I did not know that until my assistant Kalen told me about it. It is called Package Factory. With it you can take some of your favorite utilities and convert them to U3 format. Then install them on your U3. Pretty cool.
The whole thing works this way: You add the executable to the executable window, and then you create U3 package. Now, you can also add dll, hlp, ini and other files. You just have to use the advanced mode. Not all programs will work. That is, programs that use the Windows Registry intensively will not work. Yet, I have had only one program not work. Most of the programs I added were utilities, small programs I use for special purposes. Bigger programs that you might want to use, you might have to get already packaged up like Open Office.
Here are the screen shots in the process of creating a U3 package:
You can start out in Wizard mode. For example if your Program consist only of one executable, like say cmd.exe, then this would suffice. Just drag and drop to the EXE and then click on create.
If you click on advanced mode you will get the following screen. Notice the GUID numbers. This will correspond to the folder it will create in the U3 System\Apps Folder. Just in case you have to manually do something with it.
The Host Screen shows you the Executable you just added. Here if the program comes with other files, you can add them here. If there are Sub folders you can add the whole sub folders here. This is what I had to do to get Clam Win to work.In the Data Window you add any INI, or PREF or other files.
The Device folder is for HLP or CHM files.
Now you can select Create a U3P File in the Summary Window
Once you do that you save the file to whatever location on your computer you want. I created a U3Package Folder on my desktop. Then start your U3 Start Menu and select Add Program, then Install from my Computer.
Select the .u3p install file you just created
Just walk through the wizard.
And there it is one of your programs. Pretty cool
I did have to play with it a little at first to get more complicated programs as ClamWin to work, but in all cases but one they all have worked. If you read the details in the screens, for example in the Host Window it says no U3 awareness is required for programs/files added to that window. So you could say that is why a plain old stand alone exe will always work. In the other Windows it says files have to be U3 aware, but I don't know what that exactly means because most of the programs I added were not necessarily developed for U3. It stands to reason, that if the program is not making much use of the registry, and that if all the files that it needs to run are accessible, this means that if it needs another helper file, it will be in a sub folder of the root where the main executable is, or it just knows the path from its location - It should work!
Here is a list of programs that I got to work on my SanDisk Cruzer U3 USB Stick, this is not inclusive, because I have many others that I have found already packaged. I tried to find the links for you, but some I just had and cant remember where I got them. Also, if you use your imagination you can do many more. Some you can use from the Portable Apps Installs, others, from Bart PE Plugins, and others you just start from scratch. Here are some of the more notables that I did:
|Ghost32 - Licensed |
|Good Synch - There is a free version too |
|HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool |
ClamWin Portable - from portable apps.
|Nero CD - DVD Speed|
|Sysinternal TCP View|
|Trivial FTP Daemon 32|
|Xnote Stop Watch|
If you find this useful, please drop me a comment. Maybe you found some other cool programs to make work that I didn't.