What to do with old small capacity pendrive/thumbdrive – part 1

We are old and small , but still useful!!

We are old and small , but still useful!!

Every time when there  is new pendrive/thumbdrive with larger released in the market, you will buy it for your mp3, movie, porn, iso…..junk files.  It is fun to have small little tiny things with more capacity. End up you will have bunch of pendrive laying around your offices.

I love to reuse the old devices for other purposes. I have few suggestion on for the old pendrive:

  1. Load Linux into pendrive and apply it as rescue disk. Suggest Backtrack 3 on a 1GB pendrive.
  2. Backup device for your Linux and Windows PC

For point number 1 , i have my 1GB pendrive loaded with backtrack3 and Fedora. Backtrack3 is very useful when you need to :

  • Reset windows local administrator password
  • Check volume group data in Live CD mode
  • Copy data from a dead OS(both windows and Linux)
  • many more……

Point number 2 is my favorite part. I have 512GB mounted to my PC as my permanent backup device for my critical documents. You will need:

1.Cygwin installed with rsync

-Cygwin is a powerful opensource developed to simulate *nix environment. You are able to use *nix command in windows and it is powerful.

-rsync is a simple yet powerful script widely used in *nix for sync process.  Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rsync for more info.

2. Simple script(bak.bat) to trigger for backup with Scheduler.

bak.bat content

Scheduled Task in Windows XP

Scheduled Task in Windows XP

rsync -avz –delete /cygdrive/c/’Documents and Settings’/tiwlim/’My Documents’/NCS /cygdrive/x
touch /cygdrive/x/done.flag

Line 1

rsync -avz –delete /cygdrive/c/’Documents and Settings’/tiwlim/’My Documents’/NCS /cygdrive/x

-avz means copy everything from source (including the permission and display the output).

–delete means compare source and destination, the destination must have whatever source is having. EG: if destination has b.txt and source does not has b.txt , b.txt will be deleted in destination.

/cygdrive/c/ is the c drive.

/cygdrive/x is my pendrive mounted to “My Computer” as X drive.

Line 2

touch /cygdrive/x/done.flag

create a done.flag once the rsync is completed.This is to let you know when is the last update.

Most of the time, the document did not consume much space. I have only 512MB pendrive mounted as my backup devices.


  1. Haha…you have many pendrives..I lost half of mine.

  2. Indeed, to be able to buy a box of, say, 16 1Gb drives for roughly the price of a single 16Gb drive would be highly useful, if only as a modern alternative to floppy disks for cheaply passing files to your friends (especially those who are less computer-literate). Now if only any of them were available!

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