How to Use a Memory Stick

Level of difficulty: Beginner

The term memory stick references a removable flash memory card architecture launched and popularized by Sony in the later part of 1998 and interchangeably has also been used to identify a USB port-based flash drive that acts as a storage media device for various computer platforms. The popularity of this type of storage media hardware comes in the heels of the inclusion of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) capabilities in majority of newer Operating System platforms that recognize the device immediately after it is plugged into the USB port and allow it to be used almost instantaneously. Boasting of a faster transfer speed and higher storage capability compared to other storage formats like the floppy disk and CD or DVD media, it has become a viable alternative not only for transferring and sharing files but for supporting backup procedures as well. The proliferation of this storage media format has also given rise to the development of various devices that support its deployment like card readers, digital cameras, portable gaming consoles, media players, and even mobile phones among others.

Materials Needed:
- Computer with USB port
- memory stick or flash drive
- card reader if necessary
- UPnP-capable Operating System
Step 1
In order to use a memory stick with a UPnP-capable Operating System, remove the cap first or extend the tab (whatever is appropriate) in order to expose the USB plug of the device. For memory sticks without a USB connector, a card reader is required (assuming the computer has no memory stick reader slot).
Step 2
Plug the memory stick into any vacant USB port that may be located either at the front or back panels of the machine.
Step 3
The first time the device is plugged into the machine, the Operating System will attempt to identify it and will display an alert to the message stating that a new hardware has been found (or something to that effect) and that the necessary driver is being installed. Wait for a confirmation message from the Operating System that the device is ready for use. On subsequent usage, the device will be automatically identified by the system.
Step 4
Once the device is ready for use, it can be explored the same way as a hard drive, floppy disk, or a CD or DVD media. Unless the user has modified the volume of the memory stick, it is usually labeled as removable disk. Double click on its icon to view its contents.
Step 5
To copy files to the memory stick, navigate to where the source file is located and open a separate window for the memory stick. Simply click and drag between the two windows to copy files to and from the devices.
Step 6
To save files to the memory stick, on the 'File' Menu of the active program, choose the 'Save' option and for the destination, simply navigate to the memory stick and click on the 'Save' button. This will cause the data to be written in the device.
Step 7
It is important to never simply pull out the memory stick because it may damage the data stored in it. To remove the memory stick, right click on its icon and choose the option to safely remove the hardware or to eject it (whatever is applicable). A confirmation message will usually be displayed by the Operating System to inform the user that the device can be removed. After unplugging the device, put on the cap or hide the USB plug to protect it from possible damage.