I've used a U3 drive to keep my passwords for quite awhile now. I have founf that while traveling I can use anyones computer and have all my password accounts available from the U3 drive thus making it not necessary to type my passwords on anyone's computer, thus not having to worry about security.
I just found that there is a version of Foxfire that will also run from the U3 drive. Now I can use anyones computer even though they may not have Foxfire loaded, I can run Foxfire. This will not enter fear with the borrowed computer. Once I pull my U3 drive out of the USB port there is nothing left. No HISTORY TRACKS or anyhing.
All History is located on my U3 drive. I have access to all my BOOKMARKS and PassWord accounts.
Seems to work very well, so far.
what exactly is foxfire?
Think he may mean Firefox.
I've had the firefox U3 plugin for quite a while now. It is nice using firefox at work where they are IE only. Quite a few goodies available for the U3 drive, be sure to check them out.
Firefox is an internet browser like internet explorer but is much better. It is free! Give it a try, I will only use IE when a web site requires it.
Edited to add: whoops, didn't even notice that the original post has it backwards.
I use Foxfire on my laptop with good results. Quite frankly, I never considered running from it my U3, but it makes perfect sense.
Thanks for the "idea".
I've used a U3 drive to keep my passwords for quite awhile now. I have found that while traveling I can use anyones computer and have all my password accounts available from the U3 drive thus making it not necessary to type my passwords on anyone's computer, thus not having to worry about security.
I just found that there is a version of Foxfire that will also run from the U3 drive. Now I can use anyones computer even though they may not have Foxfire loaded, I can run Foxfire. This will not interfere with the borrowed computer. Once I pull my U3 drive out of the USB port there is nothing left. No HISTORY TRACKS or anything.
All History is located on my U3 drive. I have access to all my BOOKMARKS and PassWord accounts.
Please substitute FIREFOX for any of the above FOXFIRE
Just a little word DYSLEXIA!
I've been doing this for quite a while a now. Firefox runs great from a USB drive. I think you can also run Thunderbird. For password management, I use an OpenSource tool called Password Safe.
I use RoboForm for my password management. It also fills in forms and does bookmarks. I got the RoboForm on my first U3 drive from BestBuy, it was a GeekSquad U3 1GB drive. Just recently I purchased a SanDisk Cruzer 1GB U3 drive for travel and backup. It had a password program on it but I deleted it. I just copied the RoboForm program and data files over from the GeekSquad drive. That way I didn't have to start over saving all my passwords with a new program on the SanDisk drive. I then loaded the Firefox U3 version on the SanDisk drive. Now I can use the SanDisk drive for travel. I don't even have to take my computer on every trip now. I can go to Internet cafes, libraries, relatives and use the computers there. And there is room on the 1GB drive to save things to it if necessary such as pictures from my Sony digital camera.
Works Great and Lasts a Long Time!!
I've been using the U3 drive with Firefox as well. Works great. I also use the Firefox plug-in "foxmarks" so that any bookmarks I update on any of my 3 PCs or my U3 drive are all automatically synchronized you should look into it.
All the thing I need in my 8GB U3 flash drive. This is a good site for flash drive applications
It all open source software portable edition.
Another kind of Flash drive that have extreme security feature but it cost more. Iron key
Its very expensive
You don't really need a U3 drive. Go to:
All kinds of software you can run off a flash drive.
I learn something here all the time. Not being familiar with a "U3 drive" I googled it. I've been using a usb flash drive with Roboform which works great. I was excited to learn about the U3 until I read the following from Wikipedia, "Sandisk and Microsoft have recently announced a partnership to develop a new line of portable USB-based hardware. This series, purportedly named StartKey, is expected to replace U3 by the end of 2008, making the U3 format obsolete." Thanks also for the link to portableapps.
I don't used the U3 software that much. I used the application from portableapps
I run Firefox and Thunderbird and the openoffice suite from my thumb drive. It's nice having all your preferences and settings no matter what computer I use. I did remove the U3 feature from the drive but now wish I could put it back.
But guess I will wait on the new sandisk startup
The only reason I can find out as to the value of the U3 feature is to make the USB drive start up when inserted. I found a website that will help you make your regular USB drives have QuickLaunch and auto start any program you want when you plug it into the PC.
As I stated in a few Posts above I was using a U3 drive for my passwords and FireFox browser for portability.
Last week in looking around the internet I found that there were Portable Applications out there that also included word processors, spreadsheets and many more programs. In all I found more useful programs for Portable Applications than were for the U3 drives.(will give the website later on in post)
The Portable Applications can be run from a USB drive, CD drive and so forth.
I tried out the PortableApps website:
and tried the PortableApps Suites program and was very suprised with all that it could do.
I also found a couple of more Portable Application program websites with a lot more programs:
I also found where you can get a program that will remove the U3 partition from the USB drive making it a contiguous single drive:
To uninstall the U3 partition from a U3 drive
There is a website that will show you how to make your USB drive AUTOPLAY and write the autorun.inf file and the subsequent batch files ( .bat )that are needed to start any of the individual programs you want.
See the following website:
I have my Autoplay launch my portable application menu and the start my passwords program and Firefox.
That way when I plug in my USB drive it bring up a box asking me if I want to LAUNCH PORTABLE WORKSPACE. I click OK and the password program and Firefox start automatically every time.
Isn't Techonology Great!!!!!
But just so you know you CAN NOT put the U3 feature back on. But I have it run like you do, no U3 but the autorun. Which I like portableapps startup menu better. It also seems quiker to me.
Yes I know.
When you run the "u3 uninstall.exe" program it tells you this more than once.
I just thought I didn't need it anymore why keep it on the USB drive and waste the space.
Hmmm, depending on your device, you may be able to re-install the U3 feature. I removed U3 from a Sandisk Cruzer and was able to re-install it. Here is a link to the software: http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/DriverDownloads.aspx
Download and run the U3 LaunchPad Installer file.
I have a USB drive that supports U3 and I too have loaded in some apps including Firefox, Open Office and a few others. But once I kind of looked into it further, all U3 is really is just some nice autorunning eye candy that gives you a pretty little GUI to launch apps, add new ones, etc. Sort of a mini-operating system.
So you can go about it two ways, use the U3 apps and have the pretty little interface or just use generic portable apps and run them yourself. The same apps are likely available for both methods (certainly Firefox is and I suspect many of the other main ones people may like to use).
Even better than Iron Key is YubiKey http://www.yubico.com/
And for passwords I use LastPass https://lastpass.com/
With LastPass you don't even have to carry any hardware. All your passwords are securely stored on the LastPass web site. They are stored and transmitted both up and down in encrypted form.
There is also a LastPass software for PortableApps and plug ins for I think every browser.
U3 is an extreme security risk because of the autorun feature. It will start an inf file to an executable. This is how nasties propagate.
Plugin the USB to an infected device and you're hooped.
I think the point here by some of the posters is that having a boot-able USB -- whether a stripped down Windows XP, Linux, UNIX or some other portable OS -- allows for you to "hijack" the hardware and bring up your preferred compute environment (this wasn't the original poster's intent -- as I think she was just looking to share a quick and dirty trick to retrieve passwords and to browse without leaving a trace -- which btw no one really needs to go through those great lengths if they browse anonymously; a feature that browsers like Chrome and Firefox both offer standard).
I think its a smart idea if you don't want to lug around your desktop or even your laptop when you are traveling long trips (and you know USB boot-enabled computers will be made available). But your point is also valid -- this is a serious security issue if for instance you happen to have a virus on your USB stick. Or, if you boot from USB -- unless you are going to be accessing the PC's own internal storage, shouldn't necessarily pose a risk to yourself.
A long time ago, when 1GB USB sticks were the norm, I had the U3 application on them. The first thing I did was to delete the U3 software. I had found an installer if I wanted to put U3 back on the drive, but I never used it. Today, Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not allow USB sticks to autostart because Microsoft sees it as a vulnerability. For Windows XP, which did provide this capability, Microsoft provided a patch to remove the capability.
They did this specifically because of what Juggernaut described in his post.
Outside of Windows is a different story altogether. If the computer supports the capability in BIOS, it is possible to load a bootable USB with a preferred OS, or even a repair environment such as the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. Such a bootable USB is nothing more than a solid state version of a Live CD, something which Ubuntu is well known for. In fact I've taken my Windows 7 media and copied it to a bootable USB so if necessary I could restore my netbook from ground zero, if for example my external hard drive with my netbook's drive image should for some reason fail.
For those occasions where I am using someone else's computer, I have a PortableApps USB stick with what I consider the essentials on it. Those occasions are rather rare and really only happen when I don't bring my netbook and/or smartphone.
P.S. Polaris Silvertree? I'm going to nickname you "The Elf".
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