Cyrus is currently getting his bachelors degree in computer programing. As a part time job, Cryus writes contributing articles and content for GetUSB.info. He is an avid swimmer, loves Minecraft and prefers to program in Python.
Did you know Windows 10 has a speed test feature you can easily run from the CMD prompt?
This feature is what many USB flash drive speed test applications call upon during their operation. Rather than download some software utility off the internet, which only god knows what virus could be lurking inside, just use the Windows tool.
In addition to avoiding the possibility of a virus from a internet download, this tool is a standardized feature everyone has. In the event you are having performance issues you are trying to report to a flash drive manufacturer, this tool gives you both the same code to perform USB flash drive speed tests without having different applications giving varied results.
Every flash drive manufacturer claims a particular read and write speed of their flash drive and this is a great tool to verify what you purchased is what you received. It’s been said manufacturers will manipulate their computer environment to optimize the performance and use those optimized results as their marketing material. This could be true when a manufacturer is trying to determine the maximum performance, so let’s take a look now at benchmarking a standard environment.
The read and write speed of a flash drive will depend on the USB port one is using during the test. You will see a performance difference between a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 device that is connected to a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 socket on your computer. So take note about what you are doing!
After you’ve connected the USB drive to your USB port, take note of which technology they are, and be sure no data is on your drive. Although this Windows utility did not remove our data during testing, one can never be too sure.
In Windows type CMD into the search field.
Please be sure to use the Ctrl + Shift keys when you click the Enter key. This will run the command prompt at the Administrator level. You want to run this at the Admin level because if you don’t, a separate window will pop up during the testing process and immediately disappear with the process is done… taking the speed test results with it!
Once you’ve opened the command prompt at the Admin level, type the following:
winsat disk -drive d (where d is drive letter)
Windows will perform it’s task and should take about one minute to complete. The results will be printed out in the console window once everything is complete. Take note from our example below. This is a 64GB drive which we connected to both a USB 2.0 socket and a USB 3.0 socket. You can see the performance difference.
The information you want are:
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Read
> Disk Sequential 64.0 Write
Nice feature, right? Free and immediately available.
For those who don’t want to go this far, you could always take a large file, say 100MBs or larger and drag-and-drop this to your USB flash drive for speed testing. Just look at the copy process window and you’ll get a fairly good idea of device speed.
It’s important to remember flash drive media does not copy at sustained transfer speeds. The speed process does move around during the copy process; however, the read process is more stable and should happen at a more sustained transfer speed. We’ve seen drives drop down to 1MB/second for a short bit, before jumping back up to 30+MB/second write speed.
ASUS unveiled the Tinker Board 2 and Tinker Board 2S, its most powerful single-board computer or (SBC) and was designed to challenge the Raspberry Pi. The Tinker Board 2 and Tinker Board 2S have a Rockchip RK3399 processor, and up to 4 GB of dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM in addition to more USB connectivity than before with one USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C socket and three USB 3.2 Gen1 Type A sockets.
The only thing distinguishing the Tinker Board 2S from the Tinker Board 2 is its 16 GB of eMMC flash storage. The latter relies on a microSD card reader instead, which the Tinker Board 2S also has. All other specifications are identical, though.
Underpinning both SBCs is a Rockchip RK3399 processor that includes two ARM Cortex-A72 cores, four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU. There is also 2 GB or 4 GB of dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM.
Here is a list of the I/Os:
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C (OTG & DisplayPort 1.2)
3x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
1x 22-pin MIPI DSI
1x 15-pin MIPI CSI-2
1x RJ-45 Gigabit LAN
1x Wi-fI 802.11 ac & Bluetooth 5.0
1x 40-pin GPIO header
1x DC fan header
1x RTC battery header
1x Power and recovery headers
1x 12 V – 19 V DC-in barrel connector
Now heres the real question; will ASUS have the same problem with nearly zero support for the board? The thing that keeps the Pi above everyone else, is the support/community behind it.
Small at 85 mm x 56 mm supports Debian 9, while ASUS plans to deliver Android 10 by Q1 2021. So it’s heard, the Tinker Board 2 and Tinker Board 2S will offer up to 1.5x the performance of the original Tinker Board. It is unknown when ASUS plans to release either board though, or how much they will cost. However, we expect them to arrive by Q1 2021, going off ASUS’ commitment to delivering Android 10 in that quarter.
Although the Tinker Board 2 isn’t available as of this post (Nov 2020) you can click this Tinker Board 2 link at any time to search it’s availability on Amazon.
Like the PS4, the Sony PS5 lets you play music and video from a USB flash drive through the console. The process is easy enough and some reminders on “how to” might speed up the process of getting things to work smoothy.
The PS5 will play MP3 audio and MP4 video from a USB flash drive. Unfortunately the Sony PS5 doesn’t play back all audio format types or video format types, so if you stick with the most common and most universal, which is MP3 for audio and MP4 for video, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Please take note: The PS5 supports all of the same formats as the PS4 family and supports video in max resolutions of 3840 x 2160. Unfortunately, trying 8K videos doesn’t work because the SP5 doesn’t support an 8K output (right now).
Pro tip: Make sure your MP3 audio and MP4 video are organized in folders because the PS5 will make a play list order from the content found within those folders. It’s a manual process, but it’s best if you want to have somewhat of an organized playlist. Maybe make different folders from different artists to play MP3 audio from a USB flash drive on your PS5.
To play back video and audio from a USB stick you’ll have navigate to separate sections.
Don’t go to the Media section. That section is only for streaming content you purchased from the PS Store.
To watch video, long-press the PS Button and select Media Gallery from the main list. Then click USB on the far right. You can only access video this way.
Navigation looks something like this:
PS5 Home -> Media Gallery -> USB
Remember, the files stored in the folder are arranged like a playlist with the PS5 console is indexing the content. You can press R1 or L1 to skip back and forth. Press right and left on the D-Pad to skip ahead in small chapter-style skips.
To play audio, simply press the PS Button once to open up the Control Center quick bar. Then select the Music icon. It’s pretty bare-bones right now, but it’s functional.
Music can be played in the background as you do other things/play games. Once music is playing, you can pause it and change tracks right from the Command Center.
If you’ve ever misplaced a phone or USB drive in your house and wished for a way to find it, a dog with a keen nose and a playful attitude could have helped you out. Fortunately, with skills like that, our canine friends are finding a much higher calling working with police, the FBI, and homeland security.
As devices improve, a tiny microSD the size of a fingernail and less than a millimeter thick can hold hundreds of gigabytes of data. With this advancement comes the tools for criminals to hide and transfer enormous amounts of information without even lifting a finger. Where does that leave the fine men and women tasked with staying one step ahead? In Ogden, Utah and across the United States, they are getting the edge with their friendly Labrador companions. Ogden is home to one of fewer than two dozen “Electronic Sniffing” dogs in the nation’s police force and his name is URL (pronounced “Earl”). URL sniffs out electronic media like flash drives, memory cards, and cell phones. While they’re not exactly cryptography experts, they are consistently able to find devices that humans might otherwise miss.
Starting around 2015 with a K-9 named Bear, investigations involving trafficking, pornography, and counterterrorism have had success with the sharp noses of the dogs alongside them. The dog’s expertise comes from playful, but rigorous training exercises and are on a food-reward diet. Dogs could be led to search an office piled to the ceiling with boxes, or an open field with evidence buried underground, and within minutes they will lead their handlers to the prize. What’s the secret? The common element between all these eletric devices is a circuitboard. Compounds are added to the board to help them deal with overheating and it’s this compound that officers train their K-9 partners with. Initially using large amounts and then all the way down to a standard thumb drive, the dogs familiarize the scent and the training to be able to search houses, vents, cars, and people if deemed necessary.
From detecting drugs, to explosives, and now to electronics, the utility of a canine’s senses can’t be understated. Craig Angle the co-director of the Canine Performance Sciences program at Auburn University said he’s seen dogs identify very small targets from incredible distances. “I’ve seen them detect two ounces of explosives from more than 300 yards away,” he said. “They can detect through barriers and masking agents. We see a lot of natural instincts in a dog’s ability to detect innate behaviors like understanding and utilizing wind currents and scent plume.” From a researcher perspective and from the law enforcement officers working with these animals, it’s clear that the full potential of cooperation like this has immense potential for evidence gathering in the future.
If you have a drive formatted from a Windows system, and you have your settings showing hidden files and folders, then a “System Volume Information” folder will appear with unclear contents and purpose. Why is it there? And how much space on your drive is it actually consuming?
The System Volume Information folder is set with strict permissions to prevent user access, even for administrators. This is to keep the settings inside untouched because they contain protocols for how Windows wants to interact with the USB device. As we tested, however, our drives functioned just fine without it, even with varying types of data stored on them.
According to the Windows documentation, this folder is where certain behaviors are stored when creating a System Restore point but that doesn’t apply to all users and furthers the confusion as to why it would be located on a drive that is being used for other purposes. To minimize the useless space taken up on our drives, the first attempt was to shrink it through the Control Panel. Through the Control Panel > System and Security > System > System Protection, there are Protection Settings which can enable System Restore and control how much disk space Windows uses.
Unfortunately shrinking it did not free up as much space as we were looking for so the next step was to find a way to get rid of it. Now since this is a Windows file, and Windows isn’t even too keen on letting us access the file, it doesn’t like the idea of deletion at all. After trying to find ways within the operating system to allow us to remove the file, we ended up looking at an outside option from Nexcopy whom we had worked with in the past. Their tool wasn’t built for deleting a single file but since we could just move our desired content back onto the drive after using their “Erase” function, and since it’s free, it ended up being a solid workaround. The end result? No more unruly folder and a useful software to keep around in case we find other unwanted files that our operating system won’t let us get rid of.
Microsoft is creating a new connection for their tablet and laptop devices but as revealed in their newest patent filing, the working version of its Surface connector port will resemble the magnetic snap of past Apple devices while maintaining current USB-C compatibility standards.
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.
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.
The world’s largest disk drive maker, with revenues exceeding $13 billion annually, has moved its headquarters to San Jose from Irvine.
According to the OC Business Council, the company has 1400 employees in Irvine and 200 in Santa Ana so while the designation of headquarters has changed, much of their operations for business management, engineering, and functional support will remain at the Irvine location. Additionally, the Enterprise SSD team, previously in Santa Ana, and teams like it will be moving to Irvine. The reason is said to be a prioritization of Orange County jobs as stated by Lucy Dunn, the president and chief executive of the Orange County Business Council but some aren’t sure of this.
With the 10th anniversary of the iPhone approaching, features and design for the celebratory version of the device have been leaked or rumored in the last week. According to various reports, at least one new model will be available with a curved OLED screen similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. This high end model, however, is estimated to sell for just over $1,000 and to be marketed as a premium option alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
Kingston Technology announced last week that it is shipping the most the world’s largest capacity USB drive from DataTraveler. Their Ultimate GT offers up to 2TB of storage and USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) performance. Tech enthusiasts and professional users with high-capacity storage needs will have the ability to store immense amounts of data in a portable form factor with use cases such as up to 70 hours of 4K video stored on the drive.
Representatives from Kingston have stated “We are always striving to create new and better storage solutions to meet our customers’ needs especially in an ever-increasing digital world.” With the release of the DataTraveler Ultimate GT, users can push the boundaries of their mobile storage needs and ensure that they have more than enough space to store their video, photos and files in the most portable medium available.
Account security is one of the most vital pieces of the busy and interconnected world right now and nobody wants strangers accessing their personal information online. You might use a password manager as well as two-factor authentication like we mentioned in a previous post, but now there’s another way to stay protected.
In response to similar approaches from Google and Dropbox, Facebook has added support for safe login security keys. When you log into your account, this device will prove your identity rather than a code which sends to your phone. In addition to the superior security, they’re also potentially faster. With just a tap on the device you can have access to your Facebook account and feel safer in knowing only you can unlock it. It’s a welcome move from the company in an age where cyberattacks and identity theft are on the rise and as a universal rule on the internet, it’s never a bad time to strengthen your defences.