Flash drive: make it bootable or not?

By tboneman2
Sep 9, 2013
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  1. I'm about to buy a 512 gb flash drive and use it strictly for backing up our two desktop computers.I can't see where I would ever need to boot Win 7 from a flash drive, but who knows? What do you think? That large a flash drive...should I make it bootable or not? Also, I think I should partition it into two drives but maybe just creating two backup folders, one for each machine, would be enough. ???

    Will appreciate your input.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +627

    No, don't make it bootable unless you need to. And no, just... no... don't buy a 512GB flash drive for 'backups'. The performance sucks, it's ultra-expensive... $1000 to be precise.

    Or are you getting a $50 ebay one? That's a scam.
  3. tboneman2

    tboneman2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    "Or are you getting a $50 ebay one? That's a scam."
    Why is that a scam? I've purchased many items on eBay, several of them from China, and have never been burned. There's always a first time, but why this one?
    Performance sucks, you say. How so? Have you tested one?
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +627

    Are you thinking of buying something like this, for a very similar price? EBay is great and I use it myself for a lot of things, but this item is indeed a scam.

    Basically: using some clever electronics, the flash drive is only 8GB or so but tricks your computer into thinking it is 512GB. For reference, here is the real cost of a real 512GB flash drive.

    I suggest you pick up a 1-2TB desktop external hard drive. These are no more than $100 and will serve your needs the best.
  5. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Booster Posts: 224   +53

    If you demand the fast transfer speed of flash storage, there are a few cheaper options;
    For $520 you could buy two of these fast 256GB flash drives -
    - or for $380 buy this 512GB SSD - and for $25 put it in an external USB 3.0 enclosure -
    But if you just really need 500GB of backup storage for $50 -
    Yeah, I know, it's $60, but it's reasonably fast for what you need. Of course, you need USB 3.0 ports on both computers for fastest transfer speeds - USB 2.0 will be several times slower.
  6. tboneman2

    tboneman2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow. What an education this has been. Now that I think back, I purchased a 32 gig flash drive on ebay about 9 months ago. Almost every time I'd copy files to it, they'd be there for a day or so then disappear. Some files would disappear, others wouldn't. After several months of messing around with it, it finally started to maintain files and folders without corruption. I'm going to move what files I have on that drive to one of my SanDisks. Then its going in the dumpster.

    Needless to say, the planned 512 gig flash drive purchase has been canceled. I have an old 250 gig WD drive I salvaged from an old computer. Think I'll try this for backups instead.

    I hesitate to do this, as I've tried to do this on two other older hard drives that I converted to external drives. 5 attempts at backups using 2 or 3 different backup programs, including Win 7. All started OK but crashed about a third of the way in. The drives themselves worked fine when I removed them from the older computers, so I don't think that's the problem.

    I was able to get them formatted via Win 7. But then, Win 7 would not issue them a drive letter when I tried to use them....the first problem. Then, occasionally, after many tries, Windows finally saw the drive (after 8 hours of it being on and USB connected to my current computer) but would not complete a backup. This is the reason I started looking at large flash drives.

    Appreciate the input here, guys. Like I said, it's been an education.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  7. tboneman2

    tboneman2 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for this info. Went to the flash drive test program site. It apparently hasn't been updated in a while. I'm a little leery about DLing files from sites/pages that don't appear to be current. When I clicked on the Download button, it took me to the German version of the site, where it has a download manager program. Guess there's no getting away from these download managers. They always try to load us up with programs we don't want. Maybe I'll go ahead with the DL anyway. I'd really like to have that utility.
  8. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Booster Posts: 224   +53

    I didn't need to use a DL manager to get this utility, try this page, it downloads automatically -
    I ran the test on an old giveaway 1GB thumb drive, it took a bit less than 7 minutes, and showed no errors. All my USB thumb drives work fine, so I have no questionable drives to check, but it's a great utility to have in your toolkit. I have Windows 8 Pro, and it ran with no problems.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +627

    I'm just glad you didn't get ripped off. :)

    I still think a brand new external drive is the best bet. You were going to spend $50 on an ebay purchase anyway, so you can spend that on a 500GB portable HDD.

    Or, spend a bit more and get a 1-2TB external, which will last you quite a while for backups on two PC's.

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