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USB keys for promotional use

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January 26, 2011 1:31:00 PM

How would I go about setting up USB keys to contain a showreel for a production company such that the movie file cannot be deleted or modified.

We have 100 of these things so a means of making the process less arduous would also be helpful. We use Macs so a MacOs solution is preferable but if this can't be done satisfactorily windows can be used as last resort. I don't know if it makes a difference but also the means of achieving this locking should be effective on both PC and Mac.

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a c 302 G Storage
January 26, 2011 4:46:46 PM

You sort of need to start with USB keys that can be made read-only. There's lots of info on the forums about them getting that way accidentally, but not write-once drives.

To duplicate them, you could
Copy them one at a time until you are sick of it
Buy one of these: http://www.discmakers.com/duplicators/usb/
Find a commercial firm that does this and pay them. I kind of recommend the latter approach; such a firm would also know how to write-lock them.

Sorry that I can't give you a good answer.

Edit: Sandisk makes them in Flash cards for forensic imaging: http://www.sandisk.com/about-sandisk/press-room/press-r... . Not quite what you wanted, though.
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January 27, 2011 1:37:06 PM

Wow thanks for the effort put in to that. I'm wondering how in depth I need to be with this, I guess I don't mind if any one really determined wants to delete this file I'd just like to make it a little bit difficult so it's not the first thing someone does when they get a free pen drive without bothering to look at the movie. I was thinking it might be something along the lines of just changing the permissions but I wonder if I change them is it simply a matter of clicking 'get info' for Mac OS or 'Properties' for windows and changing the permissions in order to delete it? That might just a little bit too easy for them. The partition idea is interesting, but then again, I don't know if I want to do that 100 times and I guess we'er really highly unlikely to plod a lot of cash for this one application.

Am I on the right track with permissions or is that something people can circumvent in a matter of seconds with just a right click? Again, I'm not looking for fort knox security here just enough so that people are more likely to just accept that the file is there to stay and be reminded of the company every time they use the stick and have access to the file if they ever think about it. Normal use of the drive apart from being unable to delete or modify the file is desired.
a c 302 G Storage
January 27, 2011 2:29:24 PM

I truly don't know; you are either going to have to get info from someone more experienced than I am with this, hire a company to make them, or do some experimenting. :D  There are quite a few threads here from people complaining that their USB drives got write-locked and can't be written to. :D 

It can be almost done. Look up "U3". I had a few Sandisk sticks that came with U3 installed. The disk had two partitions; one behaved like a USB stick and one like a CD. Unless you had autoplay disabled (which I always do; I am paranoid) it would run its U3 menu every time I plugged one in. And I could not delete the U3 partition. Ultimately, Sandisk was forced, by popular outrage, to post a utility to remove that partition.

This sounds good enough for what you want. That leaves us with two problems: One, I can't tell you how to do this. Two, even if you figure it out, 100 copies will be a large investment of your time unless you hire a company to do it.

If you will be handing these out to an audience that is actually interested in products / services like yours, consider just putting the video and an "autorun.inf" file on the drives and marking them read-only. It's so much less effort, and gives you a little of what you want.

If you are going to make them yourself, buy a few USB hubs so you can have ten running at a time. You don't start all the copies at once; you can go round-robin so that by the time you've started the tenth you can unmount the first drive and start the eleventh. True, sharing the bandwidth will slow down the copy speed, but it's the human-time that's important to you.
April 11, 2014 2:32:30 AM

USB can be used to install or upload large amount of files, at a very fast pace. Promotional USB can be used to set a brand status as well as help in data storage.
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