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Flash Drives

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I started with a SanDisk Titanium 1.0GB. It is inserted at the bottom front of my tower (e machines). It is now 'Drive L' and I can store stuff on it as "Drive M'. I want to install financial programs such as Quick Books, Turbo Tax & Quicken
on a flash drive so I can remove them and protect them from hackers. Yesterday, I purchased (2) PNY Attache 2 GB Flash Drives. I tried to put them into the same slot as the SanDisk and the computer does not recognize them. I can not launch them or open them. The computer still thinks the PNY is the SanDisk. How can I do this?
Can Programs be installed on Flash Drives and then opened on the PC, information added or changed, and then be saved back onto the flash drive?
Are flash drives good, dependable storage media?
I'm very new at this. I have been backing up on Zip discs.
Thank you for any help and advice you can give me. Karen
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Neil Jones

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In theory it may be possible to install programs on Flash media, in practice its not a very good idea because if you add or remove drives later, it'll push the drive letters up and your media may not be on Drive L anymore, therefore your Quicken/Quickbooks won't work anymore.

Ideally you should use the backup/export features of Quickbooks (and similiar ones in your other applications) and copy the backup files to your flash media, then take that away. This way if the worst should happen, you just reinstall Quickbooks or whatever (to drive C) and re-import your backup file from the flash media. As to its reliability, its generally okay if you treat it right.
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I think you have a misunderstanding about what a hacker is.

As for programs on a flash drive its not a good idea for a number of reasons there are numerous problems to doing it, the only way to do it effectively is with a portable app, you get them from portable apps website. Also its the files you protect not the software flash drives are a decent short to medium term storage medium they are mostly for transferring things or if you need a portable backup. I use portable apps on my flash drive as its got tonnes of space for them and i like to have my own Firefox and media player along with open office and filezilla things that aren't on most computers. For long term storage a spare HDD or an optical disk are better but flash drives are nice quick and easy file storage on the go i carry mines everywhere usually.
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