An Updated Directory Of Programs Designed For USB Drives

By | April 5, 2005

Update Nov 6 2006: To avoid confusion I’ve moved all this back to the original page.

Here’s a directory of applications designed to run on USB drives, a subject I wrote about in the AWSJ and (subscription required; sorry). This list includes those suggestions kindly sent in by readers from the last posting. Please keep them coming (I haven’t checked to see whether those suggested run without hacks off USB drives, and I have left off some of the more sysadmin type tools the general reader might not have much appetite for.)

Then there are all the applications designed to run on Iomega’s proprietary Active Disk, some of which also come in non-Active Disk versions. There are also some other sites that have collected these kind of applications:

29 thoughts on “An Updated Directory Of Programs Designed For USB Drives

  1. airWRX

    airWRX is an application framework that runs from a USB flash drive, and turns its PC host and other nearby PCs into a multi-screen, web-like work environment. airWRX makes a flash drive into a mobile application server, and any available PCs into your personal workspace.

    The airWRX framework is lightweight, extensible, and includes full source code. airWRX enables developers to create sophisticated mobile and collaborative applications that unify PCs and data like no tools before it.

  2. JW

    I’m told by Eyal Kaplan of Inmatrix that “Zoom Player is a powerful Media Player, with playback abilities ranging from MP3’s, through a wide range of Media formats, including video. Zoom Player Professional can also be used to view DVD’s and is the most powerful DVD front-end on the market today. Therefore it is clear that Zoom Player should be added or moved to the Media Players, or Video Players categories, rather than remain under Music, its current placing.”

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  5. La peste

    1 very good email client to be added: Foxmail
    It allows you to send emails from any connected computer running Windows and it has also a remote administration module for you accounts.
    1 remark for VLC mentionned by gadgetboy: This very good program doesn’t need any codec installed to read a Divx… I have few movies on my USB drive and I can watch them on any Windows PC.

  6. Derek

    A program that I like is Mike Lin’s Startup Control Panel. It allows you to stop programs that automatically startup with the computer and does a better job than MSCONFIG. And it’s on 76Kb in size.

    Get it at

    Autoruns 8.0 also does the same but it is a little bit more complicated but has a few more features.


  7. kost

    I installed Opera on my USB Flash-drive. Works fine as browser/mailer/rss-reader.

    Just install anywhere you want, while installing remove “different profiles foe differenrt users” and edit some lines in opera6.ini.

    In Russian… But you can which see lines to change.

  8. Fausto Di-Trapani

    Hi, great forum

    Being an extensive traveller, a portable computing environment is a MUST. A great little program I came across is Runit ( It is a little program launcher with all its settings stored in an ini file (portable). I wrote a little batch file to edit the ini file to refer to new locations of programs when the drive letter changes, so far this little program has been the most useful of the lot for me as it allows me to easily access all my portable apps without having to browse through folders. Here is the batch file:
    **********START BATCH FILE***************
    @echo off
    echo @echo off> volume.bat
    echo set getdrv_=%%3>> volume.bat
    dir | find “Volume” > go.bat
    Call go
    if exist volume.bat del volume.bat
    if exist go.bat del go.bat
    for /F “tokens=1” %%o in (.olddrv.drv) do if %%o==%getdrv_% (
    echo Current drive is %getdrv_%, INI drive reference is %%o. INI file references OK!
    start runit.exe %getdrv_%:USBAPPSRUNITrunit.ini
    ) ELSE (echo Current drive is %getdrv_%, INI drive reference is %%o updating INI drive references!
    echo %getdrv_% > olddrv.drv
    sed “s/%%o:\/%getdrv_%:\/g” runit.ini > runit.inz
    echo y | del runit.ini
    ren runit.inz runit.ini
    start runit.exe %getdrv_%:USBAPPSRUNITrunit.ini
    ***********END BATCH FILE*****************

    Effectively the script looks for the old drive letter (this will have to be set up manually at first in a file called olddrv.drv in the program directory – create with notepad) compares it to the current drive letter and if it is different, updates all the references to programs in the ini file.

    You will need to have sed (Google search) in the same directory as Runit.

    My directory structure is as follows

    With this little program I am able to plug in my USB drive into almost any windows PC and have all my programs available through one small floating menu.

    Active programs on USB drive now
    Archive Pass Cracker
    Crypto Anywhere
    Edit Pad
    Essential PIM
    Foxit PDF Reader
    Hex Editor
    Miranda IM
    Office Pass Cracker
    Pop3 Server
    Private Disk
    Sunbird Calendar
    Thunderbird Mail
    VNC Server
    VNC Viewer
    Web Server
    Win PW Crack
    WinMX P2P

    Any problems mail me.

  9. PJ Daniels

    AT Notes don’t exist any more – it’s been discontinued.

    I’d luv a stickynote applet that’s truly portable.

    I use the portable version of Essential PIM (Free Version) – I’m happy with it, but I’ll have a look at ToDoList app you use

    In one your weekly BBC-WS sessions you mentioned web based word processor, any chance I sending the URL

    Suprised that Mr Postman isn’t mentioned. I use it in conjunction with Thunderbird Portable to access 4 mail accounts, include my home ISP.

    I use the FTP extension to Firefox – excellent, as is the latest Tab Mix – it’s Session Manager is excellent for Road Warriors

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  12. Luke - Software Recovery Reviewer

    thank you for giving us this directory of applications designed to run on USB drives. That’s what I need. I deeply appreciate everything you do for us. Because you make our life easier by giving us the opportunity to use all these innovations.


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