Broken Sandisk Cruzer Enterprise

by Michael Smith

A lot of people seem to have problems what they perceive to be with the Sandisk Cruzer and the Cruzer Enterprise device.

It will appear to them that it is not being recognized by their computer and a message gets thrown up that says something like “Cruzer Enterprise requires 2 drive letters...”

I have the same problem with my XP Pro machine and have also assumed that this is a problem with the device, i.e. that it has failed for some reason and is broken.

The failure does not lie, however, with the Sandisk Cruzer device – and once again my apologies to the folks at Sandisk for having assumed them to be at fault though they could have used the opportunity to inform readers of what the real issue is but did not – but with the user's computer.

Yes, folks, honestly. It is Windows that is at fault, and here especially XP. But on its own XP would be fine. The problem is that there is a patch that came “down” in (automatic) Windows Update some time ago originally – in my personal case around April 2008 – and this patch cannot be removed.

Microsoft has released a hotfix fore this some time back but there is one problem with that. In most case the hotfix fixes nothing.

I have applied the fix and exactly – no change. However, on my Fujitsu Siemens laptop with Vista the Cruzer stick works fine, as does the Kingston Data Traveler Black Box. That does not work on my XP Pro PC either. On the other hand the Blockmaster Safestick and the MXI devices all work fin on that PC.

It would appear that this patch only knocks out some of the .exe programs that are used for automatic data encryption by some manufacturers.

So, to quickly sum it up, folks: It is not your Sandisk Cruzer stick that is broken; there is a problem on your Windows operating system. Unfortunately, the hotfix does not fix things so maybe someone needs to hit the guys in Redmond on the head with something.

This was the final straw that made me ultimately turn off Windows Updates. So far I have had more grief with that than anything and I am rather fed up with having to spend ages having to sort out the mess that has been created by such updates. On of the other instances was when a patch disabled Zonealarm firewall and that for thousands of users. Well done, Microsoft!

Once again, folks. The fault lies with the patches from Microsoft for Windows OS rather than with the device(s). Anyone feeling strongly enough about this could always send a nicely worded message to Microsoft's good offices. Maybe they then wake up to the fact that it is not funny being on the receiving end for users of patches that screw things up.

On the other hand, any more screw ups like this might finally get the message across to the makers that they must make their sticks also compatible with Linux and other Open Source operating systems and it may also get the message across to PC users that there are other alternatives to Windows, namely Linux, BSD and other Open Source programs. You do not have to run Windows, generally.

© M Smith (Veshengro), December 2008