Based on the fifty (or more) questions the library staff has entertained in the past week, it sounds like there is still some confusion regarding the use of flash drives. I’m hoping I can clarify the procedure for using flash drives on campus.
No, your flash drive is not malfunctioning, and no, the computer is not broken, either. The issue is the permissions for student logins do not allow you to open a file directly from or save a file directly to a flash drive. Instead, you need to copy the file from your flash drive to your U: drive or save a file to your U: drive and copy it to your flash drive – depending on what you are trying to accomplish. This is made a little trickier by the use of a portal to access many of the programs, which is why you also can’t open a file directly from your U: drive and instead need to open the correct program before you can open your file.
I have written up the following instructions to outline the procedure. I want to say a quick word about file management. It is always a good idea to know where you are saving your files as you work on them, therefore, I thoroughly encourage you to employ “save as” rather than just the save button. Be sure you pay attention to where you are saving the file – note the drive letter, folder, etc. Please feel free to see us in the library for any help.
Using USB Flash Drives at King’s College
For security reasons, files cannot be opened directly from, or saved to, a USB flash drive.
To OPEN A FILE ON YOUR FLASH DRIVE, follow these steps:
Log on to the computer with your username and password
Insert the flash drive into the USB slot
Click on “My Computer” on the desktop (Windows XP) or “Computer” (Windows 7)
Double click on the removable drive
Slide this window to the right
Open another “My Computer” or “Computer” window
Double click on your U: drive
Slide this window to the left
Your screen should now look something like this
Drag and drop the file on the removable disk (window on the right) onto the U: drive (window on the left)
Now open your portal by double clicking the Internet Explorer icon and choose the program you wish to use to open the file
To save a file to a flash drive, reverse the process by first saving the file on your U: drive and then dragging and dropping it on your removable disk.