USB Flash Drive and How to Avoid Data Loss

USB Flash Drive and How to Avoid Data Loss

Technology has changed the way we do a lot of things. Sending of mails for example is one good example. Before, it will take days before mail can reach recipients who are thousand of miles away. But things have changed with the advent of the Internet as emails can be send and will be received in just a matter of seconds.

The way we save and share files has changed too. Back in the days when computer was just a new technology, we use floppy disks that can save only kilobytes of files. Now, we can save thousands of Gigabyte of files in media as small as a thumb that can save up to 256 GB of data and more. This device is what we call USB flash drive.


Computer Frustration

A USB flash drive is one of the most portable devices used today. It became extremely popular due to the following reasons:

  • Portability. Since the device is small, it can easily fit in a pocket or bag so these means, your files goes with you wherever you go.
  • Large Capacity. USB devices come in many different sizes from 1 GB, 3 GB, 16 GB, and more which gives the users the freedom to select which USB size fits their needs.
  • Robust. USB flash drive are durable and it can be use to rewrite data over a million times.
  • Speed. USB flash drive has no moving parts, which makes it a very fast media to write data to.
  • Easy to Use. Modern operating systems can readily detect flash drives when plugged into the PC and would not even require installation of drivers or a reboot to access data from the flash drive. It does not also require a separate power supply to operate.

But just like any other media, there is still a tendency for USB device to fail. Here are some of the causes that can lead to corruption of your USB drive:

  • Improper disconnection of Flash Drive from the computer. When unplugging flash drive from the computer, it is important to always use the “Safely Remove Hardware” feature to make sure that no system is accessing the flash drive before unplugging it. Unsafely removing USB device from the computer can lead to logical damage of disks, which can corrupt the data stored in it.
  • Power Outages. Surge in power while the USB device is being accessed can also cause damage to your flash drive.
  • Exposure to extreme temperature. High temperature or high humidity can lead to condensation, which can cause short circuit of the boards.
  • Physical damage to the disks. Dropping the flash drive, breaking of the USB connectors, etc can render the flash drive unusable.

Since majority of USB drives now come in large capacities, it can hold thousands of different data from documents, pictures, movies, eBooks and more. Losing this important data can be a big headache, that is why it is important that we take measures so we will be prepared in case of data corruption of our USB flash drive.

Here are a few tips to prevent data loss:

  1. Backup your files. Don’t just rely on your USB drive to save your data. Make sure that you backup critical files either to a DVD or a second flash drive. DVDs, external hard disks and USB drives are so affordable now so there is no reason not to get a second one for backup.
  2. Keep your computer up to date. Make sure that your computer has the latest antivirus program, patches and software like HP drivers, OS updates and more to make sure that it is protected from any virus, malware, spyware, etc that can corrupt and even erase data stored on your USB drive.
  3. Keep your USB device in a safe place. Because of its size, it is very easy to carry a USB device with you wherever you go. Although it is built to be mobile, it is still important that you put it in a safe place like inside a pocket in a bag.
  4. Use UPS or power protectors. One of the primary causes of data corruption is power outage so it will help to install UPS and surge protectors to protect your PC and your flash drive from sudden change in electric current.
  5. Always disconnect your USB flash drive safely. Never just unplug a USB device after using it. Always disconnect it by following the proper steps on how to safely remove hardware.

USB flash drives is the most preferred media for storage and sharing of data because of its speed, capacity and portability. But make sure that you take good care of your flash drive by following the tips mentioned above to avoid losing your valuable data.

Image courtesy of Sybren A. Stüvel.

10 Responses to “USB Flash Drive and How to Avoid Data Loss”

  1. Lane says:

    Amazing issues here. I am very happy to see your post. Thanks so much and
    I’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  2. John Hallquist says:

    How great it would be to just leave your USB flash drive in one of the many available usb slots and set a scheduled back up of certain, important files. Most of the important things we have on a PC are documents anyway.

  3. Brain says:

    Flash drive is effective data storage device which can store some particular data which depends on its capacity. There are many users lost their pen drive data because of virus attack or some computer power usage problem. Here, given tips are really useful to avoid data loss of pen drive. Thanks for great information.

  4. Mia Glover says:

    You are right. My USB flash drive is very useful for me. It helps me a lot to store my heavy files. So, lucky to have this USB flash drive technology.

  5. Vishal Chaudhary says:

    Being sensitive USB drive covers up most of the data loss instances. But other than a physical failure of the USB, Stellar Phoenix Mac data reocvery is a useful software that recovers almost every piece of data from even a corrupted usb drive.

  6. shenoyjoseph says:

    i usually take the USB stick without any proper disconnection. now i need to take care my of USB pen drive in order to avoid data loss.

  7. Due to the nature of my job, each day I plug and unplug about 100 USB flash drives. Nobody told me at the beginning to use the “Safely Remove Hardware”, so I didn’t use it until I lost an important amount of data from one of the flash drives. Should I tell you that the amount of time spent recovering those files was bigger than the time it took me to use the above feature?

  8. Wanda says:

    I have suffered a lot due to data loss from my USBs and so now I am very very careful! One problem however was always the loss of USB itself! For that now I keep a text file in it called ‘If found’ or anything like that and put my contact information in it so it may be returned.

  9. Simon says:

    I had a flash disk that had 8gig of ram in memory and everytime I
    remove the device I always plug it out of the CPU because I was lazy
    of removing it manually from the computer.
    Unexpectedly, all the files went missing and the computer weren’t
    able to recognize the disk.
    I got it all sorted out after searching some fixes on google…

  10. I agree having a local USB backup feels solid and more stable and reliable than backing up all your data to a cloud service provider. I leverage both and recommend a USB flash drive at least 2 of them to hold all your critical data (photos, documents) stuff that isn’t replaceable should your computer melt down. You can even get USB drives with security that require PIN’s to unlock and feature AES 256 bit encryption if you want a secure USB drive.

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