Using the CMD prompt in Windows 10 or 11, it is a one line request to get the serial number of a USB flash drive. The serial number in question is the device serial number which follows the device and will be the same serial number to identify the physical device. This serial number is written into read-only memory on the flash drive and cannot be duplicated or deleted or modified. This is different than the volume serial number which we talk about from a previous post.
Steps are very simple:
# Insert a flash drive (or multiple)
# Select a flash drive by clicking on the drive letter
# In the Explorer path field type cmd
This will open the Command Prompt
# Copy the text below and click Enter
wmic path Win32_USBControllerDevice get Dependent | find “USBSTOR”
This request is asking Windows to search the computer for any Mass Storage devices (flash drives) connected to the computer USB Host Controller on the motherboard.
You do need to parse some information out because more than a serial number is given.
The serial number of the USB flash drive is listed last and there is a &0 at the end which is not part of the serial number. The hardware serial number can range in length so we don’t have a guideline for how long it should be. Typically we see serial number lengths range from 8 to 30 alpha-numeric values.
Using a 3rd party program, you can see the serial number of the USB flash drive matches that of the cmd prompt request.
Maybe you want the USB flash drive to be read-only (write protected)
Maybe you want the USB to act like a CD-ROM drive
Maybe you need to copy protect files on the drive – meaning people can view the files but they cannot print them, save them, screen capture, share, etc. The files can only be viewed.
These USB flash drives use an activity light and also provide the other cool functions mentioned above. The landing website offers six different body styles and an unlimited number of body colors along with free printing / branding if required.
Many small and portable flash drives do not have an activity light and we don’t like those types of drives. They don’t give the visual feedback we want to see.
The people who write for this blog prefer a USB flash drive with an activity light. The USB manufacturers have different settings for the LED activity light. Here is a screen shot of the mass production software tool used when making a flash drive.
There are two main settings for a USB activity light:
On or Off setting for the LED on when device is ready
Blink or not when flash memory is being accessed (this is for either read or write)
In our experience any USB flash drive with an activity light will have both of the above settings to On. Meaning the LED will be a solid color when connected and ready, and will blink as the device is being accessed for either a read or write request.
The most common LED color of a flash drive is red. However, we have seen green and blue LED lights on occasion. Most flash drives can be customized with specific LED colors if required. Lead times and pricing might fluctuate depending on what is required.
Windows: Sound of connected a USB flash drive to Windows…
User: Ah yes… let’s get to work!
Windows: The Windows sound of a disconnected USB device…
User: Oh no, what’s happening?
A quick Google search and here we are… let’s take a look:
Here are five legitimate reasons your USB drive might be disconnecting from your Windows computer.
1. Running on Battery
Windows OS is set at default to power down USB ports when running from a battery. The power down process usually doesn’t happen until 10-15 into a stalled USB port, but maybe your setting is different. So worth checking… but first… plug in your laptop and see if the problem is resolved.
To check your USB power setting do this:
Search for Control Panel and click Enter
In the Control Panel click the Hardware and Sound link
From here (might be slightly different for everyone) click the Change battery settings and further click Change plan settings and then you’ll see an Change advanced power settings option. Click the Change advanced power settings you can scroll around to find the USB devices and adjust your power there.
2. Faulty USB Port
The number one reason for why a USB device doesn’t work is the physical USB port on the host computer. A laptop generally has only 3 or 4 ports and those ports get a lot of action. With a tower PC, the front USB ports on the bezel also get most the action. Question: When you insert the USB device can you wiggle it around? Was there very little tension or pressure when connecting the USB device? If the device wiggles, or extremely easy to insert… you might have a physically bad USB socket.
The average user inserts a USB stick into their computer from a trusted source. However, there are companies and situations who receive USB flash drives or USB hard drives and they are not certain if the device is infected.
Globotron is a company based in New Zealand who designed the product. The product is called Armadillo and is an open-source USB firewall.
Some research has shown, as many as 29 different types of USB attacks can happen from plugging in mass storage devices (like USB flash drives and USB hard drives) or also HID devices (human input devices like keyboards and mouse).
The USB stack which is the low level code used in the host computer, is very complex and over time researchers and hackers have discovered ways to compromise a computer system through these vulnerabilities.
The Armadillo is an open-source device which is a firewall between a USB device and computer. The firewall isolates the firmware of the USB device so as not to infect your PC if the device has been infected with malicious firmware. You just need to plug in Armadillo between your computer and the USB device using the provided micro-USB cable. Armadillo is an upgrade over USG, the original or first-generation USB hardware firewall device.
The Armadillo has bot detection. This means if the USB firewall device detects malicious codes are being entered via keyboard or mouse (HID devices) the device will block transmission and a red LED indicator light will turn on.
The Armadillo has the ability to temporarily make your USB read only. This is valuable if the computer is infected and you need pull information (recovery software) from the USB stick and want to insure virus’ do not infect the flash drive. The USB is read-only, but it is read/write when not connected to the Armadillo.
Note: If you need a USB stick that is always write protected at the controller level, yet need to temporarily turn off the write protection for data changes, the Lock License drive from Nexcopy is your solution.
This last point about the Armadillo is a bit strange, but we like it. The body is sealed with glitter epoxy so it is easy to identify if the box itself was tampered with. Very creative!
If you are an avid user of USB security dongles, you might know how challenging it may be to get remote access to these devices. To simplify this task, Electronic Team, Inc. has developed a dedicated software solution capable of sharing USB protection dongles over the network.
Donglify is a lightweight desktop application that allows connecting USB hardware keys to remote computers over the Internet and LAN. The software uses the 2048-bit SSL encryption to secure your connections, so you don’t need to worry that your sensitive data will be intercepted or lost.
One of the nicest things about Donglify is that it can redirect one USB dongle to several remote PCs simultaneously. In order to make a USB hardware key available for use on multiple computers, you can just connect the device to your local PC and share it over the network with nothing more than a couple of clicks. This option, currently, works with HASP HL Pro, Sentinel HL Pro, SafeNet eToken 5110, and CodeMeter CmStick security keys.
USB hardware keys of other types can also be shared over the Internet but you’ll be able to access them from one remote machine at a time.
Donglify is available by subscription and comes with a 30-day free trial. When the trial period is over, you can continue using the service for $19.99 a month.
Came across an article today, which I thought was a very good read. It’s a niche article, but for anyone who deals with flash drives, I would suggest checking it out.
From the article:
The optical drive is nearly dead – they are no longer found in laptops and rarely found in tower PCs. With that said, the trend for giving out data is shifting to USB flash, not CD or DVD media. Because of this shift, many companies are taking a closer look at buying a USB duplicator.
There are several factors one must consider before spending thousands of dollars on a USB duplicator. We have broken down the most important considerations into four categories. After reviewing these four categories, you should have an excellent idea of which type of duplicator is best for your organization.
USB Duplication Speed
Speed is the first area you should analyze to figure out which direction you should go. When considering speed, we are not simply talking about the copy speed of the USB duplicator, but other factors as well, such as number of USB sockets and the user interface required for feedback during operation. Questions you should ask, include:
# How many USB drives will you need to copy in a day or week?
# How large is the data load in MBs or GBs?
# What kind of turn-around time do you have between a duplication request and when that request should be completed?
# Is there printing, or branding required, on the outside of the USB?
# Do you need proof of performance via a log file?
Answering the above questions will give you an idea of what type of USB duplicator to consider. The type of duplicator will be size, how many USB sockets, copy speed of the duplicator and what type of software, if any, your organization will need.
Your Production Crew
Your next step is to consider the production crew who will be running the equipment. Will there be non-technical people running the equipment, or will a more hands-on approach be required? Is the IT department looking to restrict user access to the equipment or restrict access to the data content during the duplication process?
Much of the above depends on how the data is received before copied to the USB flash drive. For example, a duplication company might receive a physical master from a client; where-as a fulfillment house may get content delivered from a server from an on-line order submission process.
Will the organization require multiple USB duplicators located in different parts of the world? Said another way, many global companies standardize on one manufacturer so the user experience is the same across multiple locations. This also makes production easier as both support and experience can be shared between divisions to streamline processes on a global scale.
Knowing the production crew, their capabilities and responsibilities will help narrow the search for the right piece of equipment.
Read-Only or Read-Write
The third category worth investigating is asking the state of what the USB should be once sent delivered. Is the organization looking to ship out a read-only flash drive? By default all flash drives are read-write. Because of this, many organizations fear a virus could jump onto the drive and spreading to other computers. With that fear in mind, most companies are looking for a USB duplicator which creates a read-only drive product. This means the USB drive is locked, or write protected. The files cannot be deleted or formatted off the drive, and more importantly, files cannot jump onto the drive.
Nexcopy is world leader in read-only flash drive duplicators and therefore used as an example of a duplicator system worth considering.
With all the gadgets we post about here at GetUSB.info sometimes a word or definition can get twisted on it’s meaning. One of those terms is UDISK. First, please don’t complicate the term into something more than it is. There are two answers to this question.
There is the “slang” term for UDISK and there is the “technical” term for UDISK.
The “slang” term for UDISK
The Asia / Pacific Rim region use the term UDISK to describe a flash drive. This is the most common use of the term “UDISK” for no-technical people. In the United States and Europe people do not use the term UDISK to describe a flash drive, rather the common term of “USB flash drive” or “thumb drive” or “USB key.”
The “technical” term for UDISK
The technical term for UDISK is a bridge chip which is used inside an enclosure to turn a hard drive into an external storage device that connects via USB cable.
For example, in the picture below is a hard drive enclosure which is designed to hold a magnetic hard drive and turn the hard drive into an external storage device. A magnetic hard drive typically has an IDE or SATA connection interface and a UDISK chip is used to bridge the IDE (or) SATA interface to that of USB. This bridge chip (UDISK) changes the hard from from IDE protocol (or SATA protocol) to a USB protocol.
Examine the picture a bit closer and you can clearly see the SATA interface on the PCB. On that same PCB is the UDISK bridge chip which does the protocol translation.
The second image shows the back side of the external hard drive case with the USB cable connected to the enclosure. Using the UDISK bridge chip allows for an IDE or SATA hard drive to be connected to a host computer system via USB cable.
Cypress Semiconductor (now Infineon) makes such a bridge chip, called the FX3.
UDISK is most commonly used to describe a USB flash drive.
Technically the term UDISK describes a bridge chip used in hard drive enclosures.
CES, 2016. Sony releases a USB turntable, named HX500. Sony will provide backup- software for the Mac and PC and it connects via USB. From there, you can send the DSD (Direct Stream Digital) copies to your computer or device. Of course Sony would prefer you to play them back on their Hi-Res-playing Sony Walkmans.
The DSD audio is a lossless audio quality that will sound more full and rich than your downloaded MP3 file. Andy why not, vinyl records have been making a big comeback the last couple of years.
The Airbar will turn any Windows laptop into a touch screen. Very cool. The technology is friendly with Windows 8 and 10 and this is because it uses Microsoft’s “Gestures” technology to turn your laptop into a touchscreen laptop.
The Airbar was designed in Sweden and made in Sweden. The bar is $50 US Dollars.
The Airbar works by invisible light beams. To get it working you connect is via USB and set the bar at the bottom of your laptop screen, just like you see in the picture.
The Airbar will project light upward. As your fingers break the barrier of the projected light, the bar will translate this into gestures. Through the Windows API for gestures your actions will translate to the programs running.
The USB 3.0 / 4K display and dock station is ideal for the Bring Your Own Device work environment (BYOD).
Assuming you have a limited port laptop computer the StarTech dock station can expand your laptop screen and extend out to a 4K video feed needed. It doesn’t stop there with USB 3.0 port connectivity, and Ethernet connection.
The front side of the dock station also includes a USB charging port. You can avoid the inconvenience of a dead battery and make sure your mobile device is always ready to go, using the dockâ€™s USB fast-charge and sync port. Plus, the always-on port supports device charging even when your laptop isnâ€™t connected to the dock.
The dock station can act as a charging station unplugged as well, making it a very portable solution. A good fit for this product would be home-office where the work space is not that large, or class room where the budget isn’t there for a complete work station and a BYOD situation best applies.
I don’t think this model has small hands, I think it’s a legitimately large USB mouse.Â With a size of 175mm long and 105mm wide, I don’t think you can argue.Â Or can you?Â Hit our Facebook page and give us some reasons on who or why someone would need a big USB mouse like this…
Voltaic is a company that deals with voltage.Â They specialize in the solar charging to create volts.Â Their latest entry is the Spark.Â The Spark is a solar panel design for tablet and notebooks.
Voltaic is marketing the Spark for the iPad – and why not as there’s plenty of marketing spin going on for Apple tablets.
The Spark will generate 8watts of solar power.Â So for those who don’t have an electrical engineering degree, or simply can’t do the math – one hour of sun to the Spark will generate enough power to run one hour of video off the iPad.Â Not bad.
Weather:Â Panels are waterproof, lightweight and built to withstand abuse.
Charge times: About 10 hours in direct sun will fully charge an iPad, other tablets may take less time.