People who work in the office with many people around, or take their laptop along for working remotely would know that leaving your computer on while you’re not using it can bring a lot of risks of data snooping and unauthorized use. Whether you leave your desk to grab a cup of coffee or run to the bathroom, there are always chances of someone using your computer, plugging in a USB device and stealing your private information without you even knowing. This is where apps like Removable Access Tool
come to the rescue. It can prove to be very useful when locking the entire computer isn't a choice and you have someone to temporarily use it for accessing social media or checking email. The application is designed to restrict read and write access of any USB thumb drive plugged to the computer. It’s fairly easy to use and sports a very lightweight design, weighing in at just a few kilobytes.
We’ve all heard of live USBs that allow the user to boot right into an operating system on a PC without actually having to install it, a trend that has garnered limelight with Linux distributions. Keeping the need to casually test a Linux distro aside, you might find yourself in a situation where your PC’s current OS is failing to boot, you need a live disk to fix the issue or salvage your data, and your USB drive has everything in it but a live disk image. One solution would be to get your hands on another PC, but what if you could boot into a Linux distro (like Ubuntu or Fedora) straight from your rooted Android device? DriveDroid
lets you do just that. What's more, this nifty tool will download the distro of your choice straight to the device, ridding you of the need to have access to a second PC. We take a closer look at how DroidDrive works and what makes it so special after the jump.
USB Flash Drives have become a common storage medium for data transfers. They are smaller in size than portable hard drives, which makes them easier to carry around, while their maximum storage capacity is continuously on the rise. As much as these thumb drives have eased our lives, they can be equally dreadful if they get infected with malware. An infected thumb drive that is frequently plugged into different PCs increases the risk of spreading malicious content in multiple devices. Sadly, Windows doesn’t provide a feasible solution to temporarily prevent anyone from plugging USB flash drives into your computer, which is why third-party tools like Phrozen Safe USB exist, which allow you to enable or disable USB flash drive recognition with a single click. Today, we have another similar utility labeled USB Flash Drives Control. As the name implies, it lets you control a few different parameters of the drives, allowing you to enable read-only mode or disable running EXE files from within a drive. You can also password protect the application itself to prevent unauthorized usage, a feature that Phrozen USB lacks.
Even though cloud storage services like Drop Box, Just Cloud and Sugar Sync have freed us from carrying USB flash drives with us even when we have to take a single text file to another location, large files still need to be transferred to USB flash drives and portable hard drives. Sometimes, the flash drive may contain important data that you do not want others to access, or the data may be meant for only a single person. A situation might arise where you have to send your friend a USB drive through a third person, and don’t want them to be able to view the contents of the USB flash drive, then what will you do? You can use USB Flash Security
, a useful security tool that locks the USB with a password when you remove it from your system. The data inside the USB is protected by the password.
Many a time, when a user attempts to securely eject a USB drive, an error message pops up on the screen, alerting that the device cannot be ejected as it is in use. In such a case, it can be hard to identify which processes might be using the USB device, and therefore, it becomes a bit tedious to individually identify and close each running process. Dev Eject
is a handy tool designed to resolve this problem. It allows you to control the removable devices connected to your computer, and displays the running process which may be hindering the safe removal of the device.
While stepping away from the computer, it is important to lock the screen in order to avoid anyone else using it. Some organizations, such as banks are very strict about locking your work station before leaving your chair, even if you are going just for 5 minutes. In case you forget to lock the PC, you can get into trouble. The problem is that if your computer contains sensitive information, anyone can simply look at it, or copy it, and use it in any way possible. For instance, if someone gets their hands on your financial information, they can cause you a lot of problems by using it maliciously. Password Booster Screen Lock
locks your computer screen by using your USB flash drive, hence giving an experience similar to using a physical key on your Windows PC. Once you register a USB flash drive with the application, you can lock computer screen just by unplugging it. The program lets you register and unregister more than one USB flash drives at a time, making it ideal fit for multiple users. The program can be useful on public and shared computers. Once you register your USB flash drive, you don’t have to worry about someone else interfering with your work even if you have to leave your PC unattended for some time.
Everyone likes to keep their important files on portable drives and in cloud storage directories, such as, a Dropbox folder, so that data can be easily accessed across multiple computers. This means that a lot of data is continuously changing and is not indexed immediately by Windows. Windows Search can miss out files during a search query if the file is not indexed or belongs to an unknown file type. If you often require locating files using Windows Search and find it hard to locate files from a USB device or a folder which keeps changing, then a solution can be to use Dropout
. It is a portable indexing tool that creates its own index inside a constantly changing folder to provide quicker search results.
Gone are the days when installing Windows from USB was a complicated job. You don’t need to perform any such tweakings today since there are hundreds of 3rd party tools that can do the job for you. Which better tool to use than the one from Microsoft themselves. Yes, you can use the popular Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool
from Microsoft to create a bootable DVD or USB device of Windows 8.
It happens so often that Windows is not able to format your external hard drive or USB drive if it gets corrupted. In most cases you will get an error saying “Windows cannot complete the format”. To fix this issue you can head over to Disk Management, delete the drive partition and then create a new format. Or you can use Any Drive Formatter
, which is a new tool developed especially for this purpose.
Ever wondered if you could mount your Windows Phone 7 handset as a USB disk to quickly throw some data in? While there is no official way to do it the way you can in Android, XDA-Developers forum member MarcHoover
has made this all possible via a tool that is now invaluable considering the convenience and freedom it offers to the user.
is an application which allows user to check USB drives and SD Cards for read and write errors. You can measure the degree of damage which has been done to partially broken/damaged USB drives by filling all the free space. Another usage can be observed when you’ve, unknowingly, got one fake USB on which data can only be written or read. It writes and then reads data to thoroughly check both operations to let user know about the errors and speed. Data filling can performed in two ways. You can either choose to fill all the available space or specify size in MBs which is to be filled for inspection purposes.
Do you want to know the exact rate at which your USB or external hard drive transfers the data? SpeedOut
is a simple program that can be used to find the exact data transfer rate and also check which USB or external hard drive provides you better performance. It has a simple interface which shows the results in bar chart along with numerical test results.
There are already many tools which allow users to create a bootable USB drive with any version of Linux distro; UNetbootin, MultiBoot, and Ubuntu Live USB Creator, being the popular ones and Fedore Live USB Creator, Free USB Installer, and PendriveLinux’s being the lesser popular ones. Linux Live USB Creator
is a powerful all-in-one tool to rule them all.
H2testw is a small portable utility developed by a German but comes with an English interface as well. The original purpose of the tool is to check for read/write errors and other errors in a USB drive. It can also be used to check for errors in any external hard disk or network drives. Read More
We have come across many so-called USB encryption software but none of them really work. The two most popular way of encrypting the external drive or USB Flash drive is to either use TrueCrypt or Windows 7 Bitlocker
. Now there is a 3rd newcomer which actually works and is much more easier to use for novice users.
is a portable recycle bin for USB Flash Drives developed with AutoHotKey. The default Recycle Bin feature build
into Windows is only useful for storing and recovering deleted files from the local hard disk. When you delete a file from the USB drive, it will be deleted from the device file system as well and is never stored in the default Windows recycle bin. Which means recovering the lost files will be much more difficult (although it is still possible).
USB Manager is a small Windows utility that can quickly enable and disable USB devices. It has no interface and runs from the system tray. You can control the devices from the right-click context menu. Read More
Did you ever forget the USB flash drive behind while leaving the computer in hurry? Since I use the laptop this hasn’t occurred to me yet but I have seen many corporate users in such situations. Once you plug-in the USB Drive, finish your work and leave, there are high chances that you will forget to unplug the USB and take it back home.
Alright, not a single click, but with maybe three clicks you can easily export your iTunes playlist and listen to your music on any other player. iExporter is a free portable opensource tool that lets you export your iTunes playlist instantly. Even a five year old can export the playlist using this tool, seriously.
Note for those who don’t know what exporting means: When you export the playlist, you are in fact exporting the mp3 files which you can play on any other media player. Read More
Are you always carrying a USB Flash Drive around? If yes then you can get a lot of useful applications on your USB drive instead of just carrying them around with backup files. We have gathered 6 applications that will transform your USB drive into a power device for doing tasks ultra quickly on the go.
Note: If you don’t like carrying software on your USB because they will mix with other files, just like I worry. Then make a folder named “Power Tools” in your USB and move all these software there. You can later hide this folder and work with your USB like you normally would.
….And if you are an uber geek like me and always carry your iPod around, then it is better to carry these software in your iPod.