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U3 vs. PortableApps

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Anonymous (not verified)
U3 vs. PortableApps

I am confused about the U3-standard as opposed to the apps here at

As I understand it, non-U3 PortableApps from this site can run on (almost) any device, including U3-devices. Whereas U3 apps only work on U3-devices. So the safe thing would be to buy a U3-device, so that I could use both types of apps, or? ...

Could someone explain the differences between the two platforms? What about security?


Last seen: 14 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-13 18:14
Good Question No Easy Answer

Given that U3 is a partnership of M-Systems and SanDisk, it would appear that it is targeted at expanding the market for flash memory and making it easier for some to use portability. It has gained a lot of attention in a relatively short period of time.

There is also a great deal of hype that creates the impression that U3 has created an environment so that “now

CaBe (not verified)
Thank you

This was a very helpful answer. But if I may ask another question:

What about 'autorun' of some kind of start menu from the USB-device. Is it true, that only the U3-platform offers this?

I know about the PStart menu for OpenSource PortableApps, but it doesn't seem to be possible to make this menu run automatically, when the USB-drive is inserted. (

Last seen: 14 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-13 18:14
INF File

INF File

I checked the link you provided and I am a bit puzzled by their FAQ. I just inserted my USB drive... which launched PStart to use PortableApps to check this forum. I do know that there are some issues with individual machines (auto run can be turned off for security reasons) but I have tested this on all of the units we have as well as others running Windows XP. All are running SP2.

You can try using my autorun.inf as a template and modify it in a text editor to change the folders to what you are using on your USB stick. Make sure that you save or copy the file to the root.

action=Launch ZedFiles PStart Menu
icon= /zedfiles/zedfilesPortableMenu/PStart.exe
open= /zedfiles/zedfilesPortableMenu/PStart.exe
label=ZedFiles PortableSuite

If the autorun does not work for some reason on an indivigual machine then you can still launch PStart manually.

Ridgewood Foundation Open Source Project

Last seen: 13 years 6 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-24 16:32
Any USB Device can use autoplay handlers to autostart

I use autoplay handlers built into windows xp to autostart Pstart on plugin of the USB. It can be modified to autostart any program and is just a few registry entries.

Basically, you create a new autoplay option in the registry, which you then choose under the autoplay options in the drive properties window. Then you choose your new option and tell it to always use it and from that time on you only have to plug in the drive and it will autostart that program. Below is instructions on how this can be done. I have copied it from the txt file I keep them in to this post:

-------------------------------------------USB Autoplay Handler------------------------------------------------------------

*****What is USB Autoplay Handler?*****

This is a way to create a autoplay handler for USB devices within Windows XP. It allows the user to create an autoplay
option for any program residing on a USB Device or other removable drive. I have included the instructions and necessary
registry entries below. Enjoy!

*****Some Problems to Consider, Nothing to Bad though :)*****

So far I have tried this on a number of Windows XP Machines and it works everytime. However, The following needs to be

1. You do need to have Administrator rights to import the entries to the registry, but After that though it will work
without admin rights.
2. The path the executable will have to be change before you enter it into the registry on a new machine, as the drive
will change. (NOTE: If any one can find an enviromental variable to allow windows to always find the USB Drive,
it would then not need to be changed. I am still looking into it)
3. You must have Autorun enable on the PC for this to work.

Other than the above I see no other problems.

*****Instructions for changing it for any system*****

Below is the registry file you need to create. (Just copy the code in between the Start and End lines)

To make it work for your system and program, follow the below steps:

1. In the second key, change the "Action" Setting, where it says "USB Portable Apps List" to the an action name
such as "Open Firefox".
2. Change the "Provider" Entry to the manufacturer of the program, such as "Firefox Browser".
3. In the third Key, change the "PStart (ISO)" to "(ProviderEntry) ISO", Place what you put in the provider above
in place of the (ProviderEntry). Make sure you put a space and ISO after the entry.
4. In the last key place the path to the executable of the program you want to start.
5. Save the file as a .reg file, and then double click on it to import it to your registry.
6. Plug in your USB drive and then go to "My Computer > USB Drive > Properties" then goto the the "AutoPlay" properties page
click the drop down list and select "Mixed Content" you should see your new entry there.
7. Check the "Select Action to perform" circle and then choose your entry. Choose "Apply" and then "OK" to close.
8. Now log of and back on. This will reload the registry with your new changes.
9. Unplug and then replug in your USB and the program should autostart.
10. Finished!!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Start Registry file::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00




"Action"="USB Portable App List Start"

@="PStart (ISO)"





::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::End of Registry File::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

****Final Thoughts****

It is possible to change the icon of the autoplay handler by changing the "DefaultIcon" entry in the second Key. I have it
set to use the USB icon in the Shell32 file in the windows folder, as 99% change it will be on any Windows XP system. If you
want to use another Icon, then chance the entry to a path to the icon. Just make sure you change that path as you would the
path the the executable on a new machine.


Created By Deuce199
Using Windows XP Professional
Tested on Windows XP Professional Systems
December 15, 2005

Any questions just ask.


Portable Software: Just the beginning.

Last seen: 8 years 7 months ago
Joined: 2005-12-09 09:58
Thank You For the Explanation

I have used both flash drives and now the U3. I haven't noticed much difference in speed. I think that for now I'll stick with the regular flash drive and use the apps from this web site.


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