Tips for putting your Graduation Ceremony on USB Flash Drives

We are seeing a large uptick in customer inquiries about Graduation/Commencement USB projects as COVID-19 has altered the in person celebrations dramatically.

I thought it might be beneficial to some folks that are newly tasked with creating Graduation Video USBs to answer a few common miss-steps in regards to USB production.

When you’re getting ready to produce a USB project here are some key items to keep in mind:

1. Actual Size vs Marketed Size – Actual size is always smaller due to Gigabytes vs Gibibytes

2. Format Concerns: Most drives are preformatted Fat32 which limits continguous file size to under 4GB. ExFat and NTFS allow for larger file sizes but are a bit more limited in their universal adoption.

3, Speed Concerns – Read/Write speeds will be a key factor in projects that run directly from the drive. If you intend to playback 4K footage directly from the drive you may want to invest in USB 3 drives rather than USB 2.

4. Spoilage – 2-4% spoilage of Promotional grade USB flash drive is not unheard of. Buy a few extra so you are not scrambling last minute to fill your gaps at walmart or bestbuy.

These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when your gathering information or starting to think about utilizing flash drives for content delivery.

We stock USB drives in just about all capacities and print and data load for customers all over the world right here in Minneapolis, MN.

We are always available to discuss your next project and of course answer any questions that you might have.

Sony 3.5” 230mb MO Discs – Brand New

3.5” 230mb MO discsJust got in about 350 new EDM-230c magneto optical discs. All brand new and factory sealed. These rewritable discs are very popular in the medical, aviation and telecom fields. Keep Techware in mind for all of your MO discs needs. Nobody stocks or sells more MO disks than

Looking for other hard to find magneto-optical media, let us know.

Call us with any questions – (952) 944-0083

Current State of MO Disks – Recertified

Lets talk about the current state of Magneto Optical Disks.  The product category has seen a tumultuous couple of years and now is as good a time as any to reflect.



For the past 10+ years all Magneto Optical disks have been manufactured by two companies:  Sony & Mitsubishi Chemical (dba Verbatim).  All MO disks made and sold recently regardless of the brand have been OEM from either of those two companies.  Roughly 4-5 years ago Mitsubishi Chemical decided the market was no longer large enough to support and exited the category.  This drove up the price a bit because now Sony was the only manufacturer producing the product.   Roughly 1.5 years ago Sony announced that they too were exiting the category.  This left zero companies producing the much needed optical disks.

The supply dwindled – the price increased as available inventory dried up on a worldwide scale.  In some cases prices have increased 600% on certain capacities!!

Current Situation:

Lots of folks still rely on this media to back up and archive data in the Medical, Aviation, Telecommunication and Defense channels.  Many times they simply cannot update their systems to new archiving media.  Procuring new media for our customers that rely upon MO disks on the open market is frankly way to expensive and more often than not impossible.

With that in mind we decided to begin the process of sourcing and recertifying Magneto Optical Disks.  It makes perfect sense when you think about it.  Here is one of the most rugged, redundant forms of optical media that is capable of hundreds of thousands of read/write cycles that is honestly mostly used once and then stored for legal purposes.

How do we do it?

1.  We source disks from internal customers that have purchased disks from us or other vendors and whose data has exceeded it’s archival life.

2.  We ship/receive the parcels via certified methods with tamper resistant seals and check in each and every disk.

3.  Each disk is collected, categorized and inspected upon receipt for critical defects.

4.  Each categorized Magneto Optical Disk is then inspected by a second digital media expert with over 16 yrs experience, he removes the labels, inspects the ODSM (optical disk shutter mechanism) for functionality and cleans any ink from the disk itself.

5.  The disk is then degassed multiple times using a proprietary process that runs at the SCSI Dos level.

6.  A read/write test is performed to ensure functionality

7.  Magneto Optical Disk is inspected by the third and final person who passes the disk for final assembly.

8.  The MO Disk is packaged in a brand new cardboard sleeve and shrink wrapped.

9.  The Magneto Optical Disk has now been fully recertified and is cataloged/received into our ERP for future sales orders.


While these procedures do have costs associated with them and we are unable to provide pre-discontinued pricing, often times the prices of re-certified media are 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost of new sealed media.  They are 100% guaranteed to function the same as the new sealed stock.  We also offer a more lenient return policy on this media.

Currently we are only making this re-certfied media available to our current customers but keep your eyes peeled.  It will be making it’s debut on our website and available to the general public shortly.


Sony 2.3 re-certified MO Disk are now available for purchase on our website.

True Cost of Custom USB Drives

Lets talk about the true cost of custom USB drives (when sourced from outside vendors).

true cost 2 copy

Often I get contacted by customers looking for help loading data onto their customized USB. Drives that have been sourced from outside vendors. Some times they come direct, other times the customer has tried and failed at loading themselves.

Duplicating USB drives should be a fairly straight forward procedure with a simple fixed price.

Keyword being “Should”.

Here’s why it’s not.

Flash drives are not all alike.

Many unscrupulous brokers and vendors throwing around marketing terms like “Tier 1” Memory are selling substandard product. Customers bring in their flash drives sourced from others and I see issues.

Chipgenius results for bunk USB

Notice the PID = 1234?

Issues like:

  • unformatted drives
  • improperly formatted drives
  • stacked memory (two 4gb chips to make 8gb stick)
  • pre-loaded data (not new)
  • excruciatingly slow performance

Tools such as Crystal DiskMark and Chip Genius can help keep track of the worst offenders.

If a customer has already purchased the drives, often times the price they are quoted for data loading is an eye opener.

Why is Data Loading so expensive?

When we source we control for:
Quality and read/write speeds

When the above requirements aren’t managed you run the risk of:

Slowing your process
Having to spend time researching solutions
Additional manufacturing steps such as erasing and reformatting
Increased labor from package removal and disposal

In a worst case scenario you actually run the risk of burning out your USB node on your hardware. The custom USB data loading towers that we utilize are not cheap to repair or replace.

So what is the solution?

Source your drive and data load together.

For the lowest cost you’ll need to be comfortable sending your data to China. Make sure to ask your promo vendor to include the cost of data load and include freight so that you can compare apples to apples. Of course this means you have to have all your ducks in a row well ahead of your deadline as sourcing from China requires long lead times.

The better solution, the solution I am obviously in favor or is: source your drives from me. I work with suppliers both local and abroad purchasing thousands of drives every month. I know what works and what doesn’t. Plus when you add up all the costs and headaches associated with piece mailing your job together I am definitely the cheaper solution.

Retrieving Archived Data from a MO Disk

One of the most common inquiries I get regarding data recovery:

How easy is it to recover the files off of a MO Disk ?
Its sort of a tricky question to answer but here is a summary.
Whenever attempting to recall archived data there is a three pronged tactic.
Fujitsu DynaMO 1300U2 (2)

  • Replicate the software environment  – make sure you have software capable of reading the files
  • Replicate the hardware environment – make sure that you have hardware capable of reading the disks (in this case the proper size MO Drive)
  • Replicate the OS – some files written in DOS or Unix for example may not be viewable in other operating systems.

You may only need to meet only one of the above criteria or you may need to meet all three.acuson-sequoia-512-large-01

If you have more questions regarding retrieving archived data on MO Disks feel free to contact me.

**Studies written with a Acuson Sequoia that has been returned off lease is a common inquiry.

Sony External HDD – New Product Line

We are excited to now offer the complete line of Sony external hard drives. We have started to receive the HDD in stock and have a short unboxing video of one of the Sony HDEG5/B Drives:

All of the Sony External HDDs sport a sexy black brushed aluminum look and USB 3 connections for super fast data transfer.

Don’t forget to sub our Youtube channel for unboxings, video reviews and behind the scene sneak peaks of storage products & printing technology.

HDE1H/B Sony external hard drive

Sony External HDD

If you would like more information about the 500GB, 1TB or 1.5TB External Sony HDD please visit our website or call us directly at 1.800.295.0083.