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How To: Duct Tape USB Holder / Wallet

I’ve seen some USB holders at Staples and Office Max for over $20 dollars and that’s just for a fancy pouch to place your USB sticks while on-the-go.  What about a DIY duct tape USB holder?  You get the satisfaction of making it yourself, save yourself some cash and a hint of coolness to your storage devices.

usb duct tape holder wallet

Granted the duct tape approach is more in tune with kids, but lets give this a quick review.

In four simple steps you can do this exact project.

Step 1 – Grab some materials, that being a ruler, knife, duct tape, thumb drives and creativity.

Step 2 – Make the back plane duct tape which is very similar to making a duct tape wallet.

Step 3 – Add the pockets.  In the picture you can see the USBs are parallel with each other, I would recommend staggering them so the thickness is reduced when folding.

Step 4 – Put the finishing touches on there with some clean lines of duct tape, patterns and custom designs.

For the full tutorial and loads more pictures visit Instructables.

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How To: Use Physical Lock To Enable / Disable USB Ports

I came across this very interesting USB hack from TechOat the other day.  The concept of this modification is taking the key of a power box in your computer and turning that into the physical on/off switch for USB communication.

The premise is disassembling the wires of the USB cable and port and weaving that into the circuit of a locking switch on your PC.  I think this illustration shows it best:

USB lock on off

What I particularly like about this USB hack, is the physical requirement to have the key in order to work the USB port.  This type of security [more fun then practical] for USB devices in general is much better than a Truecrypt type solution as that only protects the device, not the system.

So what you need includes:

Small USB thumb drive
USB extension cable or USB socket and plug with cable
Locking switch DPST
Plastic box

The rest is just elbow grease to get it working, for the specific details and tutorial, jump here.

USB lock enable disable

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How To: USB Steampunk a Flash Drive

Here at GetUSB.info we love the USB steampunk drive.  We’ve reported on at least a dozen of them over the past couple years and I’m sure we’ve missed three times that many.  Today we are tipping you off to a great tutorial on how to USB steampunk your own flash drive.

Instructables has a very detailed, 9 page tutorial on how to steampunk your own gear.  It gives you a list of material, a detailed process, good and creative guidelines along with plenty of pictures and resources.

USB steampunk flash drive

It’s my goal to actually do this over the July 4th weekend [2010] and post my result.  Lets hope for the best!

To give you an idea of the scope of project considering the following list of materials and tools.  If it fits into your abilities, then give it a shot!

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How To: Remove a Virus From a USB Stick

How To: Remove a Virus From a USB Stick

The easiest way to remove any virus from a USB stick is this: format it!  Be sure to use the Full Format function, not the quick format function.In the very unlikely event you get an error messages saying you cannot format the drive because it’s being used by another program, or for some reason you have data on there you don’t want to format off, then you can try the following.

Before I start however, let me explain the fundamental concept of what we are trying to do.

With most virus’ they make it very hard to delete the files so they can spread their infection.  To do this, they use several files and ping each other so they appear to be in constant use.  This is why you see the error “being used by another program cannot delete or format.”  So what we need to do, is stop that process.  In addition, programmers put in attributes to make it hard to delete as well.  For example they set the file attribute to Archive, or System File so we’ll need to remove those attributes too.

So lets start:  In Windows go to START > RUN.  In the field type cmd

This will open the DOS command prompt.  Here you should be at the C drive root.  If not type cd\ and click return.  You will then be at the C:\ root.

USB root

Next type the drive letter of your flash drive.  In my example that is drive letter F.  You can find the drive letter of your flash drive by going to START > MY COMPUTER > and look for the “Removable Disk“Next, type the drive letter, so for me, type f: and hit enter.

After you are in the drive letter of the flash drive, type dir/w/a

This will list all the files in your flash drive, regardless of it’s attributes of being hidden, System file or archive.

Now we should look for suspicious files such as anything listed as a .exe file or a .inf file.  Specifically anything with a autorun.inf should be deleted.  Some other popular ones are Ravmon.exe, svchost.exe, Heap41a and pagefile.pif.

If you see any of these, then lets remove all the file attributes and try and delet them.

To remove all attributes do the following:

In the DOS command prompt type attrib -r -a -s -h *.*  This command will remove all attributes for all files.

Now we can delete the files.  You do this by typing del filename [be sure to include the exentions too, for example type del autorun.inf and hit enter.

This should do the trick if you’d like to remove problem files without running the Full Format function.

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DIY: Wood USB Marble Machine

During the month of July Instructables is running a USB contest for who can make the best mod while incorporating USB technology.  For this reason, we’ve been keeping a close eye on what you creative folks are up to.

Today we bring you the 100% natural, all wood, USB marble machine.

DIY USB marble machine

I will admit the name is more impressive then the look, but the cool factor outweighs the look.

The wood USB marble machine is an excellent DIY project and will open up your eyes to all sorts of different ways you can make an automated, electric motor powered marble machine.

Check out the video, it’s well worth it!

Learn how at Instructables.

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USB Not Working – Try This

Do you have USB ports on your computer but for some reason the devices connected are not working?

Or maybe your USB ports stop working after a long period of time?

Don’t worry, the USB not working is [most likely] related to your computer configuration, not the ports malfunctioning.

If our hunch is right, the fix is easy.  This is what we recommend checking if USB devices are not working on your computer.

Lets check to see if the USB hubs and ports are set to power save when idle.  What this setting controls is the ability for a USB port to sleep if not used.  The sleep mode of the port is an effort to help your computer save energy going to connected devices that are not in use.

To check the USB power setting lets do the following:

Go to > START > CONTROL PANEL > SYSTEM.

From here go to the Hardware Tab and click the Device Manager.

Next, scroll down to the section labeled Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand it out.  Right click on the USB Hub listing and select properties.

USB not working

In the properties box, go to the power setting tab and look for the following.

USB not working

Once you’ve configured this correctly [uncheck] there is a good chance your USB devices will begin working [consistently] again.

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