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Old 08-01-2019, 03:26 AM
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Default Flash drive info



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I'm going to vividly display my ignorance about thumb type flash drives.

I plan to buy about ten (10) fairly large capacity USB thumb drives for portable data storage, to gift to BOL family group members.

Basically looking at 512MB, one (1) & two (2) Terabyte model types.
(side note > I am amazed a tiny gizmo like that will hold that much data)

It appears some are waterproof, shock resistant & even EMP proof.

How much of that advertising is the truth?

Is bigger capacity slower to load & recover data from?

Can they easily be encrypted?
(would like to encrypt them with a common key all BOL group members can have)

Thanks for any help in advance......
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:13 AM
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There are fake terabite chips at really cheap prices for sale at e-bay and perhaps even Amazon.

The larger the capacity given specific size the smaller the wires inside - more easily broken by thermal expansion/contraction.

Some machines can't read the really big chips or write to the really fast ones.

I think the SD cards are better for storage than the USB ones.

Chips and other stuff fails - multi back ups is the best answer.

I just got a referb Tracfone LG Stylo 3 ($50) a few weeks ago. I just put in the 2 gb micro sd card from my net10 phone from perhaps 12 years ago. Bam save pic's and music from the old phone are on my new one. The new phone can do a 64 gb chip.

My new to me camera Panasonic can also do up to a 8 gb SD card but that's the limit.

Chips don't do much without a device. Maybe something like a tablet or chrome book that can do external memory and keep it in ammo(s).
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:05 AM
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Stick with reputable brands and buy from a reputable shop that doesn't probably sell you a fake one.

I'm right now at the office, copying a movie and tv-series to my coworker's usb stick.
My stick is Kingston Extreme (it is essentially SSD in a thumbdrive format) It stored data 90MB/s and copied out of it 225MB/s.

Coworkers stick is also Kingston but cheapest possible. Transfer speeds are under 10MB/s in average.
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Old 08-01-2019, 07:59 AM
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I use lots of thumbdrives, have probably 30 or more of them.

the best ones I have used are Sandisk, 32g or 64g. have 8 of them and no fails, good price. I use to transfer video files so they get used A LOT every day multiple times.

I have Kingstons, one works, the other consistantly corrupts files. I won't buy those again.

no idea what kind of files you plan to store on them, but 512mb is worthless. about the smallest useful size is 8g, anything smaller than that these days is too small.

I also have 6 500g - 1tb portable drives, the small 2.5" ones. I prefer those over thumb drives when you are talking anything over 64g.

for really big drives, my largest is 8tb but I do notice speed issues occasionally with it, the 6tb's I have seem ideal.

one thing you haven't mentioned but is worth thinking about is copying files to DVDrom. they only hold 4.7g, but they are dirt cheap, (100pk is like $24) and nearly everyone can use them whether on a desktop, laptop or most modern DVD player's will pull data off them as well. I don't believe there is any EMP risk, and they won't get lost as easily as a thumb drive.

hope that helps.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:21 AM
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I once tried to use the encryption software that comes with some USB drives. The problem with it was that you could not make changes to the encrypted file on the USB drive. It had to be decrypted, moved to a hard drive where the changes are made, then re-encrypted and copied back to the USB.

That's too cumbersome for my needs. I don't know if all the drives use this method.

If there are some that are password protected and allow me to work directly with the encrypted file, I'd like to hear about it.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:21 AM
America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
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Of that size, get one from one of the main guys, not some chinese knockoff. I can't see one of that size being anything other than USB3, but make sure it says it's USB3. Data transfer on larger drives may seem to take a long time, but they do hold a ton of info.

Why encrypt the drive? Are you afraid someone might steal one and survive the apocalypse without you? Don't understand the point of it...

Yes they are durable. If they get wet, let them dry out thoroughly and they should be good. They are not chemical safe and an EMP will take them out too, but like other electronics, "it depends" is the common answer.

Yes, I keep thumb drives with important information on them. I have some person info on some of them, but I don't encrypt the entire drive. I compress the important docs and use passphrase encryption on it. Most encryption software is just glorified partition software that allow you to passphrase protect the drive.


*edit* I'm assuming you mean 512gb and 1tb
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:28 AM
America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
I use lots of thumbdrives, have probably 30 or more of them.

the best ones I have used are Sandisk, 32g or 64g. have 8 of them and no fails, good price. I use to transfer video files so they get used A LOT every day multiple times.

I have Kingstons, one works, the other consistantly corrupts files. I won't buy those again.

no idea what kind of files you plan to store on them, but 512mb is worthless. about the smallest useful size is 8g, anything smaller than that these days is too small.

I also have 6 500g - 1tb portable drives, the small 2.5" ones. I prefer those over thumb drives when you are talking anything over 64g.

for really big drives, my largest is 8tb but I do notice speed issues occasionally with it, the 6tb's I have seem ideal.

one thing you haven't mentioned but is worth thinking about is copying files to DVDrom. they only hold 4.7g, but they are dirt cheap, (100pk is like $24) and nearly everyone can use them whether on a desktop, laptop or most modern DVD player's will pull data off them as well. I don't believe there is any EMP risk, and they won't get lost as easily as a thumb drive.

hope that helps.



Nothing wrong with using SSD's if you have the means to read them. Honestly, most people don't have a need for large drives for saving just word documents and some other files.


I'm the same... I have tons of thumb drives, have tons on SSD (standard and M.2) to 1tb, and my server has 30tb. What you need depends on what you have to store.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by America's Patriot View Post
Why encrypt the drive? Are you afraid someone might steal one and survive the apocalypse without you? Don't understand the point of it...
Financial data, password files, sensitive info, etc. Given the nature of the consulting business I ran, a lot of clients' data had to be protected.

My current solution is to password protect Excel and Word files using Microsoft's method, which also encrypts them. When you do that, you can store them on a USB drive and work directly with the files on the dive.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:00 AM
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Maybe something like this. Up to 512gb micro sd card. You could have several cards to swap in to get as much info storage as you want.

https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Tablet-7...XMHT4AYF2C55D4

Would fit nice in a 30 cal ammo can with small solar charger and maybe a battery bank, maybe a crank flashlight/radio. Then you over pack that can in a 60mm mortar can and fill the remaining space with useful stuff.

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...used?a=1586609

https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...used?a=2073641
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:13 AM
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Don't encrypt the drive itself, it will cause problems at some point.

What you really want, is an encrypted drive image. When you mount it in encryption software it appears as a regular disc that you can use. Beauty of that is the rest of the usb drive remains unencrypted and you can store there non-sensitive data AND a text file that has your contact info: "will pay reward if returned".

Some usb sticks even advertise that they offer some kind of encryption software for free (download from manufacturer) etc.

I can't recommend any software right now, because I haven't used any for years. I've switched to external SSD that has a numpad
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeDefense View Post
Financial data, password files, sensitive info, etc. Given the nature of the consulting business I ran, a lot of clients' data had to be protected.

My current solution is to password protect Excel and Word files using Microsoft's method, which also encrypts them. When you do that, you can store them on a USB drive and work directly with the files on the dive.

I was speaking to the OP... he said he was giving them to his BOL family and wanted a common key. We're not talking about everyday business use.
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Old 08-01-2019, 10:07 AM
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I've been doing IT work for decades. I can tell you now, that eventually, people will forget their password, passphrase and/or passkey. You're setting yourself up for heartache. After SHTF and you are heading to your BOL, you'll have no need for encryption. Redundancy would be more important, because all forms of data storage can become damaged, corrupted and unreadable. If you have a BOL, concentrate on having hard copies of things you can quick reference like recipes, mechanics books, schematics, etc. etc. I've even gone through the expense of having a lot of these things laminated so I don't have to worry about water damage from flooding or even humidity.
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Old 08-01-2019, 03:24 PM
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Also an IT guy.

For years, I've had a very consistent rule for purchasing flash drives for my own use. I don't spend more than $20 on an individual flash drive (most of my drives end up being about $10, with a few larger ones). I've seen far too many flash drives randomly fail (or get lost) for me to want to spend any more than I need to on them. I also never have any important data that only exists on a flash drive.

I'd recommend against USB 3.0 drives for SHTF use as there are compatibility issues with them from time to time. Personally, I'd give everyone two drives to hold identical copies of their data (and if I were being careful, I'd make sure each of the drives came from a different manufacturer).
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:06 PM
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Default Check out these for OP's ask

I have had good luck with these:

Corsair Flash Survivor® Stealth 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
SKU CMFSS3B-512GB
https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Catego.../CMFSS3B-512GB

Corsair Flash Survivor® 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
SKU CMFSV3B-256GB
https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Catego.../CMFSV3B-256GB

For Rugged SSD:
https://iosafe.com/products-rugged-p...e-SSD-overview

https://shop.westerndigital.com/prod...-1-ssd#0G06052
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:12 AM
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The main problem I had with thumb drives is that they are so easy to break. After breaking the contacts off of a few thumb drives, I only buy drives that have the swing-around metal guard that covers the contacts. Most reliable manufacturers make them.
Since I ruined a couple of thumb drives when I was in college by dropping my backpack or getting the drives wet by walking in the rain, I started using a piece of 1" pvc pipe with two end caps for each drive. You can cut the pipe longer if you want to carry more than one drive or cut them about 3" long for one drive. If you cut the pipe with a miter saw or pipe cutter the ends will seal against the caps. They are almost indestructible, cost nearly nothing, and best of all you can write on the PVC pipe. I ended up making them for everyone in my lab section.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:24 PM
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Why so big? 1 and 2 terabyte?

You can store over 50 full length bluray movies in one terabyte.

Data, e-books, PDF files, documents, even pictures don't take up a fraction of that much space.

They exist but are expensive. Avoid the chinesium ones.

https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CMFVY...M21TGHYGW5RKQN
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Old 08-06-2019, 06:31 PM
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Another consideration is the life of the device. CD/DVD are good for 30+ years and once the begin to breakdown you can still recover the data. Flash drives are good for unknown, guessing way more than CD/DVD but are a little more fragile and once they begin deteriorating it's all gone, no partial.

Personally I've only had 1 flash drive go bad and it was 16gb SanDisk that got used on a daily basis while in college. It died after 3 years of pretty much daily use.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:15 PM
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When it comes to large scale data storage; there's no such thing as the perfect format. You can't carry a library of books on your semi trailer without a road. A bound book doesn't need electricity. Shelf life varies but ancient tomes do exist. An electronic library is far more portable however the shelf life is far shorter when compared to a low tech book. A ten year old personal computer is considered ancient and unreliable as like a light bub evntually will one day fail. Call me old school, old fashioned, but a hard copy is hard to beat for a host of reasons others have discussed.
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