10 Creative Uses for a USB Flash Drive

By MakeTechEasier.com

10 Creative Uses for a USB Flash Drive

USB flash drives are a cheap and portable way to back up files and move them around between machines. But as cloud storage becomes cheaper and WiFi more accessible, flash drives aren’t as necessary as they once were. You probably now have a couple sitting around in a drawer that rarely ever get used. If you want to breathe new life into your old USB flash drives, here are ten things you may have never known they could do.

1. Install a Linux distribution

Most Linux distributions can be booted from live CDs as a means of trying them out before giving them a full install. In recent years, the trend has shifted towards creating live USBs instead. You can download the appropriate software for your distro of choice and burn an image to your flash drive, creating a means of testing out and installing Linux that is more durable than a CD-ROM. USB drives can hold more data than CDs, allowing you to boot up distros that are too large to fit on a disk.

2. Boot a Persistent OS

If you want something more permanent than a live USB, which do not save any changes you make, you can install several distributions directly to your flash drive. This way you can boot up your own personal operating system on other peoples’ computers and still have access to the files you’ve created and the programs you’ve installed. Pendrivelinux is one option, but at this point in time, even the major distributions such as Ubuntu supported persistent booting.

3. Run Portable Apps

PortableApps.com allows Windows users to bring their favorite programs and files with them on a flash drive without having to boot into a new operating system. When you plug in your flash drive, you can open what amounts to a separate, portable “Start” menu. Not every application is supported, and you may still have to transition to using open source applications to fully take advantage of Portable Apps. If you would prefer an alternative, there’s also LiberKey and winPenPack.

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This excerpt is shared with permission from maketecheasier.com.

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