Flash drives with no protective cap

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 9la, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Why is it that almost all flash drives now have no removable protective cap? When I carry them in my pocket, they get lint (or worse) in the USB connector. The slide (retractable) type offers no real protection. And it's even hard to find the swivel type, which does not offer much protection anyway. Some flash drives do not have any type of cover over the connector, you just plug them in and play.

    This is an advancement? Another design change which results in an inferior rather than improved product. I suspect the explanation is that it benefits the manufacturer somehow.

    Kingston was manufacturing drives with a removable cap, but the cases are so fat now that I can't plug two of them in next to each other anymore.
    Randoms likes this.
  2. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    Most people lose them or throw them away. Companies still make models with caps. Caps that are more robust than those rubber ones that used to be included with all USB thumb drives. But if you want one with a cap, you have to pay the higher price of the more robust caps. These caps generally provide weatherproofing. I still have a bunch of those rubber caps in my desk drawer if I ever need one. But I've had an all metal one on my keychain for years that works perfectly. I almost never have anything on it. I keep just in situations where someone want to hand over a document or some pictures. For the most part, even the thumb drive isn't even necessary. You can e-mail me or transfer the files to my phone over a connection using my phone's WiFi connection. Still there are times when I get a GB or pictures that I'd rather not use up all the juice on the phone's batter to get them. So I keep the that thumb drive handy.
  3. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    First world problems?
  4. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al

    I've been known to break the cases on flash drives to make them smaller, and throw them in my pocket after that. They still last years and are cheap anyway.
  5. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Michigan, USA
    I agree with all of the above. The price of thumb drives means they're basically disposable these days. I have like 5 in every drawer, lol. Besides, anything that contains important data shouldn't be floating around with your pocket lint anyway.
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I have no problems with the retractables, etc...they all hang out in a plastic case away from the elements......
    greelywinger and DavidD like this.
  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    That could be the name of the whole Audio Hardware forum, couldn’t it?
    9la, BruceS, SKBubba and 1 other person like this.
  8. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Some computer manufacturers simply put the USB ports too close to one another, but like so many components USB drives are simply getting cheaper and design common sense has sometimes gone out of the window.
    9la likes this.
  9. Chilli

    Chilli Pretend Engineer.

  10. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
  11. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Uh, no, you should be able to carry a flash drive in your pocket without contaminating it.

    I tried to make clear in my original post that retractables are still open at the connector end, allowing debris to enter.

    Fine, but first you need to find a seller who carries the model that you want. I actually spent hours looking at a large NYC retailer online before making the original post.

    Yeah, but why should someone need to buy a separate accessory to carry a simple item like a flash drive?

    I spent some time wording the problem, but I guess it's more complicated than I thought.
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I understand that but as I SAID IT DOES NOT BOTHER ME. : )
  13. Martin Takamine

    Martin Takamine spinning black and silver

    I grab 3 USB flash drives I had in a drawer and the 1 I use for MP3s in my truck. They all have holes for attaching a lanyard so no need to stuff 'em in pockets.

  14. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm glad it does not bother you, but you also said that the retractables are IN A CASE AWAY FROM THE ELEMENTS, which is not true (since the end is open). That's the problem I have with them.
    Michael likes this.
  15. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, fine, but even on a keychain instead of in a pocket, debris can get into the open end.
  16. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    gotcha...; )
    9la likes this.
  17. jkauff

    jkauff Putin-funded Forum Troll

    Akron, OH
    Do you have a Microcenter store near you? They have store-brand drives with caps, often on sale. I bought a bunch of 32GB USB 3.0 drives from them recently at $4.99 each. I use them in my car, and they've been reliable so far.
    9la likes this.
  18. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    If you are worried about your USB drive being damaged, pick up a Patriot XT. They have a cap, and are covered in a thick, protective rubber coating. Don't worry about the weird brand, Patriot is well known amongst DIY computer builders for their memory products.
    guitarguy likes this.
  19. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    No, I'm alive (so far) in a backward fascist state. But I am looking at the Micro Center website, thanks.
  20. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    I can understand the issue when they are in your pocket. I keep a pencil case in my work bag with small cables and USB drives in it.
    I'm sure someone could make a USB drive similar to the slide in ones with a cap that retracts when you slide it out but stays attached to the body.
    Maybe something like a Zippo but with a lid that folds all they way back so it fits beside other ports.

    You can buy new caps here:
    USB Caps | USB Covers | USB Plugs | USB Port Covers | Phone 1-877-842-3551 | USB Caps that fit any standard USB connector, memory stick and flash drive
    9la likes this.
  21. Carrman

    Carrman Forum Resident

    If you're a heavy thumb drive user you can buy bulk, customized drives here:

    Custom USB Flash Drives Imprinted with your Logo

    I've used the credit card style ones for indie album releases in the past. Great as you can actually put album art on them.
    Also, the card type have bare terminals on them so they don't collect lint!

    Also, the key shaped ones are great to have on your key chain. I've had one with my keys in my pocket for about 5 years with no issues.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  22. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I've carried them in my pocket and on my keychain for years without a cap and never had an issue. I would rather risk it and occasionally blow them out than keep up with a cap anyway.
  23. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Ideally the cap would be attached to the case somehow, or you could put it on the opposite end while using the drive.
  24. guitarguy

    guitarguy Tone Meister

    Planet Earth
    Enter “USB drive with cap” into the search on Amazon and get 20 pages of listings...
    These look kind of cool in a 4x4 kind of way: Gorilla Drive

    I also noticed a bunch of listings for little dust caps sold by the Pack of 40 for 6.99
  25. 9la

    9la Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Most of the 20 pages of listings at Amazon are NOT drives with removable caps.

    Thanks, but the cases are too fat for my PC USB ports (see OP).

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