Did You Know These Six Copy Modes for a USB Duplicator?

Flash drives have become a ubiquitous product which really deserves a bit more attention, at least for those who depend on flash drives as part of an overall solution, and today we are diving in deeper to copy modes of a USB duplicator. For the trade show guys who give away flash drives, this article is a bit overkill, but for the IT professional or product manager, this is right up your alley.

Today, I want to spend some time and review the different copy methods one can use to data load your flash drive. Each method has its advantage, and each method could be a slightly better fit, than your previous duplication method.

So let’s talk about the six copy methods a PC base USB duplicator has. After some product reviews and searching on-line, in this article we will use the Nexcopy brad product as their PC based duplicator had the most copy options for us to review.

USB Duplicator

The six copy modes are:

  1. File Copy
  2. Copy Add
  3. Unique Data Streaming
  4. Short Device Copy
  5. Full Device Copy
  6. Image File Copy

The above information is pulled from a different article from TechSling and for the full description of the above six copy methods, head over to that site. It’s a great read and each copy mode has it’s own value for what and when to use it.

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Erase USB or Clean USB or Format USB?

We’ve seen these terms floating around in forums and How To’s for years when someone is explaining what to do with USB flash drives. I think most people glaze over the definitions of Clean, Erase and Format simply because they believe the terms are interchangeable, or they aren’t planning on doing the task mentioned in the post.

I hope the following information will clear up some terms and definitions so we can all better understand what people are talking about when passing along information about flash drives and the Clean, Erase and Format function.

All of these functions can be performed in your Windows 10 computer, or higher. I will start with the least complicated definition and task, and move along from there.

Format

This function is what 98% of Windows computer operators will use. This is the graphical interface inside Windows when you right click a drive letter and ask the operating system to format the drive. What is this function really doing?

Format is the least complicated of the tasks, and this function is removing the File Allocation Table of the USB and creating a new one. Said a simpler way… this function takes away the list of files sitting on the drive so it then appears blank with no data.

It’s important to note, the files are still on the drive, just not listed in an easy, organized manor which you can see through windows explorer (clicking on the drive letter to see the list of files).

Using the most basic file recovery software tools, like the one we wrote about several months back, you can recover all the files sitting on the drive.

Maybe a picture will help. Looking at the image below you can see the “data” is light grey. Meaning the data is still there, just not easily accessible. This data is what recovery software will look for, find, and list back on your drive. Also notice the boot code of the USB (if you want to load an operating system on your USB stick) isn’t touched either.

format usb flash drive

You might have questions if a USB flash drive should be formatted as FAT, FAT32, exFAT or NTFS and we did a great post about that a bit earlier as well.

Clean

The Clean function is a bit more in-depth than the format function. This function applies directly to the Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot code mentioned just above.

The Clean function will clear out boot code and will remove any partition on the flash drive. The partition of a flash drive is the information which tells a host computer how big the drive is, and if the partition should be bootable in the event you are trying to start the computer from a flash drive.

The Clean function is not accessible through the GUI of Windows, for example you cannot right click on a drive letter and find the Clean function. The Clean function is only accessible through the Windows utility called DiskPart.

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Solution: Windows Does Not Assign Drive Letter to Flash Drive

Problem Issue:

This is happening on Win8 and Windows 10.

When I remove a USB drive and reconnect it, Windows will not assign a drive letter. Clearly this is a problem as every other computer I use assigns a drive letter.

There are three solutions. All of which will work.

      1) You can go into Disk Management and select the device and assing a drive letter. This is a manual process and not ideal for each time you plug in a flash drive.
      2) Good chance the driver or registry entry for that device is rogue or corrupt. Use this USBScrub tool to remove the registry entry. Chances are this will fix the problem. USBScrub link
      3) Use ‘diskpart’ and enable the automount feature.

  • Open Command Prompt as Administrator (search for Command Prompt in the Start Menu, right click, Run as Administrator)
  • Type ‘diskpart’ and hit Enter.
  • Once in the ‘diskpart’ command prompt type ‘automount enable’ and hit Enter.
  • Type ‘exit’ and click Enter

For solution number one from above, Disk Management is really the GUI version for diskpart, but a GUI (Graphical User Interface) which has scaled down functions from what all the things diskpart can really do.

Diskpart has 37 commands that you can do very cool things with. The 38th command is Continue reading

USB-C Duplicator by Nexcopy Inc.

In a recent news press release from Nexcopy Inc., it appears USB Type C is trending up for consumer demand.

Via the EIN News Wire Service, Nexcopy announced a twenty target USB-C Duplicator. Some of the information posted in the release talks about the upward trend manufacturers are seeing with USB type C product. In addition, the production of a mass aggregator, or duplicator, is another indication users are data loading, in bulk, to USB-C product.

usb-c duplicator, nexcopy duplicator

“Apple computers and Iot, or Internet Of Things, are driving the force behind the increased demand for USB-C flash drive consumption. Although the internet is great for many data sharing applications, there is still a great need for data dissemination off line. USB is still the definitive choice among users to share data via flash memory,” states Greg Morris, President of Nexcopy.

Morris continues, “We see the demand of USB-C duplication to only rise in the coming years. In technology, smaller is always better, and as devices get slimmer in size the USB type A socket will eventually phase out and USB type C taking over. The transition is slow, but it is inevitable; and with that said, we are ready – today.”

nexcopy, usb-c duplicator, usb-c200pc

Nexcopy is also well known for the PRO series duplicators that perform advanced functions to flash drives, such as USB write protection (USB read-only), partitions at the controller level, and serial number control for UFD identification. From the press release, these advanced functions will also be available on the USB-C200PC duplicator.

The USB-C duplicator has a list price of $1,299 from what we understand and available now through a list of on-line retails like Amazon and NewEgg. The product is also available through a worldwide network of authorized resellers.

Nexcopy did allude to Continue reading