USB flash drive

flash driveUSB driveflash drivesUSBthumb drivememory stickUSB drivespen driveUSB flash drivesthumbdrive
A USB flash drive, also known as a thumb drive, pen drive, gig stick, flash stick, jump drive, disk key, disk on key (after the original M-Systems DiskOnKey drive from 2000), flash-drive, memory stick (not to be confused with the Sony Memory Stick), USB key, USB stick or USB memory, is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface.wikipedia
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Floppy disk

floppy disk drivefloppy drivediskette
Compared with floppy disks or CDs, they are smaller, faster, have significantly more capacity, and are more durable due to a lack of moving parts.
While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity, such as USB flash sticks, flash storage cards, portable external hard disk drives, optical discs, and storage available through computer networks.

USB mass storage device class

USB mass storage deviceMSCUMS
USB flash drives use the USB mass storage device class standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS and other Unix-like systems, as well as many BIOS boot ROMs.
Portable flash memory devices

Dov Moran

M-Systems, an Israeli company, were granted a US patent on November 14, 2000, titled "Architecture for a [USB]-based Flash Disk", and crediting the invention to Amir Ban, Dov Moran and Oron Ogdan, all M-Systems employees at the time.
Dov Moran (דב מורן; born 1955) is an Israeli entrepreneur, inventor and investor, best known as the inventor of the USB memory stick, and one of the most prominent Israeli hi-tech leaders in the world.

Optical disc drive

optical driveoptical disk driveoptical disc recorder
USB drives with USB 2.0 support can store more data and transfer faster than much larger optical disc drives like CD-RW or DVD-RW drives and can be read by many other systems such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, DVD players, automobile entertainment systems, and in a number of handheld devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, though the electronically similar SD card is better suited for those devices.
USB flash drives, high-capacity, small, and inexpensive, are suitable where read/write capability is required.

Pua Khein-Seng

Pua Khein-Seng from Malaysia has been credited with this invention.
Pua Khein-Seng (born 29 June 1974, is arguably one of the inventors of USB flash drive.

M-Systems

DOCM-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd.mDOC
M-Systems, an Israeli company, were granted a US patent on November 14, 2000, titled "Architecture for a [USB]-based Flash Disk", and crediting the invention to Amir Ban, Dov Moran and Oron Ogdan, all M-Systems employees at the time.
They were best known for developing and patenting the first flash drive, marketed in 1995 as DiskOnChip, and the first USB flash drive, marketed in 2000 as DiskOnKey.

Optical disc

optical mediaoptical data storagedisc
It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an optical disc.
For computer data backup and physical data transfer, optical discs such as CDs and DVDs are gradually being replaced with faster, smaller solid-state devices, especially the USB flash drive.

BIOS

system BIOSBasic Input/Output Systemsystem
USB flash drives use the USB mass storage device class standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS and other Unix-like systems, as well as many BIOS boot ROMs.
For a disk drive or a device that logically emulates a disk drive, such as a USB flash drive or perhaps a tape drive, to perform this check the BIOS attempts to load the first sector (boot sector) from the disk into RAM at memory address.

Netac Technology

Patent disputes have arisen over the years, with competing companies including Singaporean company Trek Technology and Chinese company Netac Technology, attempting to enforce their patents.
A Chinese OEM and ODM, the company claims to have invented the USB flash drive.

Disk formatting

formattingformatformatted
However, because a flash drive appears as a USB-connected hard drive to the host system, the drive can be reformatted to any file system supported by the host operating system.
Disk formatting is the process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk or USB flash drive for initial use.

Read-only memory

ROMROMsread-only
USB mass storage controller a small microcontroller with a small amount of on-chip ROM and RAM.
, NAND has partially achieved this goal by offering throughput comparable to hard disks, higher tolerance of physical shock, extreme miniaturization (in the form of USB flash drives and tiny microSD memory cards, for example), and much lower power consumption.

USB flash drive security

secure USB drivegetting malicious dataUSB flash drives
In some cases a secure USB drive may use a hardware-based encryption mechanism that uses a hardware module instead of software for strongly encrypting data.
USB flash drive products have been on the market since 2000, and their use is increasing exponentially.

Wear leveling

wear levellingerase blockeven out the wear
Some file systems are designed to distribute usage over an entire memory device without concentrating usage on any part (e.g., for a directory) to prolong the life of simple flash memory devices. Some USB flash drives have this 'wear leveling' feature built into the software controller to prolong device life, while others do not, so it is not necessarily helpful to install one of these file systems.
Wear leveling (also written as wear levelling) is a technique for prolonging the service life of some kinds of erasable computer storage media, such as flash memory, which is used in solid-state drives (SSDs) and USB flash drives, and phase change memory.

Keychain

key fobkey chainkeyring
Transport aid – the cap or the body often contains a hole suitable for connection to a key chain or lanyard. Connecting the cap, rather than the body, can allow the drive itself to be lost.
Many fobs are small flashlights, compasses, calculators, penknives, discount cards, bottle openers, security tokens, and USB flash drives.

Live USB

USBbootable USB flash drivebootable
Such a configuration is known as a Live USB.
A live USB is a USB flash drive or external hard disk drive containing a full operating system that can be booted.

PlayStation 4

PS44Sony PlayStation 4
USB drives with USB 2.0 support can store more data and transfer faster than much larger optical disc drives like CD-RW or DVD-RW drives and can be read by many other systems such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, DVD players, automobile entertainment systems, and in a number of handheld devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, though the electronically similar SD card is better suited for those devices.
Playing a CD is unsupported, but custom music and video files can be played from DLNA servers and USB drives using the Media Player app.

Live CD

live DVDliveCD
Premature failure of a "live USB" could be circumvented by using a flash drive with a write-lock switch as a WORM device, identical to a live CD.
The functionality of a live CD is also available with a bootable live USB flash drive, or an external hard disk drive connected by USB.

List of portable software

applicationsportableportable application
Flash drives are used to carry applications that run on the host computer without requiring installation.
For the purposes of this list, a portable application is software that can be used from portable storage devices such as USB flash drives, digital audio players, PDAs or external hard drives.

Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor

A recent development for the use of a USB Flash Drive as an application carrier is to carry the Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) application developed by Microsoft.
Installed on a USB flash drive or other external disk drive, it acts as an automated forensic tool during a live analysis.

Encryption

encryptedencryptencrypting
The use of biometrics and encryption is becoming the norm with the need for increased security for data; on-the-fly encryption systems are particularly useful in this regard, as they can transparently encrypt large amounts of data.
Encryption can be used to protect data "at rest", such as information stored on computers and storage devices (e.g. USB flash drives).

SanDisk

Eli HarariSanDisk CorporationSanDisk LLC
The U3 company works with drive makers (parent company SanDisk as well as others) to deliver custom versions of applications designed for Microsoft Windows from a special flash drive; U3-compatible devices are designed to autoload a menu when plugged into a computer running Windows.
SanDisk Corporation is an American manufacturer of flash memory products, including memory cards and readers, USB flash drives, and solid state drives.

Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X 10.7Lion10.7
In particular, Mac OS X 10.7 is distributed only online, through the Mac App Store, or on flash drives; for a MacBook Air with Boot Camp and no external optical drive, a flash drive can be used to run installation of Windows or Linux.
Apple later announced two alternative distribution mechanisms for the benefit of users without broadband Internet access: in-store downloads at retail Apple Stores, and a USB flash drive containing the OS, priced at US$69, available through the online Apple Store beginning in August.

Flash memory controller

flash controllercontrollercontroller system
Computers access flash memory systems very much like hard disk drives, where the controller system has full control over where information is actually stored.
Flash memory controllers can be designed for operating in low duty-cycle environments like SD cards, CompactFlash cards, or other similar media for use in digital cameras, PDAs, mobile phones, etc. USB flash drives use flash memory controllers designed to communicate with personal computers through the USB port at a low duty-cycle.

USB

USB 2.0micro-USBmicro USB
A USB flash drive, also known as a thumb drive, pen drive, gig stick, flash stick, jump drive, disk key, disk on key (after the original M-Systems DiskOnKey drive from 2000), flash-drive, memory stick (not to be confused with the Sony Memory Stick), USB key, USB stick or USB memory, is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface.
At first intended for magnetic and optical drives, it has been extended to support flash drives.

Lanyard

lanyardssword knotdummy cord
Transport aid – the cap or the body often contains a hole suitable for connection to a key chain or lanyard. Connecting the cap, rather than the body, can allow the drive itself to be lost.
Lanyards are widely used with small electronic devices such as cameras, MP3 players and USB flash drives to prevent loss or dropping.