Sunday, February 18, 2007

ReadyBoost Redux

If you've followed my blog, you'll know that my experience with ReadyBoost has been painful. The most recent problem has been that the Apacer HT203 thumb drive isn't recognized as a USB 2.0 drive. Whenever I plug it in, Vista (or Windows XP on another system) gives the error that the "drive would perform better if plugged into a high speed port." Since Windows thought the device was USB 1.0, ReadyBoost wouldn't work at all. This fixed the hanging problem, but not the way I intended.

Previously, I had written Apacer to try and get help with the system hangs. Apacer technical support did finally respond. They hadn't heard of my problem before (predictably) but gave me a utility to low level format the drive, which I tried but it didn't help. (Note: it costs about $15 in postage, round trip, to send a thumb drive to Apacer for repairs. My recommendation - if the drive is 1GB or less, throw it away and buy a new one.)

Tonight I was tinkering with the drive again and tried to format the drive in Windows, just for chuckles. At which point I realized that Windows had previously formatted the drive as FAT instead of FAT32. I reformatted the device as FAT32, unplugged the device, plugged it back in, and suddenly it worked again as a USB 2.0 device!

Unfortunately the device failed again after a few hours, so I'm assuming it's a bad thumb drive and I'll replace it.

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