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Thinking about U3? Think again...

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casperboy77
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Thinking about U3? Think again...

About 2 weeks ago I went into Wal-Mart and bought 2 SanDisk Cruzer 2.0gb U3 drives for $79.99 each. The drive worked beautifully without a problem. I spent quite a bit of money on some U3 apps (Zoom Media Player, Signupshield, Solitaire, Invaders, WinRAR for U3, and Arcade Lines). Again all had worked well. The only gripe I had was I kept asking when Firefox 2.0 was coming out for U3. Well just last week I had pre-ordered and on release received Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. My U3 drives didn't work at all on Windows Vista. I contacted SanDisk the firmware on my drives is version 2.18. According to SanDisk my drives will NEVER work on Windows Vista, and no way possible to update them. The guy told me they are developing a model that is Vista compatable and it should be out in March. Later that day I tried to return the drives to Wal-Mart with my recipt. One of the drives was even still new/unopened in the package. Wal-Mart wouldn't return them, they didn't give a reason other then them explaining they were electronics. So I hopped into my car and tried another Wal-Mart and got the same exact answer. So I have these 2 new U3 drives and can't return them. So I figured that I would simply e-mail SanDisk and ask them if I can mail them my 2 drives and exchange them for drives that are Vista compatible when they come out. Here was SanDisk reply:

Dear Jim,

Thanks again for contacting SanDisk Technical Support. It is our goal to make sure you have all the resources you need to get the most from your product.

We are sorry to inform you that we cannot exchange the Cruzers with U3 2GB Cruzer Micro2 flashdrives that you have with the Cruzer Contour that we are going to release on March.

SanDisk only process defective replacements but not exchanges. As you will see on the minimum system requirements printed on the package, Windows Vista is not on the compatibility list. (* U3 functionality only supported on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and later & XP OS ). With windows Vista the U3 would not work and the flashdrive will work as a regular flashdrive.

It is with much regret to inform you that the place of purchase (Walmart) is the only one who can replace the product for you.

Please refer to your eBox anytime to see additional resources from SanDisk.

You can also use this Support Request tool for contacting SanDisk in the future.

Best regards,
Roland Spencer A.
SanDisk Technical Support

Nice support for a brand new pruduct eh? So I used SanDisk utility and removed the U3 launchpad. I tried Ceedo's free trial and that did install but didn't work very well at all on Vista, it kept giving a ton of errors. So I tried portableapps menu half way through installing it completly without warning reboot the computer. I haven't been able to get that working either.

So to sum up my long story I am stuck with 2 drives that cost $79.99 each and can only use them as a storage (had I wanted that I would have bought a cheap 2 gig drive). As for all the application I bought for the U3 drive, Luckily the licenses for those apps are also compatable on the regular PC version of the apps. There are only a couple apps I am stuck with that won't work. I'm not about to dump my newly installed Windows Vista Ultimate Edition that I bought from Gateway just for a fly by night technology.

My advise for anyone wanting to purchase a U3 drive, DON'T! I also wouldn't recommend buying anything from SanDisk seeing that they won't even exchange a couple 2 week old drives. The idiots should have put in a flashable firmware or at least did something more then what they are doing. I greatly advise anyone wanting an app launcher on a flash drive simply get a cheap flash drive and download the FREE app launcer here from Portable Apps. It's free and you have nothing to loose. I wish I knew then what I know now.

-Jim

Simeon
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Could you decribe

the problem a little further why PAM wont work om your Vista?

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vexorian
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hmmm

You might consider to read his post again

rich.bradshaw
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Getting locked in to

Getting locked in to pointless software like U3 is always a bad idea.

The software here will of course work in Vista, you can remove the U3 section of your drive using a tool from Sandisk - that is what I have done with my Cruzer.

Zach Thibeau
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well

Well there is an update for the u3 launcher that will allow users to use it on windows vista. You just have to be patient

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

casperboy77
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About U3 LaunchPad

Your right there is an update it is allready available. But it only works on certain firmware. I have Firmware 2.1.8. Here is what U3 said:

Manufacturers' Firmware Restrictions
Due to legacy issues, some versions of firmware cannot be upgraded to support Microsoft Vista.
On the U3 Launchpad, the firmware version is called Device Version.
On some drives, the Launchpad will not work properly with Vista even if they are upgraded to Launchpad version 1.4.x.x.
On these devices, the removable disk partition works normally with Vista.

For SanDisk smart drives: firmware (or device) versions 2.1.5 and 2.2.1 support Vista
while firmware releases 2.1.6, 2.1.7, 2.1.8, and 2.2.0 do NOT support Vista.

SanDisk unfortunatly told me the same thing when I called them.

As for Portable Apps Menu I'm not sure why I couldn't get it working right. I used SanDisk Uninstall Utility and fully removed U3. I then formatted the drive. I did this on my laptop running XP w/SP2. I then put the drive into my Vista computer and tried to install the Portableapps menu. While half way through installing it, it kicked off the computer and rebooted. This happened twice. Maybe I'll try installing it from my laptop with XP and see if I can get it on there. I'm sure it will work because people says it is Vista compatible. Irregardless if it works or not, Portable Apps menu is free and I have nothing to loose. Where as the U3 technology on my SanDisk drive cost alot of money and now it is useless (for the launcher anyways, but that is why I bought it in the first place).

John T. Haller
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Installing PortableApps Menu

I'd suggest formatting the drive on your laptop as FAT32 and then installing the software on that same PC. That should get you up and running and will remove the Vista machine as a possible cause.

And, yes, PortableApps Menu works just fine on Vista and has since it was released back in November. It's backward and forward compatible (everything from Windows 95 through Windows Vista and even on Linux via Wine).

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vexorian
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Removed U3

I used to have U3 in my drive and I removed it using http://www.u3.com/uninstall/ . Even without U3 would my drive still be incompatible with Vista?

John T. Haller
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I think so

I think once it's uninstalled it's a relatively standard drive. But I've heard reports of performance issues, etc on them even with U3 uninstalled. I'd suggest just trying it out.

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

casperboy77
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About U3 drive with U3 uninstalled

That is what I have done, I'll breifly explain my expeirance. When uninstalling U3 you must do it on a Windows XP machine, if you try it on Vista it will fail. After U3 LaunchPad is uninstalled Format the drive. The drive will work like a regular storage device. But if you try to format it on Vista it won't format. It is really messed up. You must format it on XP. I really don't think Vista likes these SanDisk Cruzer drives, well at least with the firmware I have anyways. Vista also offers to use the drive as Ready Boost too, I'm going to try that out and see how the drive holds up.

I'll try to install Portable Apps Menu on my XP machine and let you know how it works. By any small chance is there any such thing that will let you "emulate" U3 so that I can run a few of the apps I bought for U3? I'm sure the answer is "no" but I figure it don't hurt to ask.

-Jim

John T. Haller
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Which apps

Which apps are you missing? Some of the software vendors already have open portable versions of their apps that work with the PortableApps Menu and may let you transfer the license. Others are working on PAF packages of their apps now.

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

Simeon
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Will we hear

here who this is or do we have to google to know about?

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John T. Haller
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Some you know, some you will

Some you know... Some of the most popular commercial U3 apps like Pass2Go, SignupShield and EssentialPIM already have straight portable versions available from their own websites. Though they don't yet have PAF packages, they'll work just fine from the PortableApps Menu.

Some you will... Some others I'm working with on PAF packages and they'll be announced here.

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

azjerry
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my experience

is slightly different. I have a Verbatim and Kingston 1G U3 drives. I removed the U3 using the common utility on XP and formatted on XP.

Neither mount properly on my Dell laptop from work running XP (I have to disable and then reenable them).

I've got Vista Business at home. The Kingston currently has all the PortableApps on it. Vista keeps insisting that it needs to be formatted which I decline. I can then browse to it and run all the apps on it. I haven't moved the apps to the Verbatim yet.

It appears that after removing U3 there is still something "different" about the drive that Vista doesn't like.

SimpsonGI
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My Response from Sandisk

I too just bought a couple of the U3 2.0 GB Sandisk Flash Drives. However, I got a slight different response when I contacted them about the firmware. The two drives I bought came with firmware version 2.20 which of course isn't Vista compatible, but it sounds like they are working on it.


SanDisk Response: (02/24/2007 07:54)
Hello Gary,
Thank you for contacting SanDisk Technical Support. My name is Paul John and I will be glad to assist you with your concern.
Please accept my apologies for whatever inconvenience you have experienced. Rest assured that I will do my best to assist you.
Gary, as of now, Cruzers with U3 is not guaranteed to work on Windows Vista computer. However, Windows Vista is compatible with Cruzers with U3 Launchpad version 1.4.0.2 and higher. All Cruzers with device version 2.17, 2.18, 2.19 and 2.20 will not be Vista compatible even with the new U3 Launchpad. Cruzers with device version 2.15, 2.16 and
2.21 will be able to upgrade to Vista compatibility. Currently, a solution for the Cruzers with incompatible device versions is under development but it will not likely be ready until the third quarter of this year.
To check the device version of your Cruzer, plug it to a Windows XP or Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 computer. Simply start the U3 Launchpad and click on "About U3 Drive". It will show you the following information about your U3:
- U3 Launchpad version
- Device serial number
- Device version
- ADAPI version
For verification purposes, kindly provide us the following information:
- Product Description
- Purchase Date
- Place of Purchase
- Part Number (Gather all alphanumeric characters on your flash drive)
- Name
I hope this information resolves your concern with SanDisk. If you need further assistance, please feel free to reply to this e-mail.
Thank you for contacting SanDisk Technical Support. Have a great day.
Best regards,
Paul John L.
SanDisk Technical Support

[Moderator RM: Due to technical restrictions, you can't have an empty line in a <cite> block as it breaks the <cite>. I fixed for you.]

petethechop
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Maybe....

Maybe the underlying problem is that you bought an operating system that was only a few weeks old. As long as we're talking about what not to do, I'd say that's it.

casperboy77
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A Happy Ending.....

It has been a very long time since I posted on here. I was completly done with U3 and never planned to buy another one again until yesterday. I was in my local Wal-Mart looking at thumb drives (because the two U3 2.0gig Cruizers I had were useless in Vista)I was checking out their selection. And I chuckled when I seen the Sandisk 2.0gig drives for $31.97 when I had paid $79.99 each for mine. For the hell of it I picked one up and flipped it over and it said U3 Vista Compatible. Well later on that day I talked to a friend of mine who is a manager at a near by Wal-Mart. She told me to bring in my old U3 drives (old packaging and all) and she would exchange them for the new ones for me. They are exactly identical except the packaging has changed. I went home and plugged one of the new drives into my USB port (Expecting Vista to crash), and low and behold it friggan worked beautiful. So I have been loading all the software that I had purchased for my original U3 drive onto the new one and no problems what so ever at all. At the moment I am a happy camper again. I will forever be leary of SanDisk products though, because they don't care about the customer.

digitxp
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What?

I got mine as a gift and it was only 25 bucks! That's the problem with retailers. The other day I saw a 50 dollar videocam that's 80 buck in Target. It's a good idea to buy direct.

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nroach
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That's strange.

Hmmmm.My cruzer is the Same model & Works Fine On Win Home Premium.And whats more fascintating is that KMART refunds them for faulty Apps. I can also run portableapps from the U3 drive with the launchpad all loaded.

HMMMMMM.
NAthANieL

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