Question: Format a Flash Drive as exFAT or NTFS?

Written by Matt LeBoff on September 22, 2015. Posted in Flash Storage, USB Tutorials

Most of the time formatting a flash drive is a very simple decision. There are only two situations where you should take consideration on what format to use. Here are the details:

Note: This article is focused towards Windows and Mac operating systems.

The file formats available for a flash drive are:

  • FAT (also called FAT16)
  • FAT32
  • exFAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS (Mac only)

Flash drive manufacturers format a drive as either FAT or FAT32. Any device of 2GBs or smaller will be formatted as FAT and any USB over 2GBs will be formatted as FAT32.


These two formats are the best file system for removable drives like flash drives because they support the quick disconnect function and chances are very slim you will destroy the device or files if you unplug the USB without using the Eject function (in Windows) or Un-mount function (in Mac).

The one huge limitation with FAT and FAT32 is the single file size limitation. If a single file is larger than

USB Flash Drives PCB, COB, UDP

Written by Matt LeBoff on August 3, 2015. Posted in Flash Storage, Rugged Flash Drives, USB News, USB Reviews

This is a USB stick using the PCB method:

USB Printed Circuit Board
USB COB design

This is a USB stick using the COB method:

USB Chip On Disk
USB COB design

This is a USB stick using the UDP method:

USB Disk in Package
USB UDP design

Can I Connect a USB-C to a USB 2.0 Port?

Written by Richard Blanchard on July 31, 2015. Posted in USB News, USB SuperSpeed

USB Type C Connector


Can I connect a USB Type C cable to an older USB 2.0 port?


No you cannot.

The USB type C socket is a backward compatible technology with respect to the protocol but it is not backward compatible in the physical connection. Meaning, the sockets wont fit, but with an adapter you will have no problem charge devices or trasnfering data.


The USB-C connection was design for several reasons. Of course a new specification will always be developed to increase data transfer rates or introduce new features, such as increased power across the buss to charge or power connected devices. The main reason for USB-C connectors is size. With USB being the world’s most popular technology for peripheral devices, the Implementers Forum (with members such as Intel, Acer, AData, SanDisk, Lexar, Micron and many others) they wanted to insure the USB specification continued to be the #1 method for connecting the ever decreasing size of digital devices.

Trained Dogs to Sniff Out SD Cards and USB Sticks

Written by Matt LeBoff on July 16, 2015. Posted in Flash Storage, Security, USB News

USB stick, dog

Police dogs have yet another smell they must detect. Tactical Detection K9 company now trains dogs to sniff out SD cards and USB sticks. The training is in response to better assisting law enforcement in child pornography investigations.

The percentage of a dog’s brain which is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times greater than humans. For example, humans can detect about 5 million scents and a German Shepherd can detect around 225 million smells.

In a recent investigation a dog was used in the FBI raid of the home of the former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle in Hancock County, Indiana.

What could take investigators hours to find an SD card or USB stick in a house would take a trained dog considerably less time, probably no more than 30 minutes.

According to Tactical Detection K9 it took scientists over four years to isolate the odor associated with memory devices. Now that a specific odor has been identified it takes 8-9 months for a dog to be trained in picking up that scent.

A dog which can sniff out SD and USB sticks can cost upwards of $9,000.

Source: IB Times and .

Nexcopy Introduces Write Protection for SD Cards

Written by Richard Blanchard on July 14, 2015. Posted in Nexcopy Inc., USB Duplicator

Nexcopy Inc., microSD DuplicatorLake Forest, CA — July, 2015 — Nexcopy Inc., introduces a new software suite which supports data locking content to secure digital media. The software function supports both full size Secure Digital card media and microSD card media. The data locking feature will turn the SD card into a read only card so data cannot be deleted or formatted off the device.

Write protecting, or data locking content to flash memory is an important security feature. With the Nexcopy software and duplicator, data can be copied to the memory card and as a final step the device will be write protected at the controller level. Performing the data lock at the controller level blocks any third party from manipulating, hacking or tampering with the original content.

With the Nexcopy duplication software and hardware solution, a content owner has the following benefits:

Lenovo USB Compu-Stick

Written by Matt LeBoff on June 23, 2015. Posted in USB News

Computers on a stick will begin to gain popularity over the next two years. Lenovo is the most recent to offer a compu-stick. The Ideacentre 300 Stick is a 2GB of RAM computer with an Intel Atom Z3735F processor (2M cache + 1.83 Ghz) and runs Windows 8.1.

The Compu-Stick can be plugged into any computer and when you reboot, the hardware now uses the OS of the compu-stick.

compu-stick, usb

Alternatively you may connect the device to a TV and sync a keyboard and mouse and now you have a fully functioning PC with your TV as the monitor.

This is a great step in the right direction as all technology will move towards solid state memory. The Lenovo product has 32GBs of memory which is fine for a first generation product. If they can house a microSD slot in there for expanded memory, it would be an inexpensive solution to a possible data storage problem.

The only caveat left is that unless true Grade A memory is used in these devices the data retention and stability is the week point. With Grade A NAND memory you have a re-write of about 100,000 cycles. SLC memory will help this issue and improve reliability.

Reports indicate the Compu-Stick will run about $150.

Portable, Plugable USB Type C Dock Station

Written by Matt LeBoff on June 17, 2015. Posted in Apple / iPod, Networking, USB 3.0, USB Gadgets, USB Hub, USB News

With the single USB-C port of the new MacBook laptop we knew a power station and/or dock station was right behind.  Here is a Kickstarter compaign to address the single port computer and connecting all your peripheral gadgets to your new computer.

The ultimate dock station will power and charge your system using USB’s new Power Delivery specification, while providing an additional alternate mode video output up to 4K resolution, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 USB ports.  The tall slender design of the dock station packs a number of sockets to support any type of peripheral you need to connect.

In addition, the USB 3.1 Type-C specification supports a feature called “VESA Alternate Mode” which works with the built-in graphics processor on supported systems to provide video output at resolutions up to 4K.  This is particularly important given the up-tick in TVs and monitors which are being released with a 4K specification.  The other two display outputs in the Ultimate Dock are enabled by the DisplayLink DL-3900 graphics processor, which can support two additional 1080P displays at 60Hz.  The DisplayLink driver is still in development, but the Kickstarter campaign claims the driver will have a final release by the time the dock station hits full production.

The Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station supports:

GetUSB Network

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