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10 Things You Can Do With A USB Flash Drive

Thursday, May 23, 2013

USB Flash Drives are one of the easiest ways to backup and transfer files between computers, it facilitates a lot the exchange and sharing of files. Today, everyone who owns a computer certainly owns a USB flash drive, it became a necessary device to use with the PC. There are various uses of a flash drive you probably already know: transferring files, backing up important things... but there are some other things that you can do with your old USB Flash drive and you maybe never knew about them.

1. Use USB as RAM

One of the best uses of a flash disk, is to use it as an additional memory to help improving the speed of your Windows. Using a built-in feature of Windows (XPand up) called 'Ready Boost' it will act as a RAM or Pagefile in Windows XP. It helps a lot to speed up your old computer. We already wrote about this in a previous article:

2. Install an Operating System

Most of the Operating Systems are installed using a bootable live CD or DVD and proceed with a full large install of the system. Today we are able to use a USB instead of using CD, flash drives can hold larger data than CDs that's why we use it to boot and install an OS. We also wrote in previous posts about different tutorials to install OS on USB:

3. Lock your PC

Just like movies: an agent can lock his computer using a magnetic card, if you are amazed with this trick you can do it using your Flash thumb and lock/unlock your computer using it. Just Download and Install Predator app, plugin your flash disk, then after tweaking the settings just Remove it and the computer will lock down: the keyboard is blocked, the mouse frozen and the screen becomes black, to unlock it simply re-plugin the flash thumb.

4. Remove Windows Password

When using Windows you may have faced a serious problem because you forgot the Password. There are many ways to reset Windows password, some of them is using a USB thumb drive to create a live install of a Utility to enter and remove the password. We wrote about it in a previous post that you can check it out:

5. Run Portable Apps

Portable apps are software that doesn't need installation to be executed as well as running them between machines easily. You can setup Portable apps inside your USB and take them where you go to run them inside any machine with no need to Install it.

6. Auto-Sync Files

Just like Dropbox, Skydrive or Google Drive this trick allows you to sync your files to the USB without the need to keep drag & drop files or copying them. With this trick you can mirrorize your important files automatically to your USB thumb in a very easy way. Just Download one of the following software and install them:

7. DemocraKey

DemocraKey is a set of important utilities that helps you surf anonymously, it contains: Tor Browser to surf securely, CalmWin Portable to clean your hosts file from viruses, Thunderbird Portabl, TrueCrypt and Abiword. You can easily install Democrakey in your USB flash drive and start surfing securely and anonymously.

8. Protect it from Viruses

If you are afraid from being infected with the USB, then you can easily protect it from viruses, malwares, trojans and malicious software. 

9. Format it from Command Prompt

If you can't access your Computer then you can format it using cmd commands, it's very easy to perform and it will work just like the normal format mode:

  1. Launch Command Prompt
  2. Type X: /FS:FAT32
  3. Press Enter
Just change X: with the drive letter of the USB, and FAT32 with the filesystem you want to use (FAT32 is default for all flash drives).

10. Install a Minimal Linux Distribution

Last but not least, you can use USB to install a fallback Operating System, there are plenty of minimal OS that you can download and install. The most popular Linux Distributions you can use are: Puppy Damn Small Linux and Ubuntu Mini Remix