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USB Copy Protection by Nexcopy

Nexcopy has released a USB Copy Protection solution for those who need to share files, but without giving the “receiver” full ability to copy and re-distribute. The great thing about a USB flash drive is file sharing.  They are great for copy and saving and taking files on the road.  This same convenience factor also makes it very difficult to have Digital Rights Management as well.  With Nexcopy’s USB Copy Protection, it’s not difficult any longer! First, lets explain the difference between write protection and USB copy protection.  Some thing it’s the same, but it’s not. USB write protection [also called data lock] means the files cannot be deleted off the drive…it also means files cannot be added to the drive.  But you can still copy the files off the drive to your desktop or hard drive. USB copy protection provides the same functionality as write protection, but in addition, does not allow Continue Reading

How To: Read CID on SD card

How To Read CID on SD card

If you are looking to read the CID number of an SD card, or extract the CID off an SD card then you’ve find this article very helpful.  Some also call this “reading the PSN off the SD card” or reading the product serial number off the SD card.

Most phones and much of the software on phones will lock in to the CID number of a SD card.  The CID number is a unique card identifier number that is unique to the card itself.  The CID number is valuable because software developers and hardware developers can lock software to the unique number of the device thus eliminating the ability to pass along licensed software.

Reading the CID number from an SD card is not an easy task.  It requires specific access codes to the index table of the memory card, and unless you know how to use the SD chipset of your card reader, chances are you wont get the number…or least the correct and accurate number.

What is the CID number of an SD card?

The CID register is 16 bytes long and contains a unique card identification number. It is programmed during card manufacturing and cannot be changed by SD Card hosts.  The CID number is a compilation of information about the card, such as manufacturer, date manufactured, checksum total, GB size and more.  Below is a table outlining all the items which make up the SD CID number.

So with all this said, how do you read the CID number from an SD card?  As we’ve mentioned it isn’t easy and it’s [more or less] hardware based.  If you do enough searching on the internet you’ll find some home-brew code to read the CID numbers, but that’s only if you have the SD card or microSD card connected via an IDE bus to your host computer.  This isn’t easy for everyone.  There is clear evidence that using a USB to SD card reader will not get you the information you require, or at least accurate and correct information.  Meaning most times the CID number generated is actually the serial number of the card reader itself, not the CID number of a specific SD card.

In addition, what if you are required to read the CID number off SD media in bulk?  A single, one-at-a-time solution is not practical.

In my search to read the CID number from SD media, I cam across Nexcopy – a manufacturer of USB duplicator equipment and other flash memory equipment.  Several models they carry are SD duplicators and microSD duplicators.  With the secure digital duplicators part of their feature set includes reading CID numbers from SD media.  The equipment can ready 20 cards at a time, 40 cards at a time, or 60 cards at a time, depending on the model.  The duplicators will read the CID number and exported to a .csv file for import into other business functions.  This configuration makes it quick and easy to obtain the CID number.  Granted, the equipment is not designed for single use operation, but rather reading the CID of SD media in bulk quantity.  Here is a screenshot of Nexcopy’s software reading 20 CID numbers:

I didn’t contact Nexcopy Incorporated for pricing of the equipment, but doing a quick search for the equipment shows me a price of about $1k for the smallest 20 target system and $3k for the largest, 60 target system.

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Bootable Windows 8 Off USB

Microsoft is looking to make their OS more portable.  With Windows8 one of the features the Redmond Washington company is featuring is a bootable OS.  True, we’ve seen both Windows and Linux distro’s bootable off a flash drive, but what makes this a bit different is 1)  being legal and 2)  officially supported.  This seems a very smart move to keep Microsoft positioned to as an option as virtual desktop and thin client systems continue to rise in popularity. Many power users already run virtual laptops off of USB drives enabling them to work on a single consistent environment at both home and work without fussing with a laptop/briefcase. This should cement the concept and help keep MS moving towards more secure OS options comparable to VPMs. With an official version of bootable Windows OS, IT managers could now use a USB Duplicator, such as the one from Nexcopy Inc., to mass produce their installation and/or restore media in a much faster time frame then using an old school optical duplicator. An additional caveat of the portable Windows system is the speed of the environment.  Granted, there is nothing like running off a hard disk, but running of NAND flash will be almost as smooth…and with memory performance getting better with USB 3.0 flashdrive devices, it will become two of the same. Video of Windows8 running on a MacBook Pro after the jump Continue Reading

Review: Nexcopy 3.0 USB Duplicator

Review: Nexcopy 3.0 USB Duplicator

EverythingUSB posted a review of the Nexcopy 3.0 USB Duplicator with a bunch of “thumbs up” marks.  Lets take a closer look. As far as USB duplicators go, the Nexcopy SSUSB160PC is actually pretty stylish. Its form certainly flows from its function, but Nexcopy has made it to look in a German engineered car sort of way. Because of this form from function design, it is rather rectangular with flat boxy sides. However, Nexcopy did add in some flare where they could. For example, having the top slope downwards from back to front does give it a more aggressive styling. This dash of styling does makes it even more functional as sticking in the 16 flash drives into the 16 USB 3.0 ports on that self same top is actually easier when they are slightly offset in the vertical plane. It’s also a lot easier to check all 32 status lights for the 16 ports (red for bad, green for good). Where the Nexcopy USB 3.0 duplicator is a serious tool meant for serious work, there is no plastic fascia to be found anywhere. It is made from metal and metal only. Once again, Nexcopy did manage to sneak in some pizazz by having the front’s company logo be CnC’ed milled out. This allows air to be sucked in from the front (as well as the sides through copious amounts of air holes), flow over the internals and then be exhausted out the back of the case via the rear fan. This is a great example of form and function done properly. I first made an image file of my minted Windows 7 64-bit installation flash drive using the included basic software. (As a note, professional version or upgraded version of the software includes the ability to write protect drives, partition drives or set them as USB CD-ROM devices.) When that was completed, I setup a new batch job; pointed the software at the location of the newly created .IMG file on my hard drive; and then took Continue Reading

Corsair Drops Drawers On USB 3.0 Pricing

Corsair has always gotten good reviews about the speed and performance of their 2.0 USB flash drives.  So it is no surprise to see Corsair enter the market of 3.0 USB sticks. As we said years ago, USB 3.0 will start to catch on, and the price points Corsair is publishing for the 8, 16 and 32GB drives proves the point. The USB 3.0 Flash Voyager looks like all their others, and comes in at a price of:
  • 8GB = 19.95
  • 16GB = 29.99
  • 32GB = 69.99
These seem like great prices for individuals.  The next question becomes, how does a corporate company who bought a pallet full, perform the data load function.  Maybe this USB 3.0 Duplicator by Nexcopy would help. Here is the company line from their press release:
The new Flash Voyager USB 3.0 models bring SuperSpeed USB 3.0 performance to the Flash Voyager family, and share the same durable rubber housing and stylish looks that have made the Flash Voyager family a favorite of consumers looking for fast, reliable, and portable data storage. All Flash Voyager USB 3.0 models are shockproof, water-resistant, backward compatible with USB 2.0/USB 1.1, and provide easy plug-and-play compatibility with most operating systems.
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Nexcopy First To Market With SuperSpeed USB Duplicator

It’s clear USB 3.0 is coming.  It’s an unstoppable train which is building momentum with each new day and each new product launch.  Millions of PC and peripherals will ship this year with the USB 3.0 SuperSpeed bus interface.  With that said, it’s no wonder the timing of the Nexcopy SuperSpeed USB duplicator couldn’t be at a better moment.  Now it’s possible for users to manage these new peripherals without using legacy 2.0 products. The SSUSB160PC is a 16 target USB duplicator which works off the USB 3.0 technology.  What you need to remember is that a USB 2.0 stick won’t jump to the 3.0 speed just because it’s a new interface.  Fortunately, the 3.0 system will easily handle 3.0 hard drives, which seem to be the most prevalent in the market, as well as 3.0 flash drives which are just starting to show as mainstream. The SSUSB160PC is a slick looking product with a light weight aluminum body making it ideal for on-site duplication and data loading.  The USB duplicator has a built in 120 watt power supply and will copy at your devices maximum transfer rate.  For some ideas, it’s reported by Nexcopy that 32GBs of data can copy in about 6 minutes. We’ve reported on other products from Nexcopy Corporation – maybe it time I request an evaluation unit…some glamor shots after the jump… Continue Reading

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USB copy protection with digital rights management for data loaded on USB flash drives.

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