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U3 flash drive as backup media?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sarainelkins, Jul 15, 2007.

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  1. sarainelkins

    sarainelkins Thread Starter

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    I run WinXP on a single-user machine. I have two new 2-gig U3 flash drives. I want to store copies of all my photos on one, and on the other all my important documents. I do not need to synchronize the flash drives with another computer for things like email. I want to use them ONLY as backup. They both came with a lot of "stuff" on them for things that I won't be using like skype, etc. Can I safely delete everything on these drives to gain space for my own stuff? IF it's possible to do so I'd like to buy more drives to put copies of all my software on them as backup. Do I need to use anything besides Windows Explorer (which I like) to copy my photos and documents to these little drives? Has someone posted a FAQ on flash drives so newbies like me can understand their uses? I searched this forum without luck. Thanks in advance for all your help.
    Sara
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You can use the drive as it is for backing up or you can uninstall the U3 software permanently.

    Here's the U3 uninstaller: http://www.u3.com/uninstall/

    You can copy the data onto the drive any way you like, whatever works for you. If you like copy and pates or Send to then use that. If you want something automatic there's lots of file synchronization tools like Allway Sync: http://allwaysync.com/
     
  3. DefConDelta

    DefConDelta

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    Very easy. Just hold down control, highlight your pictures/documents that you want to move, right-click>send to>whatever drive letter your flash has.

    I would recommend using volatile flash drives for backups. Why don't you get a small internal drive or better yet use DVD-RW's so you can periodically add to them.

    Also, Acronis I believe has a differential/incremental type program for automatic backups for specific files.

    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
     
  4. DefConDelta

    DefConDelta

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    Actually I meant I WOULDN'T recommend using flash drives for backups.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    What makes you think that FLASH drives are particularly volatile?
     
  6. DefConDelta

    DefConDelta

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    I did not mean that flash drives were volatile in the sense that the memory array is bad. I used that term in the sense that since there are so many problems with flash drives being read/discovered, that if a person needed to access them in a hurry it's sometimes a hit'n'miss if it even shows up. I've also had some bad experiences with them in the past (particularly LG).

    At least with a hard drive you have a fair chance of retrieving your stuff by setting it as a slave and and attempting to save it and/or recovering programs. What can you do with a flash drive?

    But since they're becoming so popular maybe the makers of the better ones will continue to create better and better ones as time goes on. However, if they're going to be anything like the history of hard drives it ain't gonna happen. By this, I mean, way back in the '90's hard drives were solid and lasted forever. As PC's became more popular and the demand rose, so did the assembly lines with quicker, cheaper less solid drives with less life spans.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I have no problems unique to USB FLASH drives. Also, we're talking about "backup", not your only copy of something.

    Remember: Data you don't have at least two copies of is data you don't care about.
     
  8. DefConDelta

    DefConDelta

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    Well, I'll cede and agree with you to the point that a lot of professionals must back up their data at least twice; however, just because YOU don't have a problem with flash drives does not mean that others (home users at least) don't have a problem.

    There are many out there who simply think that if it's not recognized then the Flash Drive must be worthless, which in a lot of cases it is. There are still problems with some flash drives without unique embedded serial numbers which is probably why a lot of people find their PC not recognizing the device after a while.

    However, for the home users who cannot afford 2 or 3 backups OR don't have the money or space to do this, in my opinion, it would be better and/or cheaper to use CD-RW/DVD-RW's rather than USB. That's just my opinion.

    I do like the USB in that you can throw your data on it, run out the door, stick it in someone else's PC and have at it. I just think some of them are very cheaply made.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'm talking about one backup, your original is one copy, right? ;)
    I've seen exactly one truly bad FLASH USB drive, except for a couple that people sent through the washing machine, or physically broke.
    Which you are fully entitled to. :) I think USB FLASH drives are at least as reliable as USB hard disks, which I've personally had multiple failures with. However, I use a bunch of USB drives anyway, because they're so darned convenient. I just make sure that I'm one of those "professionals" that you scoff at, and I have multiple copies of anything I deem important.
    That's probably true, but then there's really not much to them either.
     
  10. DefConDelta

    DefConDelta

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    John, I hope I haven't caused you to grit your teeth. I definitely WAS NOT "scoffing" at professionals. It actually was supposed to be a compliment to them. I was merely stating my opinion, as you do and meant in now way to be defensive.

    Just the opposite of you, I've had more problems with flash drives than I have with CD-RW as backups.

    I hope I haven't caused any chaos in your forum. Sorry.............
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    It's not really "my forum". :D
     
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