USB drive

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Related to flashdrive: flashlight, Memory card, Flash Player

USB drive

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

(2) A small solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that can hold up to a terabyte and more of data, the ubiquitous USB drive functions like a hard drive. USB drives are used for auxiliary storage, backup, data transfer between computers and for disseminating product information. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Ever-increasing storage capacities of USB drives have all but rendered writable CDs and DVDs obsolete. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is commonly 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.

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 devices that hold a user's photo collection, and this rather appropriate USB drive holds its promotional material.

One Terabyte USB Drive
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first 1TB drive, which increased to 2TB in 2017. Imagine telling someone in 1997 when floppy disks were still used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent of one and a half million of them.
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References in periodicals archive ?
This can be accomplished using a flashdrive without opening up the smartphone.
68-72): they admit to dashing off their work 10 minutes before class; they arrive late because they have been working in the computer lab up to the last minute; they wave their flashdrive before me and tell me, "my essay is in here"; they had to study for a test and "didn't get" to the essay.
The one you toiled over all weekend to produce and carried to work on your flashdrive, only to find it's either wholly corrupted or missing in action?
"One of the striking lessons we've learned is how much sensitive information is not safe on a server but is traveling on a laptop or flashdrive. It's now becoming a common practice to encrypt these and to have policies that restrict or limit what kind of information can be carried on these devices."
It can flashdrive, flashdance, riverdance, eat bilberries, blackberries and blueberries and talk to aliens.
Operatives recovered a performance enhancement pill, three pieces of condoms, a cellular phone and a flashdrive, a caliber 9mm pistol, three magazines, 39 live ammunition, the suspect's Philippine National Police (PNP) identification card (ID), other personal belongings and other IDs.
The blue plastic folder contains lots of paperwork along with a flashdrive, a 3in-long computer attachment.
Now with 7,000 built-in songs to choose from, the PortaSING package also includes two microphones, quality cables/accessories, a 32GB flashdrive as a storage media for your song and movie selections plus three free song updates.