Thumb drive

The thumb drive is similar in function to a floppy disk with greater capacity. In early days, floppies were used most for storing data. However, these floppies came with storage of either 720 kilobytes or .44 megabytes. In order to replace these floppy disks, IBM introduced thumb drives in 1998 and started selling them in 2000. Thumb drive had advantage of being more compacted and more durable. The device has evolved to become a popular method of transporting data, sharing files and backing up PC.

Thumb drive has no moving parts to be driven; therefore, it is not a true drive. The word drive persists because PC read and writes drive data using the similar PC commands as for a mechanical disk drive with the storage appearing to the PC OS and user interface as just another drive.

A thumb drive contains of a small printed circuit board carrying the circuit essentials and USB connector is insulated electrically and protected inside a plastic, metal or rubberized case, which can be carried in a pocket or on a key chain. The USN connector may be confined by a removable cap or by retracting into the body of the drive. Although it is not possible to be damaged if unprotected.

Technology behind thumb drive

Thumb drives usually specify their write and read speeds in megabytes per seconds. It memory contains a number of older technologies with lower power consumption, with lower cost and small size made possible by advances in microprocessor technology. Its memory storage was based on EPROM and EEPROM technologies. These had partial storage capacity, were slow in writing and reading, and required composite high-voltage drive circuitry. You could rewrite data into it after erasing the entire contents of the chip. Later designers developed EEPROMs with the removal region broken up into smaller fields that could be erased separately without disturbing the other data.

Components of thumb drive

  • Standard-A USB plug-  it provides a physical interface to the host PC
  • USB mass storage controller – a small microcontroller with a small amount of on chip read only memory and random access memory
  • NAND flash memory chip- stores data
  • Crystal oscillator – produces the device’s main 12 MHz clock signal and controls the device’s data output through a phase locked loop

Problems with thumb drive

One of the primary problems experienced with USB thumb drive is that they will not be recognized when they connected to a PC’s USB port. This error is typically associated with a drive letter inconsistency within the PC. An additional common problem might effect from corrupted files located on the thumb drive. In all cases, using the error checking tool on Windows PC will correct problems experienced with corrupt files.

Another most common problem, which many of you might face is the deletion, loss or formatting of files from thumb drives; so in order to recover back data from thumb drive, visit this article.

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