remove proprietary software from flash drive?

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Old 08-20-14, 10:37 AM
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remove proprietary software from flash drive?

I have a 2GB Kingston flash drive that has their proprietary "DTVP" security software installed on it which I'd like to try get rid of from the drive entirely. I discovered this type of software that comes equipped on some flash drives (sometimes called/labeled "smart drives" or drives with a U3 "launchpad") allow users to save settings as well as password protect files.

As mentioned I'd like to permanently remove the U3 software from the flash drive. The manufacturer's site said the password protection is built into the hardware and is "impossible" to remove.

However, upon researching (googling) a little, I came across the following info from a PC tech forum:

"If you do a search on the net for Geek Squad and U3, you should find
their program that will remove the U3 software and features by
reformatting the drive. What the U3 feature really is, is a partition that is treated like a
autorunning CD partition. When you insert the thumb drive, it autoruns
this partition and loads the U3 software. I personally can't stand that
so I use the geeksquad's removal tool. After using the removal tool, the
thumb drive looks and acts just like a regular thumb drive."

However, I tried to do the search as described above but you have to be a "member" of the "geek squad" sign in and register for an account and all that to try to get any support from that site, and that sounds like a lot of rigamarole just to try to see if an actual remedy to my issue does in fact exist via info at their site.
I've been unsuccessful with other searches I've done in regard to any method on how to remove this software from the flashdrive.

Anyone have experience how to remove this from the drive? Or perhaps have another suggestion. Any comment appreciated. thanks
 
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Old 08-20-14, 12:35 PM
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I have never removed any proprietary software off of a flash drive as the ones I bought never had any to begin with. Other than what you have already found out there is one website that offers free drivers and other software that you can look at it is called driverguide.com and you can find it here Download Drivers Free | Windows Device Driver Downloads and Updates . Quite honestly though I have never had much luck there with the different drivers I have found and while they do scan for viruses they also caution you about downloading software from an unknown party.

All I can say about it is that it is free to join although they would like to get in more paid members. It also might or might not have what you need but once you join I see that they now have forums and you can ask there. Free members are limited in downloads per month from what I remember and paid members have no limit. As with all software you download off of the internet I suggest you scan it first before running it and then scan your whole computer to be on the safe side.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 01:06 PM
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Well I didn't buy the flash drive with the proprietary software, it was given to me. The site linked in the previous reply post has no such software or method available to remove the U3 software from the Kingston drive as I described, but thanks anyway. It's looking rather hopeless at this point, but any further advice/instruction as per my inquiry would certainly be welcome.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 01:21 PM
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Have you tried formatting the drive with Gparted?
 
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Old 08-20-14, 01:34 PM
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I wouldn't waste any time on a 2gb flash drive....I mean jeeze, those are giveaways nowadays.
 
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Old 08-20-14, 02:12 PM
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Have you tried formatting the drive with Gparted?
Since you mentioned it, I went ahead opened Gparted to try. The computer recognizes that the flash drive is plugged into it, yet for some reason Gparted does not show the drive in the drop-down list which lists the various drives connected to the computer (in the top right-hand portion of the Gparted window).
 
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Old 08-21-14, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy
I wouldn't waste any time on a 2gb flash drive....I mean jeeze, those are giveaways nowadays.
+1
When I'm not buying cheap stuff like this off eBay I will shop at Micro Center. They don't even list a 2GB flash drive anymore. a 4GB is $3.99

Funny how far we've come so fast. I recall an article in the early days of the "personal computer" advising that no home user would ever need more then 1MB of storage. Now drives a million times that are considered marginal in a new PC.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 08:06 AM
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I wouldn't waste any time on a 2gb flash drive....I mean jeeze,
Okay, okay, I won't waste any more time with it.... jeeze.
Thanks guys.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 01:33 PM
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Make a note of the drive letter that windows gave the drive. Let's pretend that it's G: Open a command prompt & run:
format /q /fs ntfs g:
press enter.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 12:47 PM
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Make a note of the drive letter that windows gave the drive. Let's pretend that it's G: Open a command prompt & run:
format /q /fs ntfs g:
press enter.
Windows gives the drive the letter E. But when I type format /q /fs ntfs e: at a command prompt I get "invalid parameter -- /fs"
 
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Old 08-22-14, 01:13 PM
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Something has to follow the /fs, like /fs:NTFS or /fs:FAT32. You need the colon in there I think. Also depends on what version of Windows you are using on what syntax to use.

MS-DOS format command help
 
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Old 08-22-14, 01:23 PM
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If you have a Staples near you, you can pick up an 8GB for $5.00! Can't beat that!
 
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Old 08-22-14, 01:42 PM
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gunguy is correct. There has to be a : there
fornat /q /fs:ntfs e:
Sorry.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 01:51 PM
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gunguy is correct. There has to be a : there
format /q /fs:ntfs e:
When I type in format /q /fs:ntfs e: at the command prompt I get "invalid parameter -- e:"
Using Windows 7.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 02:02 PM
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Oops, just noticed...the drive letter should be right after the format command.

Like "format E: /q /fs:ntfs"
 
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Old 08-22-14, 02:15 PM
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When you need to know the syntax of a windows command, type the command followed by a space & /?
so it would be format /?

In Unix & Linux it would be the command followed by a space & -h or --help

Try what gunguy said & put the drive letter before the switches.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 02:45 PM
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When I type in "format E: /q /fs:ntfs" (without the quotes of course) nothing happens except the next line appears as it did before I typed anything (goes back to "C:\Users\steve>").
If I type in "E: /q fs:ntfs" I get E: at the command prompt.
Please further advise, thanks...
 
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Old 08-22-14, 02:54 PM
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If you were returned to the command prompt, that means that the command was successful. You're a winner.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 03:41 PM
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No, the program is still on the flash drive, just as it was before, no change at all. Nothing happened, other than what I just mentioned last post. I removed the flash drive and exited out of the operating system and then plugged the drive back in and rebooted. It's all still there just as before.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 03:49 PM
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You should be able to look at the drive in explorer now and see that there is nothing there and almost all the memory is available. Use My Computer and select it, then look at properties. I've seen some of those that actually have a partition for the installed programs IIRC.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 03:52 PM
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You don't need to use any of the parameters...just do a Format E:

Or, throw it in the trash and spend $5 at a dollar store for more storage space...
 
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Old 08-22-14, 04:34 PM
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I don't see how that software can still be on the drive. Anyway, here are some other things to try:
Connect the drive & verify the drive letter. Let's say that it's still E:
Click start, computer & open the E: drive. Highlight the directory that contains all that garbage & press the delete key on your keyboard. You will be asked to confirm the action, click yes. If it gives you an error message, make a note of it & post it here.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 04:57 PM
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I also just tried doing a Format E: but everything seems to be the same.
On my dual-boot computer, the disk utility program included with the Linux distro shows the usb flash drive under Peripheral Devices. A couple of screen shots here which show what appears in Peripheral Devices when the flash drive is plugged in: http://i.imgur.com/wJA0kSQ.png and http://i.imgur.com/0R6nGra.png
In Windows, using My Computer and looking at Properties for the drive and see that it says the drive is apparently full to capacity. Says CD Drive E: DTVP Properties-- Used Space 12.0 MB and Free Space 0 bytes. When I select the drive to open it, that Kingston login program pops up and obviously has not been gotten rid of. Here's a screenshot of that: http://i.imgur.com/suaUcp8.png
 
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Old 08-22-14, 05:11 PM
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Connect the drive & verify the drive letter. Let's say that it's still E:
Click start, computer & open the E: drive. Highlight the directory that contains all that garbage & press the delete key on your keyboard. You will be asked to confirm the action, click yes. If it gives you an error message, make a note of it & post it here.
I connected the drive and verified the drive letter, it is still E:
I did as you further suggested as quoted above (highlighted the directory, pressed delete on keyboard). Nothing appeared or happened asking me confirm the action, and that was it.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 05:14 PM
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Kingston Format Utility Free Download

Download Kingston format tool online|Flash Drive Repair

There are some tools to format those drives. I will never buy Kingston drives.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 05:35 PM
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Thanks Pulpo for the links. I'll check them out and give it a try if I can, see if it actually works to remove everything. I'll be surprised if it does. I was of the understanding before that the Kingston "security" software application on there was something called "U3" and I did come across some links via searching to an application previously available from the U3 developer to get rid of it off the flashdrives but the links were outdated/invalid/non-relevant anymore. A buddy of mine called Kingston tech support to ask about it and the tech person said something like there's "no way" to remove it, but of course that may not necessarily be a fact.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 05:44 PM
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WTH is it showing as a CD drive? It should show as some sort of removable storage device or similar.

Time for the trash unless now it just a you or me situation...lol. I know about those..normally ends with something involving a hammer.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 06:02 PM
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Apparently, they don't want you to remove their software. The format command should have worked. I also noticed the cd_9660 label. That didn't make sense either. I use Seagate external full size drives. It took just a few minutes to remove their backup software.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 06:03 PM
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The other odd thing is, you said it was 2GB, yet those screenshots indicate it's either 12MB or 15MB.
Maybe it's just gone south, altogether?
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:27 PM
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The other odd thing is, you said it was 2GB, yet those screenshots indicate it's either 12MB or 15MB.
I agree that is odd. Odd indeed.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:39 PM
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Apparently, they don't want you to remove their software.
Sure seems like it. I haven't got around yet to trying anything on the tool links you provided. But I will. Then when those don't work I'll reach for the hammer.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:43 PM
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WTH is it showing as a CD drive? It should show as some sort of removable storage device or similar. Time for the trash unless now it just a you or me situation...lol. I know about those..normally ends with something involving a hammer.
Yeah I have no idea why it always shows as a CD drive like that all the time. Hammer time! lol.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 07:46 PM
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sgull If those tools don't work, the hammer has my blessing.

Edit: After you smash it. ship it back to Kingston.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:16 PM
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LOL. I could send it smashed back to Kingston but for the cost of the postage I could probably just buy a new nice and empty 8 GB stick. But all things considered if I had to choose between those options, I'd smash it and send it.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:38 PM
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Check the price first. I'm sure that you can afford it.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 10:32 PM
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I won't waste any more time with it
Thanks for all the input/advice.
 
  #37  
Old 08-23-14, 11:58 AM
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Don't know if this will help you out but here is what it says about my 8GB Kingston. Just arrived from Amazon so haven't used it yet, cost was five something.







Windows 7 Pro

 
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Old 08-23-14, 12:43 PM
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But Baldwin mine happens to be the type similar to this (except 2GB), Amazon.com: Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy Edition 8 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive DTVP/8GB (Blue): Electronics upon which Kingston includes some built-in security software component called DTVP ("data traveler vault privacy"). Your stick probably is the kind that doesn't have this.
I noticed in the second paragraph of the first review at that Amazon link there's a decent description of what goes on with these type, in regard to utilizing two drive letters etc. This built-in security security software is what I was trying to get rid of but it apparently cannot be done.

Edit: My stick was given to me, I didn't buy it. I wouldn't want this kind with the security software. I'd have no need for it. Otherwise I'm sure regular Kingston sticks are fine in general.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 12:49 PM
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It may not just be a program. Could be firmware(?) of some sort. Like the BIOS on a MB.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 01:10 PM
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Yeah Gunguy that's probably the case like you just stated. Regardless, I'm through messing with it. I didn't even bother trying the tools in the links Pulpo provided. After looking that stuff over, looks like the most I might be able to do with those tools is "re-format" the stick back to having that firmware business reinstalled/restored in case it had been "corrupted" somehow. Plus just generally too complicated/involved, for me anyway.
 
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