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What’s the Difference Between USB and UDISK?

With all the gadgets and devices we post about, there’s plenty of merit in veering a little closer to some USB hardware fundamentals and how it communicates with your computer. To highlight this importance, a UDISK Drive and its internal functionality will serve as a comparison.

USB Drive

Simply put, a UDISK is a hard drive in USB form. With magnetic hard drive platters spinning inside an enclosure, UDISKs have a bridge chip regulating the way the drive mounts to an operating system. This chip changes the hard from from IDE protocols, to USB. Standard USB drives don’t use rotating disks to store data, but use flash memory instead, which enjoys faster speeds as well as increased reliability against shock, pressure, and temperature. Why then do these UDISK drives exist? Because those spinning disks are cheaper to manufacture but they can be sold at the same price as standard flash memory USB drives and the difference may not be clear to users.

As a point to remember: if your USB flash drive mounts as a UDISK on your computer, it means it’s a bad USB drive with firmware that doesn’t match the memory type and controller combination. The drive is saying it’s using flash memory, when in reality it’s just a small hard drive. Without the correct firmware in the controller, the USB stick is unstable and the operating system tips users about the problem by calling it a UDISK.

If you’re unsure, speed checks will always be a useful tool. How fast your drive can index data is an important specification and this applies not only between hard drives and flash drives, but between standards like USB 2.0 and 3.0. Check your operating system for these tools or view them under the Properties of the drive itself. As a general recommendation, Nexcopy can help with flash drives and even data security.

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