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Mad Dog Vee

Formatted USB stick, can't paste to

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Goodness I'm daft, that's why its U3 39, I think ur right, I think the write protect has to do with the u3 now.

Well in that case I'm not interested and I'm quite peeved. Admittedly I should've given the u3 on my recently formatted one a chance but I just couldn't see how it could be helpful in any way.

Here's to hoping its just a serial number thingame

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Maybe it's not U3, I misread the specs earlier, according to this it's something called UR. I think I found some info on their site somewhere saying something about those models having U3 though, but I can't find it now.

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still suggests its software oriented, otherwise why say "Important!! Please make sure the driver matches the part number on your pen drive before you download."

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I saw that too, but the only driver packages they offered seemed to be for win98 (which does require drivers be installed to use flash drives).

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So the good news is I've managed to get my hands on a 512 MB Write Protect USB Stick.

It has a small partition that it reads as a CD ROM and a larger one that you place your software on.

It also has a little tab when you take the lid off that you can switch backwards and forwards. On either end there is a picture of a locked and unlocked padlock - so just like a floppy disc really.

I haven't tested it out yet, I'll try it with some junk files in the next day or so to see how it goes.

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The CD Rom thing is the exact technology used for U3. Let me know how it works and perhaps I can mod my U3 to do the same thing :( .

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That's what I first thought. So I guess it makes it software driven. doesn't explain the slider tab though

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Perhaps it somehow turns on/off an internal connector to the special controller chip used to tell Windows that it is/has a CD-Rom device or something, and if it's "On" so to speak, then the autoloading software tells Windows that it's read only, just a guess though. Of course it would seem that that could be circumvented if autorun is turned off for CD-Roms in Windows.

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I think you've probably got it right.

I've done a bit of research and the cd rom emulation can only be done on the USB flash drives that have the appropriate firmware, so you can't just do it on any old USB flash drive.

I did some research on people attempting to copy it and that's pretty much they came up with, you can load an ISO9660 image and it'll appear as CDFS but all the places I look didn't go into too much detail other than you have to do it via *nix.

Now I've tested it with write on and write off, and even tried to copy from my NTFS which requires admin privileges (which I gave it) to the write protected flash drive and it came up with an error message telling me to turn write protect off, so it works great.

Given its only a 512 stick, well 489 as read by FAT32, I'm thankful that I'm only putting 240-280MB of tools on it (and before anyone asks, why not burn a CD then, because this way makes it more updateable)

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Yeah, back when U3 was first developed, Sandisk had to cut a special deal with MS to allow them to fully emulate a CD-Rom device in Windows, thus it's ability to store an ISO image on the drive and actually autorun without having to turn on autorun for standard USB drives (because by default in Windows CD-Roms autorun, but USB flash drives do not). I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if you disabled autorun for CD-Roms and then turned write protect on to see if it's the software on the ISO making it write protected.

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