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Does anyone know of cheap 4-8GB flash drives that can actually be made bootable?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can't for the life of me find any readily available, inexpensive, small flash drives that will actually work as bootable media! All the cheap drives either completely brick themselves upon formatting, or simply refuse to let me boot from them.

I know my procedure is fine, as I have plenty of perfectly working (more expensive) flash drives via the same methods, but I really don't want to keep handing out $15 flash drives knowing I'm never getting them back, and that these cheap $2-4 drives SHOULD be working (the darned things work perfectly aside from being impossible to boot from and/or format).

I'm willing to buy single or in "bulk", so long as that bulk is roughly 10 or less. I really don't care what they look like, or how fast they are, what they're made of, their brand, etc. I just want the darned things to boot!



EDIT: Solved. SanDisk Cruzer Blade for ~4 bucks each seems to be the cheapest bootable flash drive currently on the market outside of special order.
Edited by Zero4549 - 7/29/16 at 6:21pm
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post

I can't for the life of me find any readily available, inexpensive, small flash drives that will actually work as bootable media! All the cheap drives either completely brick themselves upon formatting, or simply refuse to let me boot from them.

I know my procedure is fine, as I have plenty of perfectly working (more expensive) flash drives via the same methods, but I really don't want to keep handing out $15 flash drives knowing I'm never getting them back, and that these cheap $4-6 drives SHOULD be working (the darned things work perfectly aside from being impossible to boot from and/or format).

I'm willing to buy single or in "bulk", so long as that bulk is roughly 10 or less. I really don't care what they look like, or how fast they are, what they're made of, their brand, etc. I just want the darned things to boot!

Are you sure your procedure is actually correct? I have never had problems to make flash drives bootable be them expensive or cheap ones.
 
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trito View Post

Are you sure your procedure is actually correct? I have never had problems to make flash drives bootable be them expensive or cheap ones.

I have the SanDIsk Ultra USB 3.0 32GB, and it works great as a bootable media. But, they only go as low as 16GB. They are very cheap now though, and at least you will know it works.
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post #4 of 7
I've had pretty good luck with these, made a Win 8.1 bootable iso for my dell xps 12 I had, as well as a Win 7 Pro iso for friends PC. Mine were the older black/white versions but I never had any trouble with them, they actually sold the older models I had in 3 packs for usually around 20 bucks. smile.gif
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trito View Post

Are you sure your procedure is actually correct? I have never had problems to make flash drives bootable be them expensive or cheap ones.

Pretty darned sure. Just did the exact same procedure to 7 drives. Worked on 2, failed on 5. All 5 failures were "simmax" brand, while the successes were a Microcenter branded drive, and a Toshiba. 2 of the 5 failures bricked and 3 just fail to boot. I was able to recover one of the two bricked drives with a lot level format, but the other is toast. All 5 of those drives were tested first for bad sectors, data retention, etc and didn't show any issues.

Almost always the same story with no-name drives. Simmax was my latest attempt to find a cheap set of no-names, but the same has happened with many others. I've also had some issues with older Sandisk U.2 drives, a couple Corsair drives, and still occasionally have issues with Kingston drives. Other than that, brand names usually work fine, but they're just too expensive to use in bulk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTRtank View Post

I have the SanDIsk Ultra USB 3.0 32GB, and it works great as a bootable media. But, they only go as low as 16GB. They are very cheap now though, and at least you will know it works.

Cheapest I can find is 8 bucks, which isn't awful, but is still a bit more than I'd like to spend at the rate at which I'd have to buy these. Also a bit of a shame to waste 16GB drives when I only really need 4GB. I'll keep it in mind though, thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MythTFLfan29 View Post

I've had pretty good luck with these, made a Win 8.1 bootable iso for my dell xps 12 I had, as well as a Win 7 Pro iso for friends PC. Mine were the older black/white versions but I never had any trouble with them, they actually sold the older models I had in 3 packs for usually around 20 bucks. smile.gif

Found a newer version of those selling for just over 5 bucks. That is getting pretty close. The last batch I bought were the previously mentioned simmax brand drives which came to about $2.80 each, but of course, hardly any of the darned things worked, so so much for that. I did also find a budget sandisk for $4.30. I'm sure it is potato grade flash, but sandisk usually works, so I guess I could pick one up to test.
Edited by Zero4549 - 7/25/16 at 8:16am
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post

Cheapest I can find is 8 bucks, which isn't awful, but is still a bit more than I'd like to spend at the rate at which I'd have to buy these. Also a bit of a shame to waste 16GB drives when I only really need 4GB. I'll keep it in mind though, thanks.

Yeah man no worries! I agree though it would be a shame to waste 16GB, but it works is what I am getting at. Good luck man!
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I got one of these to test. Works fine. I'll probably pick up one of the bulk packs where they come to a little under 4 bucks a piece. Cheapest drives I've been able to find so far that can actually be made bootable.

They are entirely made of cheap plastic though, even including the usb plug. They also don't come with a cap or any retractable mechanism or anything. Don't imagine they are terribly durable. Doesn't matter for my usage but fair warning to anyone else out there who is interested. They're also much smaller than the picture made me believe. The model guy must be a midget or something.

Anyway, that's that unless anyone knows of a cheaper option (or maybe somewhere I can get them in the multi color editions in bulk for a similar price? Being able to color code would be nice if it doesn't cost more).
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