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Why do USB thumb drives not claim Windows-7 compatibility?


Nomen
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I was looking through the website of a local computer/electronics store and going through their selection of USB thumb drives. I needed to buy a couple, didn't have to be larger than 8 gb or be USB 3 but you can't find anything less than 16 or even 32 gb these days and apparently even finding USB-2 is not possible at this particular store.

I settled on this: Kingston DataTraveler Kyson, 32GB USB 3.2 Gen 1 I assumed it would "just work" when plugged into any old-school USB 2 port, but still I wanted to find some tech specs saying that. On Kingston's own website, they say this: Compatible with Windows® 10, 8.1, 8, Mac OS (v.10.10.x +), Linux (v. 2.6.x +), Chrome OS™ Hmmm. Why only Windows 8/10 ? What sort of magic does this drive have that it's not even compatible with Win-7? It doesn't even explicitly say "compatible with USB 2" port - is that such a big deal to say?

I bought a couple. About $10 each. I've tried one. Plugged it into my Win-98 PC (pretty close to a 20-year-old socket-478 P4 Soyo motherboard) and Win-98 recognizes the drive just fine. Scandisk, chkdsk, no problem. They report the drive is FAT-32 formatted, 16kb size allocation units. I'm assuming that Windows 7 will also see this drive and be fine with it.

So why does Kingston leave out Win-7 on the OS compatibility list? They go out of their way to say "10, 8.1, 8" - why not instead just say "Windows (all versions)" ?

Now I will say that on the package, on the back, is a small chart, showing the various OS classes on one axis and USB-2 and USB 3 on the other axis, with checkmarks filled in showing yes, every listed OS is compatible with both USB-2 and USB-3. But even on the Windows line, they again list Windows 10, 8.1, 8. Plenty of room to add a 7 on that line. Strange.

Maybe they think people would equate seeing win-7 with product age or technological inferiority?

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That's how it goes. If it's not on the list, that's a whole class of operating system they don't need to support. They can just say "i told you so".

I don't think its so much a bad thing, because these days there isn't much on the OS side that can even go wrong with a flash drive. If the chip were to die, I would be surprised if the question of "what operating system" would ever really come up, but even if it did, formatting or other disk management techniques haven't changed since about 2000, so it would inconsequential to lie.

It certainly isn't a "good" thing either though, but only expected as technology marches forward.

But you could think of it this way: If they say it supports "Windows 7" or any other old one, they kinda have to keep people trained in the specific details of 7, and also keep machines running 7 around, just to be sure. Because in the infinitely small chance something like a flash drive were to NOT work on an OS listed as supported, it would be a mess.

Another consideration, one that I do not know if is relevant to your specific case: software. Some of my flash drives have came with software packages for various things like backup, encryption, cloud service clients, etc. That would be a more significant amount of testing for sure.

However, why they would drop 7 and keep 8 despite its very low market share? That I do not have an answer for.

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I think it is just like there isn't XP or Vista on the list, 7 is considered "end of life" since 2020, maybe 8 and 8.1 are still there because "extended support" for them ends in January 2023.

jaclaz

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There's a difference between "supporting windows 7" and being "compatible with windows 7".   You would think that to avoid customer confusion and to avail yourself to every possible sales opportunity you would add Windows 7 (and even XP) to your COMPATIBILITY list.

Perhaps, having been pre-formatted as FAT32, they have some sort of arrangement with microsoft that stipulates that they can't have Win-7 on the compatibility list if MSFT doesn't want to see it there.

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4 hours ago, Nomen said:

There's a difference between "supporting windows 7" and being "compatible with windows 7".   You would think that to avoid customer confusion and to avail yourself to every possible sales opportunity you would add Windows 7 (and even XP) to your COMPATIBILITY list.

Perhaps, having been pre-formatted as FAT32, they have some sort of arrangement with microsoft that stipulates that they can't have Win-7 on the compatibility list if MSFT doesn't want to see it there.

Oww, come on :), no :no: need of any conspiracy theory :ph34r:.

Why not 2000, WIn98 or Windows 95 (OEM 2 or 2.5) or BeOS?

Someone just made a list and omitted several older or less used OS's, I just offered you a possible explanation on why the line was drawn at 8.

And no, Windows (All versions) would have caused NT 4.00, Win3.x and Windows 95 first release users to whine.

jaclaz

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Many times, the compatibility or requirements text on a peripheral speaks directly to any particular software that the vendor has for the device, either packaged with it or from their website. And the OSes listed also tie directly to their support policy. As we know, not supported doesn't mean it doesn't work.

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The USB itself will almost certainly work on Windows 7 even if they don't list support.

Maybe some random bundled crapware won't work, but no one uses that stuff anyway.

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