Can you delete files from pre-loaded Promotional USB Memory sticks?

Picture the scenario. You have just taken receipt of your bright new USB Branded Memory sticks for an event that is due to commence in 2 days. You load the first of the USB Memory Sticks into your PC and to your horror you discover that the data has been loaded incorrectly or there is an error with the original information provided.  Apart from putting a wet towel over you head what options do you have? He’s a list of things that may help:

  1. Try to minimise the risk of this happening in the first place. Ensure your Custom USB supplier provides you with screen grabs of the data for sign off. Ideally ask for a pre-production sample of your Branded USB Memory sticks with the data preload. This way there little risk of any issues in the future.
  2. If the data is not protected or has an autorun. Then there are some easy solutions:• Delete the data from the memory sticks and re-load. Doing these individually is a painful and slow process and is not recommended for batches of over 100 units, unless you have an army of people to throw at this. This process is also prone to quality issues.• There are several data duplication companies in the UK that can take the Branded Memory sticks and format and reload the data relatively easily and quickly.  They can process up to 3000 memory sticks within a few hours. Job done.
  3. The nightmare scenario! If the memory sticks are data-protected or have an autorun it becomes far more complex. No surprise, as by the very nature the Promotional USB Memory Sticks are engineered to stop end users doing exactly what you want to do, namely delete and change the data. The software required to do this will be dependant on the controller that the Branded Memory Stick has been loaded with. The controller is the mini operating system that all USB Memory sticks have. Again there are several options to resolve this.• Return back to the manufacturer. They have the technology to format and reload the data, but the downside is that it will take time to return to the Far East, get them reloaded and shipped back. You would need to allow up to 2 weeks for this.• Some USB Providers will have the software to allow the data to be deleted in the UK. If not, ask them to try to obtain from the manufacturer. This would allow them to delete the data. Then the next challenge would be reloading the data. The easiest thing to do would be to load the new data with no protection or an autorun. However, if this is a pre-requisite then there are a few UK Data Duplication companies that have the capabilities of loading the data with copy protection and autorun. Again this will be dependant on the controller that is on the Branded USB Memory Drive.

The moral of this story is to ensure that you minimise the risk of this happening, by having a pre-production sample produced. Otherwise you will be entering a very stressful process and that towel will continue to get wetter!

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