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USB Flash Drives

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I have one flash drive which, when I plug in sits there and does nothing.
I have another flash drive which, when I plug in blinks and blinks and blinks.

I am not accessing or doing anything to either flash drive when they are plugged in.

What is the difference (besides the manufacturer) in flash drives?  Are there numerous standards?
Is one crappy?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:IT-Monkey-Dave
ID: 37739119
In my experience flash drives have a pretty high failure rate.  High-performance flash drives seem even less reliable.  When they go bad, they're bad and you can't even erase them.  I've had to destroy them rather than get them replaced under warranty due to being unable to confirm what's on them or to positively erase them.
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by:David-Howard
ID: 37739439
It's normal for a USB flash drive to blink but only momentarily as it is discovered by the OS.
Like any other device they are only as good as the manufacturer and care taken with them.
I've had some that lasted for years (A 256M believe it or not) and then other higher end ones 2G, etc. die in the first year.
My suggestion is to go to newegg.com and search for USB flash drives.
Newegg posts reviews (good and bad) of all their products and only from those that have purchased the items reviewed. You can get a very good idea of how a product is designed and it's life expectancy.
Here's the direct link for you.
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=522&name=USB-Flash-Drives
Using the left menu you can search by criteria (price, size, etc.)
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by:dhsindy
ID: 37739848
I have bought flash drives that come with extras from the manufacturers and neither need the software installed or reformatted to get rid of it.  (a sandisk I if I remember right)

I have bought one that was blank and is still working fine after 5 years. ( a PNY I believe)

But, like mentioned above I don't really trust them, I use them only to transport files temporarily back an forth and I always leave a backup on the source computer.

I have always had more faith in the ones with a cap rather than the ones with the retractable head.

Use great care inserting and removing these drives.
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by:nobus
ID: 37741022
there are some possible things that can cause it.
first make sure the flash drives do work OK on another PC
if so - delete all USB devices from device manager, reboot and test
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by:viki2000
ID: 37746037
No intention to offend but maybe one has LED and one does not.
I had/have small/compact USB flash drives without any LED.
Did you ever see that one without light ever having an LED coming ON?
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 37759234
One is a SANDISK 16 Gig and that thing is always blinking whether or not it is being accessed.
The other is a 1 gig Lexmark which only blinks when I store and retrieve data.
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by:viki2000
ID: 37759880
Your SANDISK is it doing the same on another computer?
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by:nobus
ID: 37760175
Did you test if they work on  another pC yet?
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by:dhsindy
ID: 37761086
Flash Drives can contain viruses just like any other drive.  If you have anti-virus software that can scan a flash drive it might be a good idea to check it.  The led read/write light shouldn't be coming on unless the computer is using it for something.  But, you could have malware of some kind running.  Seems like everytime I use a flash drive at work on my work PC the enterprise security scans my system as a safety measure.
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 37763369
My sandisk usb flsh drive always has the light blinking whether or not I'm using it.  It happens on ever computer I use it on.  VERY annoying and troublesome.
My lexmark, even though it's only ONE lousy gig, never gives me any blinks unless I'm copying or writing.

Can anyone recommend any other drives besides SANDISK?

Should I hunt around for lexmark drives?  I want reliability and longevity.
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by:nobus
ID: 37764542
i have a sony and am very happy with it :  http://www.sony.net/Products/Media/Microvault/products/index.html
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viki2000 earned 500 total points
ID: 37764580
I received as gift a Kingston and is very good.
http://www.kingston.com/en/usb/personal_business

I have a colleague that likes Imation because some models are compatible with old Win98 without need of the drivers. He also did not complaint about quality.
http://www.imation.com/en-US/Consumer-Products/Consumer-Products/USB-Flash/

If you have time maybe is good to read some reviews to get an idea of brands and their products quality:
http://usb-flash-drive-review.toptenreviews.com/
http://www.corecomputers.com.au/USBReviewDiagrams.htm
http://www.pendrivereviews.com/
http://www.consumersearch.com/usb-flash-drives/reviews
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by:viki2000
ID: 37764601
Something important I remembered:
- I received as gift some years ago from some companies (Christmas time, visit to the factories and start a new business..) some other flash drives branded with the logo of the companies. They died in 6 months-1year. I would never recommend to use a personalized USB drive because usually they are cheap drives made in China in low quality standards used for advertising and are not high-quality oriented.
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