Thumb Drive Basics:
shipped over four identical 512MB thumb drives for this experiment, offering us up to 2GB of storage space to experiment with.
The drives ship in the fairly generic packaging shown below, and include the drive, a lanyard, and a brief instruction manual. The back of the packaging indicates one particularly interesting bit of data, and that is that these drives are bootable. If RAID can be successfully set up on a thumb drive RAID array, it would be very cool to make it bootable.
Each drive is labeled with "Version G 512MB" and has a green translucent plastic shell surrounding a silver core. The plastic cap wasn't particularly easy to get on, although it came off with minimal effort. Of all the thumb drives I have owned, I anticipate losing the caps to these the quickest!
The image below shows one of the Version G drives next to a 512MB Sandisk Cruzer Micro. They are roughly the same size, and quite small.
has a large selection of various thumb drives, but they no longer carry these particular drives, and as we will see, it is no big loss.
As mentioned, the first issue I had with these drives was the caps, but that was wound up being only a minor issue/concern. After only a few minutes of use, one of the USB connectors became loose, or so I thought. The green plastic housing was now able to rattle around the USB connector, giving it an even flimsier feel, and I was sure to handle all of them even more delicately.
After only a day of use, all of the drives were now in this condition. I actually laughed out loud at what happened next... The green plastic shell fell right off of one of the drives! With the bottom half on my desk, I lifted the top half off of the crumbling drive to reveal a small PCB with a red LED on one end, a USB connector on the other end, and a 512MB Hynix memory chip in the middle. The reason for the rattle was now evident, as the whole thing was supposed to be held together by a tiny dab of hot melt glue. Not the best method for assembling sensitive electronics, especially when you don't use enough to reach from one surface to the mating surface. Prying the other drives open revealed the same scenario; an undersized dab of glue.