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How can I write the same info to multiple USB flash drives?

Posted on 2010-09-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
My company send out a large packet of info to new customers. The packet can vary by customer type and changes pretty frequently, so this has precluded us sending the info out on CD-ROM as we'd be unlikely to really be able to predict how many we could use of a type, etc. Bulk CD burning equipment is expensive.

My idea is to get a simple USB hub, maybe 8 ports or so, and write a little script to allow the users to write to each flash drive according to the "package" needed for that particular customer. My quandary is how to tell which flash drive is which when attached to the hub. The drive letters could jump around a lot. Is there a way using, say, WMI info to tell which drive corresponds to the physical USB port and then present a little dialog to the user to ask which to write to?
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Question by:CeleritasPrime
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:BitsBytesandMore
ID: 33593709
You may find useful to make an image of the master flash drive and identify the different images. As soon as you plug it in it will appear on the "My computer screen" and you can flash the appropriate image to it and continue to the next one. This tool is very useful for this:
http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/07/04/backup-your-flash-drives-with-usb-image-tool/
Bits ...
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kode99 earned 500 total points
ID: 33601609
You can use a USB drive manager which allows you to force windows to assign specific letters to specific ports.

USBDLM will do the job,

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

You can try it out for free,  commercial use is ~$13.

Here's the details of what can be used to assign letters,

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm452_help_e.html#by_criteria

I would think that by the USB port might be the best.

A CD/DVD setup can be done on the cheap as well.  Here's a 5 disk unit that works with Nero software.

http://www.addonics.com/products/external_cd/optical_tower.asp

You have to manually change disks but its not all that expensive.
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Expert Comment

by:Ben Personick
ID: 33601748
You could just name each jump drive you plug in.  though to be fair,  the drive may be moved from the port by the user to some other port, so you would want an externally matched name written on the jump-drive.
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Expert Comment

by:xylog
ID: 33906957
You can use the volume GUID to identify the USB:

wmic volume get deviceid,caption

Volume GUID's (and all GUID's in general) have a guarantee of uniqueness. You can parse the output of wmic to match that up with a drive letter.
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Expert Comment

by:BitsBytesandMore
ID: 33907968
CeleritasPrime ... any feedback?
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Author Comment

by:CeleritasPrime
ID: 34037616
Thanks, I kind of drifted away from this but will take a dive back into it this week.
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