How to take care of a flash drive so that it lasts a long time: 3 out of 10 rules you did not know

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Like any other electronic device, flash drives must be properly looked after – otherwise, they may fail even before the guaranteed period. Experienced users know the basic rules for handling portable flash drives, but there are some nuances that certainly cannot be miscalculated in advance. I am sure that the readers of this article have not heard of at least three of the rules below (or, at least, do not remember them in everyday use).

⚠️ All points below are arranged from the most obvious to the least known – the article is closed by the very three rules that few people know about.

1. Safely remove, do not pull out at any time

Modern operating systems send a warning notification every time the flash drive is removed incorrectly – such an action can both damage the data on it and disrupt its file system (next time it may simply not be connected). You need to accustom yourself to the most obvious, but one of the main rules: before removing the drive from USB, you need to right-click on its icon in the operating system and click on “Eject”.

2. Avoid mechanical damage – don’t just throw it into your backpack

Although there are no moving elements in a flash drive, as in HDDs, mechanical stress is also very dangerous for them. If you carry the drive in a pocket with keys or put it in a common compartment of a briefcase, then when you walk, the flash drive will hit the objects placed next to it – nothing good may come of it. The rule is simple: put it in a separate pocket, where it will be fixed and will not fly around the entire cavity of the pocket / compartment, colliding with other things.

3. Remember about environmental factors: cold, heat and water are evil

A flash drive is usually lying around anywhere until it is needed – then they take it, use it, and then throw it anywhere again. It is better not to do this: in direct sunlight on the windowsill or in the glove compartment of a car on a cold winter night, it can fail, as well as when water drops. It is best to keep it at home in a closed locker – this way you can be sure that neither environmental factors, nor pets, nor small children will harm it.

4. The cap must be worn, it is not a useless attribute

Many models come with caps to protect the USB connector when not in use. However, users often neglect it, deliberately throwing it away or being lazy to put it on again. It is better not to do this: in addition to the obvious accumulation of dust that seeps through the connector, and the formation of condensation, if the ambient temperature changes abruptly, static electricity is also a serious danger – on dry days people generate a lot of it. Not only cheap models without adequate protection are at risk, but also expensive drives (if the level of electrical discharge is extreme).

5. Do not use a USB flash drive with an almost discharged device

One of the most common problems of data loss on drives and their failure is the discharge of the battery of the main device (for example, a laptop) during the data recording process. As a result of this, not only the file that was directly written to the USB flash drive can be damaged, but also all the data already stored on it and even the file system itself. To avoid this, you just need to refrain from connecting the drive to an almost completely discharged device.

6. Avoid defragmentation, it is only useful for HDD

In simple words, defragmentation cleans up unnecessary fragments on the disk, formed as a result of splitting a large file into small pieces when it is written. This feature speeds up the drive and eliminates possible crash errors, but only if applied to a hard disk drive (HDD). In the case of flash drives, this procedure does nothing other than increased wear of the drive’s resource. On some operating systems, disk defragmentation occurs automatically, so you should disable it.

💡 In Windows 10, this is done like this: Open “My Computer” ➝ right-click on the flash drive and click on “Properties” ➝ open the “Service” tab and click on the “Optimize” button ➝ click on “Change settings” ➝ uncheck the box of the item “Run on schedule (recommended)”, and then using the “Select” button, uncheck the box specifically from the flash drive.

7. Do not edit files directly on the USB flash drive

Many sites advise not to edit files on drives, but to copy them to a computer and edit there, and then transfer the data back. This avoids increased consumption of resources (write cycles) and overheating, especially in cases where the files being edited are heavy and are often re-saved.

8. Do not install programs on a USB flash drive and do not run Portable versions from them

Experienced users often use flash drives as a backup of various useful utilities, including their Portable versions (which do not require installation). However, this is not the best idea if you want to achieve maximum drive life. Running programs directly from a flash drive excessively wears out its read and write cycles – if you do this often, it will quickly fail.

9. Do not leave a USB flash drive connected to a PC when not in use.

Even if you are not reading any files from the connected drive or have already completed the process of writing data, the flash drive can still be used (but not directly by you). Various utilities installed on the computer like antivirus or even the operating system itself can constantly or regularly interact with the flash drive, thereby consuming its resource. There is no risk if the device is turned off, in standby or hibernation mode, but if the PC is turned on, it is better to remove the USB flash drive that you are not using.

10. Do not send the USB stick by mail, at least by the national service

On its official website, Kingston, one of the largest drive manufacturers, warns: X-ray scanners at airports are harmless to flash drives, but the radiation isotope identification devices used by the postal service can damage them. The manufacturer refers to the study of the CompactFlash Association regarding the US Postal Service, but it is possible that similar security measures and related devices are used in the national postal services of other countries. Alternatively, the company advises using commercial services that use other protection methods.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.