What Is a Flash Drive?

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A flash drive is a small piece of equipment used to store and transfer information for computers using a USB. Use the USB end of a flash drive to store music, photos or other documents from a computer with information from a certified computer technician in this free video on computers.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Basics
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Video Transcript

I'm Jonathan Ayres with Network For Success, and today we're going to talk about, what is a flash drive. Well gosh, a flash drive is a mechanical piece of equipment that is used to store information from computers. Sometimes thought of as just the same as a hard drive, which would be the part of your computer that stores all of your information. They're very small so you can carry them around in your pocket, and they're static, which means they don't need any power to run on, you don't have to have an electrical cord to plug them in, but you do have to have a computer to plug them in to in order to use them, so they're not just stand alone devices. Well I have two examples of flash drives here, and I'm going to show you both of them and tell you a little bit about some of the qualities. The first one that I have here is called a Flash Voyager, it happens to be by the manufacturer called Corsair, and it looks just like this. Now you'll notice that this one as a soft rubber casing to protect it from dropping, and there's a cover that goes over the end. But here's the end that plugs into the computer, and that's a USB end. So the Universal Serial Bus is what USB stands for and this is how you transfer information between this flash drive and the computer. So inside of this rubber casing there is some little chips, some computer chips that store information, and it's called a flash drive because it doesn't have any moving parts, you just merge the data onto the drive and it stays there. This is one type of flash drive and it come in various sizes, starting down around what they call 256, which is very, very small, and ranging up to 16 or 32 gigabytes, which is huge, you can store thousands of photos on one of these, or MP3s, you can store your music on them. And basically you can store anything on a flash drive that you can store on your computer. Now here's another type of flash drive which is very interesting, it has a hard plastic case, and this is a generic flash drive. And I'll tell you why this is generic. I take the end off and you can see that it has a USB to plug into the computer, but wait a minute, it has another end to take off, and that reveals a little card inside. And if you see here, I'm going to pull this card out, this is the actual storage device, and it's called an SD card, and it fits right in here to give me a flash drive once it's assembled, then I can carry this around with me. Now what's nice about this is, because I can take the card out and I still have the device, I can change cards at any time to large or smaller sizes. Not only that, I could put pictures on this card, take the card out and stick it into one of these little media settings on a printer and look at my photos. So there are a couple of different flash drive that are available, they're inexpensive, they're easy to use, and you don't need much in the way of knowledge to operate them.

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