US Bank flash drive hidden CDROM removal instructions

So recently my girlfriend opened US Bank savings and checking accounts, and as part of the deal received a free flash drive. The representative told her it has some promotional files on it, but they can just be deleted. Not quite.

When I plugged the flash drive in, two drives appeared on my desktop (Ubuntu). One was what I expected, a USB mass storage device. The other was a CDROM drive. I looked at what was on it, and it was just a bunch of promotional files and programs.

Well obviously this cdrom popping up every time you plug in the drive isn't very nice, so I tried to remove it. Reformatting the device didn't work, it just cleared out the USB mass storage device. I ran dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb to zero out the entire drive, in case reformatting somehow missed something. This destroyed the MBR, partition table, everything. But when I plugged the device back in, the CDROM was still alive and kicking.

So this wasn't a hidden partition on the drive, this had to be some sort of extra hardware or special firmware on the device which allowed this CDROM image to exist separately from the mass storage device.

I run lsusb before and after plugging in the device, and find that the drive is manufactured by iCreate Technologies, Inc. I search around, and find a forum where someone gave a link to a windows application, claiming that it can remove the hidden CDROM image. I download the program, and reboot my girlfriend's computer into Windows. Upon plugging in the device, I learn that the CDROM has an autorun that opens a full screen application every time it is plugged in. How obnoxious! US Bank, if you are reading this, giving away a flash drive with a non-very-easy-to-remove CDROM image that pops up a full screen application every time you plug in in is *not* very cool. Just save your money and don't give away anything at all.

Luckily, the program worked as promised, and I was able to modify the device to be just a plain USB storage device, a normal flash drive. I plugged it in, and started the program. It asks to be run in either simple or complex mode, I tried both and I think that simple works fine. It recognized the device, and I clicked "Erase false" or something like that. Then I unplugged it, and plugged it back in. This time, windows didn't recognize that anything was plugged in. I started the program again, and it recognized it. I clicked "Low level reformat" or something like that, and then it set it up as a normal flash drive. Success!

Here is the program:
I can vouch for the program in that it did what it is supposed to do and I didn't see any immediate negative side effects (virus, etc) but obviously use at your own risk. You need a program to unrar it, if you are in linux you can install unrar (if it isn't already installed) and then run unrar e filename. Otherwise in windows you can use 7-zip or winrar. The program comes with a dll file, which is required for the program to work. Just keep the .exe and the .dll together, and everyone will be happy.

Hopefully this will help someone turn their US Bank piece-of-crap-flash-drive-vertisement into something useful. Good luck!


Anonymous said…
it works!! thanks a lot. i have been searching for this program for hours and couldnt find anything that works. THANKS!
C.J. said…
It worked like a charm, thanks for all the legwork on this incredibly annoying issue!
Nat said…
hmmm...can't seem to recognize my usb drive. am i missing something? i'm on windows xp.

Matt Kokotovich said…
If you follow the steps exactly, and it isn't recognizing your jump drive, you must not have the same type of jump drive that I had. It is possible you have a different version, maybe an 'upgrade' of sorts. I guess just try again and see if it works, good luck!
Computator said…
The flashdrive was a U3 Flashdrive. The CD Partition was to start the software automatically. Normally the cd partition starts the U3 launcher but they apparently replaced the normal launcher app with their promotional thing. The hardware emulates a usb cd drive as well as the normal flash memory. The cd drive part can be disabled (as you found out) and used like a normal flashdrive. U3 is quite common in most new flashdrives nowdays.
gearrunr said…
I'm having the same issue. This doesn't seem to recognize my stupid free us bank drive either. Also, I don't know how to tell if this is a U3 drive, but I tried the U3 removal tool and that doesn't recognize it either. I did notice that the removal tool has a SanDisk label on it, and I'm seeing clues in blogs I'm coming across that the SanDisk version is different. Half the links to download the U3 removal tool lead to nowhere but an invitation to email U3 to request info. I think I'll just stop wasting my time with this and throw it in the garbage.
Anonymous said…
It worked! Thank you so much!
LokIT said…
hi,its very informative,encrypted flash drive,thanks

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