Problems with Lacie iamakey USB Flash Drives fixed

I really like the design of the Lacie iamakey and related USB flash memory sticks that look like actual keys. I was thinking about moving off the consistent performers I issue to employees, faculty and staff from Sandisk. So, I got an 8 gig and 32 gig to test over the last couple of months.

I am constantly moving files between Macs, Windows and Linux workstations and servers, so they really can take a pounding. The Sandisk Cruzer models are really solid once you get rid of the software that comes with them through their uninstallers. Initially, the Lacie iamkey USB drives have given me a lot of problems. I need to format them as FAT32 so I can have read/write on on the operating systems I am hitting.

The crazy thing is when I would copy large amounts of files (say many software installers for Office, Adobe, etc.) they would take the write just fine, but when I brought them to another Mac or Windows machine, the partition/format would not be read. I reformatted many times on the Mac and over the course of a few weeks still have constant issues with all operating systems.

It wasn’t until I did a low-level format of the drive on Windows (not a quick format) did the FAT32 partition stick. I have been using now for a week or so without problems between OS X, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows 2008, CentOS and Ubuntu. Performance is great now.

So, if you are having issues, try a solid low-level format and I think you will have better results. It will take some time. the 32 gig took an hour or two I believe, but you will be happy you did.