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Rich Gates

Administator for GetUSB.info GetUSB.info started in 2004 with the concept of providing USB information for everything USB related. At the time, USB was gaining momentum and every day new products, articles and news became published. Today, the site is focused on bringing technical information, tricks and hacks to USB related products. The site does publish off topic information as well, to keep the variety up. Please visit the footer area of any page if you or your company is interested in article or product placement via purchased advertising.

How To Check USB Flash Drive Power Output

How to check a USB flash drive power output is fairly simple: the drive doesn’t output any power. That is the short answer.

What is really happening is the flash drive gives the host (the computer) instructions on the maximum power which should be sent to the flash drive.

So now that we understand a USB flash drive doesn’t put out power, but rather receives it, the next question becomes… how much power does the flash drive instruct it can receive?

When a USB flash drive is connected to a host computer there is something call a “device descriptor” which gives the host a long list of configuration settings. One of those device descriptors is the maximum power setting the device should receive. Now… it is 100% up to the host computer to respect that request, or not.

If you are having USB power disconnection issues it can be one of two things:

  1. The USB flash drive has too low of a power configuration setting
  2. The host is not respecting the device descriptor of the flash drive setting

99.9% of the time the host is respecting the device descriptor because the USB stock (code) to run the USB flash drives is typically well developed i.e. the USB driver is from Microsoft.

The more likely problem is the power setting of the device is set to low. If the power setting is set to low this means the host computer will monitor the power and since the USB is asking for more power than what is set in the descriptor the host computer disconnects the drive.

Below is a screen shot for the mass production tool used to make USB flash drives. As you can see the power settings available to configure the drive range from 100mA (milliaps) to 500mA. The maximum power limit for USB 2.0 is 500mA and thus should be the setting to make a USB flash drive. However, if the USB manufacturer messed up with an incorrect selection then a very good chance a 200mA flash drive is being disconnected all the time… and by no fault of the host computer!

usb flash drive power output, configure

So how do you find the power output of a flash drive? Or more accurately, what is the power consumption definition of the flash drive?

In short, there is no easy way to find this information in Windows. The easiest solution is download a 3rd party application and run the tool to see. The tool (USBDeview) is very small and runs directly as an exe file, no installation required.

Below are two screen shots.

The first screen shot is a USB flash drive set at 200mA. Clearly this device will run into disconnection issues

usb flash drive power output, to low

The second screen shot is a USB flash drive set at 500mA. This is the correct configuration of a USB flash drive for power output.

usb flash drive power output, correct

The above information is the easiest way to for USB flash drive power output for a thumb drive.

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Solved: Can’t Mount IMG File in Windows 10

The first thing to understand is that image files are a messy business. There is plenty of cross-over information and functionality between image file extension types – it is easy to get confused!

Don’t be surprised if you can’t mount an .img file in Windows 10 with their default utility – it’s a common problem and this article will help.

Windows image mount utility

Windows, disc image file is corrupt

It is important to understand not all image files are the same. Heck, not all .img files are the same. Some basics: For the term “image files” you typically see .img files and .iso file extensions and they have similar functionality and conceptually accomplish the same goal. The goal is for an image file to hold digital content, in a single file, of a file system and a its set of data. If that sentence is confusing, then maybe think of an image file this way: a zip file (but without compression).

A very quick summary explaining the difference of .img and .iso image files. An optical disc holding data is configured differently than hard drive storage space. The optical disc has data written in a linear configuration and is a digital binary copy of the ISO 9660 standard or derivative UDF standard. The ISO file extension is a single file which contains all the digital information just described.

An .img file is a digital copy of the contents of a hard drive or flash drive. Technically you can have an .img of a CD or DVD as well, but most should associate the image of a disc as ISO. An .img file is a disk image which begins with a FAT sector which is used to identify the file system and files contained inside the image file. The image file of a disc (ISO) begins with a descriptor file which describes the layout of the disc.

That last sentence is important:

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How To: Get USB Volume Serial Number and USB Device Serial Number

Using the command prompt (cmd) you can quickly and easily get the USB volume serial number and the USB device serial number. There is no computer experienced needed to perform these functions, simply type a couple letters and you will get the information!

To get the USB Volume Serial Number do the following:

Insert USB flash drive into the computer

Double click the drive letter associated with the USB flash drive (remember the drive letter as you will need this in a moment)

usb drive letter in windows explorer

In File Explorer type: cmd

cmd prompt in usb drive letter

From the command prompt type: vol d: and click Enter ( where “d” is the drive letter of the USB flash drive)

The command prompt window will return the results and look something like this:

The Volume in drive D is named “Nexcopy”

The Volume serial number is 3AAB-AA16

vol command for usb drive letter

After we explain how to get the USB device serial number we will explain the difference between the two.

To get the USB Device Serial Number do the following:

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Industrial Control System USB Flash Drive Designed For ICS Security

Industrial Control System USB Flash Drive Designed For ICS Security

The fourth industrial revolution or “Industry 4.0” is a term used to categorize today’s trend with industrial control systems (ICS) and how these machines interact with each other and humans.

The fourth era of “industry” combines hardware, software and biology and emphasizes the advancements in communication and connectivity. When the term IoT (Internet of Things) is used, this is the type of example that would apply. Industrial Control System USB Flash Drives designed for ICS security are critical to industrial systems and how they are controlled by their owners. The key when a USB flash drive is introduced into a control system, is security. Without security, one could lose control of the industrial system and ultimately introduce risks into a population or region.

Before we look closer at Industry 4.0 and data storage, let us provide a short summary of the first three phases of the industrial revolution.

First Industrial Revolution

The first industrial revolution was marked by a transition from hand production methods to machines through the use of steam power and water power. The integration of these new technologies took a long time, and spans a period between 1760 and 1840 for Europe and the United States. The first phase had the greatest impact on virtual industrial channels such as textile manufacturing, iron production, agriculture and mining (in general).

Second Industrial Revolution

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, is the period between

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Review: Rufus The Big Misconception With ISO Files

If anyone searches for “burn ISO to USB” they will get pages and pages of Rufus links. However, there is a big misconception with Rufus… it doesn’t create USB CD-ROM drives!

The only thing Rufus does is take a bootable ISO file and write the data to a USB stick. Basically Rufus will extra the data on an ISO file and write it to the flash drive. You can do the same thing with WinRAR.

There is nothing magical about Rufus when it comes to “making a CD” because Rufus doesn’t make a “CD.”

If you need to make a USB CD-ROM flash drive the best solution found so far, is the Disc License drive. The Disc License drive is a blank USB CD-ROM flash drive. Using their Drive Wizard software (free), easily write ISO files to USB. The resultant drive will be a USB CD-ROM flash drive.

Before we get into Disc License technology, we do need to clear up some points about WinRAR and Rufus software. WinRAR will extract all the files contained in an ISO file and write them to your USB flash drive; however, if the ISO is bootable, WinRAR won’t write the boot code. This is where Rufus does shine. The Rufus software will write all the files contained in an ISO file along with the boot code to make your device bootable. With that said, there is a clear advantage for using Rufus over WinRAR.

Does Rufus burn any ISO file to USB? NO.

Does Rufus make your USB flash drive read-only, like a CD? NO.

If the ISO file isn’t bootable, there isn’t much [more] Rufus can offer. A non-bootable image will display an error message saying “This image is either non-bootable, or it uses a boot or compression method that is not supported by Rufus.”

rufus does not support iso file

Rufus is truly designed for one thing:

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How To: Add USB Flash Drive to Roku TV Getting Pause and Rewind Features

It is not difficult to get some premium functionality from Roku TV like pause and rewind by simply adding a USB flash drive to your setup

You will need to configure the Roku TV and the flash drive to work together, but it’s not hard to do.

To get close to 90 minutes of pause or rewind time you will want to use a 16GB or larger flash drive. So using something small like a 2GB or 4GB USB drive, probably isn’t worth the effort.

The other caveat is that the pause function is only available on the live TV input, limiting you to whatever’s coming over your antenna or cable connection.

So if the above sounds like something worth trying, let us show you the way:

What you’ll need:

  • Roku Smart TV (not the dongle or box). Said another way, a Smart TV with the Roku app.
  • Live TV input (usually either antenna or cable)
  • Roku TV remote control (standard with Roku purchase)
  • A 16GB or larger flash drive. Can be either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0

Once you’ve selected your flash drive be sure nothing is on the USB stick. This process will format the drive and remove any files you have on the drive.

Getting Started

Locate a USB port on your Smart TV. Any port will work. These will be found on the back side of your Smart TV. Connect the flash drive to a USB port.

Going to your Roku home screen and move the cursor until you are highlighting the LIVE TV option. This will be a tile on the home screen.

Don’t click LIVE TV, but rather get into the Options menu of Roku. You can either click the Gear button on the Roku remote, or you can press the Home button on the remote five times.

roku tv remote with gear, setting, button

In the Options menu select the “Set up Live TV Pause” and follow the on-screen instructions. Part of those instructions will include formatting a USB flash drive so Roku can sync with the flash memory for pause and rewind features.

Roku software will ask you to confirm the formatting process via a pin. This is only to make sure you think before you format because once you format the drive, any old data on the USB stick will be gone!

roku tv format usb flash drive

Done

Once live TV pause is enabled, you will be able to pause live television using the play/pause button on the Roku remote. You can also rewind up to (about) 90 minutes of live TV. This gives you plenty of time to have a nice family dinner while the Roku is on pause… then come back to finish the show.

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Turn a USB Flash Drive Into a Portable Gaming System

Batocera.linux is an open-source and completely free retro-gaming distribution that can be copied to a USB stick or an SD card with the aim of turning any computer/nano computer into a gaming console during a game or permanently. Batocera.linux does not require any modification on your computer. Note that you must own the games you play in order to comply with the law.

The Batocera firmware lets you flash a lightweight, emulation-focused operating system onto any flash drive, hard drive, or SD card. So what if we flashed it onto a flash drive, loaded it all up, and then used that as a portable gaming “system” that could be plugged into any Windows PC? That’s what we’re going to explore in this video.

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USB Duplicator Review Highlights Strengths

CD and DVD optical duplicators have been popular for years; however, with the disc drive no longer sold in computers, the only device left for moving files around are USB flash drives – well, most common device at least. With that in mind, let us take a look review a USB flash drive duplicator and wanted and provide observations.

So what is the speed of burning a DVD compared to copying to a USB flash drive? With a 16X DVD recorder it will take about 6-7 minutes to burn an entire disc, which is 4.7GBs. A common size DVD duplicator is seven drive system which means 7 copies every 7 minutes. However, today’s file sizes are getting larger and a data load can easily be over 5GBs. A dual layer DVD is 8.5GBs and would take about 27 minutes.

The USB duplicator in this review is a sixtenn target USB 3.0 duplicator manufactured by Nexcopy. This model was selected because it was the most popular in search results, and honestly – looks best for an office setting. This system will make sixteen copies at 1GB under a minute; which translates to 16 copies in less than five minutes. The dual-layer DVD mentioned above would be 9 minutes to make 16 copies. Clearly a USB duplicator is more efficient than a DVD duplicator.

OVERVIEW

Nexcopy’s model in today’s review is the USB160PC. This is a Windows computer based software and hardware solution which runs on Windows 7 or Windows 10. The copy speeds are the same as designated standalone systems. Below is a picture of the PC based system and the standalone system, both about the same port numbering (16).

USB Duplicator Nexcopy

The USB160PC uses software and provides six copy modes which a company can chose which copy method is best for their needs. Copy modes are:

  • File Copy
  • Copy Add
  • Device Copy – Data Only
  • Device Copy – Full Media
  • IMG Copy
  • Unique Data Streaming

We will cover the copy modes a bit later in the review.

The Drive Manager software by Nexcopy, has a data extraction feature giving the user the ability to extract data off the drive and make a data dump to a location on the host PC.

The PC based USB duplicator is fast and flexible to work with and provides excellent user feedback during the duplication process. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) ties in the obvious information such as USB flash drive total size, bytes used, percentage done during duplication and pass/fail response. Nexcopy uses their own Drive Manager software (trademarked) and provides lifetime software support and updates for free.

The GUI does an excellent job of identifying the USB device shown in the software with the USB socket on the duplicator. This is one problem with any home-grown duplication system, like connecting flash drives to a USB hub – the only way to identify a drive is by disconnecting it until you’ve found the one in question. The USB160PC gives you the tools to quickly identify each USB drive connected.

drive manager software by nexcopy

The bonus information from Drive Manager is the second tab of the GUI. This page shows the device serial number, the VID (Vendor ID) the PID (Product ID) and device descriptor information. The tech folks will appreciate this feature.

HARDWARE

For this USB duplicator review we weighed the duplicator box and it came in just under 5 pounds – so portable! Two LED for feedback along with the GUI software. Blue LED shows power to the socket and green LED displays activity of the device (will blink when reading or writing data). The GUI will provide performance feedback and status about the copy job and process. The power supply is auto-detecting and will automatically work in a 110v or 230v environment, no need to make a manual power setting switch with the physical box. The USB duplicator has a 5v fan on the back side to provide air flow for cooling; although we didn’t experience any heat during testing and operation.

The power supply inside is a 150watt MeanWell brand power block, which is a brand used by medical companies so power will never be an issue. This also means the 150watt power supply can support 16 USB hard drives.

usb copier by nexcopy

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Vaccinate Yourself From Ransomware — For Free

We all know what ransomware is. A type of malware which threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to the data until a ransom is paid. Specifically, the ransomware encrypts the users data and only after the ransom has been paid will a keycode be provided to free the files.

One solution to avoid paying a ransom is restoring the computer data from a recent backup. If a company configures it’s backup software to perform a backup each night, this is a great solution to restore the original data.

However, an easier solution to avoid a ransomware attack, is make a friendly PC. A “friendly” PC means the ransomware will identify the computer as a system it should not infect. To create a friendly PC use the Windows language feature and install the Russian keyboard. When this is done (pretty much all ransomware software) will identify the computer as a friendly system and not infect it.

This language feature is available in Windows 10 and 10 Pro. We don’t believe the language option is available for Windows 10 Home edition.

More about Ransomware from Wikipedia.

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Maintenance for USB Flash Drive Duplicator

USB flash drive duplicators are typically in production type environments because the equipment is being used to make hundreds or thousands of flash drives. In this type of environment if may be required to perform routine maintenance to keep the duplication equipment operating at peak performance.

As with any flash memory duplicator system, there are no moving parts. This certainly makes it easier on keeping the gear in tip-top shape. Although there are no moving parts there are still cleaning steps one can take. There are three areas to consider for maintenance for USB Flash Drive Duplicator.

usb duplicator, usb 3.0, super speed

The USB socket of a USB duplicator receives the most wear-and-tear. The standard USB socket has a specification of 100,000 connection cycles. During that time, it’s possible dirt and dust can get into the USB socket. However, more likely will be plastic shavings form the USB stick itself found inside the socket. If a user connects a USB stick at a slight angle and with a bit of force, it’s possible some of the plastic inside the USB stick connector is shaved off and falls into the USB socket of the flash drive duplicator.

If this happens the quick, simple and effective solution is applying compressed air into the USB duplicator socket to blow out any debris, dust or dirt. By cleaning out the sockets you will insure a better point of contact between the pins of the USB flash drive and the pins of the USB socket.

Another common issue with USB duplicators are the sockets themselves getting lose from all the connection cycles during the production process. Inside each USB socket there are metal tongs which provide tension as the USB stick is connected to the socket. Over time, these tongs lose some of their elasticity and thus result in less tension. When there is less tension between the socket and device, it is possible a good connection is not made. By taking appart the duplicator and adjusting the tongs of the USB socket you can create good, strong tension.

Here is a close up picture of a USB socket from a USB flash drive duplicator made by Nexcopy. The red arrow points the tension tong. Using some sort of sharp mechanical tool, push the tension tong down towards the inner part of the USB socket. Do not push or bend the tong too much, but enough to create good tension when a USB flash drive is inserted into the socket. Apply this technique to all sockets of the duplicator.

usb duplicator, tension thongs on usb socket

The last bit of maintenance for a USB flash drive duplicator would be the internal fan and components. As with any computer, the internal fan will pull or push dust into the chassis and cover the components. The dust itself will not damage the components, but the dust will cover the components on the inside and make them run hotter than what is ideal. For this reason, it is a good maintenance step to open the duplicator unit and apply compressed air to the inside of the unit.

By thoughtfully and methodically applying the above maintenance steps your USB flash drive duplicator will continue to run for many years.

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Quickly Eject USB Flash Drive in Windows

It seems the Microsoft updates are endless for Windows 10. Most users don’t bother with reading the notes about what has changed or been updated, myself included.

Today we noticed the eject feature in the Windows toolbar for quickly unmounting USB flash drives.

This isn’t breaking news. Simply a post about a feature you might not have noticed.

How to quickly eject a USB flash drive in Windows:

Click the access arrow in your tool bar

Hover over the USB icon and click

Your list of connected devices will show up. Hover over the USB flash drive device you want to Eject and click it.

That’s it. Your USB flash drive is now ejected.

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How To Get Large Videos Off iPhone

There are two popular methods to get large videos off your iPhone.

The most common problem is having a large video on your iPhone which you need on your computer. Email programs usually limit a file size at 20MBs, so if the file is larger, what can you do?

There are two popular options which come to mind: Use QuickTime or Use a USB flash drive.

Option #1

Use QuickTime. Macs already have QuickTime built into the OS, but Windows users must install it. Before deciding this as your best route to get large videos off your iPhone here is a list of things to consider:

  • You must backup your iPhone on QuickTime before you access the video
  • You need your computer (an authoized computer) to perform the backup
  • Windows user smust download and install QT
  • QuickTime is an invasive program which most Windows users will not like
  • Not a “portable” way to get the videos off your iPhone
  • However, this is a free solution!

Option #2

Use a flash drive.

Yes, you need to buy a specific flash drive, but after this investment it’s infinitely easier to get videos off your iPhone. Some advantages worth considering:

  • Get large videos off your phone without a PC
  • Share the videos immediately to another user’s PC
  • External storage device for backups of those videos

Point number one is really the value in all this {wink}.

Yes, you need to make a purchase of a product so you won’t be able to make the transfer ‘right now’ but will be able to once you have the USB device.

Specific USB drives have software which work with the iOS allowing the download of files from the phone to the drive. The one tested is the SanDisk iXpand flash drive at 128GB capacity and will cost about $40ish dollars.

The process is very straight forward.

  • Download the iXpand app from the Apple app store
  • Connect the flash drive to your iPhone
  • Select what file you want to transfer, that’s it
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