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With the latest release, ProtectUSB got an image mode in addition to its existing folder/file based production flow. Using the image mode is preferable to the file mode in case of USB sticks with a large number of files, because in that case it significantly speeds up the process.

Important: Using the image mode with regular packaged content without additional files does not make sense and is significantly slower than the folder/file based production.

To use the image mode, you first need to create a source USB stick from which to create the image. Make sure to have a license on that stick, because the image based production will only be able to write a license, if it already exists in the image.

Once you have created the source USB flash drive, you can right click on the drive and select “Create image”. You are asked where to save the image and select a name for it and ProtectUSB will then create the image of the stick for you.

Here are some things to consider when creating the image:

  • ProtectUSB will create a full image of the stick, independent of the actually used data size. This means that the image will equal the size of the stick even if significantly less data is stored on it.
  • In some cases, an USB flash drive will require a “full format” before it can be used as source for an image creation process. If that is the case, you’ll get a read error when creating the image.
  • To avoid having old, invalidated data in the image, it is strongly recommended to “full format” the stick before writing the original source data on it. Of course you can skip this if you use a brand new stick.
  • Make sure to have a valid license on the stick

Once you have created the image, you can select “Image” from the dropdown under content and select your source image. You’ll see that you can’t make all settings as in the file mode, because some settings are overridden by the image. 

Important: In theory, ProtectUSB can also write images created by other software. However, since there is no format standard, this can lead to unreadable USB flash drives. To prevent this, ProtectUSB shows a warning if an image file is leaded, which was not created by ProtectUSB. It is however possible to ignore this.

To write, just click “Start” as usual…