SanDisk Cruzer Mini Flash drive and U3

SanDisk cruzer microWARNING: This post is for PC USERS ONLY, as this device is NOT compatible with Apple computers.

Okay, I’ve been writing about flash drives for a couple of days now and want to also tell you about a different type of flash drive. Well, it’s not really different, but it offers more options and acts like a little computer. It’s the SanDisk Cruzer and it comes preloaded with software called U3 (watch this video for a better explanation). Some people may not like this feature, and if so, you can easily delete it from your SanDisk by navigating to your removable disk in Windows Explorer (or My Computer) on a PC and simply right click and select Format. This will erase what is on your flash drive, however, so just make sure there is nothing else on there you want to delete! Then, you can use the flash drive like you are used to . . . simply drag and drop files.

However, this U3 program might be something to look at. (I’m still on the fence on this, because on one hand, it LOOKS like it should offer some ease for downloading software directly from the Internet to your flash drive), but on the other hand it appears that once you create some settings (such as password protect it through U3), that the device is platform specific. In other words, if you password protect it on a PC, then forget about using it on your Apple computer.

When you put the SanDisk Cruzer flash drive in your PC, the U3 software icon appears in your system tray (right hand lower edge). When you click it, the following window opens:

sandisk cruzer

You can sync files and folders on your computer to your SanDisk, which DOES look like an easy and very important option. Just think, every time you finish for the day, simply sync your flash drive with your computer, take it with you, and you will be viewing and working on the most recent files. This in itself should convince me that the U3 is something I need! (I’m going to try the sync feature next and let you know how it works. I’m wondering if it will work with multiple platforms, though.)

Interestingly, I didn’t even know about this program being on this flash drive (I bought the SanDisk Cruzer mini pictured above at Costco). The price was right and the package contained three of the little marvels. And by the way, they come with a retractable USB port, so you don’t have to carry around those annoying little plastic caps that are always being misplaced.

So next time you are buying more flash drives, you might want to buy a SanDisk Cruzer and start syncing your computers. It might be worth a lot to you.

2 thoughts on “SanDisk Cruzer Mini Flash drive and U3

  1. From my point of view is better than U3 software because it can be installed on any flash drive, the software suit is very big and its applications can run in Linux under Wine.

    The use of flash drives with portable applications is an interesting topic that is starting to be used with success in education. For instance, the government of the region of Île-de-France has replaced backpacks with 215.000 USB flash drives that have been distributed among 175.000 students and 40.000 teachers. These flash drives come pre-loaded with open source: Firefox browser, VLC player, OpenOffice office suit, …


  2. Thanks for reminding me about Your comments about using flash drives more and more in education makes total sense. Schools could certainly save a lot of money if students simply used the computer to work on their projects, but everything was accessed and saved to their individual flash drives. It’s great to get feedback on what’s happening around the world.

    Thanks for writing!


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