Measure Your USB Drive’s Read/Write Performance With USBFlashSpeed

No matter what kind of computer hardware you purchase, one of the worrying factors is whether its performance will be up to the mark. Therefore one of the best methods to use is benchmark the required component against the specs mentioned by its manufacturer. Akin to the way the performance of the CPU, memory and hard drive of a computer can be determined using various software methods,  you can also check the actual performance of a USB thumb drive in a similar manner, thanks to tools like HD Speed and HD Tune. Though if you’ve already tried out those apps and are looking for an alternative solution, give USBFlashSpeed a shot. This Windows app can measure a flash drive’s read and write speeds, and also lets you publish results to an online repository, the objective of which is "to benchmark all USB Flash drives over the world." Read More

Add Password-Protected Vault To Your USB Drive With Granite Portable

USB drives have become indispensable to us for storing all kinds of data and carrying it along wherever we go. Most people use USB drives to store media files or information that isn't sensitive in nature, but if the data you want to store is confidential, such as your financial documents or other personal info, you wouldn't want this info to be exposed to anyone in case your USB drive gets lost or stolen. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available for creating an encrypted volume on a USB thumb drive, and one such Windows-based app I recently came across and really liked is Granite Portable. The app provides 2-layer protection for your data by letting you store items in an encrypted vault. Details after the jump. Read More

USB Extension Auto Creates Desktop Shortcuts For Plugged-In USB Drives

USB Extension is a sporty little click-saving application that’s designed to detect a removable device when you connect it to your system, and automatically create a shortcut to it on your desktop. Now you don’t need to go to Windows File Explorer and sift through all the other USB devices, network drives, CD-ROMs or flash cards in order to find the right one. Simply plug in a portable device and click its newly created desktop shortcut to see its contents without having to click or navigate anywhere else. Removing the USB drive automatically removes its shortcut as well. Read More

Auto-Eject All Removable Disks When Your Mac Goes To Sleep

At some point in our lives, we've all pulled a USB drive unceremoniously from our system. By unceremoniously, I mean that the drive was not ejected or unplugged, but yanked out without a warning. Naturally, your system - whether it’s a Mac or a PC - will remind you not to do that, as it can result in data being corrupted, among other things. Apart from habit, USB drives are usually removed like this in one of two scenarios: when you’re in too much of a hurry to make the two clicks needed to eject a drive, or when you think your computer is off, and you remove a drive only to find out later that you were mistaken and the system was merely in sleep mode. Sleep Eject is a small App available for $0.99 in the Mac App Store that ejects all mounted drives when your system goes to sleep. This means if you do need to remove a drive from your system, you need not waste time waking it up first. Read More

Easily Disable USB Drives Or Read/Write Access For Guest Users With Ratool

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. Read More

Boot Into & Run Linux Distros On Your PC From An Android Device With DriveDroid

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. Read More

Disable USB Drives Or Enable Flash Read-Only Mode To Avoid Malware In Windows

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.

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Password Protect Your Removable Thumb Drive With USB Flash Security

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. Read More

Identify Processes Hindering Removable Media Ejection With Dev Eject

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. Read More

Lock/Unlock Your PC Using USB Drive With Password Booster Screen Lock

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. Read More

Dropout Is Portable Desktop USB And Dropbox Search Tool

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. Read More

How To Install Windows 8 From USB Drive

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. Read More

Can’t Format USB Or Any External Drive? Try Using Any Drive Formatter

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. Read More

H2testw Checks Damaged USB / SD Card For Read and Write Errors

H2testw 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. Read More

SpeedOut Checks USB & External HDD Read/Write Speed

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. Read More

Linux Live USB Creator & Virtualization Tool

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. Read More

iBin – Portable Recycle Bin Can Recover Files From USB Flash Drive

iBin 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). Read More