We’ve seen these terms floating around in forums and How To’s for years when someone is explaining what to do with USB flash drives. I think most people glaze over the definitions of Clean, Erase and Format simply because they believe the terms are interchangeable, or they aren’t planning on doing the task mentioned in the post.
I hope the following information will clear up some terms and definitions so we can all better understand what people are talking about when passing along information about flash drives and the Clean, Erase and Format function.
All of these functions can be performed in your Windows 10 computer, or higher. I will start with the least complicated definition and task, and move along from there.
This function is what 98% of Windows computer operators will use. This is the graphical interface inside Windows when you right click a drive letter and ask the operating system to format the drive. What is this function really doing?
Format is the least complicated of the tasks, and this function is removing the File Allocation Table of the USB and creating a new one. Said a simpler way… this function takes away the list of files sitting on the drive so it then appears blank with no data.
It’s important to note, the files are still on the drive, just not listed in an easy, organized manor which you can see through windows explorer (clicking on the drive letter to see the list of files).
Using the most basic file recovery software tools, like the one we wrote about several months back, you can recover all the files sitting on the drive.
Maybe a picture will help. Looking at the image below you can see the “data” is light grey. Meaning the data is still there, just not easily accessible. This data is what recovery software will look for, find, and list back on your drive. Also notice the boot code of the USB (if you want to load an operating system on your USB stick) isn’t touched either.
You might have questions if a USB flash drive should be formatted as FAT, FAT32, exFAT or NTFS and we did a great post about that a bit earlier as well.
The Clean function is a bit more in-depth than the format function. This function applies directly to the Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot code mentioned just above.
The Clean function will clear out boot code and will remove any partition on the flash drive. The partition of a flash drive is the information which tells a host computer how big the drive is, and if the partition should be bootable in the event you are trying to start the computer from a flash drive.
The Clean function is not accessible through the GUI of Windows, for example you cannot right click on a drive letter and find the Clean function. The Clean function is only accessible through the Windows utility called DiskPart.
USB 3.2, the most recent, shipping, standard sees a maximum transfer speed of 40Gb per second. USB4 will double that. Said another way, 80Gbps is equal to moving 10,000MB in one second. Said another way, that’s about 10GBs in one second.
Keep in mind, this is all theoretical, maxium speed. Real world applications will not get to this point. Never has, never will.
USB4 is built on Intel’s Thunderbolt technology. You know, the technology Apple tried to force everone to use back in 2012. The big change for USB is the interface. The Thunderbolt licensing setup is expensive and thus, we never saw low priced accessories to accommodate the technology. This is why Intel was always so interested in getting Thunderbolt to be the backbone for USB. It would gain in both speed and reduced price.
USB4 is also backwards compatible with USB 3.2, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt 3. Since the new standard merges both USB-C and Thunderbolt, we should start to see decreasing accessory price points that utilize faster speeds as USB4 gains popularity.
USB4 device manufacturers must also include USB Power Delivery technology, which regulates device charging. PD can quickly charge your phone or gaming laptop, sending the optimal amount of wattage for each device to charge quickly without damage.
Expect to see the first USB4 products hit the market as early as mid-2020.
The Anker Powerhouse 200 is a product which you would say “I should have thought of that years ago.” Well this charging station, is truly that, a station of power.
I’m not even going put the features in some lofty gargon sentence, but rather list them off like a spelling test in 5th grade. After you read the following paragraph, I wonder what you will think; here we go…
Input High-Voltage Protection, Output High-Voltage Protection, Input Current Regulation, Automatic Current Matching, Input Short-Circuit Protection, Device Overcharge Protection, Static Resistance, Output Short-Circuit Protection, Output Current Regulation, Battery Overdischarge Protection, Output Temperature Control. That is an awesome sounding product.
Specifications are below, but we couldn’t find out how heavy the Powerhouse 200 weighs.
- Capacity: 57600mAh/218.8Wh
- Input: AC/Power Delivery
- USB Output: 5V=3A (15W)
- Power Delivery Output: 5V=3A, 9V=3A, 15V=2A, 20V=1.5A (30W)
- DC Output: 12V=5A
- AC Output: 110V, 0.9A, 60Hz, 100W
- AC Waveform: Pure Sine Wave
- Total Output: 130W Max
- Operating Temperature: 32°F-104°F / 0°C-40°C
- Recharging Temperature: 14°F-104°F / -10°C-40°C
Product page from retailer:
About Anker Electronics:
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.
Legrand now offers the XSOLARCS USB charging station for public works, schools, parks and transportation centers.
With the Legrand solution, there is no construction required in order to install the charging station. The unit is a self contained solar panel tower, with six USB charging ports pulling from the solar panel. There are three shelves which can mount in adjustable locations to the panel tower poll. Each shelf containes two USB ports with up to 3.1A of shared power between them. There is no trenching required or other expensive construction projects in order to get the EXSOLARCS going.
USB sockets are protected from the eliments with a sliding door in front of the two port socket assembly. Not only is there protection, but LED illumination at each port for after-dark identification and ease-of-use. If the light is illuminating, the station can provide a charge. This implies there is some type of battery inside the station, which we’ve emailed Legrand to find out exactly what.
The XSOLARCS was designed with the elimints in mind. The USB charging station is designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and has the full RoHS certificate compliance.
Source: Legrand .
Nexcopy is a bit of classic entrepreneurial story, starting out in a home garage and sales on the first day of business, this is a story about a copy that has gone only upward.
Tech Company News had some time to sit down with the owner of Nexcopy, Greg Morris, and fire off some questions.
Here is a snippet from the interview…
Question: What kind of technology does Nexcopy offer?
Answer: Nexcopy has a specific focus on flash memory duplication, printing and production needs. The business started out with one product geared towards USB duplication. From that single product, Nexcopy’s business has expanded into other duplication equipment such as SD card duplicators, microSD cards duplicators, Compact Flash cards duplicators, and of course our most recent product, the USB Type C duplicator. During this expansion process of hardware, Nexcopy also developed copy protection of digital files on USB drives and mobile devices. Several years ago, Nexcopy introduced a USB flash drive printer which really rounded out our product offering. From the devices, to the duplication equipment to the branding equipment, Nexcopy is a one-stop manufacturer for anyone who deals in flash memory.
The full Nexcopy interview is available on the Tech Company News website.
The link below is for a zip file which has two batch files to either set the USB write protection, or remove the USB write protection for a Windows 10 computer. This batch file also works for Windows 7 machines.
This solution is ultra-easy and very quick. One click to run the reg edit file and one click to confirm the task. That’s it.
Typically a person will want to lock down the USB ports of a computer to insure a virus doesn’t spread to the computer through a USB device, like a flash drive. The nice thing about this batch file is a very quick and easy way to both lock down your USB ports, and equally easy way to unlock your USB ports.
It’s important to note; do not have a USB flash drive connected to the system when you run either batch file.
For those looking for a bit more detail, the information below is the specific registry edit we are making. Changing the dword to 00000001 sets the device policy for the computer to be write protected. Changing that value back to 00000000 will make the USB ports read/write.
It is also important to understand this USB write protect solution is not specific to the USB stick itself. Nor will this solution work on all Windows machines when you move USB drives from computer to computer. Said another way, this change is PC specific.
If you need USB write protection to be permanent to the device and universal to anything the USB is connected to, you may contact Nexcopy.com and ask for their Lock License drives. This is a solution we have found works very well and is done at the controller level of the USB stick itself. Meaning, the USB is write protected for anything it is connected to. The value of this configuration is no chance for a virus to jump onto the USB stick in the first place. This last solution is really the best solution for universal USB write protection.
Here is a screen shot of the two batch files:
With USB gadgets like this, it’s hare to imagine companies like ADT stay in business for residential customers. This working USB charger includes a miniature camera which acts like a surveillance camera. You can plug any USB gadget into it for charging, all the while record or stream video for what is going on within it’s view.
Use your Android or iPhone you may stream directly to your connected app or stream to a group of people you’ve authorized within the app. The spy camera records 1080p HD footage and will also record that video to the 32GB microSD card (included). Bonus: You can set the surveillance camera to record only when it detects motion.
The camera view is anything directly in front of the plug, so no ability to turn the camera itself, but that is a simple enough problem to solve, just use an outlet that is in-line with the viewing area you want to record.
Here are some noteworthy bullet points about what you will get for the low price of $29USD:
- Motion Detection – Can be set to initiate recording only when motion is detected and then send a notification directly to your phone.
- Loop Recording – Can be set to automatically record over old footage, allowing for uninterrupted video recording.
- Night Mode – Can be set for recording in dim and low light environments.
- Multi-Use – Allows for multiple users to connect to the same device (Supports up to 8 users)
- Multi-View – Allows for multiple cameras to be connected to the same APP / Software. (Supports up to 8 cameras)
The Evela spy camera comes with
Today, Hynix put out a press release on their Gold S31 solid-state drive (SSD). The SATA III, first generation, is the first of their SuperCore series of products.
With a 560MB/s read speed, this device becomes an ideal SSD drive for high demand users, such as Gamers. What’s also somewhat unique about the new Gold S31 drives is that they’re entirely built in-house.
“All key components in Gold S31, from NAND flash and built-in controller to DRAM and firmware, were designed and produced by SK Hynix. The in-house components are built for robust performance and reliability,” SK Hynix says.
What is more interesting, at least for us at this moment, is the history of SK Hynix we uncovered by doing some research about the company.
I always wondered what happen to Maxtor, an optical media giant back in the early 2000s. Well, SK Hynix bought them. SK Hynix is the third largest conglomerate in South Korea.
Hynix is the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker (after Samsung ) and the world’s 3rd-largest semiconductor company. Founded as Hyundai Electronic Industrial Co., Ltd. in 1983 and hasn’t stopped growing since.
Hynix memory is well know for quality flash and used in products made by Apple, Asus, Google, Dell, Nexcopy and Hewlett Pakard.
The company also merged with LG Semiconductors in 1999.
These guys had an operating income of 18 billion for 2018, so it’s a company with
The most common reason why only one flash drive is usble when multiple USBs are connected is due to a device signature collision.
If you are dealing with bootable devices and seeing this problem, we are confident a collision is the issue. If you are not dealing with a bootable device, then our information below will, probably, not help.
What is a USB signature collision?
A signature collision can happen on any bootable device, so Compact Flash cards, SD cards, microSD cards and USB flash drives. A disk signature is a unique identifier number (UID). It is a unique identifier stored as part of the MBR (Master Boot Record) for an operating system loaded on the device. The operating system will use the UID to identify and distinguish between storage devices. It is commonly made up of eight alphanumeric characters. A disk collision occurs when your operating system (Windows) detects that there are two disks with identical signatures.
For Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, these versions of Windows will disable the second drive and will not allow that second volume to mount until the disk collision has been rectified. If you are reading this article, chances are, this is exactly what is happening to you.
The first thing to do is navigate to the Disk Management tool with in Windows. To do this, use the search tool and type in Disk Management. This will take you to the utility that Windows offers. Here you can see your multiple devices connected. If you click or hover over the device not working you will see one of two messages:
Japan has been a long time supplier for three key elements used in the manufacturing of NAND memory and semiconductors. Because of recent trade war issues between Japan and South Korea, these elements are getting very hard to obtain.
Japan produces about 90% of the world’s supply of flurinated polyimide and resists, and about 70% of the world’s supply for hydrogen fluoride. This puts everyone at risk if Japan will not supply those demanding it.
Those chemicals are used by Korean manufacturers to produce semiconductors, and are crucial for making components — including memory chips, microprocessors and integrated circuits.
We have seen the direct impact already. For the first time in over eight months, the price of NAND memory for flash drives have gone up. For each GB capacity the percentage increase is different, but most notably are the 32GB and 64GB wafers. They have jumped nearly 25% from the previous week ( this article was posted on July 25th).
Japan has sited inadequate management of those chemicals by purchasing countries. Said another way, these chemicals can also be used to manufacturer military weapons and Japan is claiming those supplies have been diverted to do just that. Japan’s response; restrictions on the chemicals.
Who will lose from this trade war? None other than any person who uses technology. Cell phones, processors, flash memory, circuit boards, the list goes on.
For a more dry version of this report, and our source visit: here
To learn more about the polyimide chemicals a quick read on this wiki page is fairly interesting.
What can you get with a 3D printer and plenty of flash drives? A hedgehog USB holder. With over 200+ downloads head over to Thingiverse to get your 3D template download. Looks like the hedgehog holds about 15 devices