May 24, 2024


Bring Out Techno

Uses for USB Memory Sticks

USB memory sticks are used primarily to save files and then bring to another computer for use. Although this is the feature that has made them popular, there are many additional uses for USB sticks. There is one useful feature in Windows XP that can help you manage your USB stick, particularly if you use them primarily to transport data. Windows XP has a USB Flash Drive Manager that, once installed, can help you to copy files to and from your memory stick, backup and restore the entire memory stick to and from your hard drive, and create a file that automatically runs the Flash Drive Manager when you plug the drive into your computer. The tool can be used for sticks that have a maximum capacity of 4 Gigabytes.

USB sticks can also act as MP3 players. All you need is Windows Media Player and a set of headphones. To use your memory stick as an MP3 player, first copy your MP3 files to your USB stick, plug it into your computer and then run Windows Media Player so it can build a library of all the music on your drive. All of Windows Media Player’s playback features are available to you, including play lists and favorites, so that your music listening experience can be customized to your preferences. An added attraction is that the stick gets its power from your computer so there is no need to be concerned about getting low on battery power.

Sometimes you may use USB sticks to transport sensitive data and you want to make sure that unauthorized users do not have access to that data should you lose or misplace your USB drive. A free downloadable program, Roho’s Mini Drive, allows you to set up a partition on your memory stick and then apply a password to it. This process encrypts the partition so it cannot be read by the host computer. However, the software does have features so that when the protected stick is plugged into a computer where the user does not have administrator rights, the user still can open the files on the protected drive.

You can also use your USB flash drive to act as a web server. A program called Server2Go runs directly on a memory stick without installation or any additional configuration and then provides a standalone web server so you can run an entire web site from your USB drive. With this capability, one can bring a live web site demo into a sales meeting, carry an online catalog to one’s customers or bring computer-based training lesson to an end-user site. This type of functionality greatly increases the use of the USB drive as a device for transporting files.

Another use for your USB stick is to lock down your computer. Once a freeware utility called Predator is downloaded from the Internet and installed on your memory stick, when the memory stick is plugged into your computer, you can access everything on your computer as you normally would if the memory stick was not there. However, once the stick is removed, your computer is completely locked down; the screen goes black and the keyboard and mouse cannot be used. Plugging the memory stick back in unlocks the computer and makes it useable.