Argh, I just bought a U3 Kingston 1GB USB Thumbdrive and I'm very pissed off with it after having found this site and reading through the forum. Should have gotten a cheaper one with much faster speed.
1)I would just like to know what is the difference between a U3 and non-U3?
At first I thought u3 has at least the advantage of U3 Launcher but later I found out that Portable Apps also has pstart. (what I meant is a menu to open applications)
2)Does it mean that only U3-thumb drive can autorun whereas non-U3 thumb drive cant? (Using autorun.inf)
3)Does U3-thumb drive install anything whenever I plug my USB into a computer in my uni?
4)Can I stop(or disable) using those launcher without uninstalling it?I mean I want to use it as a pure non-usb drive but dont want to uninstall it from my thumb drive. If i do so then I cant use the encryption security features of U3?
Damn, I cant find even a difference.
DONT EVER BUY U3, eve tho I can uninstall U3 later if really I cant find any advantage, having the U3 logo on the thumb drive is a shame.
I'll try and answer some of your questions.
U3 drives enable you to run software off the U3 device, leaving no trace of your data or applications. You can encrypt and password protect the drive. U3 applications will run on any U3 device from any manufacturer and are designed, tested and certified to operate with the U3 platform.
The drives are still mass storage, you can use the U3 functionality or not as you wish. There are two ways of bypassing the launchpad (without going for the full uninstall):
1. Start up the drive as mass storage by holding down the shift key while you insert the drive until windows recognizes it,
2. You can make it so the launchpad never runs on insertion (see directions at http://u3.com/support/default.aspx#U3%20Launchpad2
Regarding installation of files: Files may be temporarily installed on the hard disk during runtime but are all cleaned up when the drive is removed. It seems to me like the main advantage is effectively your own portfolio of applications, with your own preferences set up that you can use anywhere. This is particularly if you are moving between many computers, e.g. home and work or school.
Hope some of these answers help,