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Verbatim Store 'n' Go 256MB USB Drive
Page 1 - Introduction & Installation
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: March 21, 2004
Category: Hardware
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Verbatim Store 'n' Go 256MB USB Drive

In a high tech world where everyone is always on the go, data mobility is a key issue. While there are several ways to tackle this problem, like remote server and disk storage, many people have opted for new USB drives (also called thumb drives among other things). The newest generation of USB storage devices are fast (USB 2.0), tiny, and getting cheaper. I have on hand a Verbatim Store 'n' Go 256MB USB Drive. I will attempt to discover if this thumb drive runs with the pack, falls behind, or raises the bar.

Let me start out with a brief list of specifications for Store 'n' Go drive (see below).

Verbatim Store 'n' Go
Capacity 256 MB
Interface USB 2.0
Data Life Expectancy 10 Years
Password Security Yes (Windows 98, 98SE, ME,2000, XP)
Operating System Compatibility Windows (98, 98SE, ME,2000, XP, CE 3.0),
MacOS 8.6 and higher, Linux (kernel 2.4.0 and higher)

Based on first impressions, the only thing that differentiates this memory sticks from others I have used is that it has password security built into it. The operating system compatibility list is pretty comprehensive. Just remember that, as with all thumb drives, you will need drivers for older versions of Windows. This is generally not a big deal for most.

The Packaging
The Packaging
The Backside
The Backside

The 256MB Store 'n' Go comes with a short instruction manual, lanyard, USB extension cable, and an installation/driver CD. Compared to previous drives I have used, this is a pretty standard offering, at least for modern USB flash drives. In particular, I like the tiny CD. This compliments the portability that a thumb drive embodies.

Package Contents
Package Contents

Installation is an optional thing. In fact, you could probably use this drive and a few years from now never have used the accompanying CD. However, if you want to take advantage of the security feature you will have to use the CD (unless you get the software online).

One of the interesting things about this drive is that you can setup separate partitions: one secure, the other public. To set this up, you need to install the Store 'n' Go software. When I put the CD in (a tray load) CD-ROM drive, it did not 'autoread' and popup a dialog box. I had to explore the CD and double click the English install. Not a big deal really, but it was worth mentioning. Aside from that, you follow the steps and the software is installed fairly easily.

Initial Options
Initial Options
Partitioning Options
Partitioning Options

With the newly launched software, you can activate or deactivate a password protected, secure partition on the drive. The most space you can allocate to the secure partition is 248.5 MB. This, I am pretty sure, is due to the fact that the format puts the setup software on the public partition. This is done to allow access to the secure portion of the flash drive without bringing your setup CD around with you everywhere you go. It is good thinking, if you ask me anyway. The downside of the available security option is that Verbatim did not include any software for Linux or Mac OS, so the security is a Windows-only feature.

Format Warning
Format Warning

When you repartition the drive to add or subtract secure space the drive has to be formatted. The software warns you ahead of time, just in case you forget to backup anything you want to keep. The format takes a few seconds (informing you of its progress with a status bar) and then alerts you of its success when you're done.

Verbatim also has a solution to the inevitable situation when someone forgets their password. The software that is installed from the CD (or the drive if you've added a secure partition) includes a program called RecoverDisk. Basically, this allows someone who has forgotten their password to format the disk back to its original state. This does mean that anyone who gets a hold of the drive can clean out your data; but, it also means your sensitive data will be fairly secured. I should note that when you are setting up your secure partition you are given a chance to enter a password reminder. However, it is nice to know you can get the use of your disk back even if you have completely forgotten everything.

Size Comparison
Size Comparison
Take Your Top Off!
Take Your Top Off!

The drive worked perfectly in all the systems I tested it on (including my Linux server) that were running one of the compatible operating systems. The Store 'n' Go is semi-transparent red and had a red LED that flashes with drive activity, otherwise it has a slow, steady pulse. The thumb drive is very small; it's as small as my aging 16MB Trek ThumbDrive Smart. Kudos go to Verbatim's design team on a small, light weight, and stylish USB memory drive.

Main Page
Testing & Conclusion

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