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Rant: Sandisk's "U3 Smart". Worst thing since Clippy.
Actually, i think it's worse than Clippy. You can turn clippy off.

I got these reasonably priced Sandisk USB flash drives from Costco. I'd been mostly using it on my Mac, and hadn't really noticed anything terribly amiss until I plugged it into a Windows box, and then all this made sense:

Sasndisk put this special software onto the drive to give you these "features" like encryption and portable software for windows boxes. How it works is that there's a uneraseable "partition" on the drive that runs software when you insert into a windows box. It's not really a partition: you can't erase it using normal software. It's actually a separate subdevice. Of course, there's an "autorun.inf" to have windows run stuff. You can't actually use the drive under windows for about 30 seconds, and there's a ton of popups and "useful" information while that happens.

On a Mac, it comes up as a drive, plus a CDROM, and you have to unmount BOTH of them or the OS bitches.

To return the drive to a normal drive, you have to run a windows program. So, Mac and Linux users are out of luck. At least on Linux you're not bugged by a CDROM device popping up too (don't know why, there).

Anyway, take the warning: Sandisk's U3 = World of Irritation.

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also, those u3 drives can be used to run malware undetected on windows. check out "USB switchblade". its pretty scary stuff, so its not just an annoyance :(

Oh my, that's pretty brutal. I think I'm beginning to pity poor Windows users.

PS: Is that a mangled "intel inside" logo ?

no, its the little zoloft thingy they used on their commercials for a while.

(Deleted comment)
Yeah! And, the whole thing is a big ploy to buy additional services and software from the U3 site. Ie, you can't add your own software to the U3 launcher, you have to get it from them.

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