USB thumb drives for promotional purpose

How to maximize the potential of USB drive for promotional usage?

No doubt about it, USB drives are taking the role as the major media for portable digital storage.  Compared with compact discs USB drives are even more compact and the capacity can go up to 64GB even a dual-layer Blu-ray is put to shame. Giving out a USB drive as promotional item has many advantages over other gift items.  For one thing you know the recipient will keep it and use it.

Before making your decision in purchasing USB thumb drives for promotional purpose, there are few factors you may want to consider carefully.

Capacity

To encourage people to keep your USB drive you need to have a decent capacity. What’s the point of keeping a USB drive that has only 512MB or less? Don’t forget that nowadays a one-hour video can occupy couple of gigabytes easily and if your USB drive capacity is too low people will tend to set it aside. 4GB or more is the norm nowadays.

One physical drive, two logical drives

When people chain your USB to their key-chain or just put into their pocket, whatever you print on the USB drive will eventually go away because of friction; especially when the logo and text are printed on metal. There is no silkscreen ink that will stick forever. If you want to retain the identity of your USB drive, what else can be better than storing the information about you or your company on the USB drive itself? A link to re-direct to your website, some product catalogs in PDF, for example.

But what if the user erases such information? Well, you can configure your USB drive in such a way that they cannot erase the information you put in. For instance, you can create two partitions with two logical drives; one with your content on it and it is read-only and inerasable while leaving the other totally writable. That way every time when the users plug the USB drive into their computers they will see two drives as shown in the diagram below.

My computer

Before USB plugged in

My Computer with dual partition USB drive

After USB plugged in

Buy from a reliable supplier

USB price has a big range depending on the capacity and source. You can get quote from $3 to $8 for a 4GB USB drive. Why such a big gap? There are many reasons but let’s just touch a couple of them here. The one selling you at $3 is probably cheating you with either reclaimed chips that have been rejected by the chip manufacturer, or overstating the capacity by altering the capacity using special software. The one selling you at $8 is too greedy or just want you to pay for the golf game he has had with you. But paying $8 doesn’t automatically shield you from being cheated with sub-quality USBs. My point is: find one that you can trust and ask for reference. Raise technical questions and if the salesperson can only hem and haw around then you should try to avoid such companies.

New Cyberian

New Cyberian has been selling USB drives since 2006. Our engineers are savvy chip designers and they know USB from the ground up. If you need reliable USB drives contact us and we will be glad to provide references to you. Companies that have bought USB drives from us include: The United Nations, UC Berekeley, US Government Printing Office, State of California, and some Fortune 500 companies.

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9 thoughts on “USB thumb drives for promotional purpose

  1. Hi,

    We use command line tools developed by ourselves and I don’t think there are any generic tools on the market that can do the dual-partition on USB. I could be wrong though and if anyone of you know any software does that please feel free to post it here.

  2. Wow! how come I never thought of that – dual partitions with one unerasable. that’s slick! ok, get to business. Any additional cost for doing that? Please advise.

    • hi usb master,

      No, we don’t charge more for doing such partition. You just need to tell us how much space you want to reserve for read-only partition and we can do that for you for free.

  3. This concept is not new. There are tutorials on the web teach how to do that. The reason why you cannot use Widnows’ built-in disk manager is that Windows does not allow more than one partition on “Removable Drives.” For that reason you have to somehow fool Windows that the flash drive is a “Fixed Disk.” Basically the tricks fall into these categories.

    1. Use Lexa BootIt.exe utility to flip the RMB bit in the flash drive controller.
    2. Install some filter driver as described by Agni’s YouTube video

    • hi,

      the two methods you mention suffer from the following problems.

      1. Lexa BootIt only works on certain chips. The program is pretty old and I tried it on few of popular usb brands but it didn’t work at all. It even messed up my usb drives and i had to use other utilities to fix that.

      2. Filter drive only works on 32-bit OS. If you have a 32-bit os then it works for you. But when you give out as a promotional item, first you cannot expect all recipients are on 32-bit OS, Second of all, you should not require the recipients to have to install anything in order to make the drive work.

      I gave up doing by myself. New Cyberian did a great job for me instead.

  4. Vista print also sells usb drives and your prices are about 40% lower than theirs. Is there any catch? I am about to order 100 and I am curious to know why there is such wide price difference.

    • Hi Angela,

      Thanks for letting us know about vistaprint. The answer is simple, market economy. Vistaprint spends tons of money on advertisement and it’s normal for them to sell higher to cover their expense. New Cyberian, on the other hand, depends on word-of-mouth. If we provide good products, good services and good prices, I am sure you will tell your friends about them.

  5. I have some questions;
    1) can the read only partition be made so that any software I put on there can either be copy protected or have an id file that my software can check for that a normal copy of the software will not get?
    2) would I be able to write once to the special partition and then lock it afterwords?
    3) Can the the drive letter of the writable drive be locked so that I can load software to run off the read only drive to the open drive?

    I have a software package I want to sell in a way that it cant be copied and used anywhere other then this USB drive.

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