Tuesday, October 10, 2006

U3 USB drive

My company recently purchased a 1GB SanDisk micro cruzer USB drive for me to use.  These devices are great, providing lots of useful space.  However when you insert the drive it automatically runs some software that "assists" you with such tasks as synchronizing and password protecting your files.  Although the software may be useful to some people it isn't to me and there's no easy way to remove it [1].

Manufacturers should realise that they ought not to install - or run - a damn thing on my computer without my permission.  Ask if you must.  And if I say no don't pester me again.  Ever.  A better course of action is to ask me to opt-in; ship a CD along with the device (or provide a URL) that I can choose if I want it installed.

Anyway, after unsuccessfully trying to remove the software for a couple of minutes I hit Google and found that many other users had complained and some had found a solution.  At some stage U3 (makers of the drive) put an uninstaller online.  My PC is now clean again.

Kudos to U3 for putting the uninstaller online but, please, next time do the right thing in the first place.

[1] It fiendishly mounts two drives when you insert the device - one of which fools the operating system to appear as a read-only CD drive.  Clever, but difficult to remove.  Yes there are ways around getting it to run the software (although in this case even disabling autorun wasn't going to cut it) but I just wanted it gone.


expresso-expression said...

Interesting. I recently bought a 256Mb version in Europe and it contained a number of utilities, however, no auto install. I hit Ctrl/A, shift/delete. Bye byes, the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

If you knew what you were doing, you would have noticed the uninstall launchpad feature on your thumbdrive, but what you are missing are the important features of a u3 device, like programs that can be loaded and run saving all your settings no matter where you are. www.u3.com
you should read up on it and you might wish you could reinstall launchpad.

Matt said...

Expresso, it seems we had different software on our drives - deleting files was the first thing I tried which alas, didn't work (you can't tell Windows to delete files from a read-only device).

Anonymous, there was no "uninstall launchpad feature". You had to download an uninstaller from U3.

The U3 "important features" were underwhelming to say the least and there is no chance I will miss them.

Brent said...

U3 _is_ a virus because ScanDisk allows it to INSTALL without first ASKING the user if they want it. Software that modifies your system without your permission is a virus. You plug in the new flash drive, and it auto-installs. No where on the product or packaging was any mention of auto-installing propritary software that would add a virtual cd drive letter and impact system performance, which it did. U3 software will conflict with other popular software such as all varieties of CD/DVD burning software. This is somewhat like the Sony DRM Rootkit which got that company into a great deal of hot water. I have been looking for a group that is interested in seeking civil litigation against Sandisk. Companies that pull this sort of stunt do need to be held accountable.