USB mass storage device class
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The USB mass storage device class (also known as USB MSC or UMS) is a set of computing
communications protocol A communication protocol is a system of rules that allows two or more entities of a communications system 400px, Communication system A communications system or communication system is a collection of individual telecommunications networ ...
s, specifically a USB Device Class, defined by the
USB Implementers Forum The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collect ...
that makes a
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard ''Industry Standard'' is a 1982 album by Dixie Dregs, The Dregs. It is their only album featuring vocals (by Alex Ligertwood of Santana (band), Santana and Patrick Simmons of The Doobie Brot ...

USB
device accessible to a host computing device and enables file transfers between the host and the USB device. To a host, the USB device acts as an external hard drive; the protocol set interfaces with a number of storage devices.


Uses

Devices connected to computers via this standard include: * External magnetic
hard drive A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive, or fixed disk is an electro-mechanical data storage device On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data storag ...
s * External optical drives, including
CD
CD
and
DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format invented and developed in 1995 and released in late 1996. The medium can store any kind of digital data and was wide ...

DVD
reader and writer drives * Portable
flash memory Flash memory is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses acti ...
devices
devices
*
Solid-state drive A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of non-volatile computer storage that stores and retrieves digital information Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary di ...
s * Adapters between standard flash
memory card A memory card is an electronic used for storing digital information, typically using . These are commonly used in , such as s, s, computers, , s, s, s, s, s and s, and allow adding memory to such devices without compromising , as the card is us ...

memory card
s and USB connections *
Digital camera A digital camera is a camera that captures photographs in digital memory. Most cameras produced today are digital, largely replacing those that capture images on photographic film. Digital cameras are now widely incorporated into mobile devices ...

Digital camera
s *
Digital audio Digital audio is a representation of sound recorded in, or converted into, Digital signal (signal processing), digital form. In digital audio, the sound wave of the audio signal is typically encoded as numerical Sampling (signal processing), sa ...
and
portable media player A portable media player (PMP) or digital audio player (DAP) is a portable consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic ( analog or digital) equipment intended for everyday use, typically in private homes. C ...
s *
Card reader A card reader is a data input device that reads data from a card-shaped . The first were s, which read the paper or cardboard s that were used during the first several decades of the computer industry to store information and programs for computer ...
s *
PDA PDA may refer to: Science and technology * Patron-driven acquisition, a mechanism for libraries to purchase books *Personal digital assistant, a mobile device * Photodiode array, a type of detector * Polydiacetylenes, a family of conducting polym ...
s *
Mobile phones A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunications Appliance (disambiguation), devic ...

Mobile phones
Devices supporting this standard are known as MSC (Mass Storage Class) devices. While MSC is the original abbreviation, UMS (Universal Mass Storage) has also come into common use.


Operating system support

Most mainstream
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems like macOS macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later ...

operating system
s include support for USB mass storage devices; support on older systems is usually available through patches.


Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows has supported MSC since Windows 2000. There is no support for USB supplied by Microsoft in Windows before
Windows 95 Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, computer software, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. ...
and Windows NT 4.0.
Windows 95 Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, computer software, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. ...
OSR2.1, an update to the operating system, featured limited support for USB. During that time no generic USB mass-storage driver was produced by Microsoft (including for
Windows 98 Windows 98 is an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, computer software, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operat ...
), and a device-specific driver was needed for each type of USB storage device. Third-party, freeware drivers became available for Windows 98 and Windows 98SE, and third-party drivers are also available for Windows NT 4.0.
Windows 2000 Windows 2000 is a major release of the Windows NT Windows NT is a proprietary {{Short pages monitor