Some believe that USB flash drives have changed technology for the best. In fact, the widespread successes of these devices have made the CD/DVD drives superfluous. However, these devices are not only limited to storing data -- today, you can use this device to boot up your personal windows desktop on any PC (given the fact that the PC possesses the hardware performance requirements). Storage capacity on these tiny drives are increasing rapidly, in fact, there's also rumors on the internet that a 1000 gigabyte USB flash drive will soon be available on the consumer market. However, that's a different story all together, we are here to discuss Imation's latest innovative device: Iron Key.
Imation's new product "Iron Key" may not be a ground breaking innovation to most. However, the concept of bootable Windows 8 operating system is certainly to excite some Windows loving freaks. You no longer have to lug around your laptop wherever you go, in order to access your data. Iron Key lets employees, professionals, and military personnel access their windows desktop from virtually any type of computer equipped with a USB port. All one has to do is find a personal computer with minimal hardware requirements to run Windows 8, plug in the iron key, and viola, you now have access to all your personal files on your personalized Windows 8 operating system -- on someone else's PC or MAC. Iron Key is based on "Windows To Go", an enterprise feature from Windows 8 - giving its users a fully portable desktop which can fit in the pocket of your jeans or shirt. The device only enables you to access your Windows 8 desktop while it's plugged in. Once you remove the device from the USB port, the service is suspended and can only be resumed once you plug it back in.
The concept of an operating system on a USB drive is nothing new. In fact, similar devices have already been on the market for some time now. In essence, the Iron Key is engineered to function like a hard-drive, making it far more sophisticated than your top-of-the-line USB flash drive - and this is something that Imation claims sets Iron Key apart from other bootable USB flash drives. However, the Iron Key is far from being the perfect bootable flash drive. One of its disappointing factors is that you cannot create a separate storage partition on the device. Second disappointing factor is its security feature, which is hardware based. It's easy to hack through, and virtually anyone determined to steal your data can do so with little effort. We recommend you install a third party software, developed to password protect USB drives and other portable hard-drives.
In order to boot up Windows 8 from your Iron Key, you'll need to change the BIOS settings by redirecting the boot-up process from your external drive - which in this case is your Iron Key. The Iron Key is capable of reading at speed of 300 MB per second and can write data at speeds of up to 100 MB per second. However, these figures are only true if your computer is equipped with a USB 3.0 port. If you're still using a PC that's integrated with USB 2.0 ports, then you can expect to receive much lower performance.
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.