So I have a problem because I'm an idiot. I seem to always leave my usb drives in public computers at school and the like. I unmount them and log off leaving them still in the pc, and of course I then lose my information and my drive which can be costly.

Is there a small script somewhere that I can install to my drive that prompts me to take out my usb stick when I log off of a computer? Since this is mostly for use with public computers I can't put anything on my drive that will later need some sort of admin permissions.

I guess if all else fails I'll probably put my drive on a lanyard and keep it around my wrist. lol.

Does anyone else have this problem?

  • 8
    what's your name again ?
    – user8228
    Dec 4, 2009 at 15:26

6 Answers 6


Here you go:

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.

Flash Drive Reminder is a small, freeware utility that pops up a reminder if you try and log off Windows without removing your flash drive. Discussion (and extra scripts and ideas) on Lifehacker

Haven't used either, be interested to hear your reviews.

  • Both appear to require an application or script on the computer you're using, probably requiring admin powers. Not suitable to public machines so no good for you. I'm sure I came across something that runs from USB, take a look later... Dec 4, 2009 at 16:28
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    I was able to find those two programs as well, but like you said they require administrative rights so they're not really useful for my purpose. Thanks for looking those up though outsideblasts.
    – 에이바
    Dec 4, 2009 at 17:39

This is a people problem, not a technology problem. This is not a place where computers are well-suited to helping you--especially not a computer that you do not own.

However, your idea of physically attaching the drive to your body sounds good.

Get a key retractor and keep it on your belt with the flash drive on the key ring.

If it makes too much noise, or feels like you will lose your flash drive just extend the string a few inches and tie a large knot in it. This way you can drop the flash drive into your hip pocket but still wear the retractor on your belt.


How about instead of a SCRIPT you get a LANYARD around your neck so when you step away it comes with you?


Honestly I don't know what else you would want, it's like asking to write a script so that your wallet is not forgotten! Sooner or later you will just ignore the popup/script, etc.

  • Well I don't use public computers that often so I don't think I'd get into a habit of ignoring the message and since I'd be logging off right then anyway I really wouldn't have a reason to not just take the drive right then. I know a few of these scripts exists but the ones that I found required admin permissions. As for the lanyard, like I stated in my question that's probably one thing I will end up buying and using if I can't find a script.
    – 에이바
    Dec 4, 2009 at 15:37
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    When i was in school, I actually used a lanyard and tied the other end to my bag/backpack. Of course, I damaged a computer once doing that as I stood up and the lanyard jerked the usb drive upward....
    – BBlake
    Dec 4, 2009 at 17:02
  • You could learn a lesson from the old people who play slots all the time. You know who I'm talking about, the runs with the visors and fanny packs. They have the clear telephone cord shaped clip for their player's card, so when they walk away from the slot machine it yanks the card back to them. Dec 4, 2009 at 17:23
  • Thats what I was getting at with the lanyard suggestion :P Then again if it damages a computer, he'll most likely damage/kill the USB so he'll learn either way IMHO ;)
    – Jakub
    Dec 4, 2009 at 17:25
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    I think if it's attached to my wrist I'll know the usb drive is still in the computer and I won't have an issue with it being yanked out. I'll just look like more of a nerd. haha.
    – 에이바
    Dec 4, 2009 at 17:37

First, get into the habit of acting on the message

This device can now safely be removed from the computer

on unmounting, before you dismiss it with 'OK'.

If you ignore that message, what's going to stop you ignoring the next one, from the script?

Then make sure your data is encrypted, so at least you don't leak anything sensitive.

Finally, there's the mechanical solution that everyone seems to agree on - works best for me too!


enter image description hereI have my car keys and my USB key on the same ring.

  • good idea! i've done that myself. When one goes to start the car, DUH moment!
    – studiohack
    Dec 10, 2010 at 1:29

Do you close things down before the logoff? Or do you let windows handle that?

If you close things yourself, then make an image, or Page autoload when you insert the drive. Then perhaps you will notice that as a reminder when you are closing things.

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