User Experience Engineering

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Use Cruzer on Mac OS X and Keep U3 -- Easily

Synopsis: I can use my SanDisk Cruzer on Mac OS X, with a simple settings change. From Windows XP, I disabled U3 security in the U3 Launchpad menu. No removal tool or hacks were necessary. I can now launch Windows applications from the USB key, and use it as file storage on Mac and Windows.

Many forum and blog posts complain about lack of Mac OS X support on the flash drives made by SanDisk, which come with U3.exe Launchpad. They describe U3 Software removal tools and reformatting the flash drive in order to "use all of it". These steps allowed me to make a simple settings change, and retain the ability to launch programs on Windows XP using "U3 Smart Programs."

Prepare SanDisk USB for Mac OS X

  1. Insert Sandisk Cruzer into Windows XP USB port.
    Autoplay causes the U3 prompt to come up.
  2. Enter password.
    System tray icon "U3" appears.
  3. Click on U3 System Tray icon
  4. Select "Disable Security" Disable Security
  5. Re-enter password if prompted. Re-enter U3 Password
  6. Security button changes to "enable:. SanDisk U3, Security Disabled

That's it. To verify that it worked, I performed the following steps.

Verify U3 USB Key Working on Mac OS X

  1. Click U3 System tray icon, and select "Eject". Eject USB Key
  2. Remove flash drive from Windows USB port.
    (In my case, the SanDisk Cruzer micro 4GB)
  3. Stick flash drive into Mac OS X USB port
  4. In Finder, click on the drive.
    (It appeared as "No Name", next to Macintosh HD.) U3 Flash Drive Works on Mac OS X
  5. Select any subfolder.
    e.g. Documents
  6. Perform read/writes to the USB key from Mac OS X.
    e.g.:Create new folder, edit a text file, save a new file, copy files to and from the flash drive

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