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Useful Tips to Handle Bulk Flash Drives

Guest Post | May 23, 2020

Flash drives and USB sticks - Useful Tips to Handle Bulk Flash DrivesOver the years, the many forms of data storage and transfer devices have failed due to one reason or another. Floppy disks used to get spoiled too quickly, and CDs were an inconvenience when having to burn data on to them just to make it portable. However, after the introduction of USB flash drives to the market, numerous problems faced by almost anyone who had a job working with computers were solved.

They are known by many names; flash drives, thumb drives, USB drives, pen drives etc. and come in many shapes and sizes but their main function is storage and transfer of digital data from one location to another. The biggest benefit of these devices is that they are USB (meaning they connect via universal serial bus terminals) and the fact that they are plug-and-play (meaning that they do not require any external software to be installed before use).

However, as with anything on the market, certain precautions need to be taken while making a purchase for a USB drive as well as during its use.

Some Things to Know When Purchasing a Flash Drive:

  • Avoid buying a USB drive that requires any software to be installed on your computer for it to be able to function. As discussed earlier, flash drives do not need software to run on your computer; therefore, if one does require any software, it is usually going to cause numerous problems later on.
  • USB devices come in all shapes and sizes, and there are versions of these devices available that are simple and sleek and even versions that are shaped like various things from your favourite cartoon character to edibles like a pack of French fries or a piece of sushi. Although buying a uniquely shaped thumb drive might be extremely tempting, it is always a good idea to buy one that is thin and small. USB ports in a computer are usually built close together, and at times it can be difficult to attach a bulkier USB in one of them, especially if you have an external USB mouse or keyboard already attached.
  • Along with the external size of the thumb drive, it is also important to pay attention to the internal memory space. It is essential to remember a USB drive’s physical size has no influence over its storage capacity. However, buying a USB with a storage capacity that lines up with your needs is a good idea to avoid any further inconveniences.

Precautions to Take When Using USB Drives:

Flash drives are an extremely easy tool to use, and every computer invented and sold in recent years has many USB ports available for the thumb drives to simply plugin and start functioning. They don’t require any cables, external battery, any power supply or even the need to restart a computer. As soon as a USB drive is connected, it becomes visible as a new device and is ready to use within a minute or two of connection.

Some Security Measure When Using With a Mac

On a Mac, the icon for the drive appears on the desktop as soon as the connection has been made. This is similar to a CD or DVD, and the user has two options: drag and drop the files which they want to transfer to the Flash drive icon or open the drive like a folder on the computer and work in that manner.

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When saving a currently open document on your flash drive one can simply choose the save as option and select the drive location from the dropdown menu. However, it is important to remember to close any open files before ejecting and removing the USB drive from the computer.

There are steps to be followed when removing a flash drive from a computer. One must first “Eject” the drive by holding ‘ctrl’ and clicking on the drive which opens up a menu and choosing the “Eject” option from this menu. However, if the USB drive disconnected without following the proper procedure, it can result in loss of data or the drive becoming corrupt.

Some Security Measure When Using With a PC

When using a flash drive with a PC, the drive will often take the next available letter when it is plugged in. It can be easily accessed via ‘My Computer’ folder and by looking for the name “removable disk”. However, there are a few precautionary measures to be taken when one has finished working with the drive:

  • Locate the green arrow icon on the taskbar (this can be usually found near the clock and volume control). If an individual is not sure about the icon they are looking for they can simply hover their mouse over each icon until they find the one that reads “Safely Remove Hardware”.
  • Once this icon has been located, click on it and a menu will appear with a list of devices connected to the computer. It is possible to have more than one device listed if you have more than one device connected to the computer, click on the device that needs to be removed.
  • Wait for a few seconds after clicking the option, and a pop up will appear informing you that the hardware has been safely disconnected and it is safe to remove it from your computer. The device can now be detached from the USB port.
  • It is essential to remember to do these few steps as they ensure the safe removal of the device. Failing to do these may result in data loss and/or corruption of the USB device.

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Some Steps to be Followed for the Proper Care of the Flash Drive:

Amongst the general precautions to be taken when working with any digital device for e.g., keeping it away from moisture and heat, a few other steps can be taken to eliminate the possibility of losing the drive. A name tag can be added to the drive so it can be safely returned to you in case you misplace it. This can be done on of two ways

  • You can name your device in software form by changing its name to yours.
  • Attaching a name tag or getting your name engraved on the device itself.

At the end of the day, taking a few precautions can make the experience of using these helpful tools enjoyable and full of ease. However, if these precautions are not taken, a person can find themselves in a compromised situation.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Useful Tips to Handle Bulk Flash Drives The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit:

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