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View Full Version : USB RESTORE stick, Can you reformat?




lulla01
Jan 31, 2011, 07:35 PM
I have several 2010 macbook airs, thus, i have several of the USB restore drives and I would like to restore one of them with a general version of OSX to use on other machines, I have read the stick is protected but I would assume there is some workaround to delete its contents and restore with a full version of snow leopard for all macs. People have presented the solutions of buying other flash drives, that is not what i want to do I want to use this specific drive. I would love to hear of any success with doing something like this or any tips.



fs454
Jan 31, 2011, 08:08 PM
So far it seems like its impossible, but I'd love to find a way.

hfg
Jan 31, 2011, 08:16 PM
It would not surprise me if these USB sticks were cheap ROM or PROM based rather than more expensive flash memory. As such, they would not be reusable. :(

-howard

halledise
Jan 31, 2011, 08:47 PM
I have several 2010 macbook airs, thus, i have several of the USB restore drives and I would like to restore one of them with a general version of OSX to use on other machines, I have read the stick is protected but I would assume there is some workaround to delete its contents and restore with a full version of snow leopard for all macs. People have presented the solutions of buying other flash drives, that is not what i want to do I want to use this specific drive. I would love to hear of any success with doing something like this or any tips.

of course you can - but why would you want to?
buy another 8gb stick and use that for playing and keep the MBAir one for its intended use :D

hfg
Jan 31, 2011, 11:09 PM
Apparently you do not intend to ever sell those laptops in the future? If so, I am sure the new owner would definitely want the USB restore stick with the notebook.

I would think the current users of those notebooks would want to have the restore stick with them as well:confused:


-howard

lulla01
Feb 2, 2011, 01:01 AM
It wouldnt matter, the only difference is that I would want a full version of the OS. I think its stupid that we buy something and they block us from writing to it. How is it possible that its a flash drive and cant be written over.?

iExpensive
Feb 2, 2011, 01:15 AM
It wouldnt matter, the only difference is that I would want a full version of the OS. I think its stupid that we buy something and they block us from writing to it. How is it possible that its a flash drive and cant be written over.?
Because they have prefer to secure it. A lot of companies do this. It has their branding on it so I guess that is why they are protective over it? It's just a thought.

itsalan
Feb 2, 2011, 01:26 AM
It wouldnt matter, the only difference is that I would want a full version of the OS. I think its stupid that we buy something and they block us from writing to it. How is it possible that its a flash drive and cant be written over.?

it isn't any different from getting the restore dvds which are read only as well.

weckart
Feb 2, 2011, 01:38 AM
I have read the stick is protected but I would assume there is some workaround to delete its contents and restore with a full version of snow leopard for all macs.

The normal workaround for these and other thumbdrives that present themselves as virtual CD drives is to find the programming software specifically written for this stick and rewrite the firmware restoring the drive to its virgin state.

Occasionally, a scour around certain Chinese forums brings dividends, but it depends upon the hardware. Apple may have an exclusive flash model for this stick, in which case forget it or, as others have suggested, the chips may be ROM rather than RAM, which would make more sense in keeping costs down.

I had a go at rewriting a thumbdrive given free with a newspaper which had a virtual CD embedded advertising some lame film that had just come out and when placed in a Windows computer opened up a browser directed towards the film's website. I found the program and the default firmware settings but ended up trashing the stick, which started reporting a bogus capacity. YMMV as ever.

iRun26.2
Feb 2, 2011, 10:02 AM
The normal workaround for these and other thumbdrives that present themselves as virtual CD drives is to find the programming software specifically written for this stick and rewrite the firmware restoring the drive to its virgin state.

Occasionally, a scour around certain Chinese forums brings dividends, but it depends upon the hardware. Apple may have an exclusive flash model for this stick, in which case forget it or, as others have suggested, the chips may be ROM rather than RAM, which would make more sense in keeping costs down.

I had a go at rewriting a thumbdrive given free with a newspaper which had a virtual CD embedded advertising some lame film that had just come out and when placed in a Windows computer opened up a browser directed towards the film's website. I found the program and the default firmware settings but ended up trashing the stick, which started reporting a bogus capacity. YMMV as ever.

In other words...

It may not be worth it!

lulla01
Feb 10, 2011, 04:09 PM
after hours of playing with it ive given up ive tried to rewrite it so many different ways and programs

TheRealDamager
Feb 10, 2011, 04:15 PM
I've just got to ask - why would you spend so much time on this, when USB drives are so cheap and you had many people tell you it couldn't be done? Just because you like the look of the stick and wanted to use it for other things?

kepner
Feb 10, 2011, 04:36 PM
Just because you like the look of the stick and wanted to use it for other things?

Doesn't seem so strange to me. It's simpler and nicer than any flash drive I've ever owned. If I still used flash drives, and had a few of these restore drives laying around, I'd probably diddle with one to try to store my own data on it too.

weckart
Feb 10, 2011, 05:20 PM
Doesn't seem so strange to me. It's simpler and nicer than any flash drive I've ever owned. If I still used flash drives, and had a few of these restore drives laying around, I'd probably diddle with one to try to store my own data on it too.

Meh. This design is really nothing special

http://image.made-in-china.com/2f1j00VMyTZNnIPekO/Pny-64GB-USB-Flash-Drive.jpg

I have a number of these PNY micro-attaché drives in more modest capacities and minus that shameful logo. PCWorld/Currys in the UK were dumping 4GB versions for a princely 97p a while back. Seems like the minimalist design didn't appeal as much as was thought. Write speeds are pretty decent.

tmoerel
Feb 11, 2011, 01:23 AM
It wouldnt matter, the only difference is that I would want a full version of the OS. I think its stupid that we buy something and they block us from writing to it. How is it possible that its a flash drive and cant be written over.?

I don't think apple is preventing us from writing to it. I think it is just technically impossible to write to it. It is probably some form of (P)ROM that is much cheaper to produce than flash memory. (P)ROM is read only so no writing!