Author Topic: Modern instrument compatibility with USB flash drives  (Read 451 times)

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Offline utogaria

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Modern instrument compatibility with USB flash drives
« on: July 02, 2020, 01:23:56 pm »
Today I discovered a rather strange compatibility issue on my Keithley 2450 with USB flash drive. I was trying to upgrade the firmware on the SMU, but the SMU kept reporting that there was no flash drive present. I tried to format the flash drive to FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS (repeatedly formatted the drives on windows, mac osx, and ubuntu), after a few ours of trying, none of my attempts worked. I tried all my USB flash drives (a bunch of them in different brands with different capacities) on other instruments, and discovered that Rohde & Schwarz RTB2002 also has the same compatibility issue with my flash drives. My Rigol 1054z worked like a charm, thumb up to Rigol. Just when I was about to give up, I found a format scheme option in the disk utility app on my mac. I changed the scheme to "Master Boot Record", and format the flash drive again to FAT32. Voila! Both the Keithley SMU and R&S scope read the flash drives without a problem. I checked the manuals for these instruments, most of them have a common problems and solutions section, where they state that their instruments are only compatible with Windows FAT file system, nothing related to the "Master Boot Record" scheme is mentioned anywhere. I just want to share this in the forum in case someone also stumbles on the same problem and might  look for a solution in this forum.
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