U3 Smart Drives are regular USB flash drives with a twist. Programs can be installed on them and the data from those programs will travel with you. In other words, U3 Drives are computers on a stick. Although the technology is relatively new (the company started in January 2005), there is a wide variety of programs that can be used on these supercharged USB drives.
One of the most important advantages of using a U3 enabled flash drive is the ability to take your documents, photos, email, address book, favorites, webpage logins, and more with you wherever you go.Of course you can backup all these files on a normal USB flash drive or other removable device, but the advantage of using a U3 drive is the programs along with the data are on the USB drive. This means you'll be able to work on a report, view photos, look up an email address, and more simply by plugging the device into a computer and pulling it up. You dont necessarily have to take a laptop with you anymore to get your work done.
You can remove the U3 Software from a Drive and make it a normal flash drive. This process is irreversible though. So be sure you want to remove the system files FOREVER before using the uninstall programs.
For non-U3 USB flash drives, there is an alternative, Portable Apps. These are software programs designed to be installed on a flash drive, removable hard drive, IPod, etc. They don't require the proprietary U3 software to run so they can be installed on ANY flash drive. For more information on Portable Apps, click on the following link:
For a complete list of manufacturers of U3 enabled drives, click here
If you want to uninstall the U3 system software, you'll have to download an uninstall program from U3, or if you have the Sandisk model, they have their own uninstaller. Click on the links below to go to their sites and remove the U3 software if you wish.
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