U3- Self Starting USB Flash Drives
By Cathy Margolin,
Earlier this year, SanDisk
announced the lauch of a new platform for USB flash drives called U3. U3
is a new standard for portable applications that are resident on the thumb
drives and can be carried from computer to computer without leaving any
trace on each computer. This means your favorite software such as Firefox,
Skype, or Portable version of
RoboForm for passwords and many more other applications including your
profiles, preferences, passwords, favorites can be carried on this flash
drive, used and then just ejected, thereby leaving no trace behind.
As the year progressed more
manufacturers came out with U3 drives. One very nice advantage it the ability
to take your software such as Open Office, Firefox or Skype from PC to PC
without having to load any software each time. It works well on Internet
Cafes also which do not let you load any software.
When you load the USB drive,
it automatically launches the “U3 Launchpad” . If you look at “My Computer”
you will see two drives are now loaded- one a CD and another a removable
drive. The CD partition on the USB drive is used so that the software will
boot. The other partition that is loaded is what you can add your files to. I
recently (Black Friday) purchased a San Disk 4 gig U3 drive and it is
If you visit the U3.com
website, you can download many free applications, as well as some you have to
purchase (such as Roboform and ACDSee).. You just download and run it and the
program is added to your U3 launchpad.
One item that many people
overlook is that you can upgrade the U3 system by going to the Launchpad menu,
selecting "Status and Settings", choosing "U3 Launchpad Settings" and then
pressing the "Check for software updates" button.
Will it work
According to the U3 website,
they will have a patch ready when the consumer version of Vista is out.
U3.com website for applications and flash memory cards that use this