What is a Flash Drive? Complete Definition and Explanation

Flash drives are portable storage devices that are small, no bigger than a thumb, which are used to store or transfer files from one computer to another. Flash drives are also called flash disks, pen drives, data sticks, memory units, thumb drives, keychain drives or jump drives. Before flash drives were popular as storage devices, many files were stored on CDs or DVDs.

Besides being small, the flash drive is also lightweight, using little or very little power when used. A flash drive is actually an integrated circuit memory chip wrapped in a casing made of plastic or aluminum so that the data stored in it remains safe from scratches, dust, shock and magnetic fields so that it has a much smaller risk of damage compared to CDs or DVDs.

  1. Use the correct flash drive.

Every computer has a USB port. If your computer is new, most likely the USB port is a USB 3.0 port in blue on the inside. When you have finished creating the document and want to save it on a flash drive, you can plug in or connect the flash drive to a USB port on the computer. Generally, for desktop computers, a USB port is on the front and laptops are on the side of the case.

Read the article Repairing USB Ports That Don’t Work in Windows

Each computer is set to display a notification when a new device or device is plugged into the computer. Highly recommended when using a flash drive for the first time, you need to format the flash drive. There are benefits to formatting a flash drive before use, ensuring compatibility with the operating system used and also preparing a flash drive so that it can be used properly by the computer.

  1. Remove the flash drive correctly.

Flash drives are electronic devices that need to be treated and used properly to avoid damaging flash drives and data. Generally, flash drives have indicator lights that can indicate whether an operation on the flash drive is in progress or is complete. If operations on the flash drive are still in progress, such as saving documents, watching movies or listening to music, you should not remove the flash drive from the USB port.

If there is no operation on the flash drive and the flash drive is not used anymore, you can remove the flash drive. However, you cannot just remove or unplug from the USB port. Microsoft Windows provides a way to safely remove the flash drive from a USB port. Alternatively, by setting it up first, you can remove the flash drive without “Safe to Remove Hardware” at any time in a rush.

  1. Drive letter on the flash drive.

On Microsoft Windows operating systems, when plugging a flash drive into a USB port on a computer, you can find the flash drive appearing as an additional drive letter. For example, if your hard drive (hard disk) uses a letter C drive, your disk drive (CD or DVD) uses a letter D drive, it is likely that your flash drive uses a letter E. This rule can be different if you have two hard drives, for example.

Read the article:

  • Change the Drive Letter in Windows
  • Hide or Display Drive Letters in Windows

To be sure, you can open or run File Explorer in Microsoft Windows. File Explorer, formerly Windows Explorer, is a built-in Windows application for managing files and folders. File Explorer has a graphical display so it’s quite easy to use. In this File Explorer, you can see the new drive letter that appears after plugging the flash drive into a USB port.

  1. Why need to choose a flash drive.

Why choose a flash drive, not something else like a CD, DVD, external hard drive or other? Flash drives are small, lightweight, portable and have large storage capacities ranging from 8 GB to 2 TB at present. The biggest size is enough to store all the important files whatever you have. You are not bothered with carrying lots of CDs or DVDs and also an external hard drive that is heavier and more susceptible to damage.

Read the article Overcoming External Hard Disk Not Detected

Bringing a flash drive with many important files in it will not feel or bother you. You can keep it together with a key chain, around the neck or you can put it in a book bag. You can carry it everywhere without burden. When needed, you just plug it into the USB port on the library computer to edit files that have not been completed, on a friend’s computer for a shared task or on a rental computer to print documents that are created.

  1. Famous brands or flash drive manufacturers.

Flash drives are sold in the market with different capacities and brands. Flash drives that have the same capacity, but with different brands or issued by manufacturers, can have different prices, although not far away. In addition to capacity, sometimes buyers also consider the brand. There are quite a number of brands or manufacturers of flash drives, 7 of which are well-known are SanDisk, Kingston Technology, Sony Corporation, Transcend Information, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard (HP) and Corsair Components.


by Abdullah Sam
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