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Reccomend reliable USB drive


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:24 PM

I would like to use a USB drive to make daily backups of changed files in between running my ext HD BU. I would also like to use it to transfer files between my mac and my sister's Windows machine.

 

My experience w/ USB drives years ago was that they would suddenly go bad. I've also read about formatting USB drives w/ NTS, but I don't remember formatting my old drives and I do remember that I was able to transfer files between a mac and a windows computer via USB drive.

 

Has the reliability of USB drives improved? Does one have to format them for Mac or Windows compatibility or is that an option for some purpose?

 

Can anyone recommend a particular drive for reliability?


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WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
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#2 britechguy

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:28 PM

If you're talking about an external backup hard disc drive I have found over about the last 10 years that the ones that are designed for use with laptops have been much, much, much more reliable for me than the desktop units.

 

I've had a Fantom and 2 Seagate desktop 1 TB sized drives go bad in less than 3 years.

 

The Toshiba Canvio 2 TB that I carry around and that's been backing up four different computers in my house for several years now does what Timex used to claim about their watches:  "Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'."


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#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:59 PM

Does one have to format them for Mac or Windows compatibility or is that an option for some purpose?

 

Unless you install a driver for NTFS read/write capability on the MAC you will need to format your USB drive with FAT32. Not the best option for an external USB drive.

 

I don't have a MAC and have no experience with this driver but it does allow you to download it as a demo.

 

http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/

 

Edit: the drive can also be formatted exFAT which the MAC and Windows can both read/write

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/235596/whats-the-difference-between-fat32-exfat-and-ntfs/


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 March 2017 - 06:10 PM.


#4 britechguy

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:15 AM

Given the ubiquity of NTFS support (including under many flavors of Linux these days) and the abundance of NTFS drivers for read-write support for OS X I'd be far more inclined to add NTFS support to a Mac and use an NTFS formatted drive.

 

It remains a mystery to me why Apple has refused to include full RW access to NTFS as opposed to read only.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#5 MaryBet82

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:38 PM

Sorry everyone and thanks for replying. I meant a USB thumb or stick drive. I actually usually use a Firewire connection for my ext HD so I don't think of them as USB drives. I work on a large laptop on a small over the bed table and I only connect my small rugged LaCie ext HD when I'm doing a BU because I live in an area w/ a lot of lightning storms and transformer blowouts. Getting up and connecting the drive whenever I've done a lot of work I want to BU immediately is a hassle and I'm likely to decide to "do it later". When I had a Windows machine I used MS DVDs that fit in the table & Nero and it took me 2-3 minutes to BU whatever folders I'd worked in. That doesn't work w/ a mac.

 

I thought a thumb drive would allow me to easily make daily BU's of changed files - not automatically, but I can sort any folders I work in by date and copy over the top changed files. After a LaCie BU I can erase the thumb drive and start over. But like I said, I've had thumb drives just suddenly appear blank. I'm wondering if reliability has increased. I've read about formatting thumb drives but I don't remember doing that. And for awhile I did use thumb drives to transfer files from my mac to my sister's windows machine and vice versa. 

 

I'm going to need a new computer in the not too distant future. I have a lot of reading to do, particularly about hard drives - internal and external. But right now I need to buy a thumb drive and googling "reviews thumb drives" hasn't been very helpful. Maybe no one uses them anymore.


mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#6 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:29 AM

MaryBet,

 

          I think I've had a single flash/thumb/jump drive fail in over 30 years of using them, and even that one was the result of "trauma."

 

          It is a complete crap shoot and reliability of USB drives is quite good.   So far as I know, none of the major marketers of these actually make them, they're contracted out to the lowest bidder based on specs (generally somewhere in China).  You roll the dice and you take your chances.   I've got some no-name jump drives that have lasted "forever" and are still going strong.  (They're under 1 GB, which gives you an idea of just how old they are).


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#7 MaryBet82

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

Thanks britechguy. I'll make my choice based on price/size - probably at Amazon.

 

I found an article that cleared up my confusion regarding USB thumb drive formats

https://www.howtogeek.com/73178/what-file-system-should-i-use-for-my-usb-drive/

 

The FAT32 file system should be adequate for me. I seem to remember thumb drives already come formatted, but if not my sister's window machine should be able to format it.


mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#8 britechguy

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:04 AM

MaryBet,

 

         Yes, they come formatted and are generally formatted as FAT32 so that they can be used on Macs as well as Windows systems.  If you happen to know you'll only be using them on Windows systems (and/or Linux) and have individual files that would be too large for the FAT32 file system you can always reformat them and make them NTFS file system drives when you do the reformat.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#9 smax013

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:50 PM

My experience w/ USB drives years ago was that they would suddenly go bad.
 
Has the reliability of USB drives improved? Does one have to format them for Mac or Windows compatibility or is that an option for some purpose?
 
Can anyone recommend a particular drive for reliability?

 
 

Sorry everyone and thanks for replying. I meant a USB thumb or stick drive.

...

But like I said, I've had thumb drives just suddenly appear blank. I'm wondering if reliability has increased.


Did you always properly eject the thumb drives before pulling them out of the USB port (whether using a Mac or Windows)? If not, then that could be the cause of lost data. Typically, as long as the drive is not being accessed when it is removed from the USB port, you likely will not have a problem. Regardless, it is always best to properly eject them...this ensures that the drive is not being accessed. This is also true of USB external hard drives and Firewire drives too.

#10 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 07:05 PM

Hi, MaryBet.

 

For reasonably fast data transfer, I tend to use USB 3.0 flash drives. Even if you only have USB 2.0 sockets, they still tend to read/write a fair bit faster than a standard 2.0 one will.

 

For recommendations, I'll say this; SanDisk. I use the Cruzer 'Ultra's; tiny little things, in the 'nano' size range. I currently have half-a-dozen 64 GB ones; you can get these up to 128 GB. As britechguy says, reliability has increased out of all recognition, really; it's extremely unusual to actually get a bad one, or to get one that 'goes bad' on you. That's not to say it can't happen.....but it's rare, nowadays.

 

And when it does.....it's more often than not 'self-inflicted'.

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=SanDisk+Ultra+%27Fit%27+USB+drives

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 19 April 2017 - 07:14 PM.

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#11 nickos

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 10:17 AM

any drive with usb 3 will do the job perfectly



#12 smax013

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:47 PM

Hi, MaryBet.
 
For reasonably fast data transfer, I tend to use USB 3.0 flash drives. Even if you only have USB 2.0 sockets, they still tend to read/write a fair bit faster than a standard 2.0 one will.
 
For recommendations, I'll say this; SanDisk. I use the Cruzer 'Ultra's; tiny little things, in the 'nano' size range. I currently have half-a-dozen 64 GB ones; you can get these up to 128 GB. As britechguy says, reliability has increased out of all recognition, really; it's extremely unusual to actually get a bad one, or to get one that 'goes bad' on you. That's not to say it can't happen.....but it's rare, nowadays.
 
And when it does.....it's more often than not 'self-inflicted'.
 
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=SanDisk+Ultra+'Fit'+USB+drives
 
 
Mike.  :wink:


Just one thing to note about those tiny Crucial drives you linked to...there are a number of reviews mentioning that they get really hot when run off a USB 3.0 port and even some reviews about the drives slowing down or even crapping out after they get hot. It is not clear how big of an issue that is, but something to potentially be aware of.

I like the idea of those small, tiny USB thumb drives. I have a couple USB 2.0 ones. The issue I had with them is that they were REALLY slow. This issue might be solved with USB 3.0, but the potential heat issue does worry me.

Have you had any issues with them getting too hot?

#13 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:17 AM

Hi, smax013.

 

Mm-hm. That is the one downside I've found myself when using them. I use a pair of these in the rear USB 2.0 ports of a vintage Dell Inspiron laptop.....an original 1100, from 2002-3. They act as my 'external' storage.....along with the original tiny Hitachi HDD being upgraded to a KingSpec SSD, the Inspiron's unrecognisable from its former configuration. From just 15 GB of storage, she now boasts a more respectable 192...

 

But, yes; they DO run very hot after any amount of file-transfer work. It's always amazed me the USB port itself hasn't started smoking.....but it hasn't! (Not yet, anyway.....)

 

They appear to get hot, up to a point.....but then no hotter. I'm guessing that the R&D folks have determined that they don't get hot enough to cause any physical damage.....but I think SanDisk ought to make some mention of this in the literature.

 

There's a long-running thread here in the SanDisk Forums about it:-

 

http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/All-SanDisk-USB-Flash-Drives/Ultra-Fit-USB-3-0-Excessive-Heat/m-p/336404/highlight/false#M9992

 

Appears they're drawing close to an amp of power when running in a USB 3.0 port.....so many people simply run them through a USB 2.0 port. There, they only pull around 250 mA instead.....

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 24 April 2017 - 01:23 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

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#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 09:34 AM

For anybody interested in the different USB flash drive electronics.

 

http://www.getusb.info/usb-flash-drives-pcb-cob-udp/



#15 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for that, John. Most informative.

 

First time I've ever heard of the UDP 'Disk-in-package' layout. Quite unusual.

 

 

Mike. :wink:


Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 





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