Action Sport Drives

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

USB SkateDrive, SurfDrive & SnowDrive Flash Drives

Q: Do I need to download a USB Flash Drive driver for my Windows system?
Q: Will a USB Flash Drive work on my Mac System?
Q: Why can't I have access to the advertised capacity of the USB Flash drive?
Q: How do I format the USB Flash drive?
Q: Why won't a drive letter show up in Windows XP for my USB Drive under "My Computer"?
Q: I have multiple USB ports in my computer, which port should I plug my USB Drive into?

Q: Do I need to download a USB Flash Drive driver for my Windows® system?
A: A driver is required for systems with the Windows 98 SE (Second Edition) version installed (some elder versions of Windows 98 will not support USB devices). All newer versions of Windows (newer than Windows 98 SE) do not require a driver for USB flash devices. Windows NT (all Service Pack versions) will not support "Plug-n-Play" devices. Therefore USB flash drives will not work on such systems.

Q: Will a USB Flash Drive work on my Mac OS system?
A: If your Mac is using Mac OS® 9.0 or later, it should work perfectly with out any drivers being required. For systems using Mac OS 8.6, there is an USB Mass Storage Support Update available from Apple Computer that may make the USB Flash Drive compatible (See Below). But if your Mac OS 10.2.8 and Under you may need to download a patch to get your USB drive to work properly (See Below). Mac OS 10.2 and Under user Do Not need this patch.
    Mac OS 8.6 (Factory Equipped USB Ports)
  1. Download and double-click the USB Mass Storage Support 1.3.5 patch from Apple Computer
  2. Choose "Easy Install" to install the USB Mass Storage Support 1.3.5 software into the extensions folder of your startup disk. USB Mass Storage Support Requires Mac OS 8.6 or later.
  3. When the install is complete the installer will prompt you to restart your computer.
  4. After your computer restarts, the USB Mass Storage software is ready for use.
    Mac OS 8.6 (USB Ports via PCI or PCMCIA adapter card)
  1. Download and double-click the USB Adapter Card Support 1.4.1 patch from Apple Computer
  2. Choose "Recommended Installation."
  3. Click "Start" to install the USB Adapter Card Support software on your startup disk.
  4. When the installation is complete, restart your computer.
    Mac OS 10.2.8 and Under
  1. Download the patch: MacOS10.2.xPatch.zip (1.9MB File)
  2. After finish downloading please un compress the "MacOS10.2.xPatch.zip" file by double clicking on it
  3. Locate and double click on the "MacOSX10.2.xFlashDrivePatch.dmg" file
  4. Locate and double click on the removable drive "MacOSX10.2.xFlashDrivePatch" on your desktop and enter password (If you have set it for your Mac before)
  5. Locate and double click on the "USBFlashDiskPatch10.2.x.mpkg" file to launch the application
  6. Click the "Continue" button and follow the procedure to finish the installation
Q: Why can't I have access to the advertised capacity of the USB Flash drive?
A: Your USB Drive will have a smaller true capacity versus the advertised or marketing capacity due to the historical definitions of GB and MB, as well as Memory Management and Partition Accounting information utilizing some of the true capacity of your USB Drive. This discrepancy does not only apply to Flash Drives, but standard hard drives as well. Memory Management utilizes about 64KB out of every 1MB. The larger the card the larger the amount reserved. The following table shows the advertised capacity vs. the average true capacity.
Advertised Capacity
Average True Capacity
4GB 3.82GB

Marketing or Advertised Capacity vs. True Capacity (Information provided by: wikipedia.org)
It is important to note that hard drive manufacturers often use metric definition of the prefixes "giga" and "mega." However, nearly all operating system utilities report capacities using binary definitions for the prefixes. This is largely historical, since when storage capacities started to exceed thousands of bytes, there were no standard binary prefixes (the IEC only standardized binary prefixes in 1999), so 210 (1024) bytes was called a kilobyte because 1024 is "close enough" to the metric prefix kilo, which is defined as 103 or 1000. This trend became habit and continued to be applied to the prefixes " mega," "giga," and even "tera." Obviously the discrepancy becomes much more noticeable in reported capacities in the multiple gigabyte range, and users will often notice that the volume capacity reported by their OS is significantly less than that advertised by the hard drive manufacturer. For example, a drive advertised as 200 GB can be expected to store close to 200 x 109, or 200 billion, bytes. This uses the proper SI definition of "giga," 109 and cannot be considered as incorrect. Since utilities provided by the operating system probably define a Gigabyte as 230, or 1073741824, bytes, the reported capacity of the drive will be closer to 186.26 GB (actually, GiB), a difference of well over ten gigabytes. For this very reason, many utilities that report capacity have begun to use the aforementioned IEC standard binary prefixes (e.g. KiB, MiB, GiB) since their definitions are not ambiguous.

Another side point is that many people mistakenly attribute the discrepancy in reported and advertised capacities to reserved space used for file system and partition accounting information. However, for large (several GiB) file systems, this data rarely occupies more than several MiB, and therefore cannot possibly account for the apparent "loss" of tens of GBs.
Q: How do I format the USB Flash drive?
A: To format the USB Flash Drive, use the following steps for your computer's operating system.
    Windows
  1. Close any open applications, including anti-virus software, that may interrupt the format process.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon on the desktop.
  3. Right-click on the "Removable Disk" icon with the drive letter assigned to your Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive.
  4. With a Right-click, Select "Format" from the drop-down menu that appears.
  5. Optional: Type in a name in "Volume label" if you have more than one USB Flash Drive and prefer to assign names to differentiate them.
  6. Click on "Start" button. A warning notice appears that all data will be erased. Click "OK" button. The formatting will only take a few seconds, and a "Format Complete" notice will appear when the formatting is done.
  7. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should be recognized by your system at this point. You can return to using your drive as before.
    Mac OS X
  1. Close any open applications, including anti-virus software, that may interrupt the format process.
  2. Open your "Applications" folder and then open your "Utilities" folder.
  3. Double-click on "Disk Utility."
  4. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive will be listed to the left of the program by its capacity and with a drop down description that says "untitled." Click on the drive capacity listing to get the "Erase" options.
  5. Choose the "Mac OS Extended" format for the use with only Mac systems. Select "MS-DOS File System" format for the use with Mac and Windows systems.
  6. Click on the "Options" button and then check the box "Zero all data" to fully format the drive. Click "OK" to accept the selection.
  7. Click "Erase" to initiate the format process.
  8. Click "Erase" again to verify that you want to start erasing the drive.
  9. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should now be mounted as "Untitled" on your desktop.
  10. Your USB Mobile Mini or Mini Flash Drive should be recognized by your system at this point. You can return to using your drive as before.
Q: Why won't a drive letter show up in Windows XP for my USB Drive under "My Computer"?
A: If you plug in a new USB Flash Drive into your Windows XP system and it does not show up under "My Computer" with a drive letter, you may have a conflict with another drive in your system. This tends to occur when a computer has multiple hard drives or CD/DVD drives and one of them if assigned to drive letter "H". To change the drive letter, you will need to open "Disk Management."
  1. Click "Start", point to "Settings", click "Control Panel", double-click "Administrative Tools", and then double-click "Computer Management." In the console tree under "Storage", click "Disk Management."
  2. Right-click the USB Flash Drive, and then click "Change Drive Letter and Path."
  3. To modify a drive letter, click it, click "Edit", click the drive letter you want to use, and then click "OK."
Note: An error message may appear when you attempt to assign a letter to a volume, CD-ROM drive, or other removable media device, possibly because it is in use by a program in the system. If this happens, close the program accessing the volume or drive, and then click the Change Drive Letter and Path command again.

If your USB Drive does not show up under "Disk Management" and there are drives already assigned to "H", you may need to change that drive letter first. Then plug the USB Drive back into the computer to see if it appears. Now change the drive letter on the USB Drive and then change the original"H" drive back to an "H."

There is also a possibility that the desired drive letter for your USB Drive may have been turned off. By downloading and installing a Microsoft PowerToy called TweakUI, you will be given access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more. Once you have installed this application, launch it through your "Control Panel" and click on the "My Computer" tab. If your desired drive letter is unchecked, check it at this time.
Q: I have multiple USB ports in my computer, which port should I plug my USB Drive into?
A: First, try plugging the USB Drive into the port that is most convenient for you. If your computer does not recognize your USB Drive, it maybe due to a lack of power provided from that specific port. USB ports located on keyboards or on the front of your computer may have insufficient power to run a USB Drive. Try using a port on the back of your system if the USB Drive is not being recognized.