USB drive

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USB drive

(1) An external hard disk drive or optical disc drive that plugs into the USB port. See portable hard drive.

(2) A solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that hold up to one terabyte of data, the solid state USB drive emulates a hard disk. USB drives are extremely popular for backup as well as data transfer from one machine to another. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Their ever-increasing storage capacities have mostly obsoleted writable CDs and DVDs. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is also called a "flash drive" as well as many other monikers. Any combination of the words "USB," "flash," "key," "drive," "jump" and "stick" are used (see USB drive names).

Transfer Speed
USB drive vendors use the data transfer ratings of CD-ROMs, where each "x" equals 150KB per second. For example, a 90x drive is 13.5MB/sec (90 x 150). See CD-ROM drives and solid state.

Long-Term Marketing Mileage
Vendors give away custom-printed USB drives preloaded with promotional material, because people keep using them for other purposes.

No Bigger Than the Plug
In 2010, Verbatim launched its Tuff-"N"-Tiny line, only two millimeters thick. Although the contacts are exposed (top left), the units are water and dust proof.

Steampunk Drives
A 19th century USB drive... of course. These drive cases are hand crafted. See steampunk. (Image courtesy of WillRockwell,

Fun and to the Point
Bevy makes personal photo cloud devices to hold a user's multimedia collection and this rather appropriate USB drive holds Bevy's promotional material.

One Terabyte
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first terabyte USB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993, when floppy disks were widely used, that in 20 years, a lightweight, handheld device would hold the equivalent of 650,000 floppies. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
The judge asking the Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant to take help of Information Technology ( IT) expert in this regard said that if CCTV footage cannot be stored on a pen drive, it can be examined by both the parties in front of a court staff.
The report of the conduct panel said: "On May 28, Mr McGill was preparing to submit the coursework but could not find the original pen drive containing copies of the Year 11 coursework.
The newly launched Hybrid pen drive comes with two USB connectors on each side - a standard USB 2.
At first Cowley told police he'd found the pen drive.
8220;NTI Pocket Ninja[TM], will protect their important data on their pen drive from unwanted access.
A "huge amount" of material was found on the pen drive but he told her there was "no evidence you intended to pass it on to anybody".
More than 7,000 files were on the pen drive, including an explosives manual for the "Brothers of the Mujahadeen".
More than 7,000 files were found on the pen drive, including an explosives manual for the "Brothers of the Mujahadeen".
The CD-ROM includes several versions of DSL to allow it to run either from the cd or a Windows desktop or even a pen drive, and offers all the tools perfect for juxtaposing with the book.
It was a large bunch of keys with a white Kingston pen drive and a blue key ring with the name Helen on it.
0 Pen Drive range(C)1995-2005 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
The newest version of the Swiss army knife has a pen drive with up to 128 megabytes of memory.