How do I remove the U3 Smart Software from my Sandisk Flash Drive?

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over_c

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I recently discovered the true evil of the included software on my Sandisk Cruzer Micro 1 GB flash drive with "U3 Smart" technology.

It automatically installs this U3 program onto any Windows PC it is plugged into. Also, the drive itself is partitioned such that a small portion is recognized by WinXP Pro as a CD drive. Therefore, the files on this "CD" partition can't be easily removed by me.

When I erase the program files on the writable partition of the flash drive, they come back the next time I check the drive. I think this happens because the files on the unwritable partition get copied over every time I plug in the drive.

Also, (and here's where it gets really evil) the U3 program that was automatically installed is near impossible to remove. It's not in the add/remove programs list, it's not in the registry, and it's not running as a service. Yet, even after I had a friend open up the flash drive in linux and remove the partitions, and format the drive by writing 0 to every bit, the files were magically back the next time I plugged the drive into a PC with the hidden program. The hidden program restored all the deleted files on the USB device!

So, does anyone know how I can erase this hidden program on my PC and Flash drive once and for all?

Thank you.
 

danmarhk

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I hate U3...
The software packed are available free online...
U3 is just a program annoying users with the menu and increased loading time
 

NewbieTechGodII

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I don't own the product in question, but the topic was of interest to me so I delved in. I clicked on the link Scarchunk posted, and as I was reading, I came across this:

And don't worry - your U3 smart drive does not install software on your hard drive automatically. You can always remove any apps you don't want (and download new ones from the ever growing list of apps at U3.com. Click on the Download U3 Smart Software tab).
Whoa! Did I miss something? Wasn't the OP complaining about the U3 **** being installed on his PC and damned near impossible to remove? Why aren't there any lawsuits being filed? :)
 

wjc3usa

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I'll second that. During a U3 software(firmware?) upgrade, it formatted the drive. I lost everything!
 

Lord Gornak

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No no no, the automatic format was a "Feature" added to the latest upgrade.
 

Flashbangbob

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This worked great thankyou :)
 

bcallen111

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1. U3 was designed for portability
2. U3 will load a small program on your Windows XP or Vista or 2000 so that upon insetion the device launches rapidly. You also need enough RAM, for the device to work efficiently........
3. U3 devices are minature hard drives and as such you must unblock the hidden file system files in Control Panel or you will not be able to see all the software.
4. U3 devices are excellent for travelers who must utilize computers that are not their own. Therefore programs like Robo and Open Office Org are ideal allowing one to read any downloaded email attachments.
5. My experience is that you need a minimum of 8GB this allows several gigabyte for software and sufficient space to store personal files. Also like a hard drive sufficient space to swap files in and out to RAM. That is why you need sufficient RAM.
6. A U3 device can be erased and used simply to store personal files or business files without any software, but then you must manually identify the drive through Windows Explorer and know the location to enter files.
7. U3 devices can become infected with virus or trojan horse like any windows drive.
8. The free anti-viral softwares are great for scanning your drive just prior to removal so that the next computer you use does not become infected.
9. I recently downloaded an Opera upgrade the zipped file was infected and my portable viral software caught the infections (four) immediately....
10. We must remember that these drives are relatively new and eventually this type of technology will replace hard drives in all computers up to including over one terabyte of storage.
11. U3 devices on older computers that only have USB 1.0 technology are very slow, but with patience they work even on an older computer.
12. U3 devices used for password storage and password creation to hide from key logger software should be backed up and/or a duplicate USB device kept locked up in a critical place or you may never be able to enter your password protected websites. Robo encrypts your password..............

 

ineedacpuformyhead

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And guess what? No email on the sandisk site, just telephone, unless you register.. like I would want to give them my email address. Very under-hand methods; very poor integrity: I'd like to be paid for the time I've had to waste removing this software (there was nothing about it on the packaging.) Get your act together sandisk!!!
 
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One thing I noticed is that when you remove the CDFS partition where the U3 software is stored on the device using the software available from the U3 website, YOU DON'T GET THAT STORAGE SPACE BACK!!!

WHERE DOES IT GO!!!

Very crafty Sandisk. You give us the option to remove YOUR software from OUR drive, but in doing so we relinquish the storage space that YOUR SOFTWARE WAS TAKING UP!!

That's just not on.
 

geekfemme

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I JUST put in a new SanDisk flash drive, and noticed a weird system folder with zip file.

I clicked on the 'launch.exe', and it had a help window trying to get me to try their other apps, or just use the flash drive for storage only.

I checked first thing to see how much space this 'extra' stuff was taking, and it was taking up 2...something MB. I was also suprised that when I plugged it in my windows was recognizing multiple things, one of them being the segmented CD drive, which I was very confused by.

So I clicked on the 'storage only' button, and it said just a minute while it removed the software, but it said I could always hit the restore.exe to get it back.

Now I noticed a NEW restoreU3.exe icon next to the launch.exe icon, and the CD drive was now gone. The system and zip folder are still there unchanged.

HOWEVER, I check the flash capacity, and NOW it's using 4.28 MB!!! It DOUBLED in size! What the eff??? Why can't I just have a flash drive with nothing on it? What is all this malarky? I wonder if the flash drive will be hurt if I just delete all that junk. :heink:
 

Somet22

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Hello there, i am in need of help removing a U3 launch file, that i transferred from a class mates USB along with some other files that i needed by accsident, now since i dont got the USB, i cant use the removal tool, and it wont let it self be deleted since it need administrator approval to delete it, there is only 1 bloody user on my pc, i use vista by the way, any that can help me remove the exe file?
 

SRSCA

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I dont know I find the U3 software ok I dont use the U3 apps but I like the user password keeps my data safe if I loose the drive
I hope I dont loose it it is an 8gig
But Imation has a simular software called CLIP Software again I use only the PASSWORD option
SRSCA
 

seekermeister

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I came to this thread in search for a different solution...not to remove U3, but to return it to the condition it was delivered in. I bought the drive with the intent of using it for ReadyBoost in Windows 7, but that turned sour, not improving anything, and in fact I'm having a problem with boot hangs since installing it. However the hangs are not the reason for my post.

When Windows converted it to ReadyBoost, it kept 7MBs of CDFS containing U3 and converted the rest to FAT32. I'm assuming that for the drive to regain it's potential as a U3 drive, that everything needs to be changed back to CDFS. This is something that can not be done via formatting in Disk Management, but if it were, I assume that it would be necessary to copy/paste the U3 files elsewhere, and copy/pasted back after formatting is finished to preserve the files. However, this leaves two questions...is there something else involved that is not apparent on the surface, that would need to be addressed to restore the drive properly, and what to use to do the formatting?
 

steekyjim

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Please note that if your lcick the 'cancel' button during the 'backing up drive' state the program will then procede to wipe the drive. It doesn't cancel the whole thing, it only cancels backing up! I did this and lost all my data. Luckily I dont think theyre was anything important on there.

 

walthy

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If you only want a thumb drive, then use Angie's solution or buy a different model without U3.

I've had a U3 for several years and I think it really has a place in a PC tech's toolkit. If you can find a useful application that is written to U3 specs, it is a great solution.

Avast makes a U3 version of their virus scanner. A great way to be safe as you move from machine to machine.

Thornsoft has a clipboard extender product called Clipmate that runs totally on the U3. I can take all of my favorite settings, passwords (encrypted), and all of my clips from machine to machine legally.

How many times have you needed to load a helpful utility to a friend's or client's machine, use it, and then have to uninstall it before you leave to stay marginally legal. If you have U3 applications, all of the programs execute and all of the needed data is stored on the U3 drive and you are totally legal and it just saved you a bunch of time not having to install and uninstall the utility you need. And I don't have to run CCleaner to clean up any mess I've left behind, because there isn't any.

The U3 concept is a very good one, but you need to read the U3 consortium's website info to really understand the ins and outs. If you haven't read the manual, don't complain when something goes wrong. I personally love my U3 and plan to buy a bigger version soon.

Where else can you get truly portable and legal apps that work on any machine (with the correct OS) without having to go through the install process.


I think there are partitioning apps out there such as HPs flash formatter that can clean off your thumb drive and U3 allows you to install the latest version of their software from the U3 website. I have not seen the CDFS issue, but usually flash drives want to use FAT32. As I understand it NTFS is not desirable on flash drives although I am using it on an SSD.
 
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