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Author Topic: Zentimo/USB Safely Remove - Are they needed anymore?  (Read 4623 times)
Innuendo
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« on: February 11, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »

I nearly wrote the subject line as "were they ever really needed" as I've just been yanking my USB devices out of my computer after I'm sure all device activity has stopped & I've never ejected a device yet I've never lost any data from doing so, but for the sake of this topic I will recognize that in some situations some devices may not behave as they ideally should.

BitsDuJour had USB Safely Remove on sale for 40% off yesterday so I thought I would check it out. Holy crap...I missed the memo where the licensing terms had changed and now if you want a lifetime license it will cost you significantly more. I thought it was a hard sell before at $20 for a lifetime license. Now Crystal Rich has decided to follow Slysoft's licensing model of jacking up the prices and just run perpetual sales. Meh, whatever works for your business I guess...

But Zentimo....for the price premium he is charging over USB Safely Remove he best be throwing in some 'kitchen sink' features soon as what's currently added over USR just isn't worth the extra coin.

But anyway, back to the original question...are they needed anymore? Does even Windows 7's handling of USB devices give you the heebee jeebees? Do your external USB drives implode like shrapnel across your workspace if Crystal Rich's watchful eye isn't looking down over you to protect the structural integrity of your external drive cases?

Lots of people here seem to love it/them so show/tell me what I'm missing in my evaluation so I can love it/them, too. smiley
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 11:26:47 AM »

If write caching is enabled for the drive, yanking it can result in data loss.

If write caching is disabled for the drive, yanking it is supposed to be perfectly fine.

However, having several clients doing backups to external USB drives ...(write caching disabled/headless servers)... I have noticed that some of the drived bork the partition and have to be formatted with a rather odd frequence.

I'll happily "waste" the 4 seconds necessary to click eject in the interest of safety.
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edbro
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 11:45:47 AM »

Yes, but eject without USBSR or Zentimo.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 11:50:13 AM »

I have a license but removed Zentimo because it kept killing the drivers (Code 37) on camera card slots in Windows 7 64-bit.

Not really missed it.
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Ath
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 12:09:53 PM »

If only the default Windows Vista and Windows 7 didn't make me confirm a totally superfluous messagebox after selecting to 'eject' the USB drive, just like Win XP only gave a toast message, I could live without USBSR! And though USBSR has a lot of overly fancy features, just that 1 single error in the standard driver keeps me installing USBSR on all systems owned by me, and the one I operate at work all day.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 12:19:58 PM »

If only the default Windows Vista and Windows 7 didn't make me confirm a totally superfluous messagebox after selecting to 'eject' the USB drive...

Huh?!? Are you right-clicking the USB eject menu systemtray icon? Left-click it (menu pops up), select item to eject(item ejects) no confirmation clicks needed.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 12:28:31 PM »

Ditto here - click Win 7 USB remove icon - click device and that's it. Plus it doesn't mean messing about with device drivers when Zentimo trashes them.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »

Amazing how opinions have changed regarding this program in such a short time. I was expecting more success stories.

Guess I wasn't missing anything after all. Wink
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2012, 06:53:58 PM »

It was very useful in XP and Vista when the Windows tool often didn't release USB sticks and external drives. Windows 7 seems to work properly so it has become less useful (at least to me).
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Jibz
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 06:21:38 AM »

I tried it about a year ago, mainly due to all the praise it got here, but didn't really feel it added much besides a shiny interface and another driver and program to constantly run on my machine.

Like others say here, left-clicking on the USB icon in Windows and selecting the device from the menu to remove it has worked fine for me Thmbsup.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 07:27:49 AM »

I'm with Carol on this one. Hardly useful on Windows 7, but on Windows XP it does help. At least it does on my XP PC which entered its 7th year of practically continuous usage (which is quite a feat as it uses nVidea chipset).

A lot of times Windows won't allow me to shutdown/eject the device for whatever (unclear) reason, but after installing the latest Zentimo Give-away-of-the-day version, I do not have that problem anymore at all. In addition, ejecting appears to be a tad faster.
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xtabber
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 10:05:44 AM »

I find personally find Zentimo very useful. but less for safe removal than for managing multiple removable devices. 

I typically have several external drives connected to my desktop systems, which can vary depending on what I am working on.  Hovering the mouse pointer over the Zentimo tray icon gives me an instant overview of what is attached,  what drive letters are assigned, and a quick button to open each in Windows Explorer (or another file browser).  Zentimo also allows you to store settings for removable drives on the device itself, so that the device will appear the same on any system running Zentimo.

Just connecting my Android phone in USB drive mode grabs 3 drive letters, Sansa music players with micro-SD storage take 2, and I have plenty of external hard disks for offline storage and/or backups that get moved around between systems.
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Darwin
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 10:30:40 AM »

I find Zentimo convenient under Windows 7 to return drives that I eject and then remember that I need to transfer a file (or something) AND to permanently assign drive letters to thumbdrives (used to use USBDLM for this). HOWEVER, I really don't miss it on my work computer and can confirm Carol's report that Windows 7 handles USB ejection just fine.

Overall, I would rate Zentimo as convenient but not essential. Actually, you've got me thinking that maybe I should uninstall it... except I am too lazy to configure USBDLM again!
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Innuendo
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 11:36:27 AM »

Hmm...Shades, xtabber, and Darwin all present usage scenarios that I find myself in...thumb drives that grab a different drive letter any time you connect them to the system are particularly a pet peeve of mine.

Giveawayoftheday is no longer my friend. Once upon a time, they would give away a free piece of software & it was yours to keep. Forever. It couldn't be upgraded, but hey...it was free! Life was good. Then The Darkness came. Giveawayoftheday became GiveawayofTHATday. They still gave you a free piece of software that was not able to be upgraded, but it was wrapped in a proprietary installer that only allowed you to install that piece of software on the day it was given away. Wait 24 hours & it was no soup for you.

Totally unusable for anyone who reinstalls their OS. Ever.

However, it's still not $27 worth of functionality for a USBSR lifetime license so I got to digging. Google didn't turn up anything worthwhile regarding a price break except expired deals. Being a chronic packrat, though, prompted me to check my old emails to see if I had any leverage there. Hmm....found an old expired freebie 1-year license for USBSR from 2008 (No! I don't need help with my "problem"!  tongue)...and figured what would be the harm? I plugged it into the Zentimo web site and what do you know? It qualified for upgrade pricing! Must be because it was an actual license and not a "you're free to use this certain version number ONLY" kind of deal.

Now down to $29.95 for a lifetime license for the 'superior' of the two versions for just a couple bucks more. I was feeling better about my ability to get a better offer with no cash outlay, but Zentimo and USBSR aren't worth $27-30 to me...maybe half that. I've done enough internet transactions, though, that I had one last potentially powerful trick up my sleeve: <dramatic pause> currency conversion.

Crystal Rich's online checkout provides a wealth of different currencies which can be used for payment. I'll save you all the trial & error that I had to go through by saying that paying in Rubles is the way to transactional happiness. Every other choice gives one a 50% discount off of $59.90 to leave one with a net price of $29.95. Choosing Rubles gives one a 50% discount off of $33.10 to leave one with a net price of $16.55, which just happens to be charged in US dollars to your credit card (I don't know why) saving you the expense of foreign transaction fees as well.

$16.55 was close enough to half of $30 so I bit giving me a lifetime license to Zentimo for a total out of pocket cost of $16.55. That's a fair price for the usage I'll have for it.

Interesting tidbit of information I discovered: Existing USBSR customers can upgrade on the web site to a lifetime Zentimo license no matter the length or status of their USBSR license. Existing Zentimo customers, however, don't seem to have a mechanism to upgrade to a lifetime license anywhere.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 11:37:43 AM »

Oh, regarding USBDLM, I checked it out. It's pretty powerful for a free option, but once I started reading all those .ini file settings I started getting QEMM386 flashbacks!  cheesy
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rjbull
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 02:17:11 PM »

I started getting QEMM386 flashbacks!
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rjbull
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 02:19:04 PM »

Re.: the talk of a Zentimo lifetime license; what do folk mean by that?  Lifetime for using the version you bought, or lifetime upgrades?  I didn't think Crystal Rich offered the latter for Zentimo, only USBSR.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 03:01:35 PM »

Re.: the talk of a Zentimo lifetime license; what do folk mean by that?  Lifetime for using the version you bought, or lifetime upgrades?  I didn't think Crystal Rich offered the latter for Zentimo, only USBSR.

Lifetime upgrades is the current deal & subject to change without notice. Crystal Rich has not only reinstated the availability of lifetime licenses for USBSR, but also brought the lifetime upgrade pricing model to Zentimo as well. If these are permanent changes or if they will evaporate again remains a mystery. That's another reason I jumped on the deal. It may not be available in the future.
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rjbull
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 03:47:22 PM »

Crystal Rich has [...] brought the lifetime upgrade pricing model to Zentimo as well.

Hmmm...  I missed any recent Bits deal on Zentimo, but maybe should look at the Crystal Rich's Web site again.  I have a lifetime license for USBSR, plus one of the free ones for an old version of Zentimo.  The most interesting to me feature of Zentimo was its ability to retain drive letters across PCs, but that seemed a touch illusory as you'd have to have admin rights an so forth.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 11:08:53 AM »

rjbull, if you have a lifetime license for USBSR make sure to follow my procedure above to get a lifetime license for Zentimo for a mere $16.55.

Restricting the value of the software based on lifetime licensing, Zentimo's not worth $60, but it is worth $17.
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4wd
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2012, 10:00:19 PM »

Giveawayoftheday became GiveawayofTHATday. They still gave you a free piece of software that was not able to be upgraded, but it was wrapped in a proprietary installer that only allowed you to install that piece of software on the day it was given away.

There are very easy ways around that you know.

Quote
Choosing Rubles gives one a 50% discount off of $33.10 to leave one with a net price of $16.55, which just happens to be charged in US dollars to your credit card (I don't know why) saving you the expense of foreign transaction fees as well.

Either they've fixed it or you get a better deal not being in Australia, the values I get are straight conversions from US dollars.



In fact, after trawling through a mix of Billable and Other currencies, they are all roughly direct conversions from the US price.
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wraith808
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« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2012, 10:10:55 PM »

I find personally find Zentimo very useful. but less for safe removal than for managing multiple removable devices. 

This.  Especially since if you rename something, names persist.  And automagically running something when the drive is inserted.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2012, 01:37:10 PM »

4wd, you are correct. They fixed it. Hopefully, not till after a few of my fellow DCers took advantage of the deal, though.  cheesy

These companies really should hire me as a consultant to beat on their shopping carts, discount codes, etc. I will confess that I will go to absurd lengths to get the best deal I possibly can. I see it as a challenge to my reputation and very seldom have I been bested. Wink
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