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Compatibility with enhanced flash drives

Most of the PCs designated for student use at the CVCC main campus and offsite centers are configured to support the use of USB flash drives that comply with the USB Mass Storage device protocols.  The only student use PCs that are not configured in this way are PCs that are reserved for standardized assessment tests such as Compass.

It has come to our attention that a few USB Flash drives being sold are not fully compatible with the USB Mass Storage standards.  These “enhanced” drives often show up in Windows Explorer as both a USB CD-ROM drive and as an Unknown Removable Device.  These flash drives are designed to allow applications to be launched directly from the flash drive without prior installation.  Unfortunately, these drives require specialized drivers and software to be installed before they will function properly.  Due to compatibility issues we cannot support the installation of these drivers at this time.

To minimize the chances of problems it is important that students and faculty only purchase USB flash drives that fully adhere to the USB Mass Storage standards if they intend to use them on CVCC-owned PCs.  Unfortunately, many manufactures are quite deceptive in their packaging and marketing and it can be difficult to identify a non-standard flash drive before it is purchased.

When purchasing a USB flash drive, be wary of any drive that is advertised as a “smart drive”, advertises the ability to automatically launch software applications or that come bundled software packages pre-installed.  Also avoid purchasing any USB flash drive that mentions that it includes U3 technology or has a logo that looks like this:

U3 logo


Please Note:  Some flash drives that bear the U3 logo can be converted into standard flash drives by uninstalling the U3 LaunchPad. Follow these steps to remove the U3 LaunchPad:

  1. Open the Launchpad menu, and click "Settings". You need to select the "U3 Launchpad settings"
  2. Select "Uninstall" option in the left-hand navigation and click "Uninstall U3 Launchpad"
  3. Select restore files option (unless you want to completely wipe the drive)
  4. Click "Next"
  5. Uninstaller begins the format process
  6. Your flash drive will now be free of Launchpad
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