RamBo 2gb Flash Drive Review

Mikey 33 comments
RamBo 2gb Flash Drive Review

Normally something as trivial as a flash drive does not warrant a review, unless of course it has something that sets it apart from the rest of the flock.

Not to be confused with the ill-fated Sylvester Stallone character, the RamBo series of flash drives comes in several flavours. 1gb, 2gb and 4gb respectively. All of these flash drives are identical except for their capacity, and for this review we will be focusing on the middle of the range at 2gb.

The form factor and size of the RamBo are among the best on the market. Let's face it. There are some pretty ugly flash drives out there. While their physical appearance will not affect performance, their usually awkward size and shape can make the difference between simply carrying one around in your wallet or having to wear it around your neck with a lanyard.

The RamBo has had some thought put into its design which is a lot to be said for a device that could have easily just followed suit like a lot of others. The gun metallic silver with orange trim easily rivals the aesthetics of any mobile phone manufacturer.

RamBo Flash Drive

Inside the box

  • 2gb USB2 flash drive with cap
  • Clip on bracket to attach wrist strap
  • Wrist strap
  • Pocket bracket

Plugging it into an available USB 2 slot proved painless with the device being instantly recognised and the next available drive letter being assigned for it. No formatting was required.

The main thing that sets this flash drive apart from others is the fact it is bootable. And with a 2gb capacity that can be very handy.

Being bootable means you can carry an operating system in your pocket, complete with all your programs and documents. Be it a scaled down Windows XP or a Linux distro, being able to boot from a flash drive has obvious advantages, especially in a locked down environment (a work PC for example) where you want access to your own stuff without the restrictions put in place by a Sys Admin. And the best part is that you can browse all those questionable web sites without leaving any footprints.

Performance wise the RamBo is a little slower than the advertised 20mb/second, as the chart below shows the average working at 5.6mb/second.

Drive Performance

As expected for a device with no moving parts, the speed is constant except for the occasional unexplained 3mb/second drop, although this did not affect the data integrity in any way. Testing in several different USB 2 ports did not make any difference. This may indicate a faulty unit, although there is a disclaimer on the packaging that says "read and write speeds may vary depending on the read and write conditions". That being said, my system is extremely high end and I keep it well maintained and optimised, so read and write conditions will have been fine.

Also on the downside there is no encryption software provided, although the RamBo Ultradisk Pro models do. If you have a portable drive already be it a flash drive or portable hard disc, encryption software will keep your data private if the worse should happen and you leave it plugged into an Internet cafe machine or it falls out of your pocket and is found by someone with less integrity than yourself. There are plenty of open source encryption options available and they are easy to find.

On the whole, the RamBo is an impressive little package in a small 74 x 18 x 11mm shell. If you are looking for an affordable drive that will fit snugly into any body cavity or even into your wallet if you are that way inclined, at around $60 the RamBo may be just what you are looking for.

Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Small, thin and light weight
  • Bootable
  • Attachable and removable accessories
  • Flashing LED to indicate data transfer
  • Great price
  • Large capacity
  • Backwards compatible to USB 1.1
  • Works on Windows 98 (with driver), Windows XP/ME/2000, Mac OS9 +, Linux Kernel 2.4.x+


Cons:

  • Data transfer slower than advertised
  • No encryption software
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fargo

Monday 11th September 2006 | 10:57 PM

I have the 1gigabyte version. What program did you use to test the speed and what do you use to encrypt your files? That is something i never really thought about but now I am worried my personal stuff falling into malicious hands!

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Mike

Tuesday 12th September 2006 | 09:50 PM

Hi Fargo. I used a freeware app called http://www.hdtune.com/">HD Tune. It will test any hard drive or flash drive and give you all sorts on information. As for encryption, I use an app called http://www.cypherix.com/cryptainerle/">Cryptainer LE.

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andrew

Wednesday 13th September 2006 | 04:21 PM

i guess the price is in range with other flash drives of similar type?

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Jase

Wednesday 13th September 2006 | 05:36 PM

The price is similar but it depends on where you get them from. I saw a 256mb flash drive at David Jones last week for 85 bucks. But then places like that amd Myer prey on the ignorant. Its the only way they can get away with such high prices.

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Franko

Tuesday 19th September 2006 | 09:53 PM

The 1gig version is faster. I think you will find the lower the capacity the faster it performs. Something to do with the latency of having to address more memory.

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Jasmin

Wednesday 20th September 2006 | 09:48 PM

Good idea with the competition in the newsletter. But what do I have to do to persuade you to give it to me :-P

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Cuong Vu

Saturday 30th September 2006 | 12:19 PM

Hi, I've Just bought that very same memory stick, my HDTune clocks at min= 13.9mb/s to 16.6 mb/s. Not as avertised, but good enough for me.


Regards,

Cuong Vu

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mark robson

Wednesday 4th October 2006 | 09:39 PM

just bought the rambo 4gb.Can not seem to get the operating system up and running as the unit did not come with a driver format ,please comment best place to get this started. regards Mark R.

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Mike

Wednesday 4th October 2006 | 10:05 PM

Hi Mark. No driver is required on Windows based Operating Systems, unless you are using Windows 98 which requires a USB driver. If you are trying to install an OS on the flash drive your motherboard will need to support legacy USB and it will also need to be able to detect the RamBo as if it were any other drive. Toms Hardware has a http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/09/09/windows_in_your_pocket/">good guide on getting things started.

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Trevor

Tuesday 24th October 2006 | 06:35 PM

I have the 1GB Rambo drive and I'm searching for the Win98 driver. Can you help please??

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Mike

Tuesday 24th October 2006 | 07:19 PM

Trevor says: "I'm searching for the Win98 driver. Can you help please??"

I looked at the http://www.rambo.hk/driver_downloads.php">manufacturer's web site and must say it is pretty poor. They have some malformed HTML preventing the driver downloads list from actually rendering properly. In fact they wonÂ’t render at all because they have been commented out in the source. Anyhow, lucky you for web dev is my forte. I managed to nab the links direct from the source code and reconstruct the URL's. Hopefully one of these drivers will be for you. See below for your downloading pleasure.

Rambo Flash Drive Drivers

ULTRADISK PRO USB 2.0 (New Version) http://www.rambo.hk/uploads/files/UltraDisk_Pro(new_version).zip">Download
ULTRADISK PRO USB 2.0 (Old Version) http://www.rambo.hk/uploads/files/UltraDisk_Pro(old_version).zip">Download
X-Disk USB 2.0 http://www.rambo.hk/uploads/files/X-Disk.zip">Download
X-Disk Pro USB 1.1http://www.rambo.hk/uploads/files/X-Disk_Pro.zip">Download

This is every driver that was on the http://www.rambo.hk/driver_downloads.php">drivers downloads page.

Mike.

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felicity

Wednesday 17th January 2007 | 08:38 PM

mike you are an absolute sweetheart. thankyou for the drivers!

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the pen

Monday 16th April 2007 | 07:47 AM

can anyone help my rambo 2 gig flash drive has turned into a cd drive the pc wants me to insert a disk i have tried this on 2 pc's

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Michael

Monday 16th April 2007 | 11:12 AM

Hi 'The Pen'. You need to assign a different drive letter to the flash drive. It's easy. Follow these steps if you are on a Vista or XP based machine.

1) Insert the flash drive into a USB port.
2) Go to the Control Panel and look inside 'Administrative Tools' and double click 'Computer Management'.
3) In the window that appears, click on 'Disk Management' in the left menu. A list of all your drives will appear in the main pane.
4) Locate the flash drive. It will be FAT32 file system and be about 1.92gb in size. Right click on it and select 'Change drive letter and paths'.
5) Click 'Change', and choose a different drive letter from the list. Maybe 'F' for flash drive if you want. It can be any that are available in the list.

Click OK to any prompts that appear and get close the Computer Management window as you are finished here now. You can follow these steps for any USB drive device even if you simply want to give it a different drive letter. Just leave your 'C' drive as is :-)

All done! Have fun.

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Sam

Tuesday 17th April 2007 | 06:55 PM

Hello, I bought the RamBo 2g last week. It says on the packaging that it comes with a bundle of software. I have looked everywhere in the packaging and on the USB drive but sadly found no software. Where can I download the software from? Cheers

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the pen

Thursday 19th April 2007 | 06:13 PM

thanks for your help michael i followed your instructions but it did not work. the divice manager showed my flash drive was shown as disk 1, removable "e" and no media when i changed the drive to "f" the same problem occured insert disc in drive "f" and shown as above, do you have any other ideas?
regards pen

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Tim

Friday 27th April 2007 | 07:43 PM

Hi - I have 2 x2gb Rambos.
When either is inserted to the USB port the PC recognises & attributes a drive letter to them(G), but they can't be opened & data recovery software does not help either - any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Michael

Friday 27th April 2007 | 07:57 PM

Tim. Try changing the drive letter. Right click on My Computer, Select 'Manage', and then go down to disc management. Locate the G drive and right click it and change it to a different drive letter. Make sure the Rambo is plugged into a USB port before you try this.

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Tim

Friday 27th April 2007 | 08:11 PM

Thank's for the suggestion Michael.
I changed the drive letter as you advised, and the message 'Please insert disc into drive I' came up as it did previously.
I do have a 4gb Rambo that does not present this problem & works fine, but the PC applies 'J' to it, rather than 'I' like the 2gb drive.
HELP!!!!!!

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Michael

Friday 27th April 2007 | 10:37 PM

It sounds like the thumb drive is faulty. Or your PC is not doing it's job properly. I would first eliminate the latter scenario by testing it out on a different PC. If it works then grab all your data and put it onto a CD or DVD.

If it fails again with the same message, I am out of ideas. I know in Disc Management there is an option to import a foriegn volume, but I suspect it will erase all data on the thumb drive.

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Tim

Saturday 28th April 2007 | 09:49 AM

Hi Michael - I have tried them on another PC with the same result.
Do they have a lock or reset switch on them?
I notice they have a hole in the side.
If not, I may have to return them to the supplier, I guess.
Thank's for your time and advice - much appreciated.

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Michael

Saturday 28th April 2007 | 11:25 AM

Yes they do have a lock on the side. U should be able to slide it up and down using a paper clip or something else small. That said, all the lock does it prevent you from writing to it. I insert mine with the lock on often and it still works as expected, except for being able to write to it.

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Mathilda

Thursday 30th August 2007 | 11:07 PM

For Backup you can use Acronis backup; for encryption software you can use WinEncrypt if on Windows, or if Linux then I believe there;s something called Steganos.

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john

Tuesday 2nd October 2007 | 08:54 PM

Hi, I have secret zipped files with my rambo 2gb but now Secretzip does not start. I am using vista

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john

Tuesday 2nd October 2007 | 08:54 PM

Hi, I have secret zipped files with my rambo 2gb but now Secretzip does not start. I am using vista

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Danny

Tuesday 2nd October 2007 | 09:53 PM

Needs to be run in XP mode. Right-click, properties then compatability

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MikeH

Thursday 13th December 2007 | 01:17 PM

I don't know about fitting into a body cavity. Not with that pocket clip. Ouch.

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Errol

Friday 4th January 2008 | 09:55 AM

I bought mine from www.apusauction.com.au 2gb for $9.95 on special but regular $14.95

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Christie

Thursday 31st January 2008 | 08:19 AM

Hi Michael,

I've tried to download the drivers you put back together but keep getting the refresh page come up. All settings are right. Any suggestions???

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kris

Sunday 23rd March 2008 | 08:17 PM

plz , can someone help me! how can i lock my rambo 2gb and rambo 1gb!! i m using VISTA .

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Jim

Monday 24th March 2008 | 10:13 PM

The Rambo 1gig drive is the worse I've ever had. Very slow. it is also almost 2x the size of my other pen drives.

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Mark Rose

Wednesday 5th November 2008 | 03:57 PM

I have the 16GB version of this great little drive, and have used it successfully for weeks.
Unfortunately it now comes up with "Write Protected" whenever I try to add to or format the drive. There does not seem to be any physical "lockout" on the unit.... Any ideas on how to turn the write protect off?

Cheers,
Mark

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Terry

Saturday 22nd November 2008 | 03:57 PM

Hello. I have a 2 gb Rambo and when I use about 1 gb of the memory stick it says it is full. any ideas about why this is happenning. Many Thanks. Terry.

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