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USB Flash Drives- Now there's no reason not to back up your data!

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Author Topic: USB Flash Drives- Now there's no reason not to back up your data!  (Read 255 times)
wizer
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« on: February 08, 2009, 10:47:01 pm »

I was in an electronics store today, and I was looking for one of those compact flash drives that plugs into the USB slot on the pc. I was amazed at how much storage capacity they now have, and how inexpensive they have become.

I picked up an 8 gig USB flash drive no larger than 2/3 of my pinkie for $50. They start at 1 gig and go even higher than the one I bought, which is probably enough for almost anyone. It's easy to determine how much storage capacity you would need, after you determine which folders you plan to back up.

Advantages of this type of drive over other backup media:

-almost no chance of errors during recording such as what happens with recordable CDs and DVDs
-some computers cannot read cds and dvds recorded on another pc
-much faster, almost as fast as a regular computer hard drive when moving and accessing data, maybe even faster than some drives
-no moving parts. The data is stored on a chip, rather than a platter which is read by a moving as in most computer hard drives. In fact, most computer hard drives will eventually fail, they are prone to damage from heat, on and off electrical cycles, and damage from being bumped when the computer is on.
-they don't require their own drive, such as a CD drive, or floppy drive. They simply plug in.
-they are usually automatically detected by most Windows operating systems and show up as an additional drive which can easily be used to copy files to and from, without installing any drivers
-they're small, lightweight and can be put on a keychain. There are even varieties that look just like a pen (I think there are some that even write) and can be kept in your pocket.
-they're resistant to damage
-they can be locked to prevent accidental data deletion

If you're not backing up your data, and by data I don't mean program files, I mean the data created by using programs...then do it NOW.

Just imagine what would happen if you computer hard drive crashed and you lost all your data, or it burned up in a fire, or it was stolen, or you got some data corruption and lost some of your files.

I'm talking-

-music
-videos
-photos
-documents you have written
-address book entries
-emails

These items and any others can be put into a handful of folders on your hard drive and a simply copy and paste operation, or by using a free backup utility...can be moved right to your flash drive and kept safely in a location AWAY from the computer that the primary data is stored on.

These drives can also be used to move data from one computer to another, such as home and work..or to share music files with others.

One final note regarding backing up your data. If there's sensitive data on there you will want to password protect it. There are several ways of doing so, the easiest of which is to use a backup utility that allows you to enter a password to encrypt the data.

Here's an example of a typical "thumb" or "flash" drive

They come in many sizes, styles, and colors.

This one has a switch to retract the plug for protection and that makes it even smaller.


This one has a cap. Watch out for one's that have a cap that has the handle for the keychain. The keychain should be on the BODY of the drive not the cap, because the cap can come off and you will find only the cap on your keychain and the body lost somewhere. It happened to me and I had sensitive data on there, luckily I found it.
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Fine Point
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rainmusic


« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 12:17:46 am »

Agreed, retractable is a much better design.
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Firecrotch
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 08:20:53 am »

Wizer, are those tiny laptops any good? I'm thinking of getting one. It would be for internet surfing and word processing. I just like the idea that they are so compact. When s/o and me go to Europe in the fall, we can take it along with us.
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fairydust
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 12:32:43 pm »

I have an external hard drive that I move all kinds of stuff onto, really helpful it saves so much space.. and I also have a Time Machine that makes backups of my puter hourly i think so I'll never lose anything.. plus it wirelessly backs up every puter in the house. Sweet little gadget.  I use my little flash drive for when im visiting friends or relatives that might have some their puters i want to take home with me.. they don't hold much space. At least not the one i have.
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wizer
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 01:38:01 pm »

Wizer, are those tiny laptops any good? I'm thinking of getting one. It would be for internet surfing and word processing. I just like the idea that they are so compact. When s/o and me go to Europe in the fall, we can take it along with us.

I'm not familiar with them, sorry...but they sound good in concept. As long as you can type on them, and they're fast enough, and reliable in terms of the hardware; I can't imagine there's going to be a problem with them.

I'll see what I can find online about them.

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RWS
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009, 02:59:29 pm »

I discovered them around 4 years ago when I took a class at the local community college.  It was awesome!  Held all my data, no problem.
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Remember, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose. (Darrin Weinberg)
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