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What is U3

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DADSGETNDOWN
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What is U3

What is U3 ?

As opposed to ?

ZachHudock
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U3 is a proprietary platform

U3 is a proprietary platform for auto launching applications from a USB drive. It is only able to auto-start because the specially formatted drives contain a partition that tricks the computer into thinking a CD was inserted. Not all available U3 applications are free. Also, U3 applications claim to be completely stealth (leave nothing at all behind), but this is untrue, there is data left in the Most Recently Used list and similar insignificant locations (no PRIVATE data is left behind).

The U3 platform is also being end-of-lifed soon. SanDisk and Microsoft made a deal to produce an "improved" platform to replace U3.

Differences between U3 and PortableApps.com:
U3:

  • Proprietary Format
  • Not everything available for free
  • Claims to leave no trace, does leave some trace, but no personal data is left
  • Dying project
  • Somewhat limited selection of apps

PortableApps.com:

  • Open Format
  • Everything is free
  • Claims to leave no personal data, no personal data is left
  • Quickly growing project

For more information see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U3

The developer formerly known as ZGitRDun8705

Pablo49
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To add to that.

U3 also gives more problems to slightly older computers. Some computers will refuse to recognize the U3 partition and your apps would not be accessable. With portableapps, if th menu doesn't execute you can still access your apps through the portableapps folder on the root of your drive. U3 is typically slower to load due to it pretending to be 2 drives.

gluxon
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One more thing.

There is also one more thing that you left out. The U3 launchpad only works on U3 flash drives while the portableapps platform and programs work on any portable device.

DADSGETNDOWN
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What is the difference in Flash Drives if any.

So I keep seeing, U3 Smart Drive, U3 Flash Drive,
and Flash drive used.

are U3's somehow different than the Flash drives I buy at Circuit
City, walmart or whatever ?
Do they say U3 on them ?
or are they all pretty much the same ?

Simeon
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Yes

they are different. U3 drives have 2 partitions on the, a normal removable drive and one pretending to be a cd drive.
Normal usb drives only have one. Most U3 drives can be turned into normal ones if you de-install the U3 platform but not the other way round.

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

Pyromaniac
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so is it possible to install

so is it possible to install the U3 platform on other drives. Also, besides portable apps, are there other "launchpads" besides U3? Are they any good? Can you download them on other flash drives.

Simeon
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no

as I said it isn't possible to turn any drive into an U3 drive.
Yes there are lots of other launchers or Platforms, I dont have any links at the moment.

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

Pyromaniac
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actually, i think that i

actually, i think that i might be able to prove that wrong. I was exploring the U3 website found this:
http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Default.aspx?CatID=1411

Simeon
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nope

The one you linked to only works with Sandisk U3 drives. Believe me, its a hardware thing.

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

Tim Clark
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Simeon is correct

Simeon is correct as usual Biggrin

That program "REinstalls" the launchpad to a U3 drive which has had it removed.

Tim

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m-p-3
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The only thing I could find

The only thing I could find useful in getting a U3 drive would be to emulate a CD drive from an ISO file to install an operating system from it without burning a CD/DVD.

tonythunfish
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One of the most important

One of the most important advantage was not mentioned: The whole Data on a U3-prepared FlashDrive can be password encrypted. (Sandisk Cruzer Micro 8GB) A feature that i miss in PA. Sad

John T. Haller
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Incorrect

The Sandisk Cruzer Micro does not have encryption (neither hardware nor software). It only has "password protection".

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silentcon
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Never heard of U3 now. Seems

Never heard of U3 now. Seems many users dislike it.

(U3 still alive???)

Simeon
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yes

I just bought a Cruzer with U3 last week.

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

John T. Haller
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Nope

U3 Still Alive? Nope. It's been on life support for about a year and a half and is being discontinued within the next few months.

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

casperboy77
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I see that they keep reducing

I see that they keep reducing prices on U3 drives. I know this forum has no connection with U3 but I have been wondering. Will the new "Startkey" a joint venture between Microsoft and Sandisk still run the "old" U3 apps? I have invested a couple hundred dollars in apps for my U3 drive. I am just curious if anyone here has any information on Startkey. Thanks!

John T. Haller
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No

The last public comment made by Sandisk on the U3 forums was no. U3 apps would probably not work on StartKey and U3 drives couldn't be upgraded.

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powerjuce
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however...
as a side note, I have noticed that Sandisk flash drives tend to run apps faster than other drives just my $.02 ~powerjuce

Please search before posting. ~Thanks

John T. Haller
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Middling

In most testing, the Sandisk drives at every price point were about middling to slightly above average on speed. Not slow pokes, but not speed demons. You can do better for your buck.

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

statement
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Good riddance, I always

Good riddance, I always followed U3 as a completely useless pile of crap!

WiMax
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U3 history

Knowing that U3 is about to be buried by Microsoft, I went to the U3 website, downloaded and ran their formatting software on my Sandisk Cruzer. This eliminates the U3 partitions as well as formatting the drive. I then installed the PortableApp suite.

Please type slower, I can't keep up!

OH, CANADA! We stand on guard for thee!

Pyromaniac
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i like U3 though. I haven't

i like U3 though. I haven't had a single problem with it. I wish that U3 would fix some of the problems others say it has.

Miles
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Old versions

The U3 programs are not updated regularly as are John's PA software which are almost always the latest and the greatest. U3 can be months behind, hence when using U3 I install PA's Platform and install the latest programs there and not in U3. U3 is then only used for password protection. Perhaps if any of the software that is included is wanted such as live antivirus, it can be utilized or deleted.

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