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Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?


Is it possible to copy or transfer files from one USB drive to another USB drive without a computer? For example, a desktop, a laptop, and so on?

In this excerpt from Answercast #101, I look at the possibility of copying files from one USB drive to another without using a computer.

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Copy USB without a computer

The pragmatic answer is no. You need something into which you can plug both of the USB drives in order to actually perform the copy operation. That means a computer.

There may very well be duplication devices out there. In other words, devices that are dedicated to the function of copying from one USB device to another. The problem is that ultimately what they are – is a computer!

USB duplication devices

If that’s really important enough to you, I’m sure you can look into USB duplication devices. I know that since some companies actually distribute software on USB devices, they clearly have a way of mass-producing them. That involves mass copying from a master copy to a bunch of USB devices.

If that’s what you’re looking for, I’m sure that kind of stuff exists – but if you’re just looking for a way to take a couple of random USB devices that you happen to have and copy from one to the other, you’re going to need a computer to actually perform that operation. I’m not aware of any consumer-level hardware or equipment that would allow you to do something like that.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

End of Answercast 101 Back to – Audio Segment

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7 comments on “Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?”

  1. LEO:
    I could not help chuckling about the idea of
    copying one usb to another. I laugh not at
    the writer but at the ingenuity of incessantly
    pushing the envelope. This could be a splendid
    idea to put to Jameco Electronics because they
    have an area where ideas like this can be
    suggested to hobbyists who first will design a circuit and then follow thru with a circuit board
    and a kit. It can be a lot of fun.
    Keep up the good work and keep poking new
    terry huff.

  2. How does a request like this originate, though? Maybe something like:

    I need to share my top secret space ship plans with my team mates but we can’t use a computer because the CIA is monitoring my computers because they are afraid I will make contact with aliens when my buddies and I fly into space. Yeah, and I keep a tinfoil hat on my computers too, so the aliens can’t steal my data!


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