Free USB memory stick!

No Comments

I thought it was a while since I last posted – not that I forgot about this but I’ve been doing loads of other stuff recently and just couldn’t find the time to pick on something to write about, until yesterday!

I picked up a free USB memory device recently from Nokia. I thought “Great! A free memory stick to put loads of content on for my grandson!” (He can play this straight off the USB stick from an XBox – amazing!). When I put it into my machine, the device autoran some promotional stuff. I originally thought that was very clever of the manufacturers but I thought I’ll soon get rid of that crap and have a nice, fully functional empty USB stick to use. Oh no! Not so quick Sherlock!

What I discovered is that the USB device is partitioned into two separate partitions and they appear in Windows Explorer as two separate devices! Weird. One of the drives even appeared as a CD drive!! Woah! How did that happen?

Well, upon closer inspection, it appears the first partition is a CD filesystem (CDFS) whilst the rest of the device is as I would expect (NTFS). So no matter what I do with the device in terms of formatting it, the CDFS always remains intact. So my work was centred around how I remove the CDFS partition or completely wipe the device and start again.
You might think that the easiest way is to use a partition manager to delete the partitions and start again. Nope. The CDFS partition is a read-only!
I even tried the really useful command line tool from Microsoft called DISKPART. Select the volume, the device, the partition and tried ‘cleaning’ it from within DISKPART – still no joy!

Very clever stuff!

After trawling through several forums on  the issue, I seemed to be going nowhere. You may see some forums refer to a ‘U3 USB stick‘ and simply using the U3 uninstaller sorts the problem. Not so quick there partner! Mine wasn’t a U3 stick and most of these devices aren’t these days.
But eventually I stumbled across a Chinese program which deletes the whole device and allows you to then re-partition the device. The application looks a very dodgy piece of software but it certainly did the trick for me.
I firstly downloaded a piece of software called ‘chipgenius’ which is supposed to tell you things about your device which allows you to get the right software to delete everything on it. Didn’t prove to be much use to be honest.

The software that did the trick was off some Russian website and is very difficult to understand. As I say, it looks a very dodgy piece of software and I cannot verify that it is completely safe to install, but I took all the precautions and it worked for me.
The software is called ‘CBM209XUmptool’, which seems very dodgy in itself! But, as I say, it did the trick and deleted the whole device and allowed me to use a partition manager to re-partition the device and allow me to use the whole device memory allocation.

In essence, the amount of storage the CDFS was using was nothing really. I think it was 14MB out of the 2GB for the device. But the annoying thing was the autorun issue of the promo they inflicted on the user! I suppose that pays for the device giveaway from the beginning though! 🙂

Now I can put loads of content on it, using my ‘get_iplayer’ command line interface!!! More on that later….