USB user guide

Also known as thumb, flash  or pen drives, USB memory sticks represent the most popular form of removable media for personal computers. We recommend their use on both Mac &  PCs in shared learning spaces. They are compatible with all installed computers in shared learning spaces. They are an easy to use,  high capacity, reliable and fast means of transporting files between computers.

Read this user guide for instructions on how to use your USB memory stick with  PCs & Macs in shared learning spaces.

Formatting USB devices

  • USB devices formatted on a PC can be read by both Macs and PCs
  • USB devices formatted on a Mac using the default Mac OS volume format cannot be read by PCs - you must format your USB device using the MS-DOS (FAT) volume format if you want to use it on a PC

For more information see your computer's documentation.

This table  gives a brief outline of the pros & cons of the most commonly used forms of removable/reusable media.

DeviceProsCons
CD-R
  • CD drives available on all computers in shared teaching spaces
  • Fast data transfer time
  • Cheap.
  • Data can only be written to disc once
  • Easily scratched
  • Can be confusing for novice computer users
CD-RW
  • CD drives available on all computers in shared teaching spaces
  • Fast data transfer time
  • Reusable
  • Cheap.
  • Easily scratched
  • Can be confusing for novice computer users
USB memory stick
  • Easy to carry
  • Many storage sizes (from 128MB to 16GB+)
  • Fast data transfer time
  • Reusable
  • Compatible with all computers in shared learning spaces.
  • Easily lost