Howto: Uninstall U3 on Vista

I bought a SanDisk 8GB Cruzer micro today. It’s quite pretty, and I like the sliding design, but it came with U3, a portable application platform. Sounds good, you say, until you realize that it’s a closed system, which makes it nigh impossible for casual developers to create portable apps for the platform. Also, it’s got annoying pop-ups. It had to be nuked.


This post is written in rambly prose, but I’ve bolded the main points.


The U3 Launchpad came with an uninstall utility. But it didn’t work, because whenever I tried it Windows simply told me that “Launchpad Removal Program has stopped working”. I tried this a couple of times, both with the uninstaller on the U3 Launchpad itself as well as uninstallers U3Uninstall.exe and launchpadremoval.exe from the SanDisk website and MyDigitalLife (if you need them, go do a search for the filenames). Same problem.


So I disabled the Launchpad from auto-starting (right-click the U3 icon in the system tray), removed the drive, and then plugged in the drive again. This time U3Uninstall.exe and launchpadremoval.exe agreed to run, but now they told me that “this program only supports one U3 drive removal” even though I only had one disk plugged in.


Turns out that the uninstaller recognizes all disk drives on the system as U3. Dumb, I know. I had to go to Device Manager > Disk Drives and disable all the other drives (my memory card readers). You’ll have to leave the U3 thumbdrive enabled, of course.

Run the uninstall utility again. Make sure you have admin privileges!




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