Never forget your USB-stick again

Michael PietroforteMVP By Michael Pietroforte - Tue, March 28, 2006 - 27 comments google+ icon

Michael Pietroforte is the founder and editor of 4sysops. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with more than 30 years of experience in system administration.

Did you ever forget your USB stick at work, and then realized at home that you badly needed some files on it? If so, then this free tool is for you. pcwUnstick is a Visual Basic script from PC WELT, a German computer magazine. The script opens a pop up window whenever you shut down your PC if a USB-stick is still plugged-in. It works with Firewire hard disks too.

The installation instruction at their web site is in German. Basically, you just have to add the script to your logoff scripts with the group policy editor gpedit.msc. I wrote down below a detailed instruction in English. Looks pretty complicated, but it should only take you a minute or so.

  1. Download pcwUnstick.
  2. Start the exe file.
  3. pcUnstickA popup window informs you that there’s no guarantee that the script will work properly. You can contact the author of the program, if you have problems with it. I used this script for a while and it worked fine.
  4. pcwUnstickWinZip Self-Exractor will start then. Click on “Extrahieren”. The uncompressed script will be copied to C:\pcwelt. You can then close WinZip.
  5. Click on Windows Start Button, then run, then type gpedit.msc
  6. Go to User Configuration->Windows Settings->Scripts
  7. Double click on “Logoff”.
  8. Click on “Show files”. The folder, where your local logoff scripts are stored, will open.
  9. Drag and drop the pcwUnstick.vbs from C:\pcwelt to this folder. You can close the folder now.
  10. pcwUnstickClick on “Add” in the Logoff Properties Windows, browse for pcwUnstick.vbs and click OK.

If you are not the only one in your company, who forgets his USB-stick every now and then, you could add this logon script to all your company’s PCs using Group Polices. I didn’t try this though.

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27 Comments- Leave a Reply

  1. Sanja says:

    #3 resuires admin privileges.95% of those using USB sticks at work don’t have them.Better alternative is to use small program that runs in background and monitors for the beginning of the shutdown process. It can be put in the user’s startup folder.

  2. Sanja says:

    Sorry for typo. Should be "#5 requires"

  3. [...] Never forget my USB Stick again [...]

  4. [...] If so, then 4sysops article Never forget your USB-stick again is for you (and quite obviously me). [...]

  5. David says:

    Just keep it on your keychain, then you can’t leave without it.  You can’t start your car without your keys.

  6. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    David, that might be the American solution for this problem. In other parts of the world many people use public transportation to go to work. ;-)

  7. frank says:

    well, then they can put it in their housekey key chain.

  8. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    frank, you really think that this is a good idea? You will end up before you door without house key because you forgot your usb-stick at work. Better let your house key in your briefcase.

  9. Bill says:

    Just attach it to your keys… It is pretty hard to leave without those.

  10. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Bill, great idea! This way you’ll forget your keys and your USB stick at work. ;-)

  11. Theresa says:

    Has anybody tried this in Windows 98 or 98SE? My old love is getting cranky, and I’m a little hesitant to download anything that doesn’t specifically say anything about systems…
    Thank you

  12. Baz says:

    I have a larger Seagate drive so who cares about car, house or whatever keys, its a cool script and those who dont need it dont need to make comments about why they dont forget there usb drives! good on them, WHO CARES?

  13. [...] il PC con una penna USB inserita. Naturalmenente il messaggio che appare e` in tedesco. Mentre qui trovate il tutorial in inglese per [...]

  14. Nero says:

    Is there a way to put this script on the USB drive itself and not on the host computer? Thanks

  15. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Nero, this script changes registry settings, if I remember it right. So I think you have to run it on every computer where you want to use it.

  16. Casey says:

    I really need this, but when I click on the download link, the first step, I get a weird screen.
    It’s and error screen that is yellow and there is a bunch of stuff about java. Is anybody else having something similar to this, or am I just doing something wrong?

  17. Michael Pietroforte Michael says:

    Casey, sorry for my late reply. The original download link doesn’t work anymore. I just uploaded my version pcwUnstick now. I hope you forgot your memory stick not too often in the meantime. ;-)

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  20. Ria says:

    Doesn’t work for me. I add the .vbs file to the Logoff properties window, but at logoff, I get the error “failed to find file”. When I check again in the Logoff properties window, it is blank, and their is nothing in the folder (show files …).

    Any ideas?

  21. Ricky says:

    Hi, how about USB Alert??? simple and very effective for me!!! Good luck

  22. Ricky says:

    O o, forgot the link :) http://www.usbalert.nl/

  23. Joe says:

    Is this one works for windows 7? it runs perfect for windows XP however everytime I test in windows 7 it says “line 63, cannot find file” I guess win7 do not have the file for sndrec32.exe?

    objWSH.Run “sndrec32.exe /play /close ” & sounddatei, 0, false

  24. SREEDHARAN says:

    I am not able to run gpedit.msc. I am using Windows 7. Please clarify as to how to open gpedit to make changes in the registry settings?

  25. bogo89 says:

    pcwStick.vbs ;with chcecking existing sound file
    de: http://pastebin.com/MSRcLGft
    en: http://pastebin.com/Q1SiDhyu
    pl: http://pastebin.com/d9u30bpz

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