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U3- Self Starting USB Flash Drives

By Cathy Margolin, Reviews Editor 

 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, Yahoo toolbar, 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 awesome! Click for Larger Image

If you visit the 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 with Vista?

According to the U3 website, they will have a patch ready when the consumer version of Vista is out. 

Visit the website for applications and flash memory cards that use this standard.



Copyright(c) 2004 NetSurferNews. All rights reserved.

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