Version summary





Useful utilities












   FreeCommander 2009.02b U3/Portable/ZIP


Thanks to Franz Post

About "U3" and "Portable"

U3LLC. is a new hardware and software standard for USB drives developed by Sandisk and M-Systems. USB flash drives adhering to the U3 specification are termed "U3 Smart Drives" by "U3 Smart Drives" differ from traditional USB flash drives because they come preinstalled with the U3 Launchpad, which emulates the Windows OS start menu, and controls application program installation and execution.


After installing an U3-compliant application on the Smart Drive, this application can be launched from the U3 Launchpad, similar to the Windows OS Start-Menu.


All U3 Smart Drives come with some pre-installed applications like Firefox browser and Thunderbird mail client or similar. Additional applications can be downloaded from the U3LLC. website, many of them are free of charge.


PortableApps is a de-facto standard for portable applications on a regular USB stick created by John T. Haller and his team. Meanwhile a large number of applications have been made available, which are implemented according to the PortableApps specifications; and all of them are free to use, free to copy and free to share. This includes a PortableApps.Com Menu which provides similar functionality as the U3 Launchpad. All PortableApps applications can be downloaded from John T. Hallers Website

FreeCommander U3 and FreeCommander Portable

FreeCommander U3 and FreeCommander Portable provide identical functionality as the "regular" version of FreeCommander; they only have been re-packaged for installation on U3 Smart Drives resp. regular USB sticks. They consist of a single executable (.exe) file which contains the installer for U3 Smart Drives resp. USB Sticks.

For Installation of FreeCommander Portable 2009 on an USB-Device with NTFS file system (e.g. NTFS formatted USB hard disk), which contains already an existing version of FreeCommander (upgrade from old FC version), the installation program must be launched with administrator privilege. Otherwise the installation may fail due to insufficient access rights. Alternatively the existing old installation can be deleted.

FreeCommander 2009 U3.exe






FreeCommander U3 Installation

Installation of FreeCommander U3 is launched simply by double-clicking on the FreeCommander 2009 U3.exe file after having connected the U3 smart drive to the host server  PC from where the installation is to be started. 


The U3 "Add Program Wizard" pops-up, showing a short description of FreeCommander U3. The installation has to be confirmed by clicking the "Next" button. 


When the installation has been completed successfully, the FreeCommander icon can be found in the U3 Launchpad and the program can be launched from there. 


Future FreeCommander updates will be installed according to the same method. If a U3 version is already present => just install the new one over it; it is ensured, that the FreeCommander configuration file will not be overwritten during an update.


FreeCommander Portable Installation

Installation of FreeCommander Portable is started by double-click on the file FreeCommander_Portable_ 2009.paf .exe.  


The installation window appears followed by the license window. In the next window please check if the proposed installation directory points to your USB stick and if yes, confirm. If not, modify the path according to your needs. When the installation has been completed successfully, the file FreeCommanderPortable.exe can be found in the installation directory and launched from there. With the same installer, FreeCommander Portable can be installed e.g. on a SD-Card or on a USB hard-disk and run from there. 


If the PortableApps.Com Menu is available on the USB-Stick, installation of FreeCommander Portable can be started via this menu: open the  PortableApps.Com Menu, select "Options", "Install a new App" and enter the path to the file FreeCommander_Portable_2009.paf.exe. After successful installation,  FreeCommander Portable has been integrated and will appear in the PortableApps.Com menu.

How to install FreeCommander Portable without PortableApps.Com Menu: instruction for newbie  by Roger A. Jacobson

The first start

During first activation after installation, FreeCommander U3 and FreeCommander Portable start with the following default configuration (can be changed by the user, if required):

  • left window: shows the  „Home“ directory of the Host PC
  • right window: shows the data directory („Documents“) of the U3 Smart Drive (U3 version) resp. the root directory of the USB stick (portable version).

The FreeCommander configuration file (FreeCommander.ini) remains on the U3 Smart Drive resp. USB Stick and will not be copied to the Host PC. Consequently the user finds on each Host PC his preferred and usual FreeCommander working environment and settings without leaving any traces there after removal of the USB device. If required, the default settings can be changed via the "Extras", "Settings" menu.

FreeCommander 2009 ZIP

FreeCommander 2009 ZIP does not include an installation-procedure but consists only of a ZIP-archive which contains all required FreeCommander  files. The ZIP-archive can be extracted into a directory of your choice and  FreeCommander can be started from this directory. However there will be no FreeCommander symbols created in the start menu and on the desktop. 


FreeCommander 2009.02 ZIP

FreeCommander 2009 MSI

FreeCommander 2009.02 MSI


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