From the Tips Box: Labeling Your Flash Drive, Turning C Batteries into D Batteries, Silencing Your Hard Drive with Elastic

By Jason Fitzpatrick on March 31st, 2011


It’s time to delve into the tips box and share this week’s top reader tips. Today we’re looking at tips and tricks to help you recover your lost flash drive, turn C batteries into D batteries in a pinch, and silencing your HDD with elastic bands.

Labeling Your Flash Drive


How-To Geek reader James shares a tip on making sure his lost flash drives finds its way home:

Although I’m very careful with my flash drives, accidents happen. In order to increase the chance that I’ll get my flash drive back I’ve done two things. On the outside of the black casing I used a fine tip silver Sharpie marker to write my phone number. I also changed the volume name from the manufacturer’s name to my phone number. This way if they look at the drive or plug it in they’ll come across my number.

Putting the information on both the volume label and the physical casing of the flash drive is the kind of smart redundancy we can get behind. Thanks for sharing James!

Turning C Batteries into D Batteries


The tail end of winter brought some nasty blackouts to the Northeast US this year, Mark writes in with his work around:

Earlier this year there was a massive blackout that lasted for a week in my neck of the woods. Overall I was prepared for it but I didn’t anticipate the huge run on D-cell batteries as people stocked up for their flashlights and electric lanterns. Stuck with tons of C-cell batteries but very few D-cell batteries I stumbled on a solution. You can space out the C-cell batteries with quarters. They don’t last as long but if you’re desperate it’ll keep the lights on.

There’s a good chance Mark is my neighbor, near or far, and we shared in the same miserable blackout. I really wish I would have known this trick last month!

Silencing Your Hard Drive with Elastic


If you’re a stickler for silence, you may be willing to go this to length to keep things quiet:

I love a quiet PC. I managed to get everything about my computer really quiet except the hard drive. I’m not quite ready to make the jump to an SSD yet (although as soon as the prices drop again, I won’t be able to resist). My solution was to use heavy duty elastic ties to suspend my speedy but vibration prone hard drive inside the case. Now I can’t hear it unless I have my ear pressed right to the vent holes.

There are kits on the market that have silicone washers and other silencing elements, but if you really want to minimize all vibration on a traditional hard drive a bungie-suspension sure sounds like the way to go.

Have a great tip to share? Shoot us an email at and we’ll do our best to get it on the front page.


Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/31/11
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