July 30, 2006
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.