k views

Permanently delete files from a flash drive

I heard some people mention that files are deleted from flash drive for good, there is no tracing back. Is that really true? If not, how do I permanently delete files from it? I have a sensitive ...
28
votes
8answers
8k views

Booting Linux off USB pendrives

Booting a Linux system off USB Pendrives is one of my favorite things. On a laptop we have the following advantages, The Harddisk can be shutdown and that reduces power consumption (hdparm) The ...
28
votes
4answers
19k views

Installing Windows XP from USB pen drive

I want to install Windows XP on my desktop computer (only XP) but my CD drive is not working. I've only found installation tutorials on how to install it on the pen drive rather than from the pen ...
27
votes
3answers
60k views

Flipping the Removable Media bit — alternatives to BootIt? [closed]

There's a utility called the Lexar BootIt utility that flips the Removable Media Bit on certain USB flash drives. I want to flip the bit on my USB flash drive (it's supported) but really am not too ...
25
votes
7answers
41k views

Which programs are using my USB flash drive?

Sometimes when I follow the process to safely remove a USB flash drive, I get told that I can't remove the drive because some programs are using it. However I'm unable to tell which programs these ...
25
votes
3answers
20k views

How can I keep multiple live/bootable ISO images on a single USB drive?

I am looking to create a USB flash drive that I can put multiple live CD ISO images on and select which boots from startup. The ideal candidate supports Linux and Windows-based ISO images, and is ...
22
votes
9answers
124k views

How do I fix my USB drive to get its original 8GB size back?

My USB drive used to be originally 8GB when I bought it. I'm trying to reformatted in Windows 7 by right clicking on the drive and selecting Format.... But the capacity only shows 250MB. Is there ...
22
votes
4answers
77k views

Why can't I delete all partitions on a flash drive in Windows 7?

Recently I purchased an ADATA C802 8GB flash drive. Since the drive was new I decided to run some of the HD Tune Pro (v4.50) performance tests on it, mostly just for the heck of it. To avoid ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it possible to use a storage disk (such as a USB drive) as RAM?

My motherboard (HP Pavilion s3000y) only supports 2GB of RAM max. Which means that I can only allocate 1GB for running VMs, and applications that use a lot of RAM are slow (such as games and Visual ...
19
votes
5answers
39k views

Can I install Windows OS (Windows 7) on a removable USB hard drive?

I wanted to take a sneak peak at Windows 7 so I thought of installing it. I have Windows Vista on my laptop which came pre-installed with it. I didnt want to mess with it. So I created a partition ...
19
votes
5answers
23k views

How can I remount an ejected (not just unmounted) USB drive on Mac?

I frequently eject an usb stick, and then realize I still need it. If I unmount the drive in Disk Utility, I can just remount it, but if I eject, it's gone. Not showed in Finder Not showed in ...
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2answers
3k views

Can flash memory be physically damaged if power is interrupted while writing?

If data is actively being written to a flash memory device, can a memory cell (or perhaps the entire memory device) be physically damaged if power is removed, or will data simply be corrupted? Can ...
16
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5answers
6k views

Is there any benefit to plugging a USB 2.0 device into a USB 3.0 port?

I know USB 3.0 is almost entirely backward-compatible, and I know that it introduces a new speed that USB 2.0 devices aren't capable of, but is there any advantage to having a USB 2.0 device in a USB ...
16
votes
4answers
24k views

How to speed up rsync?

I'm running rsync to sync a directory onto my external USB HDD. It's about 150 gigs of data. 50000+ files I would guess. It's running it's first sync at the moment, but its copying files at a rate of ...
16
votes
7answers
5k views

What is the best way to keep a folder synchronized with my USB drive?

I know there is a similar topic on syncing between computers, but I'm looking for an application to run on one computer that will sync a "document/file" folder with a folder on my secondary/external ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Which virtual machine can boot from USB drive?

There are any desktop (not hipervisor) virtual machine software able to boot from USB drive? Which one and how?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to remove USB media when a computer is suspended?

We are often cautioned against unplugging USB drives in case it is currently being read from or written to. When a computer is suspended, hibernated, or asleep is it obviously not writing any data; it ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between “safely remove” and “eject”?

Eject would normally make sense for CDs, etc., and safely remove tends to be used with USB media. However, my Kindle (which connects over USB) shows distinct behavior when using the two options: After ...
15
votes
12answers
9k views

How to remove iso 9660 from USB?

I have somehow managed to write an iso 9660 image onto my USB drive, which makes all my computer think that the device is actually a CD. I have tried various methods of removing this partition, but ...
14
votes
3answers
60k views

How to delete a partition on a USB drive?

I have a USB drive that I accidentally partitioned when trying to put Ubuntu on it. It's a 16 GB Kingston flash drive but it is now split to two partitions, 7.30 GB each. How do I combine the two ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Will my USB Flash Drive die sooner if I watch movies directly from it?

If I watch movies directly off my USB Flash Drive, will the many reads somehow cause the drive to deteriorate faster? Or is there any other harm in doing this? My alternative is copying the movie to ...
14
votes
2answers
10k views

How to “Un-Eject” a USB Flash drive — Eject is easy (safely remove hardware), but what about Un-Eject or Reconnect?

There are times after I eject a USB Flash drive, I want to copy some more files over to the USB Flash drive. In this case, do I always need to unplug the drive and plug it back in? Is there a way to ...
13
votes
5answers
30k views

Running Spinrite from a USB drive?

I need to use SpinRite on my notebook which has no CD-ROM. How can I install and run SpinRite from a USB thumbdrive? Such that I could boot the notebook up with a thumbdrive and start SpinRite. Are ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How long can you read files from a flash drive if kept in a cool, dark room?

Say you had some sensitive information that you didn't want to store on the internet, was incredibly important to you, and you didn't need to access very often either. Think of a digital picture ...
13
votes
3answers
10k views

Can't boot flash drive on GIGABYTE motherboard

Situation When I try to boot from my flash drive, my GIGABYTE 970A-UD3 motherboard returns this: Loading Operating System ... Boot error All other motherboards I've tried support booting from that ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

USB Stick, how to minimize risk of data corruption or data loss

I have encountered several USB sticks with a corrupted filesystem in only 2 years. In a Windows-only environment (Vista and newer), what can be done to reduce the chance of filesystem corruption and ...
12
votes
6answers
73k views

Unable to Make Bootable USB Stick From ISO

I'm trying to use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from the Microsoft Store to make my new 16 GB USB Flash drive bootable to install Windows. It worked the first time that I did this (for Windows ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

I tell fsck to fix USB stick, it says “Leaving file system unchanged.”

So I run fsck, and it reports FATs differ but appear to be intact. Use which FAT ? 1) Use first FAT 2) Use second FAT Choosing either one gives a long list of errors like Cluster 1471730 out of ...
12
votes
4answers
49k views

My USB says it has 15.7GB of space used but inside all the folders are empty

My USB says it has 15.7GB of space used but inside all the folders are empty!! I was updating my computer from Vista to Windows 8, so I had to save all my files somewhere so I got this 32GB memory ...
12
votes
1answer
15k views

How do you disconnect a USB drive when getting a “this device is currently in use”?

My daughter had her thumb drive plugged into my desktop, doing some work. She finished, logged off of her account and I logged into mine. I noticed that she left her thumb drive in the USB port, and ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Ubuntu - How to automount an external drive at a preconfigured mount point?

Normally, when I attach an external USB drive to my Ubuntu system, the filesystem on it are automounted to /media/label. However, I'd like the filesystem to be mounted at a mount point of my choosing. ...
11
votes
3answers
387 views

What is the replacement of the floppy

While CD (and to an lesser extend DVD) disks have reached the price-point of the floppy, they have one significant downside, it is WORM (Write-Once Read-Many) media, allowing it to be used only one ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to encrypt an USB stick?

When storing personal data on a USB stick, data needs to be encrypted to ensure privacy. Regrettably, this is far from easy to do without introducing a lot of overhead; ideally, the whole encryption ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

How do you customize the icon on a USB stick?

When I used my USB stick to install Ubuntu, the USB appears with an Ubuntu icon in My Computer. Is it possible to customize this icon to something I want?
11
votes
4answers
458 views

Fixing a pendrive that suffered a dog bite

A dog bit my pendrive and after that I can no longer mount the drive in Linux (Debian-based distro). I can see the light on the drive blinking and the drive is registered via USB. Is this due to a ...
11
votes
2answers
44k views

Can I make USB drive bootable and install multiple OSes from it?

Is it possible to have USB drive bootable and place multiple ISOs like Windows 7.iso WindowXP.iso Ubuntu.iso RHEL.iso so that I can choose which OS to install?
11
votes
5answers
61k views

How can I create bootable DOS usb stick?

I need to use this utility to change one of the parameters of my new WD hard drive: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=609&sid=113&lang=en It has truly unreadable ...