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Author Topic: What's your favorite USB External Storage Device Manager -- and why?  (Read 12559 times)
Armando
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« on: September 03, 2008, 12:05:41 AM »

[Edit : that thread's title used to be :  "USBDLM -- deserves a thread!" But I decided to cover change to cover a broader spectrum...]

I discovered USBDLM (USB drive letter manager)

I downloaded this program a while ago because it's been mentioned quite a few times. Never installed it.

Finally tried it yesterday. Wish I did that before! I love it.  Kiss

Quote
   What it is
 

USBDLM is a Windows service that gives control over Window's drive letter assignment for USB drives. Running as service makes it independent of the logged on user's privileges, so there is no need to give the users the privilege to change drive letters.
It automatically solves conflicts between USB drives and network or subst drives of the currently logged on user.
Furthermore you can define new default letters for USB drives and much more.


So many times, after using many different USB drives (HDs, USB sticks...), windows gets all mixed up and starts assigning unusual letters to my drive, which makes backuping, errrrrr, an interesting experience.

In some occasions, I had to reboot to be able to restore the letters to their usual drives (yup : sometimes, it's just impossible to reassign letters using "computer management", as you might all know).

And this is where USBDLM does its magic. Assign letters to specific drives (defined either by their size or by Device ID, for example), and bingo. My USB stick is always U:, and all other drives don't steal each other's letters anymore.  thumbs up

You just need to edit an INI file to configure the app. Not as user friendly as some would like, but quite simple in reality.

Try it out if you haven't! It works very well. Free for private use. Thmbsup


What's your favorite USB External Storage Device Manager -- and why?
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 06:10:41 PM by Armando » Logged

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lanux128
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 12:11:23 AM »

yes, USB drive letter manager is very cool. Thmbsup

another cool tip:

Quote from: website
Card Readers
The typical 20-in-1 card reader eats one drive letter for each of its slots - if we have a card for or not. USBDLM can remove the reader's drive letter until a media is inserted. This does not work under Windows 2000.

[Settings]
NoMediaNoLetter=1
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Armando
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 12:17:19 AM »

ahah! should've mentionned that USBDLM stands for USB drive letter manager. Thanks Lanux.

The NoMediaNoLetter feature is very cool indeed.
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Glenn Gould
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 03:14:21 AM »

Oh, yes, i'm using it too. Great Tool that simplifies life with USB drives a lot! Can't live without it anymore  Cool

Recommended!

Peter
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 03:15:24 AM »

Very nice find  thumbs up
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wr975
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 07:08:51 AM »

For anyone who works a lot with USB devices, I can only recommend USB Safely Remove.

It's like USBDLM just with a fancy GUI and some extra features, like disabling devices (even ones which don't support disconnecting).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 07:14:54 AM by wr975 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 08:05:59 AM »

Been using USBDLM for a couple of years now. Excellent utility! I was considering writing a mini mini-review for it, but I don't know when or if I'll have the time.

Highly recommended, though!
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Darwin
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 08:06:37 AM »

I love USBDLM as well - it's absolutely essential to my backup routine, which involves Super Flexible File Synchronizer and four or five different USB devices. USBDLM means that I can set and forget my backup routines and just run them without worrying about the drive designations changing and messing up my backup.

Thanks for the pointer to USB Safely Remove, wr975. I'll have to check it out, though once you set USBDLM up it's rock solid and very, very simple to use. It's also unbelievably light on resources, so I've very little incentive to change!
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 10:13:51 AM »

Cool! Thanks for this tool's suggestion!
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 10:50:32 AM »

There's also Nirsoft's USBDeview that lets you weed out the devices you no longer use from Windows' "memory"... it's interesting to see some of the stuff that's been there if you've got a long running Windows install.
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Armando
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 02:14:25 PM »

USB Safely Remove

Seems like a very nice app (remember installing it a long time ago...). I'm not sure though, but from the description, USB Safely Remove  doesn't seem to do the same thing. It's more about managing drive names, assigning keyboard shortcuts, etc., but not really "permanently" assigning letters to specific volumes in relation to specific criteria, etc.

Here's the feature list :

- Safely remove in one click
- Get rid of unnecessary devices!
- Global keyboard shortcuts
- Correct and clear device names
- The device cannot be stopped right now : close the offending processes!
- Garanteed ejection!
- Notifications about connected and removed devices
- Starting programs after connecting and before removing a device
- Automating work with devices (Command line)
- Working with any hotplug devices - USB, SATA, FireWire
- Displaying volume labels instead of device names, Switching to volume names
- Customizable icon in the system tray

I wonder if it would conflict with the USBDLM... Anybody running both?
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2008, 02:37:01 PM »

Not me... I looked at the features list and realized that I don't need the features it offers. I use Unlocker to deal with devices that can't be removed...
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wr975
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 04:46:56 PM »

Quote
but not really "permanently" assigning letters to specific volumes in relation to specific criteria, etc.

It permanently assigns drive letters. It doesn't write ini files, but I think it just remembers the hardware id.






I guess they started with making it easier to remove/eject drives, and then kept adding related features. Here're some more:

- Assign drive letters to devices
- Mount drive as folder
- Prohibit assigning drive letters (like network drives)
- Global hotkeys for each drive
- Always hide devices from "remove list"
- Hide devices if empty (card readers)
- Optionally disallow ejection of card readers
- Re-enable removed devices
- Disable devices if removing/ejecting is not supported (my PCI SATA controller does not support removing drives)
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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2008, 05:20:33 PM »

Hmmm... thanks for clarifying that, wr975! I'm happy with my setup, for now... (are software addicts really ever "satisfied"?), so will leave well enough alone.
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Armando
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2008, 05:23:31 PM »

Quote
but not really "permanently" assigning letters to specific volumes in relation to specific criteria, etc.

It permanently assigns drive letters. It doesn't write ini files, but I think it just remembers the hardware id.
 (see attachment in previous post) (see attachment in previous post)

I guess they started with making it easier to remove/eject drives, and then kept adding related features. Here're some more:

- Assign drive letters to devices
- Mount drive as folder
- Prohibit assigning drive letters (like network drives)
- Global hotkeys for each drive
- Always hide devices from "remove list"
- Hide devices if empty (card readers)
- Optionally disallow ejection of card readers
- Re-enable removed devices
- Disable devices if removing/ejecting is not supported (my PCI SATA controller does not support removing drives)


Wow. USB Safely Remove deserves a thread too!  Grin

[Edit : it's $20 though, isn't it ?]
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 05:31:13 PM by Armando » Logged

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Armando
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2008, 05:28:41 PM »

Maybe I could "retitle" the thread and make it "What's the best USB external storage device manager"? What do you think?
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Darwin
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2008, 05:41:10 PM »

Might be an idea, particularly if you can add a poll. Make "C" 'Other' and ask posters to report what they're using...

I hadn't noticed that USB Safely Remove is shareware... Not that the functionality is not worth it, but it's another mark in the "con" column for me. Having said that, I should probably donate to the USBDLM developer. Haven't done so yet and it is an oversight.
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Darwin
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2008, 05:45:03 PM »

BTW - the commercial licence for http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.htmlUSBDLM is $14.40 (USD) so I suppose that makes more sense than donating. I also note that there isn't any "Make a donation" link on the web page...

[Off-topic]When did the new URL pasting thingy (that's a technical term) get implemented? Pretty slick![/Off-topic]
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2008, 05:59:31 PM »

> it's $20 though, isn't it ?]

Not in Euros. tongue

Back then I asked about their license details. The license is lifetime (also for all new major releases) + you're allowed to use the same license on all your private PCs at the same time.
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Armando
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2008, 06:14:07 PM »

OK. I changed the thread's title -- but it's not possible to add a poll. So now the two main contenders are:

- "USBDLM" (free for private use)
- "USB Safely Remove" ($20 for a lifetime license, and can be used on multiple personal PCs at the same time). (Thanks wr975!)
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2008, 06:18:33 PM »

So... wr975, what's the resource "hit" like when using USB Safely Remove? Thanks for clarifying the licence policy, BTW. Lifetime licences are always a welcome touch...
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 06:42:43 PM »

Ressource hit... ? Perhaps this answers your question. (Uptime: 4 days)



Is it 14 MB memory, or 23 MB? Probably much more than USBDLM.
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Darwin
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2008, 06:56:35 PM »

Not bad, actually. USBDLM is using 2.5 MB Virtual Memory and 26 MB RAM on my machine after about 7 hours uptime.
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Armando
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2008, 06:59:25 PM »

I guess it depends what you're looking for. IIRC, it's the Private Bytes figure you really have to look at if you want to know how much the process is REALLY using, since the working set is the amount of RAM allocated to the process + some shared (or to be used) by other processes.

So it would be 13.8mb for USB Safely Remove and 2.6 mb (Working set here is 2.7 -- not much more...) for USBDLM. So USBDLM is less of a resource hit.

[Darwin posted just before me... as I was writing -- interesting Darwin... YOu're getting much higher figures!]
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2008, 07:29:20 PM »

I'm running an old Centrino (1.4Ghz) with 2GB of 266Mhz RAM... I *think* that's the explanation, though I could be wrong. Very wrong (it's happened before. !enoyna llet t'noD)
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