Saturday, February 25, 2012

Flash Drives

First, share your research! I had the pleasure of spending time with a cousin that I got re-acquainted with through genealogy. We each had new research since the last time we met. Both of us had backed-up our research results (screen prints, census records, vital records, photos, etc.) on flash (thumb) drives. It was a simple task to copy the folders to each other’s flash drives using our computers. Now, we can each review lines and data that we may not have found on our own.

This brings another hint to mind. I have a bunch of flash drives. Some are physically quite small but all are just large enough for me to paste on a small return address label. This way, if I leave a drive connected to another computer or lose one, I have a chance of seeing it again. I also suggest you put a text file on each drive with your contact information. I call mine “1OwnerInfo.” This way, if someone opens the drive to see what is on it, this file shows up at the top of the list. (I’d be happier if I had a more clever name but this is what I’m using now.)

This brings to mind a caution for those people who might plug their flash drives into PC’s and Mac’s, and tablets. Make sure that you DO NOT format the flash drive with the NTFS format for PC’s. If you do not know what that means, then you are not likely to do it. PC’s can format a disk with two different formats NTFS and FAT32. The NTFS format is not readable on Mac’s and tablets. You can check which format your device is using from the drive properties.

In general, on a PC, the internal hard drives are and should be NTFS drives. Removable hard drives are also better as NTFS drives but flash drives are so portable among operating systems that FAT32 is a better choice.

Well, glad I had a chance to share this with you and thank you for your time.

Happy Hunting!

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