Flash Drives Need LEDs


My flash drive is probably worth more than my laptop. I wouldn’t want to have to spend enormous hours repeating my work lost since my last backup.

The flash thumb stick could get destroyed if I pull it out of its slot at the wrong moment. The interruption of electricity at the wrong instant of time can kill the flash. If the computer is still writing to the flash when someone tugs it out, it’s not just that unsaved work is lost, the entire flash and everything on it can become forever unreadable. It’s happened. So, we need to know if access is still going on. Your operating system may not tell you that. The icon on the screen may be irrelevant.

What’s helpful is that the flash drive’s LED tells you if access is underway. Sometimes, the LED is on, or blinking, when it should be off. If you can’t get it to turn off any other way, such as by using an Eject command, then the sleep command or a warm reboot will, in my experience, always do the trick. If necessary, use the shutdown command to power down completely.

Dim LEDs are annoying, but at least the LEDs are present. It’s on you to remember that the LED is there even though it’s hard to see.

The LED lowers the risk. It’s a whale of a lot cheaper to buy a flash drive with an LED. Manufacturers that don’t include LEDs likely enjoy selling more flash drives every week. Don’t use a flash that doesn’t have an LED.