U3 Launchpad For Windows 10

1- With U3 LaunchPad Installer, in the PC (NEVER in the Cruzer). 2- Plug the Cruzer. 3- Run the program, U3 LaunchPad Installer. 3.1- The program, automatically detects the U3 System, that is in the hardware of the Cruzer, and tell you to do, and ready. LaunchU3.exe is an executable file that runs the LaunchPad program, a program manager for the Windows platform that is preinstalled on U3 Smart Drives. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. LaunchPad enables users to quickly find and manage programs and files located on their U3 Smart Drives.

  1. U3 Removal Tool

U3 Launchpad was added by Reprotected in Oct 2010 and the latest update was made in Mar 2019. The list of alternatives was updated Jan 2017. It's possible to update the information on U3 Launchpad or report it as discontinued, duplicated or spam. U3 USB keys show up as two drives on the PC. The first drive (assigned the letter 'F:' on our PC) fools the system into thinking it's a CD-ROM drive so it can AutoPlay the LaunchPad manager. The second drive (G:) contains our applications and data. A few weeks ago I bought a 16gb Sandisk Micro USB drive, awesome for doing large installations from USB and carrying around heavy duty files. Though I found the drive itself to be excellent, I didn’t have any use for the installed “U3 Launchpad” application. Formatting the drive didn’t remove the app, though eventually, I Continue reading 'How to Remove the Sandisk U3 Launchpad'.

The Launchpad is our software for Mac or Windows PC. This software receives instructions from the GroundControl Server in the cloud. By installing the GroundControl Launchpad software onto your organization’s Windows PCs and Macs you may create many Launchpads for simultaneous, distributed iOS deployments.

There are two steps involved: Install then Register the Launchpad.

Install the Launchpad

Below are instructions for interactive installation for Mac and Windows. We’ve also included instructions for automated installation, using a system such as SCCM to package and distribute the Launchpad software and dependencies.

GroundControl Launchpad can be installed on any Mac running Mac OS X 10.9 or newer. Check System Requirements for additional information.

Install the Mac Launchpad
  1. Download the latest Launchpad DMG (choose one option):
    • Log into the GroundControl Server and navigate to the Launchpads tab, and download using the Mac link in the upper-right corner.
    • Alternatively, download using this link: /download/mac
  2. Double-click the GroundControl Launchpad disk image to open
  3. Double-click the GroundControl Launchpad app
  4. Accept the prompt to open the software
  5. Accept the prompt to copy the app to your Applications folder
  6. Eject the disk image
Prevent iTunes for activating devices

If your Mac is running Mac OS 10.13.x or earlier, you must tell iTunes to stop trying to activate devices. This step is not required for Mac OS 10.14 and later.

Open iTunes, then open Preferences > Devices.

Check the box “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.

Close Preferences, then quit iTunes.

Allow GroundControl to use a Proximity Badge Reader

Macs running recent operating systems may display an additional security prompt. “Applications” would like to receive keystrokes from any application. This prompt appears if you are using GroundControl Checkout features, have enabled the features for proximity badge readers, and are running macOS 10.15 “Catalina” or later.

GroundControl really is not interested in keystrokes from other applications. However this is how Catalina presents requests to access USB HID devices, which appear to the Mac as something like a keyboard.

To use these devices, you must grant permission for “Input Monitoring” to the Launchpad app. Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Input Monitoring.

Check the checkbox next to “GroundControl Launchpad.app” to grant permission. (If needed, click the lock in the lower-left corner and enter administrator credentials). If the Launchpad app is running, the system will remind you to quit and relaunch the app.

The next time you run the Launchpad app, it will have the access to hub or card reader you expect.

GroundControl Launchpad can be installed on any PC running Windows 10. Check System Requirements for additional information.

Install the Windows Launchpad
  1. Download the latest Launchpad Installer (choose one option):
    • Log into the GroundControl Server and navigate to the Launchpads tab, and download using the Win link in the upper-right corner.
    • Alternatively, download using this link: /download/win
  2. Double-click the GroundControl Launchpad EXE to install
  3. Choose whether you will install for all users on the machine (recommended) or just for the local user
Install iTunes (Required)

Important!iOS 14 will require a new version of MobileDevice bundled with iTunes 12.10.9.3. However, this new version is not yet compatible with GroundControl v4.10 and earlier as it will prevent Launchpads from starting up. See more info here about iOS 14 readiness.

The links below will download iTunes 12.10.8.5, which supports iOS 13 and earlier.

GroundControl requires iTunes on Windows. The iTunes distribution from the Windows Store will not work, so please download iTunes using one of the following links:

Once iTunes is installed, you must prevent it from activating devices. Please don’t skip this step!

On the Windows, open iTunes, then open Preferences > Devices. Check the box Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.

Close Preferences, then exit iTunes.

Use these instructions when using a package manager such as SCCM to install the Launchpad software.

Download and Extract the Windows Launchpad
  1. Download the latest Launchpad Installer (choose one option):
    • Log into the GroundControl Server and navigate to the Launchpads tab, and download using the Win link in the upper-right corner.
    • Alternatively, download using this link: /download/win
  2. Extract the MSI from the Launchpad EXE with a tool such as 7-Zip.
Download and Extract iTunes MSIs

Important!iOS 14 will require a new version of MobileDevice bundled with iTunes 12.10.9.3. However, this new version is not yet compatible with GroundControl v4.10 and earlier as it will prevent Launchpads from starting up. See more info here about iOS 14 readiness.

The links below will download iTunes 12.10.8.5, which supports iOS 13 and earlier.

If you do not wish to install the full iTunes (we don’t blame you) you can follow these instructions to install the 2-3 required MSIs.

32-Bit

  1. Download the Windows iTunes installer: iTunes 32 bit installer
  2. Extract the iTunes installer with a tool such as 7-zip
  3. Locate and install the following MSIs in order:
    • AppleApplicationSupport.msi
    • AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi

64-Bit

  1. Download the Windows iTunes installer: iTunes 64 bit installer
  2. Extract the iTunes installer with a tool such as 7-zip
  3. Locate and install the following MSIs in order:
    • AppleApplicationSupport.msi
    • AppleApplicationSupport64.msi
    • AppleMobileDeviceSupport64.msi
Silently Install the Software

To silently install the MSIs, please install with the following switches:

  • Apple support MSIs: /q /norestart
  • GroundControl Launchpad: /i

The GroundControl Launchpad MSI also allows for parameters to set Launchpad name, host name, and proxy.

GCHOST=GroundControl Server hostname
GCPROXY=Unauthenticated proxy:port (if missing, no proxy is used)
GCLPNAME=Launchpad name (if missing, the PC name is used)
GCSHAREDDATA=1Share configuration and cache with all users on this PC

For example:

Register the Launchpad

After installation, you must register the Launchpad using a GroundControl user and password. Below are instructions for interactive registration, which is the standard way to register a Launchpad. Launchpad version 4.9 introduces an automated registration option using a text file and registration token. This option is useful if you will set up a large number of Launchpads.

Launch the GroundControl Launchpad app. An unconfigured Launchpad will prompt for registration.

The default server hostname “launchpad.groundctl.com” is correct for most organizations. If you are using a dedicated cluster, you should enter the correct name for your organization here.

The Launchpad Name is used to identify this Mac to the server. The Mac or PC computer name is entered by default.

If your network requires an unauthenticated proxy to access the GroundControl server, you may add that information here.

Click Next.

On the next screen, enter your GroundControl user name and password and click Login.

The app will test connectivity and connect to the server.

U3 Removal Tool

Alternatively, you may use a text file to automatically register a Launchpad. This feature is available in Launchpad 4.9 and greater.

First, obtain a Launchpad Registration Token from [email protected] Please include the following in your request:

    • The email address of the GroundControl user for “Registered By”
    • An expiration date for your token, for example 1 day or 30 days or 1 year
Launchpad

You may use the same token to register as many Launchpads as you like.

Once you have obtained the token, create a text file named gc-auto-reg.txt with the following:

The server and token keys are required.

The launchpad key is optional: if included it will be used for the Launchpad name. If omitted, GroundControl will use the Mac/PC system name for the Launchpad name. Note all Launchpads must have unique names.

Install the file gc-auto-reg.txt in the temporary folder of the Mac or Windows system:

  • Mac: /tmp/gc-auto-reg.txt
  • Win: %Temp%gc-auto-reg.txt

Install this file before the Launchpad software is first run.

When this file is present and valid, the Launchpad app will skip the usual interactive registration steps, and automatically register and start up. If registration is successful, GroundControl will delete the file from the temporary folder as it is no longer needed.

If registration fails due to an invalid file or expired token, the Launchpad will show the standard interactive registration screens.

(Redirected from U3 (hardware))
U3 LLC.
Private
IndustryComputer
Founded2004
HeadquartersRedwood City, California
Websitesandisk.com (Defunct)

U3 was a joint venture between SanDisk and M-Systems,[1] producing a proprietary method of launching Windows software from special USB flash drives. Flash drives adhering to the U3 specification are termed 'U3 smart drives'. U3 smart drives come preinstalled with the U3 Launchpad. Applications that comply with U3 specifications are allowed to write files or registry information to the host computer, but they must remove this information when the flash drive is ejected. Customizations and settings are instead stored with the application on the flash drive.

Microsoft and SanDisk created a successor called StartKey.

SanDisk began phasing out support for U3 Technology in late 2009.[2]

U3 platform[edit]

U3 disk mounting: hardware emulation[edit]

A U3 flash drive presents itself to the host system as a USB hub with a CD drive and standard USB mass storage device attached.[3]

  • This configuration causes Windows disk management to show two drives:
    1. A read-only ISO 9660 volume on an emulated CD-ROM drive with an autorun configuration to execute the U3 LaunchPad, and;
    2. A standard flash drive (FAT formatted) that includes a hidden 'SYSTEM' folder with installed applications.
  • U3 compliant applications can be (optionally) preloaded by manufacturers.

U3 Launchpad[edit]

The U3 Launchpad (LaunchU3.exe) is a Windows program manager that is preinstalled on every U3 smart drive.[4]

The U3 Launchpad automatically starts at insertion of a U3 enabled device.

U3 applications[edit]

To be fully U3 compliant, an application has to be programmed to clean up its own data from the local machine. It must also be packaged in U3's special program format. U3 applications will only run from a U3 device. U3 programs can be downloaded from the U3 website and other places. Applications include Opera and Skype and do not need to be installed on the computer.

APIs[edit]

The U3 application programming interfaces (APIs) allow U3 programs lower-level access to USB flash drive, and to query the drive letter. The U3 APIs primarily allow developers who choose to use more of the power of U3 to control how their application handles things like device removal and saves data back to the drive such as configuration or documents.

Compatibility[edit]

The latest version of U3 launchpad supports Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Data can be accessed using any OS capable of reading from USB mass storage devices, unless the U3 device is password-protected.[note 1]

Issues with older versions[edit]

Early versions of the U3 launchpad software had Vista compatibility issues (specifically the SanDisk Cruzer Titanium series with device numbers 2.17, 2.18, 2.19 and 2.20), although this problem could be eliminated by updating the launcher software.[5]

Prior to Sandisk's updated launcher software being released, Microsoft supported U3 by releasing an update to Vista.[6]

Developer resources[edit]

Information on building U3 compliant applications and the U3 software development kit were available to registered developers at the official U3 website. Individuals must register (as a company) to download the SDK, or participate in the forums.[7]Applications that do not require installation steps in order to run can easily utilize U3 with little or no modification by taking steps to either not modify the host systems files or registry, or undoing all changes when the application terminates. A wizard which packages distribution files and creates the special 'manifest' file is provided.

As of May 2009, the software development kit was no longer available;[8] the u3.com website is no longer available.

Removal[edit]

Launchpad

Reformatting the drive will remove some of the software (the hidden 'SYSTEM' folder), but not all of it. The virtual CD-ROM drive cannot be removed by reformatting because it is presented to the host system as a physical device attached to a USB hub;[3] the official U3 Launchpad Removal Software was available on the U3 website and disabled the virtual CD drive device, leaving only the USB mass storage device active on the U3 USB hub controller, at which point the remaining software can be removed by a subsequent format, performed by the removal software itself.[9]

u3_tool is another option that includes the ability to remove the virtual CD-ROM drive, as well as ways to reconfigure it to the user's liking.[10]

Criticism[edit]

Numerous criticisms have been made of the U3 platform. These criticisms are:

Malware-like integration behaviour
Software comes preinstalled on USB disk and, when using stock Windows settings, roots itself in the system similar to malware. U3 removal is possible, but requires complete data backup.
Questioned use
There are already portable versions of many Windows software available, some of which do not require any proprietary solution to work.
Removed user data, but not all of it
Recent files and programs had it listed.
Freezing with certain CD writing software
There is a possibility of slowing down or freezing Windows XP Pro if certain Windows drivers that are associated with high-volume data transfers to CD writers using certain CD/DVD burning software installed.[11]
Proprietary format/closed platform
The U3 platform is a 'closed' platform / proprietary format. SanDisk, the rightsholders for U3, ask for a 5% royalty from USB flash drive manufacturers who wish to implement the platform on their products.
Two drive letters
As a work-around to the lack of Auto-Play for Flash drives on older versions of Windows, the U3 software creates two drive letters (one which presents itself as a CD to allow Windows' auto-play to start the launcher, and another for storing user data). Although this is the only way to implement auto-start functionality on pre-Windows XP systems, it could be considered a kludge, and the extra drive letter created can be an annoyance. However, it is possible to prevent Windows from allocating a drive letter for the 'CD drive' via the Windows 'Disk Management' tool—as long as the user has the appropriate rights/authority to do so.
Incompatibility with certain embedded systems
Some host systems – such as photo kiosks, consumer electronics, and other embedded computing devices – cannot correctly mount U3 'smart drives.' The problem may arise because the emulated CD-ROM is the first drive presented to the host system. As such, the device is detected as a CD-ROM drive or not at all. Although some newer photo kiosks are U3 aware[12] and can overcome this limitation, it still exists on many platforms.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^'U3 Launchpad and Linux'. If the OS in question can normally see ordinary USB flash drives, then the U3 smart drive removable mass storage area (domain) should still be available for standard file system activities unless it is a private area protected by a password.

References[edit]

  1. ^Albanesius, Chloe (2007-05-11). 'Microsoft, SanDisk to Replace U3 Drives'. PC Magazine.
  2. ^'U3 Launchpad End Of Life Notice'. SanDisk.
  3. ^ abJohansson, Jesper M. (January 2008). 'How Flash Drives and Social Engineering can Compromise Networks'. Microsoft Technet.
  4. ^'U3 Knowledge Base: Can I access the Documents directory on my U3 smart drive without running the U3 Launchpad?'.[dead link]
  5. ^'Vista driver?'. forums.sandisk.com. 2008-01-11.
  6. ^'Update for Windows Vista (KB940199)'. Microsoft. 2007-11-26.
  7. ^'U3 Forum registration guidelines'.[dead link]
  8. ^'U3 Developer Kit information on portable applications & USB flash drive programs for U3 devices'. Archived from the original on 2009-05-24. At this point we do not accept any new releases. Thank you U3.com
  9. ^'U3 Launchpad Removal Tool'. SanDisk. Archived from the original on 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2011-01-18.
  10. ^'u3_tool'. Sourceforge.
  11. ^'The U3 Launchpad doesn't run. What should I do?'. Archived from the original on 2010-05-22.
  12. ^'U3 Drives Finally Get Along with Photo Kiosks'. 2008-09-10. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24.

External links[edit]

  • Ben Z. Gottesman (2005-09-21). 'Full Preview - U3 Preview'. PC Magazine.
  • u3-tool, open source u3 managing tool
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