Friday, October 13, 2006

Skype on a stick

(photo from

Skype on a stick - no, it isn't something one gets from a place like Beijing's Night Market off of Wang Fu Jing (it's actually on Dong Hua Men). Rather, it is setting up Skype (or is it called SkypEbay now?) on a USB flash drive so that one can use it in internet cafes and have access to one's contacts. Furthermore, once you're done, you log off Skype, pull your flash drive and (most) of your tracks are erased. Importantly, the next computer user should not be able to log onto your account and use up your SkypeOut minutes. Pair up the Skype-on-a-Stick with a USB bluetooth dongle and a bluetooth headset and you're golden.

So how does one do this? Follow these instructions, courtesy of It is reproduced here, with minor edits, for posterity, or until this blog is deleted.
How to make Skype run from a flash drive. Make sure Skype isn’t running!!!

1.) Copy Skype to the flash drive:

1.1) Copy c:\Program Files\Skype (only the Phone subdir is needed, but it has to be inside the Skype Directory on the flash. e.g. x:\Skype\Phone) to the flash drive.

2.) Make a new folder called Data on the flash drive inside the Phone subdir (x:\Skype\Phone\Data)

3.) Copy your Skype data:

3.1) You can find your Skype profile data in c:\documents and settings\[YourUserName]\Application Data\Skype. From here you need to copy that folder which has the same name as your skype user id to the flash drive in the Data folder that you made (e.g. x:\Skype\Phone\Data).

3.2) (optional) I also copied the shared.xml on to my flash drive aswell, but this is usually generated by itself.

4.) Now create a Shortcut to the Skype executable which is on the flash drive. Do this by clicking on the Skype.exe icon and creating a shortcut via the right mouse button. Copy this new Shortcut to the root of the flash drive (x:\).

4.1) Edit the Shortcut. Click on the Shortcut and right click to bring up its Properties. Change the following values to these:
!!! Target: x:\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe /removable/datapath:”Skype\Phone\Data”
!!! Start In: x:\

5.) Make sure no Skype is running and double click on the link to make Skype start from flash drive.

5.1) Your firewall software may prompt you to allow Skype to function as a server - click OK/Yes.

6.) Before removing the flash drive make sure you close Skype!!!

7.) Have fun with Skype-on-a-flash as I call it.

The two steps with (!!! 's) are very important because they tell Skype where to run and where to search for the profiles.

Note also the "x:\" drive is the drive letter of your flash drive. For instance, on my office computer, it is "f:\" and not "x:\." Also, when editing the Properties of the Shortcut, don’t worry about the drive letter because Windows will automatically change the drive letter the flash drive is assigned to on whichever computer you are currently using.


Anonymous said...

Shut you down son!

D. said...

The Fish is in the house, eh? Thanks for stopping by.