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AutoLauncher4U3 - Launch Your Own Menu App

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computechx
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AutoLauncher4U3 - Launch Your Own Menu App

I've created an auto launcher for the U3 drives.
Currently the install process only works on SanDisk.
It replaces the LaunchU3.exe on the CD-Rom portion of the U3 Drive.
It will search for {drive letter}\Launcher.ini and read the path to your menu app.
If it doesn't find the launcher.ini it will prompt you for the path to your menu app and create the launcher.ini on the root of the drive where the menu app is located.

New Version now downloads and runs the installer for you.
Just keep clicking next.
New Update New Installer and more informational settings screen.

You can download it here.
http://u3usb.smithtech.us

Lurking_Biohazard
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.

Download is here.

~Lurk~ Email

~Lurk~

computechx
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AutoLauncher 1.1

New version 1.1
When launched for the first time, this version searches for launcher.ini, if it doesn't find it, you will be prompted for the path to your menu app (This MUST be on your usb drive).
It will create the launcher.ini on the root of your usb drive and launch the menu app.
Everytime after it will search for the launcher.ini, read the apppath for your menu app and launch it.
It also now excepts a switch if your app uses one. i.e. iview32.exe /thumbs

Download it here
http://www.smithtech.us/u3usb/downloads/autolauncher1.1.zip

Tim Clark
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Other Files

Can I assume the other files in the zip (those in addition to "cruzer-autorun.iso"), autolauncher.exe and cruzer-autorun.iso.uibak are there so we can see what's in the .iso and are for informational purposes?
I.E. We don't use them as part of the process of the installation.

Tim

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computechx
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That would be a correct assumption

I didn't actually mean to put those files in the zip.
all you need is the .iso and the instructions document

Simeon
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winRAR?

Do you use winRAR?
I do and it shows all my ISO's as if they were zip-files.
Just teach your windows to show you the file-endings (like .zip, .doc, .iso).Then you know who is who.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

sos1043
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"Browse Launcher" ?

computechx,
Tried exactly as stated. Seemed fairly strait forward, but I get a dialog box. What do I enter in the dialog box? The actual name of the app? I thought this would have been auto-populated due to the change of the iso.....
Something I missed?
I get an error when I click on Browse Launcher:
"Run time error '429': ActiveX component can't create object"
If I select Set Launch:
"Run time error '5': Invalid procedure call or argument"
I have rerun the LPInstaller.exe and allowed it w/o the changed iso, but now the same results and I'm not bac where I started before the mod.
Any Help appreciated.
thx, jeff

...play nice, it's only my opinion..........

sos1043
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another migraine & tremendous waste of time

....

...play nice, it's only my opinion..........

macsucks
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??????

I dont understand the directions that you gave in the zip....what do you do w/ the iso?

computechx
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Replace the Sandisk ISO

You have to replace the Sandisk ISO
Where the instructions say STOP!!
There is a path in the next screenshot, your path will be similiar.
You have to browse to the iso the installer downloads.
I dont know how I can make the instructions more clear.

Nerd
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I cannot even begien to

I cannot even begien to express my gratitude towards u! This is even better than u3 and ceedo! my fav launcher!
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Darth Vader:No Luke! I am your father! Join me Luke! Together we can rule the galexy as father and son!
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cliffy
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Replacing the .iso

Is there a way to force it to accept the new ISO into the U3 temp folder? Every time I try, it throws an error saying that the file is in use by another program.

Cancelling out of the setup obviously does nothing, as the sub-temp folder has a unique name each time you run it. Changing the folder and file attributes allows the sub-temp folder to persist, but not the ISO... and it creates a new folder next time it's executed.

A little help?

Simeon
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Unlocker

To cliffy:
I had the same problem, too.
There is a programm called "Unlocker". It unlocks the file so you can use it.
Just google for it.Then install it on your local PC.During the installation, check the "sent-to"-box.After the installation process is finished, run the iso-installer and when it comes to replacing the iso, just unlock it by right-clicking on the original iso and "sending it to" the unlocker. after he's finished his job, you can copy the new iso.

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

cliffy
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Thanks, Simeon. Unlocker

Thanks, Simeon. Unlocker worked like a champ.

Alas, I still encountered problems after the fact. First, (and this is a duh-moment) make sure security is not enabled in U3 before running the update. Everything was all sorts of messed up after that. Reinstalling the U3 update proper allowed me to disable it, but after trying to install the autolaunch package again, I kept getting application/active-x errors whenever I'd try to point it to PStart.

Oh well. I can honestly live with PStart autolaunching from U3 itself...

Simeon
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yeahh

You re right. Unlocker saved my day a couple of times Wink
Im too using PStart launched by u3. Works betterb than all the other Starters I tried...

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate

walkeraj
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the next generation: u3-autorun

Inspired by this and other software, I have written my own replacement for the U3 Launchpad. Somewhat more generic, it reads from an .ini file on the removable drive to find the program you want to launch. It also supports auto-ejecting of the drive when your menu-app terminated. It still has some testing to be done, but has performed admirably in all of my tests.

As soon as I get the sourceforge project up, I shall be making the sourcecode available as well.

https://portableapps.com/node/3318

I write teh software.

computechx
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AutoLauncher 1.3

New version now downloads and runs the installer for you.
No need to copy the iso anymore.
Just keep clicking next.

http://u3usb.smithtech.us

Tim Clark
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Password??

I assume this will not password protect the drive unless the Subsitute launcher has some kind of password protection of its own which recognizes the writable portion of the flash and has the ability to deny access to it if it the correct password is not entered.

Tim
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computechx
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You would be correct

You would be correct in your assumption.
The autolauncher simply launches what ever program you want started when you insert the U3 thumb drive, I use PStart as my menu app.
The are several encryption programs out there, personally I use cryptainer.

John T. Haller
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Encryption vs Passwords

If you're worried about security... you should be using encryption anyway as just a password isn't secure. Think of it like a Windows password. Unless you have encryption turned on, if you lose your laptop, anyone can gain access to all your files with either a Linux boot disk or by popping your drive out and hooking it up to another PC. Same thing with a password-protected USB stick that doesn't use encryption... except the drive is already out of the PC. All your critical stuff should be in some sort of encrypted container (passwords in a password manager with at least AES128, files in something like TrueCrypt).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

azjerry
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age old problem

Unfortunately the old problem of programs like TrueCrypt needing administrator access is still with us. While not a problem for users that have admin access on the machines they use, if they go to a locked down PC, they're screwed.

Ideally we need a "TrueCrypt" that doesn't need admin access which, AFAIK, isn't possible.

Other solutions I've seen either
- encrypt/decrypt the contents of the whole drive (ala YadaByteDisk) which (assuming any sizable amount of data on the drive) is slow.

- encrypt/decrypt specific files/folders within an encrypted "folder" (ala bcarchive). This allows encrypting just the desired files/folders but all access is thru the program interface.

Many of these provide no command line access which prevents automation.

John T. Haller
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Commercial

There are a couple commercial encryption programs that do not require admin mode. And I am working with a couple manufacturers with hardware encryption on the drive and fingerprint scanners to ensure that the apps all work from them (and even bundle them).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Tim Clark
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John, Of course you are

John,
Of course you are correct, as always.

But for most people I think the U3 USafe Password protection is fine.

In order for someone to bypass it they would really have to want to get into MY stuff. I really don't have State secrets to protect. My concern, and I think most peoples concern, is, if John Doe finds my drive on the street, or the average co-worker finds it on my desk, will they be able to get into my data. The answer is No. I have encryption software if I need it but I find it clunky for the average users needs. Of course if you have a U3 without the USafe feature it might be something worth considering, depending of course on what's on your drive.

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

John T. Haller
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Depends on who you're talking about...

It all depends on who you're worried about protecting it against. If Joe Average finds a regular drive, chances are he's not going to know how to get your password out of Thunderbird or Gaim... and even if he did, you'd already have changed them after losing the drive. And, if you're smart, you've got all your important info (passwords, credit card numbers, etc) within something like Keepass which uses high-end AES-256 encryption on all passwords, usernames, notes, etc so no one can get access to it.

The problem is if someone technically-inclined finds your drive. With any drive that's not encrypted, you should be worried. U3's password protection doesn't encrypt your data... and it's surprisingly easy to recover files from... even for someone of modest technical ability. So, like a Windows password, it's a false sense of security... security by obscurity.

The only way to have your files secure is to encrypt them. Anything less and you should be worried if you lose your drive.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Tim Clark
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I can't do it

John,

I can only tell you that I cannot get into my U3 drive without the password. I am the geekyest person I know. I have tried and if it keeps me out I think it will keep out anyone that "I" would worry about.

You said, "it's surprisingly easy to recover files from..."

That's not quite the same as saying breaking into the writable partion.
I guess you are telling us that you have gotton past the password?
And that it is easier than we think?

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

John T. Haller
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It's easier than you think

It's actually easier than you think. There are two methods. The first is the hard way... which is to use a program to get around the password. I've heard from a developer friend that he's seen one in action that hacks through it. I haven't looked into this method myself, so I can't speak to the validity of that claim.

The easy way is to click forgot password and have it erase the drive. The problem is that it doesn't actually erase the drive, it just does a quick format. All your files are still there and any undelete / data recovery program can then pull any file off the drive. At least, this is the way my Geek Squad U3 drive works (the only U3 drive I have that has password protection).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Tim Clark
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I thought so.

When you used the word "recover" I was pretty sure this is what you meant.
Yes, I did realize that "resetting" the drive would give one access to the writeable portion and that "undelete" programs could come into play.

But, as you said "Depends on who you're talking about..."
In my case if someone is going to Steal my drive, know about resetting U3, and has access to undelete tools, or has the tools to hack it the hard way, they gonna get in anyway. My enemies are not that great.

I'm more worried about a random Snoop in the office, or if it's found on the street.

P.S. Perhaps we should delete these last parts of the thread Wink

Tim
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Things have got to get better, they can't get worse, or can they?

computechx
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New Update

New Name - AutoLauncher4U3
New Installer - More Intuitive
New Settings Window - Hopefully easier to understand.
New Version convention to be more consistent with standards, added a 0 in the middle.
Ver 1.0.4
http://usb.smithtech.us

John T. Haller
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Source code...

I just realized that there's no source code or license posted along with this. As indicated in the forum guidelines, only open source software may be posted here. Please release the source (whatever state it's in is fine... we're not picky Smile ) and under an OSI-approved license (BSD-style, GPL, public domain, etc).

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

computechx
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Source & Licence

John,
I couldn't find the guidelines you mentioned. Not that I'm questioning them, just looking for information. I posted the source on my website with the app. As far as license, that is what I was looking for information on. I'm not familiar with the terms of any of the "approved" licenses. Could you possible post some information on each of them somewhere in the forums?

John T. Haller
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More info

Sure thing... It's a part of the prohibition on self-promotion within the Forum Guidelines that are stickied at the top of the General Forum and are linked at the top of the page whenever you create a new post in the forums. Basically, you can't promote your own websites or software. The only exception is that you're allowed to post about software that you release as open source under an OSI-approved license.

So, what's that mean? OpenSource.org lists a set of open source licenses that are considered Free. (Unlike, say, Microsoft's shared source license which just lets you look at the source but not modify or use it in other projects) The most popular licenses are GPL, MPL, BSD and public domain. GPL makes sure that your code stays free (anyone is free to use it as long as they release what they do under the same license) and is the license I use for all the portable launchers I create. MPL is a bit more complicated, but basically ensures that your code stays available but can be incorporate into closed-source proprietary projects. BSD is pretty much unlimited, just ensuring that whoever uses your code keeps your copyright on the code itself. And public domain means you just put it out there for anyone to do anything the like with.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, so please ignore my brief explanations and read the licenses if you want the real deal on em. Smile

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

petethechop
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Kingston support?

Any plans to extend support of this app to non-SanDisk devices, such as Kingston?

SmithTech
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Support for other

Support for other manufacturers is planned, currently I have to wait for them to release an update installer, and get drives to test on.
As far as I know Sandisk is the only manufacturer to release a downloadable installer.

John
www.smithtech.us
smithtechmail-usbprojects@yahoo.com

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

computechx
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Error 429 Fixed

Posted an update that should fix the Error 429 for those that were getting it.
http://usb.smithtech.us

mykroft
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Autorun

Since flashing my cruzer no longer auto starts your util - i thought it did the 1st time but now i am now sure.....

What do i need to look for - if i double click on your app everything is fine and the suite menu is started.

Do i need pstart as well?

Myk

SmithTech
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What are your system

What are your system specs?
I have seen this once on an older machine, the launcher searches for the ini file before the second partition is initialized by window so the "drive" doesn't exist yet. I'm guessing of course since I have no information on your system or what it is doing when you plug the drive in.

John
www.smithtech.us
smithtechmail-usbprojects@yahoo.com

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

mykroft
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Specs

Intel P4 2.4g overclocked to 2.63g
1g ram
Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT
Win XP Pro

The Cruzier autostart software worked like a charm but I could not add the suite software to its menu.

When viewing mycomputer and inserting the stick, I see the 1st drive show up and within aprox 1 sec see the 2nd drive letter show up, I do see the access light blinking on the stick, but the suite menu icon never shows up.

If I open the autostart drive and doubleclick on it, the suite menu comes up and I can run everything normal from there. When I pull the stick, the suite menu unloads and both drive letter disappear almost instantly.

I am not sure what to look for....

suggestions or ideas?

Thanks
Myk

SmithTech
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I just finished making some

I just finished making some changes to the autolauncher, reworte the drive/ini search routine, haven't had time to do any testing though, once I do I will post it.
Hopefully this update will work, it has to be a timing issue. Its searching to fast and not finding the ini file. But its strange that it isn't doing anything usually if it doesn't find the ini I opens the settings window to ask for the location of your start app.
Hopefully in the next day or two I will have a chance to test the changes I made and will post the new version.
Not to put you off the launcher, but you could use my shortcut creator to add the suite to the U3 menu.

John
usb.smithtech.us
smithtechmail-usbprojects@yahoo.com

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

SmithTech
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New Update Posted See the

New Update Posted
See the Beta forum for details
https://portableapps.com/node/3791

John
usb.smithtech.us
smithtechmail-usbprojects@yahoo.com

"Because they stand on a wall and say, 'Nothing is going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch.'" (A Few Good Men)
Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.(Albert Einstein)

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