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What Is Usb Flash Drive??

What Is Usb Flash Drive??


    

What Is Usb Flash Drive??

by John B. Emmerson III

A live USB is a USB flash drive containing a full operating system which can be booted.Live USBs are intimately linked to live CDs,but sometimes have the ability to keep settings and permanently install software packages back onto the USB device.Like live CDs,live USBs can be applied in embedded systems for system administration, data recovery or the testing of operating system distributions without committing to a permanent installation on the local hard disk drive.Many operating systems including Microsoft Windows XP Embedded and many of the Linux distributions and BSDs can also be applied from a USB flash drive.

Live USBs share various of the benefits and limitations of live CDs.In contrast to live CDs, the data contained on the booting device can be changed and additional data reserved on the same tool.This allows for live USBs to be used as personal storage, as it allows a user to carry their preferred operating system, applications, and configuration as well as personal files with them,making it easy to share a single system between multiple users.

Live USBs provide the additional advantage of enhanced privacy, because the user can simply carry the USB device with them,decreasing the opportunities for others to access their data. On the other hand, usually it is easy for a USB device to become lost,so data encryption and backup is even more vital than with a typical desktop system.

The absence of moving parts in USB flash devices allows for quicker seek time than is possible with hard drives,meaning small programs will start faster from a USB flash drive than from a local hard disk or live CD. However, as USB devices typically achieve lower data transfer rates than internal hard drives, booting from a computer lacking USB 2.0 support can be very slow.

Due to the supplementary write cycles that occur on a full-blown installation, the life of the flash drive may be slightly decreased.This doesn't apply to systems particularly planned for live systems which keep all changes in RAM until the user logs off.

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