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 a terabyte or more 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 all but 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.

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. Imagine telling someone in 1993 when floppy disks were widely used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent storage of 650,000 of them. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
It says no social security numbers or financial information were on the thumb drive. But it did contain patient names, clinical information and medical record numbers.
After Zhang was stopped and questioned, a search of her belongings turned up four cellphones, a laptop, a hard drive, and a thumb drive which contained "malicious malware," according to the criminal complaint.
Interestingly, Truglia, in September, had accused his four friends of attempting to steal a thumb drive which he said was linked to $1.2million in bitcoin.
Skimming through the results, I collected the various names for a thumb drive and headed over to Google Trend Search ( to see how frequently each of those terms had been searched in Google to help me narrow down my query to the most common names.
Of course, a USB 3.2 hub will perform at top speed only when you plug it into a USB 3.2 port on your computer and use a USB 3.2-compatible thumb drive or USB drive.
They have even banned USB thumb drives. These actions reflect the wide range of responses district leaders have taken to curb the alarming increase in students' use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes.
Asked what kind of data, he replied: "A thumb drive."
Available in Canada from Bell Mobility and Sasktel, it is the first MiFi branded mobile hotspot to include a 2.4-inch color touchscreen, real simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi and hacking prevention, among other features such as QuickCharge technology and MiFi Share, a file-sharing feature accessed via a USB thumb drive. With a more powerful battery supporting up to 24 hours of use on a single charge, the MiFi 7000 securely connects up to 15 devices on the most advanced LTE networks as well as falls back to HSPA+/UMTS and GPRS/EDGE networks.
You can open the protected container by clicking the Rohos Mini.exe icon from the root folder of your USB thumb drive. After entering the password, the Rohos disk will mount as a separate drive and you can access it via File Explorer.
The electronic copies of the application with attachments should be in PDF form and should be submitted on a CD or thumb drive.
Four months ago the boat was filled with gifts including school clothing from WHS, a stuffed octopus and a thumb drive of stories from the US students and launched in the direction of Irish shores.
One of the challenges that some OEMs are facing with increased applications in their vehicles is that sometimes there needs to be updates which can be inconvenient for the customers of those vehicles, as either they have to go to their dealership for the update or they get a thumb drive and are expected to do the work, two things that aren't exactly expected of them with their smartphones or tablets, when updates generally take no more heavy lifting than touching the screen.