Does anyone know of a durable brand of USB drives (around 64-128 MB)?
December 24, 2003 11:26 PM   Subscribe

I recently got a new Sony Vaio. Its great, except I didn't realize it didn't come with a floppy disk drive. So, what I'm looking for to replace it is a small USB drive (around 64-128 megs). I've seen a bunch online and at stores for sale, but anyone here personaly use them and know what a good brand is? I want one that hooks to a keychain and can take a good amount of abuse (I don't care about extra features like security- my main concern is will it break easily and be around for a good while). Any ideas?
posted by jmd82 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
I have a similar problem with my iMac. I went the route of having files permanently online and, in case of quick emergencies, having a couple of CDRWs on hand. Personally, I'm not a fan of keychains. Too much clutter, space in my pocket, chance of damage, etc.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:32 PM on December 24, 2003

In a nutshell, your data will be fine on almost any pocket dongle. If you feel like it, go cheap. Almost all of them are made with the same RAM (if that is the correct term). The only thing you might possibly worry about is the appearance. But your using a PC anyway, so what is the point? (rimshot)
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:45 AM on December 25, 2003

I got a Dell USB keychain with my Dell laptop, and I absolutely love it. Its "shell" is really hard, and it survives just fine at the bottom of my backpack. I don't use it as a keychain, but it does have a hole in it where you can attach one. At 64MB I still boggle at how much data I can transport, and how fast it is. You will definitely not miss your floppy drive once you get one of these.
posted by gatorae at 12:46 AM on December 25, 2003

probbly irrelevant but... i don't have a floppy drive (or an external drive of any kind at all) in my laptop and it's only been a problem once, when installing linux. if that's one of your motivations then google for network install using tftp).
posted by andrew cooke at 4:33 AM on December 25, 2003

If you're looking for something that can double as a keyfob, there's DiskOnKey. Alternatively, does your Vaio have a Memory Stick slot?
posted by mcwetboy at 5:05 AM on December 25, 2003

I have a Lexar 128 MB JumpDrive doohickey, and it's survived every kind of abuse, short of sending it through the washing machine (which I live in fear of doing someday, since I keep it in my pockets a lot). Gets my nod for Most Incredibly Useful Gizmo Ever; I often need to work on large text files on any of three different machines, and it saves me a huge amount of time/hassle I used to have with uploading/downloading, screaming at defective floppies, etc.

It is, of course, a good idea to have any data on it backed up elsewhere, since although these devices seem to be hard to break, they're small enough that they'd be pretty easy to misplace.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:06 AM on December 25, 2003

I got one called Storix which I picked up at Frys. I just did a google to try to find a link for you but it appears I was discontinued.

It looks kind of like the iomega micro mini. What I like is it is quite tiny and there's no cover to lose.
posted by birdherder at 5:58 AM on December 25, 2003

Best answer: I'll echo what others have said. I don't think the brand is all that important. Find one that will fit on your key chain the way you like. My boss gave me one for free a while back which has a brand I've never even heard of. It works great. I think the analogy would be floppy disks of four years ago - You didn't spend a lot of time worrying about what the brand was.

I'll also suggest that you think about a PDA instead. If you get one that can take a memory card you can have the same functionality plus a lot more. If you get something like a Trio 600 you can have this, plus a phone, plus a PDA, plus a wireless broswer, plus a camerea.

In other words - Rather than getting yet another tiny data gadget, think about combining some of your tiny gadgets.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:17 AM on December 25, 2003

I've had a Kanguru drive for a couple of years - never had it fail on me, despite being stuck in the bottom of a bag, dropped on the floor constantly, etc. I wouldn't pay a lot extra for this brand - I'm with most people above, I doubt the brand really matters that much - but if it's close in price, I'd say this one is a winner... (FWIW, mine is formatted with for Windows 2000 and I use it constantly to swap files from my desktop at work to my personal Mac OS X laptop...)
posted by JollyWanker at 8:23 AM on December 25, 2003

Response by poster: Y6^3- Actually, I did happen to get a new Sony Clie PDA for Christmas. I didn't exactly see it coming, but it does have one of those memory-card slots and the PDA can hook up via USB port. Is it possible to just transfer files (namely papers for school to print) to the memory card on the PDA and then hook the PDA up at school without having to install software?
Thanks for all the tips on USB drives!
posted by jmd82 at 9:36 AM on December 25, 2003

Kat Allison -- I've put my thumb drive through the washer three times now and it's still going strong. If it happens to you, let it sit for a couple of days (preferably in a dry environment) before trying to use it again.

It's a generic brand I got off Meritline a year or so ago, so I don't think there's anything special (i.e., not waterproof to 30 meters or some such) about it. Yours can probably survive the same abuse.
posted by joaquim at 10:19 AM on December 25, 2003

I have a Lexar 128 Mb Jump Drive, which has worked well, and just added a 256 Mb SanDisk Cruzer because I found a good deal and wanted the bigger capacity. The SanDisk includes a lanyard in case I want to carry it around my neck (doubtful), and is USB2 (which does nothing for me at the moment).

The sweet spot for price/value is either 128 or 256. Any smaller is a waste of money, IMHO, and any larger is significantly more expensive.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:17 PM on December 25, 2003

I have a sony memory stick. They are pretty cheap construction. One bang and the plastic cover fell off. Of course one dab of crazy glue and it was back on.

You can find them cheap using a deal site like dealnews.
posted by srboisvert at 7:14 PM on December 25, 2003

jmd82 - Yes, you might need to install software to go with the PDA short cut. That could be a problem. But perhaps not. XP will sometimes have drivers for various PDAs. But I don't suppose they're running XP at school.............
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:24 PM on December 25, 2003


Based on JollyWanker's comment and my particular needs: Win 98/Win 2000 USB 1.1/2.0 compatibility I purchased a 256 Meg Kanguru Micro Drive 2.0.

So far it has allowed me to move data between isolated PCs and I'm quite pleased with this simple solution to my needs.

Thanks AskMeFi!
posted by DBAPaul at 3:04 PM on January 5, 2004

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