How to Read a Flash Drive

By Elvis Michael

A computer flash drive is a portable storage unit used to store multiple file formats. It offers a convenient way to transfer and use data such as pictures, music, documents and more. Over time, it has helped reduce the need for floppy disks and CD-ROMS, as many different sizes are available to satisfy every consumer's needs. To properly read your newly-acquired flash drive, all you need is a USB port on your computer.

Read from Windows

Step 1

Connect the flash drive to any available USB port and allow Windows to properly recognize the device.

Step 2

Click "My Computer" from your desktop or from the Start menu.

Step 3

Double-click the flash drive label, which should be displayed alongside your local hard disk(s). Typically, it is named "Removable Storage." Once inside, you may see and use the flash drive's contents.

Read from DOS

Step 1

Connect your USB flash drive. Turn on your computer and press "F8" on your keyboard to launch the Windows Advanced Boot Options. Note that "F8" must be pressed during the POST procedure, prior to your Windows logo being displayed.

Step 2

Select "Safe Mode with Command Prompt" to go directly into DOS.

Step 3

Access the flash drive through its proper drive letter. There is no exact command to list all available drives on your PC, though you may switch between the most commonly used by your system to test their availability. Type the drive letter followed by a colon, and press "Enter."

Step 4

Verify the drive's contents by typing "Dir" and press "Enter." Such command will list all available files and folders within a particular drive, helping you determine whether the drive letter in question belongs to your flash drive.

Step 5

Access all necessary folders by typing "Cd\folder name" where "Folder name" represents the directory you need to access. Furthermore, type the file name you need to launch within a specified folder or from the root of your flash drive.

Read from A Mac

Step 1

Insert your flash drive into a USB port. Allow the system to read or register the hardware component.

Step 2

Click the USB drive icon that appears on your desktop. From here, you may launch or modify any file present within your flash drive until finished.

Step 3

Drag the USB icon from the desktop into the trash can icon located by the desktop dock to safely remove the flash drive from your computer.