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best USB jump drive?

by grimgraphix / March 11, 2006 4:26 PM PST

Thumb drive, jump drive, flash, key chain... what ever you want to call it... I need a new one since the old one got broke. I did have a 512mb model but am looking at 1 gig units now. I do use the drive on both Mac and PC at school and at home.

Any advice? One thing I noticed about my old model was it wouldn't run off of the USB port on the apple keyboards at school... had to be plugged directly into the tower. Is energy requirements a concern? Another thing that would be great is a model with software that syncs files from the drive to the computer. Do I have to depend on the software that comes with the drive for this or is there after market shareware that will do a better job? What about speeds?

My old model was a Simpletech Banzai. It did the job and I had no complaints. It seems like the technology is pretty trouble free... does anyone know different?

Any insight is appreciated!


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I have a problem with SanDisk drives
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / March 11, 2006 10:48 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

especially the 1Gb version. We purchased two of them, one was DOA and the other seemed to work. The initial vendor replaced the DOA one.
Last week, 2 months later, my co-worker moved some files from a users machine, to another, using the 1Gb drive.
Although the files looked correct, she was unable to open them. The program, Acrobat Reader, reported that it could not open these files as they were in an unknown format. This happened twice. The same type of thing happened to me when I tried to copy files from a PC to a Mac and vice versa.
SanDisk Tech support sent me to the MS website to download a little utility that displays all the details of the drive, including Vendor ID.
On being given the Vendor ID, SanDisk immediately said that they did not make the product and therefore would not honor the warranty. My only recourse would be to contact the original vendor and obtain a replacement from them. My reply was that if it came in SanDIsk packaging, had SanDisk written on it, had a SanDisk serial number, a SanDisk warranty in the package, then it must be a SanDisk problem, regardless of whom they contracted to build it.

After two weeks, they sent me an RMA number for return.

No more SanDisk stuff for me.

That is just my experience with them, not everyone will be the same


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Flash drives and Power
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / March 11, 2006 10:55 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

The USB hub on an Apple keyboard does not have the required power output to drive a flash drive.
This is annoying and should, IMO, have already been addressed by Apple.
The use of a powered USB hub is always recommended, especially as not all USB devices follow the power consumption guidelines.

Each USB port on the tower has a finite amount of power available to it. Plugging in the USB keyboard, which is not powered, draws power and the mouse that is plugged into the keyboard draws more. A third un-powered device, like the flash drive, increases the power requirements for all three devices to a point higher that is available at the one USB port on the tower. Hence the error message.

You will not find any Mac software on a flash drive. Any synching software will be Windows only.


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thanks & interesting
by grimgraphix / March 12, 2006 2:42 AM PST
In reply to: Flash drives and Power

Was it the 1 gig cruzer your talking about? Funny, it got a 9.0 rating from cnet editors 2 years ago but recent consumer reviews reflect your experience... parting it out to a different jobber explains the recent pans IMO.

The power issue with the apple keyboard USB connection is surprising. The little thumb drive I was using supposedly used .5 volts. Only other thing connected to the keyboard is the standard apple mouse (1 button :(). Why the extra USB connection if it won't support much? Convenient if you carry a powered USB hub around I guess.

Shame about the sandisc... It seemingly has twice the read/write speed of many other drives out there. A feature that is important when you get the 1 gig capacity imo. The 512 mb drives are handy but I have already found them limited as we move into video editing at school.

Thanks for sharing your experience P. Wink


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I use the Sony Microvaults
by sup909 / March 13, 2006 10:36 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

I have two Sony Micro Vaults and have had no problems witm them.

They come with some compression software on them that can compress some files, and they claim you can get almost 1.5Gb on a 512mb drive.

I dunno if that is true, but the compression/decompression process is pretty painless. One of them I decided to reformat and remove the compression software simply because I didnt need it and I use it like any other drive.

They also look pretty slick too.
A little info here

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Best USB Jump drive
by Beenatee / March 13, 2006 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

I've had an "Apacer" 1GB for a year now and it's great! I'm always on a PC or Mac all day and I go back and forth without any problem at all.
Just remember, when you first use the USB memory key to format it on the PC first, that way it will work on both PC and Mac. The Great thing about this Apacer is that it comes with a "Dock" that I can plug into the back of my Mac and sit it on my desk. I don't have to worry about using my keyboard or "fumbling" in the back of the computer to plug it in.
If you don't have the "dock"? just plug it in any available usb plug and you done.

Good luck!


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by carrolpicard / March 18, 2006 9:52 AM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

Just bought a Memorex TravelDrive 512. Works ok with Windows XP, but can't install it on Windows 98SE even if I have downloaded the drivers from MEMOREX.

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Ever consider other features?
by Retheesh / March 18, 2006 1:06 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

All USB flash drives do the same thing: store data. I doubt that any company would intentionally sell non-working or faulty items. Sometimes you get bad, nonworking items. I bet that you will find at least ONE hater for EVERY company just in the CNET forums. Still, there are manufacturers who just can't get it right, but that's beside the point.

These drives have been out for quite a while that even generic brands will work fine. So, instead of worrying about speed and complaints, think about the other little that a particular flash drive will offer above another.

A lot of flash drives use caps. Sometimes you might misplace or lose the caps. But there are drives that don't have caps: some push out like a pen, some have connected caps, and so on. Some drives provide security, though I don't know if it serves your purpose. Then there's size, cost, driver issues, power issues, and so on to consider. Not to make this a complicated issue, but if all drives do the same thing, then wouldn't it be worthwhile to look at the little features too?

For my use, I use the Lexar Jumpdrive Sport. It's nothing special, except it has a surrounding rubber cap that holds the entire drive and hooks onto your keychain. This insures that I never lose the cap, but I can still lose the drive Happy But when I start my car, I always see the cap and if there's no drive in there, then I know I forgot it. For a better idea of what I'm talking about, go to the lexar website and check out this drive.

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PNY best for the buck
by jeroethel / March 18, 2006 10:46 PM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

If all you want is storage, I've had great luck with the PNY drives. Often on sale, often with a rebate. But one rebate per customer address.

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Carrying it in your pocket?
by Rahn_B / March 21, 2006 4:46 AM PST
In reply to: best USB jump drive?

If you are going to carry it around in your pocket with keys, like I do, check out the Titanium Cruzer. I bought the 2Gig version and love it. I had a Memorex drive that was almost destroyed from the abuse of carrying it.

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