Completely remove U3 from Sandisk Cruzer on Mac

My collection of USB memory sticks is constantly growing. Some USB sticks I have bought, others were given to me as giveaways. The nicest ones from a physical perspective are a couple of Sandisk Mini Cruzer but unfortunately they came with U3 which I utterly dislike. U3 means that there is a small CD partition on the flash disk which is used to hold the U3 software. Since I am mainly using a Mac that is of no use to me and is just causing more clutter to my desktop. Even when I am running Windows it feels like a nuisance. The extra CD partition also meant that I couldn’t install a live USB OS on them. As a consequence they haven’t been used much.

For the longest time I thought it was impossible to fix this issue. But then I found an article on the Sandisk forums. So, if you want to remove the U3 partition to gain access to the full USB memory (or for whatever reason), just download and install this file.

Run the Launchpad Removal Utility for Mac application from within the SanDisk Cruzer folder in the Utilitites folder inside the Application folder.

9 thoughts on “Completely remove U3 from Sandisk Cruzer on Mac”

  1. Thankyou for the posting about this PITA issue with Cruzer drives. It is amazing how little information is on Sandisks’ own site about this issue. One question though…

    So everything I have read seems to indicate that the software is removed along with the drive partition, and the Sandisk thumb drive will be reformatted.

    But will it be reformatted as a FAT 16 drive which can be read on both mac and windows? Or will the thumbdrive be reformatted by the disc utility into a Mac OS Journal format?

  2. Never mind… I answered my own question by going ahead and running the uninstaller. The drive reformatted as a FAT32 drive.


  3. The Disk Utility in OS X can be used to format the USB stick but bear in mind that MS-DOS FAT in that case actually means FAT32. I tend to prefer to format USB memory sticks in Linux or Windows.

  4. I had the same problem and used the Removal Tool but my OSX console is filled with the follwing:

    Sender (PID)

    (com.sandisk.cruzeragent) Throttling respawn: Will start in 10 seconds

    (com.sandisk.cruzeragent)99367] posix_spawnp (“Library/Application Support/Sandisk/Cruzer U3Agent) No such file or directory

    Since there is no such file or directory, why is the OS calling for it?

  5. Hey there Stuart,

    The removal tool gets rid of the hidden partition on the USB stick. The stuff you’re seeing is from the U3 agent installed either when you inserted the USB stick into the Mac or installed the U3 Remover (I haven’t checked this yet). Anyway you need to go into “/Library/LaunchAgents”, “/System/Library/LaunchAgents” and possibly “/Library/LaunchDaemons” and “/System/Library/LaunchDaemons” and remove the “com.sandisk.cruzeragent.plist” files. And then if you bring up the Activity Monitor and look at the processes you amy see U3Agent sitting there (I did). If you click on that process and then click on “Inspect” and choose “Open Files and Ports” it’ll tell you where the pesky little program is running from. In my case this was “/Library/Application Support/Sansdisk”. I deleted the whole folder to the trash, then went back to the process list and “Force Quit” U3Agent and then quickly emptied the “Trash”. If you don’t do it in time then U3Agent starts up again I think because of Launchd.

    It hasn’t turned up again and things seem a little more stable.

  6. After removing U3 from thumb drive, I dragged the removal program to the trash, but U3 Agent continues to show in Activity Monitor CPU list. Maybe when I restart it will go away. In any case, I will NEVER buy another SanDisk drive. It is bad enough on a Mac. ON PCs, it automatically installs itself as a default (yes, I think it asks you, but most people don’t understand it and think it is necessary to read the drive). That you can’t get rid of it, and recapture your space, by simply formatting, is evil.

  7. Okay, so the U3Agent continued to take up CPU–even after I trashed the program and restarted! So I trash the Application Support folder “Sandisk”, and try to empty the trash. “Can’t empty because U3 is in use” Arrgh. Had to quit U3 process in Activity Monitor–then the trash emptied. Finally rid of that thing. This is all a shame, as SanDisk hardware seems pretty good.
    (Leopard 10.5.8, Mac Pro)

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