How to speed up slow USB Flash Drives

By · Thursday, March 10th, 2011

How to speed up slow USB Flash DrivesWe all have old flash drives roaming around for one reason or another, perhaps in a desk drawer or in an old coffee mug somewhere, but did you know that you cannot continue to use your old drives, but you can actually increase their performance as well? Older flash drives tend to have smaller capacities and lower read/write speeds, but that does not mean they are useless. By following the USB tip below, you too can increase the performance of your old USB drives to make them useable once again!

Step 1: Open up “My Computer”.
Step 2: Right-Click your desired Flash drive, then select “Properties” from the popup window.
Step 3: Find and click the “Hardware” tab.
Step 4: Select your USB drive again from the list of available drives.
Step 5: Once your drive is selected, hit the “Properties” button near the lower-right corner of your menu.
Step 6: Click on the “Policies” Tab.
Step 7: Select “Optimize for Performance”
Step 8: Click “OK” to finish the optimization.

All we have done so far is tell your computer how you want to handle the USB Drive. In order to achieve much faster speeds, we need to actually format the USB drive.

Note: Before you format your USB drive, BACKUP all your files on the USB drive. Formatting will permanently erase all your files on the drive!

Step 1: Open up “My Computer”.
Step 2: Right-Click your desired Flash drive, then select “Format” from the popup window.
Step 3: Under File System, Select “NTFS” if you are running a newer version of Windows such as Vista or Windows 7, or select “FAT 16” if you are running an older version of Windows.

Note: If you cannot see NTFS as an option, it means your computer has write caching turned off and must be enabled. Also XP users will not see a performance boost by formatting to NTFS.

Step 4: Hit “Start” and your computer will begin formatting your USB drive. Press OK when finished.

You should now have a much faster USB flash drive! However it should be noted that depending on your operating system as well as your USB drive itself, performance gains vary.

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