I do all of the technology buying for my department at work. Last week I ordered a Verbatim 1GB U3 Store and Go USB drive from Buy.com. It was only $22 after rebate. You can't beat that.
When I ordered it, I knew that it came with U3 software. This is software that most of the major flash drive manufacturers are loading on their drives. Basically, the U3 software allows you to "carry your favorite software, preferences, profiles, and data" on your USB drive. This is pretty neat. No matter which computer you're at, you can still run your favorite browser, email program, and many other apps and when you're done, they leave no trace on the computer.
While the U3 software is neat, we really had no use for it at work. Unfortunately, when you plug the drive in, it pops up the U3 splash screen, adds an icon to your system tray, and mounts some sort of CD drive in My Computer in addition to the drive itself. There isn't any spyware involved, and everything goes away when you remove the USB drive, but this could really freak somebody out if you gave them your USB drive.
No big deal, I thought. I'll just format the drive and that will get rid of it. Wrong. It was still there after the format. So I called Verbatim and talked to their tech support (who answered the phone quickly, by the way). I was told that the U3 software is on a separate hidden partition and cannot be deleted. I couldn't believe it. They are actually going to force people to deal with U3 even if they have no use for it? Apparently so.
I figured someone else had this problem, so I googled it. I was surprised at how few relevant results there were. Luckily, I found a downloadable program that removes the U3 software from the drive. I found it in a BetaOne forum. Strangely, the removal software is copyrighted by Geek Squad, and the user interface looks almost identical to the U3 software. At any rate, it works.
Since the removal software is so hard to find, I thought I'd post it here so anyone can remove the U3 software if they don't want it. The link below is to the uninstaller that I got from RapidShare Web Hosting. I can't make any guarantees, but it worked perfectly for me.
Update: U3's own website now has the uninstaller available for download.