i Can use IBM DVD Images with my USB 3.0 Adapter

IBM i began supporting USB flash drives back in 2012, but their use was restricted to save/restore and IFS options (refer to the blog IBM i Now Supports USB Flash Drives for additional background information). Many users downloaded the IBM Fix (PTF) DVD images, copied them to a flash drive, and then discovered they could not access the fixes because the entire DVD image was “just a file”.


IBM i Now Supports USB Flash Drives

Last October, IBM i introduced Removable Mass Storage (RMS) technology with the RDX removable disk cartridge. The blog “Removable Mass Storage” reviewed that capability. Today, IBM is adding support to use USB Flash Drives as a second type of RMS technology. Flash drives can hold as much data as multiple DVDs and can typically access the data much faster. This allows a much more convenient way to move data (either IFS or save data) to another machine. IBM does not qualify nor recommended any particular device, but typical USB 2.0 devices from 2 to 32GB have been used in our testing. Performance varies from device to device, but ranges of 1 to 4 MB/S for IFS writes are typical. If a particular flash drive does not work, it may not comply with the USB interface specifications, and a different drive should be used. 


Removable Mass Storage

IBM i added support for a new type of removable media late in 2012. Removable spinning disk (RDX) has become reliable and relatively fast, and can be used as a cost competitive save restore device. Prior to this support, removable media was either Tape or Optical. IBM called this new type of device Removable Mass Storage (RMS).

You can find the latest information on RDX device support on the Technology Updates page at IBM i IO Support Details.