External Flash Drive

An external flash drive, also known as a thumb drive, is a removable storage device that connects to a USB port. An external flash drive, as shown in Figure 1, uses the same type of nonvolatile memory chips as a solid state drive (SSD). As a result, flash drives provide fast access to data, high reliability, and reduced power usage.

External flash drives expand the amount of storage space on a laptop and can connect to USB ports. These drives are accessed by the operating system in the same way that other types of drives are accessed.

Flash Cards and Flash Card Readers

A flash card is a data storage device that uses flash memory to store information. Flash cards are small, portable, and require no power to maintain data. They are commonly used in laptops, mobile devices, and digital cameras. A large variety of flash card models are available, and each varies in size and shape. Most modern laptops feature a flash card reader for Secure Digital (SD) and Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) flash cards, as shown in Figure 2. A flash card reader on a standard laptop is shown in Figure 3.

NOTE: Flash memory cards are hot-swappable and should be removed by following the standard procedure for hot-swappable device removal.