Uninstalling U3

Not long ago I bought a small, cheap 256 MB Memorex USB flash drive to get files from here to there — the kind of files that are too small for a CD-R but also too big for a quick internet transfer. Unfortunately, it came preloaded with U3, a library that allows the USB drive to run specially designed programs without leaving data behind. Programs like Portable Firefox and Thunderbird are available, letting you bring all your day-to-day software wherever you go.

I, however, disliked the idea of bringing sensitive data such as email settings out into the open, in the event my drive got stolen or lost. Also, U3 launches each time you plug the drive into a Windows machine, and the last thing I need is more little alerts popping up when using Windows. It appears that the U3 company recently gave in to public demand and released a U3 uninstaller to completely remove the software (which has the side effect of formatting the entire drive). It worked like a charm. Now I’ve got my 6 MB partition back and I couldn’t miss U3 any less.

Update: Some more technical information on the U3 drives.

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Uninstalling U3

3 thoughts on “Uninstalling U3

  1. JZ37 says:

    If you ever decide you want to try running a couple programs off your USB flash drive… and not have to deal with all the U3 stuff, give something like portableapps.com a try. They’re all standalone. Or you can pick from a couple different free launcers. They’re all free, open source and run from anywhere you want (even your desktop).

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  2. Elly says:

    You can password protect the U3 drive and also you can use the U3 drive as a regular data storage drive by holding down shift as you plug it in (until Windows recognises it). That way you have have the flexibility of either use as you choose.

    Elly

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  3. Steve B says:

    U3 would be well advised to take two more steps:
    1) Get rid of the Autorun feature – it takes control away from the customer. Give me a program where if I want the special features to autorun I have to remember to hold down the shift key – not one where if I don’t I’ll end up loading software onto my boss’s machine when I’m transferring a data file! You can say what you want about it residing on the key only – a non-techie boss just sees this as a potential virus.
    2) Provide a way to uninstall without reformatting.

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