Older unit weirdness

Have a Sandisk 4 gig U3 that’s been around for many years. I actually found it on the sidewalk. When I plug it in, “my computer” tells me it’s a CD drive (CD (G:) U3 System). No icon shows up in the task bar. What’s that all about? The machine OS is Vista Home Premium SP2.

It has 2 files in the root folder (autorun.inf and LaunchU3.exe) and a zip folder. Viewed help file - U3 Launchpad User Help (Version 1.0). Upon double clicking the exe file, nothing happens.

Since I’ll probably just use the drive for storage and transporting files, should I just reformat it? It says that one can install programs on it but I don’t know anything about that.

A U3 drive has two partitions on it.  One is a CD drive and the other a FAT32 disk drive.  The latter is where one writes user files to.  The CD drive contains the U3 software and when the LaunchU3 file is executed it prompt you for the password from the USB stick so you can access the FAT32 partition.  You may have to execute the LaunchU3 app in XP Compatibility Mode on your Vista system.

If you don’t know the password then you can not access, or see, or format, the FAT32 drive.

There is a SanDisk utility that will allow you to delete the U3 software and CD drive.  It will also format the FAT32 disk drive thus allowing you to use it.