USB Oblivion

USB Oblivion #

USB Oblivion Icon

This utility is designed to remove any traces of broken USB devices such as flash drives, disks, and CD-ROMs from the computer registry of Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 (32/64-bit versions). The utility has a test mode of operation that does not remove any data from the registry and instead creates a .reg-file as a backup to undo any changes made. Additionally, there is a fully automatic mode available.

USB Oblivion Screenshot

Warnings #

  • Please eject all USB drives before cleaning
  • Administrative privileges are required
  • Windows needs an immediate restart after a clean
  • It is not possible to clean Windows installed on a USB drive


Q: Why is my USB drive not detected by Windows after using USBOblivion?

A: The data cached about the USB drive, for instance, if someone ignored a Windows restart or had bad luck, can be mistakenly or partially written back to the Windows Registry, resulting in an erroneous registration in the system. To rectify the situation, the utility must be re-run and Windows must be restarted once more. The primary objective of USBOblivion is to fix issues with USB devices; the privacy features are optional.

Q: Why is my Hewlett-Packard USB printer not working after using USBOblivion?

A: Certain HP printers are equipped with “HP Smart Install” technology, which triggers the installation of printer drivers when a USB CD-ROM is detected on the printer connection. To prevent this from happening, you must:

  • Remove the printer from the system prior to cleaning it
  • Deactivate “HP Smart Install” on both the computer and the printer by using the dedicated HP utility SIUtility.exe (or SIUtility64.exe) which is usually located in the UTILS folder of the CD accompanying the printer drivers
  • After performing the previous steps, the printer will be reinstalled as a standard USB printer and the utility will no longer affect it

More info about “HP Smart Install”.

Q: How to restore a saved .reg-file?

A1: You can also restore from a System Restore Point.

A2: To import the saved .reg-file, you must use the System account as administrative privileges are insufficient:

  • Download the PsExec utility
  • Open the command prompt as administrator and enter the following command in its console window: psexec.exe -i -s regedit.exe
  • To import the .reg-file in the opened Registry Editor, use the File menu and select Import...
  • Reboot the Windows operating system

Usage #

USBOblivion[32|64].exe [params]

Params #

  • -enable - Do real clean (simulation otherwise)
  • -auto - Automatic run
  • -nosave - Don’t save backup .reg-file
  • -save:filename - Save a registry backup to this file (default: save it to My Documents)
  • -log:filename - Save working log to this file
  • -lang:XX - Use language XX (hex-code)
  • -silent - Hidden mode (if possible)
  • -norestorepoint - Don’t create a System Restore Point
  • -norestart - Don’t restart Windows
  • -noexplorer - Don’t close Windows Explorer
  • -? - Show this help

Languages #

  • -lang:04 - Simplified Chinese (by 天路)
  • -lang:07 - German (by Steven, Kristine Baumgart, Mr. Update)
  • -lang:08 - Greek (by Geogeo)
  • -lang:09 - English (by Nikolay Raspopov)
  • -lang:0a - Spanish (by Boris Gilmar Terrazas Miranda, CesarRG)
  • -lang:0c - French (by Miel, Mathieu Bergounioux, Rico-sos)
  • -lang:10 - Italian
  • -lang:12 - Korean (by 4Li)
  • -lang:13 - Dutch (by Jeroen Westera)
  • -lang:15 - Polish (by dmocha)
  • -lang:16 - Brazilian Portuguese (by Paulo Guzmán, Newton Apostolico)
  • -lang:19 - Russian (by Nikolay Raspopov)
  • -lang:1d - Swedish (by Ake Engelbrektson, Sopor)
  • -lang:1f - Turkish (by Murat)
  • -lang:20 - Czech (by Jaaka)

System Requirements #

  • Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7/8/8.1/2012/10 32/64-bit;
  • About 3 Mb of disk space, no installation needed
  • Administrative privileges.

More cleanup methods #

USN Journal #

Some traces can be left inside NTFS file system itself in form of “USN Journal” (Update Sequence Number Journal), or “Change Journal”. It is possible to delete this journal by using standard Microsoft utility FSUTIL.EXE.

Caution: Deleting the journal has an impact on the Indexing Service, File Replication Service (FRS), Remote Installation Service (RIS), and Remote Storage. This is because it requires these services to carry out a complete (and time-consuming) scan of the volume. This, in turn, has a negative impact on FRS SYSVOL replication and replication between DFS link alternates while the volume is being re-scanned.

Deletion or disabling of an active journal is a time-consuming process since the system must access all the records in the Master File Table (MFT) and set the last USN attribute to zero. The process may take a few minutes to complete and might continue even after the system is restarted, if needed. The change journal is neither considered active nor disabled throughout this process. While the system is disabling the journal, it becomes inaccessible, and all its operations return errors. Since disabling an active journal affects other applications that use the journal, it’s crucial to take extreme care during the process.

For example to clear disk “C:” journal you can use next command line:

fsutil usn deletejournal C:

More info about Fsutil usn.

Translation #

To assist with USB Oblivion translation you’ll need to perform the following steps:

  • Download and install the poEdit utility;
  • Download the USBOblivion.pot (translation template);
  • Use poEdit to translate it to your language;
  • Save the file with the name “USBOblivion32.exe.XX.po” or “USBOblivion64.exe.XX.po” near the USBOblivion32.exe or USBOblivion64.exe as appropriate. Where “XX” represents a 2- or 4-digit hexadecimal primary language identifierm such as “09” for English, “19” for Russian, “07” for German, etc.
  • Test the file. The application loads translations based on the default Windows language. To choose the different language, the user needs to specify the command-line option “-lang:XX” (without quotes), where XX represents the hexadecimal language code.
  • Please send the PO-file to me .

Complete translations #

Incomplete translations #

Translation for USB Oblivion provided by my “PO-Localization” library.

License #

GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPLv2)

Copyright © 2010-2023 Nikolay Raspopov.