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There's USB sticks and there's USB sticks...

Last response: in Storage
March 18, 2011 1:06:44 PM

A friend of mine has industrial equipment that allows user to load programs via a USB stick. His stick is now semi-broken, so I backed up his stick's data. I also analysed it using Windows Disk Management snap-in, and contained a single FAT32 partition.

I have 2 sticks. I tried both, and only one would actually work with the industrial equipment. I noted it was the stick that was capable of booting my PC when I put Linux on it (the other won't)

I now need to buy a USB stick like mine. Can anyone tell me what spec it is I'm looking for ?

More about : usb sticks usb sticks

Best solution

a c 130 G Storage
March 18, 2011 1:38:35 PM

I'm guessing one stick was FAT32, the other had NTFS on it.

A. you need to find out what the vendor of the equipment recommends
B. will help if you listed the brand and model of the USB drives you have that work and that does not work.

I'm betting though it's not the actual USB stick that is causing this, rather the file system format used on it.
March 28, 2011 9:58:18 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I was unable to identify the type of USB stick required from the vendor of the industrial equipment. Here's how I solved the problem.

I had another look at the USB stick that DID work with the equipment. I used Windows Administrative Tools > Disk Management

It was FAT32 partition and was noted as "active" by windows. In other words it was a bootable partition.

The next question for me was how to make a USB stick bootable, in other words was capable of booting from a computer.

I found everything I needed at

Specifically I used an HP application to format and install a bootable partition here:

Lastly, I turned on the options in windows to view any system or hidden files on the USB stick to make sure I copied any proprietary files over to the newly formated USB stick.

Bingo - a brand new 8GB USB stick formatted as bootable and read perfectly by the industrial equipment. Hope this is of help to anyone in a similar predicament.
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a b G Storage
March 28, 2011 4:14:32 PM

Thanks - it's always nice when someone shares the solution to their problem!
April 10, 2011 9:49:36 AM

Best answer selected by daxtrajero.