Get Physical: Caring for your Flash Drives

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Published: 06th March 2012
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We’ve all experienced it at one time or another: our flash drives dying on us. Particularly when vital files are stored in it, you couldn’t help but wrack your brains out trying to think how you could have done things differently and what you could have done to have prevented it, thus still keeping your files alive. Then it’ll seem like a case of crying over spilled milk. I say “seem”, because there is such a thing as dead flash drive data recovery, which we’ll get into in a bit.

For now, let us look into the precautionary measures you could have taken to minimize the occurrences of dead flash drives.
Caring for your flash drives needs only thing: common sense. Flash drive users have a propensity to disregard the basic physical care to their flash drives and then regret it afterwards. Physical care would require that you keep your flash drives in a secure, cool and dry place, away from high temperature, water and moisture. Keep them away from other devices that emit magnetic discharges, your mobile phones being one of them.

Most flash drives are designed to have their connectors be covered or with a cap when not plugged into a USB port. Make sure that the covers are in place when the flash drive is not in use or, when there is no cap or cover, get one. Do not let dirt and dust accumulate inside, especially in the connector, because that could wreak havoc to how your flash drive ultimately performs. Keeping it away from children’s or pet’s reach would also be most prudent, since they might mistake it for a toy because of its size and eye-catching designs.

You should also consider how you carry your flash drives around. Some use it as a fashion accessory of sorts, adding it to their key rings or ID holders. While I am not averse to you making a fashion statement with it, try to remove it from the key rings or other attachments when plugging it on to your computers, since the weight would likely strain the connector.

Airport and mall security nowadays often use X-ray machines to detect unwanted items inside luggages and bags. Although radiation has not been directly and officially pegged as one of the causes of flash drive damage, it would be wiser to be take precautions. Keep your flash drives in small carry-on bags to lessen their exposure to radiation. Speaking of radiation, the same thing goes for direct sunlight. Do not leave your flash drives lying around under the direct glare of the sun.

The handling of the flash drives is also important. Do not be too careless that you’d end up fumbling with them and eventually dropping them on the floor. Many flash drives have broken or cracked at the impact, especially when falling from a great height and on to hard floor or concrete.

These are simple things that you should do with most of your belongings, and it also applies to your precious flash drives. As mentioned earlier, it requires common sense. Remember that you have data and important files stored on these tiny things.

It is better to be safe than sorry, and save yourself from feeling stupid that you had not taken more care for your flash drive and avoided all the stress and agony of losing your all-important files. If losing them can’t be helped, though, do not fear. There are a lot of data recovery and retrieval tools you can do yourself, or have the professionals take care of them for you. In the meantime, do your share and take care of your own flash drives.

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