In this case, low price means slow. I bought this Centon Datastick Pro 16GB USB Flash Drive Memory stick at the CompUSA Store in Ft Lauderdale so it could take a VirtualPC image I have. Its a development environment that is custom crafted to allow me to do all sorts of things that you would need to do in a software development office. I would have put a direct link to the model stick but the page wouldn’t load in Firefox – always a good test for me personally whether to interact with a company or not.
First problem was that the stick was formatted FAT32 like the old Windows 98 Hard Drives. The problem is that the environment image was 10.2GB of space. Ok, not really a big deal, just logistics, right? Newer versions of Windows use NTFS, and 10GB files are no problem there. Had to reformat that little stick and now I have to remember to eject the stick under pain of death of data. FAT32 you can just pull out of the USB slot but you really *should* eject it.
The second problem then hit me in the face. Or rather rubbed itself slowly in my face. I started the copy dinner time and thought that it would take maybe an hour, two tops…. BZZZT! WRONG! I’m writing this at 930AM the next morning and it has just finished copying. So now I have this big ol’ copy of a Virtual PC image sitting on a stick that I can run like another computer and I’m wondering whether it was worth the effort.
The eventual start up time was 10 minutes, with 1 minute alone to play the default Windows XP start up sound. It took over 20 minutes to get quiet enough to interact with it and shut it down. I will copy it onto the host PC’s Drive in the future. Running from my laptop with adequate memory it starts in 2 minutes and runs “well” enough for me.
The moral of the story is that if you need extra storage for important papers and pictures, recipes and music, a low end low cost USB Flash drive will be fine. Store your papers on one, then drop it somewhere safe.
If you need one with high speed, don’t go low end. Either spend some extra after doing your homework and finding a high speed drive, or get yourself an external Hard Disc with a real internal Disc that hooks up to USB and you’ll be fine.
Even CDs are faster than this little guy for big files. I think I’ll put my E-Books on there.