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How To: Check if My USB Flash Drive is Bootable?

The following article will explain how to check your USB flash drive for if it’s bootable. There is no software needed, no download, just a couple of simple commands in your Windows 10 operating system.

A master boot record (MBR) is a special type of boot sector at the very beginning of a partition storage device like a fixed disk (hard drive) or removable drive (USB thumb drive). The MBR contains executable code to function as a loader for the installed operating system. This loader turns over the functions of the hardware (mother board bios) and passes that loading responsibility off to the operating system (Windows).

This is how you check if your USB is bootable, or not:

First, please have only the one USB stick connected which you want to check if it’s bootable. It’s not required to do this, but will my the instructions below a bit easier to follow, that’s all.

Using the Windows search function copy and paste this into the search field and click Enter

compmgmt.msc

The screen shot below will pop up after you click Enter. Using the image as a reference, select “Disk Management” under the “Storage” folder“. In the middle of the dialogue box you will see the drive letter associated with your USB flash drive. In the middle of the box you will probably see the USB listed two different times. The top portion of the box, the USB will be listed along with other devices, like your hard drive and optical drive. The bottom portion of the box, the USB will be shown as “Removable

Once you’ve determined which drive letter is your USB drive, you may Right Click on the drive letter and select Properties.

A Properties dialogue box appears giving you the option to select any one of the devices show in the previous window (the Disk Management window). From this dialogue box, click the Hardware tab and select the “Mass Storage USB Device” by a single click. Then click the Properties button at the bottom.

The last dialogue box are the Properties of your specific flash drive.

Click the Volumes tab at the top, you then must click “Populate” to get the device information. . The “Partition Style” will read either Master Boot Record (MBR) or the field will be empty.

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How To: Enable / Disable USB Write Protection in Windows 10

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.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
\StorageDevicePolicies]
“WriteProtect”=dword:00000001

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:

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How To: Fix MacBook Air and USB Ethernet Adapter

How To: Fix MacBook Air and USB Ethernet Adapter

If you are one of the few who rushed out to purchase the MacBook Air, you might have found yourself in a bit of a pinch.  How to get the USB Ethernet Adapter working?  If this is you, or a friend you know, here is a quick fix until a new Apple update is published.

MacBook Air USB Ethernet Adapater

First, it appears that some have luck plugging the adapter into different ports on the MacBook Air, but it’s not a universal solution. After a bit of investigative work sifting through the Apple forums, you can do the following for a sure thing fix: Continue Reading

How To: Make Favicon For Flash Drive

How To Make a Favicon for a Flash Drive

In the heat of getting a new site launched over the weekend, I needed an .ico Favicon for the website.  I came across this free on-line tool which made everything a snap.  No software download, no .exe to load…just down and dirty ico creator.  Today I thought it would be a great review [from original post] to go over How To Make a Favicon for a Flash Drive. It’s just several easy steps.  Lets begin.
  1. Using a program to create an image file, make a jpeg for what you want the ico to look like.  You can use something as simple as Microsoft Paint or something as fancy as Photoshop.  When you make the jpeg, make the overal shape square.  Try and keep the logo simple – simple will translate best into an ico file.
  2. Browse to Chamie and click the “Favicon from Pics” link.  Upload your file.  Chami will automatically generate your ico file.  Chami gives you some great options for the USB favicon file.  You can get a static image or an animated .gif file.
  3. Once you have the .ico file, save that image to the root of your USB flash drive.
  4. Next, open Notepad in Microsoft [or any plain text editor] and type the following:
[autorun] icon=favicon.ico
Save this to the root of your USB stick as “autorun.inf

USB favicon - How To Make

Once you’ve done all the above, Continue Reading

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