Completely Removing U3 From A Sandisk Cruzer [How-To]

I recently bought a Sandisk cruzer micro 4GB USB stick and of course it comes with that U3 crapola preloaded on it.

Formatting the stick does not get rid of it entirely.  If you click (in Windows XP) Start then Run then type COMPMGMT.MSC, click OK, then click Disk  Management from the window that appears, you’ll notice there are two partitions on the stick, one of which is a CDFS system labeled "U3 System".

Try as you might, there’s no way to get rid of it from there.

There are two ways to get rid of this stupid thing to reclaim the space.

First method: Load the stick in Linux and use your partition software o’ choice (like GParted) to remove it.

Second method: Use the U3 uninstaller program for Windows. Just click the "Remove U3" link there to download the program, then run it to completely format the stick to reclaim all the space back.


  1. Ken Starnes says:

    My initial reaction is:
    Why did you but a U3 drive if you knew you were going to want to wipe its system from it?

    Surely you could have saved yourself a few pennies and bought a standard one?


  2. bkilinski says:

    They are reliable and durable (titanium ones at least). I own 4 of them and use the U3 functionality on one.

  3. Kirk Neuman says:

    Why not use the self-contained uninstall? It would appear to do exactly what you wanted done, uninstall the U3 system software and the read only partition from the drive.

  4. jrhorner says:

    Another way is to use HP USB format tool. Does the trick as well.

  5. Steve Raiguel says:

    Linux GParted won’t do the trick, at least not on later Cruzers. Even if mounted, the U3 partition shows up as “unallocated” space, and operations that would format or remove it, or expand the existing partition to include it, are either grayed out or simply do not run. The Sandisk removal tool, which is not included on the drive and must be downloaded, works like a champ, if you have a working Windows installation.

  6. Thanks for ur sharing!

    U3 is a virus. It is unsolicited software that produces unwanted results and propagates itself to other computers.
    This is another example of a Microsoft virus (almost all “computer viruses” are actually MS viruses) which is purported to fix speed issues of MS. Why doesn’t MS fix the problem.

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