Friday, July 27, 2007

U3 launchpad for Windows Vista and Microcenter USB flash drive

Many of you who have used search engines to get to this page may have bought the USB flash memory chip from Microcenter, with the Microcenter logo on it. And you have found out that the U3 application doesn't work under Windows Vista (Home Basic, Premium, Business, Ultimate, or anything else).

There exists a solution. What the cashier at the Microcenter hasn't told you is that the drive wasn't produced by the cashiers, janitors, and bean counters at Microcenter, despite the logo. It had to be produced by someone else. The magic code of "someone else" is IPSG. Click at
IPSG products: USB storage
and choose either the 1 GB black drive (second product) or the 2 GB black drive (third product), depending on your disk capacity. On the following page, you find your U3 software for Vista (second link). The ZIP file may be unpacked by a double-click. There are two PDF files of documentation in the archive that you may ignore and also one EXE file that you run. It will update your U3 software to be compatible with Windows Vista. Don't remove your drive from the USB port during the installation process, otherwise you may damage your drive, and good luck!

For users of other USB flash cards

We should say that more generally, the U3 launchpad version 1.4 or higher co-operates with Windows Vista. But you should still be careful about the version of the drivers and software you install: you should better look at the website of the manufacturer of your flash card.


Incidentally, I clicked "OK, install" and allowed a new version of the drivers and U3 software from Sandisk to be installed instead of the version 1.4 - even though the manufacturer of the Microcenter flash memory is not exactly Sandisk. It works both on XP and Vista, including ReadyBoost, so don't be afraid to update the flash software.


  1. No idea how you determined the manufacturer of the Microcenter thumb drive, but that you did, and that you posted it to your blog, was very helpful to me. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the info! It really helped me cuz I couldn't access the encrypted data on my drive. I really don't know how you did it but you did a really great job.

  3. Thanks for the info. I was specifically searching for this answer.