USB Thumb Drive FAQs and Downloads for JAWS and MAGic

To go directly to the download links on this page, choose download files now. To learn more about thumb drive operation, read the remainder of this page.

Get JAWS and MAGic on-the-go! The new thumb drive versions of JAWS and MAGic let your screen reading and magnification software, including your personal settings, move with you on a device so small that it fits into your pocket or hangs from your keychain. All you need to create your thumb drive is your own personal 128 MB (or larger) drive from any popular manufacturer and an Internet connection to download the special versions of JAWS and MAGic.

After creating your thumb drive, you'll be able to carry JAWS or MAGic with you and use them on any computer with access to the appropriate licenses. You can even run the programs in 40-minute demonstration mode on computers that do not have appropriate licenses available. All you need to do is download the video intercept tool. Either you or another person with administrative rights on the computer can install this tool. Then, just plug in your thumb drive and go.

The question and answer section that follows applies to both JAWS 9 or later and MAGic 11 or later. The two programs operate in the same manner when being run from a thumb drive. Both programs can use the same video intercept driver, and both programs can run simultaneously from the same thumb drive using Windows 7, Windows Vista® and Windows XP systems.

What is a USB thumb drive?

A USB thumb drive is a small, portable storage device that plugs into your computer's USB port. USB thumb drives hold much more data than a floppy disk, and you can easily transfer files to and from them, unlike a CD. USB thumb drives are available in a number of different sizes. Common sizes include 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB.

What is the difference between a USB thumb drive, a USB flash drive, and a USB pen drive?

These are all essentially the same type of device. Different manufacturers use different terms, but they are all external storage devices that you can plug into your computer's USB port. These versions of JAWS and MAGic can also be run from external USB hard drives. There are even reports of users installing this version on their iPods and running it on their computers.

Why would I want to run JAWS and MAGic from a USB thumb drive?

Running JAWS and MAGic from a USB thumb drive lets you use the software on any computer without installing it, provided that the video intercept is installed. This means that you can use the applications on a computer without performing a full installation of the program or configuring it.

More importantly, you can save your favorite settings on the USB thumb drive and then carry them with you anywhere you go. When you plug your thumb drive into any computer where an authorized copy of JAWS or MAGic is already installed, you have the benefit of using the full product version with all of your favorite settings, including scripts, dictionary files, configuration files, and more. Furthermore, because data can be written to the USB thumb drive, you can change these settings at any time.

This functionality is quite useful if you work on a variety of different computers during the day or week. Carrying your settings on the USB thumb drive means that any computer can be instantly configured just the way you like it.

Do I need to purchase a specific brand of USB thumb drive?

No, you can use any Windows-compatible USB flash drive with these versions of JAWS and MAGic. The drive must have at least 128 MB of free space. In addition, when extracting and installing an application directly from a thumb drive, the process may be slower on some brands of drive (such as San Disk).

What version of Windows do I need?

The computer must be running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP Home, Media Center, or Professional Edition if you want to run JAWS or MAGic from a USB thumb drive.

Where do I get the version of software that will install on a thumb drive?

All files necessary to run from a thumb drive are available at the bottom of this page in the Download JAWS or MAGic for USB Thumb Drives section.

So I don't have to buy a specific thumb drive or pen drive from Freedom Scientific in order to use my current JAWS or MAGic license?

That is correct! You can copy the applications on to as many different thumb drives as you want. The license to use JAWS or MAGic is not installed on the thumb drive itself so if you lose the thumb drive, you have not lost your software license.

How do I set up a computer to work with JAWS or MAGic on a USB thumb drive?

All you need to do is install the JAWS/MAGic video intercept on the computer. Freedom Scientific has created a special executable file that installs only these components on the computer. Just download and copy the JAWS/MAGic video intercept executable file to your thumb drive. You then run it to install the necessary video components on the computer. You must have administrative rights to the computer in order to complete the installation.

Note: You may need sighted assistance to install video intercept. If the computer has Windows Narrator installed, you can use this program to help you.

What if I do not have administrative rights to the computer?

If you do not have administrative rights to the computer, you cannot install the video intercept tool on the computer. You won't be able to use the application from a thumb drive with that computer unless an administrator installs the components or applications for you.

How does JAWS or MAGic on a USB thumb drive get its authorization?

The thumb drive version will function as a 40-minute demo unless one of the three following criteria are met:

  • A local ILM authorization key is already in place on the computer and properly authorized for your version of JAWS or MAGic
  • An ILM Network Server is available on the network and it is properly authorized for your version of JAWS or MAGic
  • A properly authorized dongle is plugged into a second USB port on the computer

Note: The thumb drive products will not recognize the older 3.5-inch disk (Quella) authorization.

What if JAWS or MAGic is already installed on the computer?

If you run JAWS or MAGic from a USB thumb drive, only the settings stored on the thumb drive for JAWS and MAGic will be used. Any of the currently stored settings on the computer will be ignored. You cannot use scripts, settings files, or other configuration information saved on the computer when running the program from a thumb drive. This does not modify any of the computer's original JAWS or MAGic settings. In other words, if you later run the application from the computer's hard drive, all the original settings remain in place. In addition, if the version of JAWS or MAGic installed on the computer has been activated, the application will use that license information while running from the thumb drive.

What if an earlier version of JAWS or MAGic is installed on the computer?

Installing the latest video intercept drivers will not impair the functionality of older versions of Freedom Scientific software installed on the computer. To achieve the best results, install the latest video drivers.

Licenses for earlier versions of JAWS and MAGic can only authorize thumb drive versions if they are valid for JAWS 8.0 or earlier or MAGic 10.5 or earlier.

Can I copy JAWS or MAGic program and settings files to another thumb drive or my computer's hard drive?

Yes. You can move both the JAWS and MAGic program files and your settings files to another thumb drive without any special installation requirements. You can also copy the settings files to your computer's hard drive or vice versa. However, it is recommended that you do not run the thumb drive version of JAWS or MAGic from your computer's hard drive. You should install and use the desktop version instead.

How do I get started?

The following briefly describes the process for downloading and installing the full thumb drive release.

  1. Connect your USB thumb drive to your computer.
  2. Download and install one or both thumb drive executable files to your thumb drive.
  3. Download the video intercept executable to your thumb drive.
  4. Unplug the USB thumb drive, plug it into another computer, and then follow the prompts.

Choose the download links at the bottom of this page for more information.

Can I use a synthesizer other than Eloquence?

Yes, you can use any SAPI 4, SAPI 5, or RealSpeak Solo Direct synthesizer with JAWS or MAGic for USB thumb drives, as long as that synthesizer has been installed on the computer.

Note: If the selected SAPI synthesizer becomes unavailable, the software will begin using Eloquence.

Can I use a braille display?

No. If you are running JAWS from a USB thumb drive, you cannot use a braille display. If you want to use a braille display, download and install the full or demonstration version of JAWS on the computer and configure it to use your device.

Can I use remote access features or PAC Mate desktop?

No. If you are running JAWS or MAGic from a USB thumb drive, you cannot use the application during terminal sessions. Also for JAWS, you cannot use PAC Mate Desktop. If you want to use either of these features, download and install the full version of JAWS or MAGic on the computer.

Can I use a thumb drive version of JAWS and still work with JAWS Tandem as either a controller or target?

No. Because of installation and registry entries, it is not possible at this time to use a USB thumb drive version of JAWS 10 or later if you intend to establish JAWS Tandem connections. In fact, the JAWS Tandem options will not be present in the JAWS menus if you are using a thumb drive version of JAWS. If you want to use JAWS Tandem, download and install the full or demonstration version of JAWS.

What are the other differences between the thumb drive version and the desktop version?

You cannot configure JAWS or MAGic to start as a service in order to read the Windows log on screen. In addition, the Merge utility, which allows you to import settings from previous JAWS versions, is not available.

When I'm finished using JAWS or MAGic, is it necessary to remove the various drivers from the computer?

No, leaving these drivers in place will allow someone else to plug in JAWS or MAGic on a thumb drive later so it is best to leave them.

If you do choose to remove the video intercept driver, do the following:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel from the Start menu.
  2. Select Add or Remove Programs and press ENTER.
  3. To remove the video intercept, select "Freedom Scientific Video Intercept" and choose the Change/Remove button.

Can I install both JAWS and MAGic on the same thumb drive?

Yes. You can also run both products simultaneously. The thumb drive will need approximately 192 MB of free space. The last program that you installed will be the only one available from the Autorun dialog box that appears when you plug in the thumb drive. The easiest way to start these programs when both are present on the same thumb drive is to do the following:

  1. Press WINDOWS Key+R.
  2. Do one of the following:
  • For JAWS, type "X:\JAWSY" (where X is the letter assigned to your thumb drive, and Y is the number of your release), or
  • For MAGic, type "X:\MAGicY" (where X is the letter assigned to your thumb drive, and Y is the number of your release).
  1. Press ENTER.

Note: Each product requires separate authorization. If one of the products cannot obtain authorization, that program will run in 40-minute mode.

Download JAWS or MAGic for USB Thumb Drives

The following briefly describes how to first download and install the thumb drive application, second, download the video intercept driver, and third, start the thumb drive application on another computer.

Application Download and Install

Note: When using the thumb drive version on a Windows Vista or later computer, keep the following in mind.

  • It is recommended that you disable User Account Control (UAC) by opening the Control Panel and selecting User Accounts. The thumb drive version works when UAC is enabled, but speech and tracking are limited for elevated programs.
  • The Microsoft Ease of Access Center loads when you start the thumb drive release. Once JAWS or MAGic loads you can close the Ease of Access Center window by clicking the Close button or pressing ALT+F4.
  1. Plug your USB thumb drive into your computer's USB port.
  2. Select the appropriate thumb drive download link (32-bit or 64-bit) that appears at the end of this procedure. If your corporate firewall prevents you from downloading files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol), use the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) links instead.
  3. When the dialog box opens, choose Save, and select a location on your thumb drive where you can easily find the downloaded executable file.
  4. Run the downloaded executable file and extract the files to your thumb drive.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 if you are installing both products.

    JAWS 15.0.6025 for 32-bit USB Thumb Drives (15 MB)
    JAWS 15.0.6025 for 64-bit USB Thumb Drives (15 MB)

    MAGic 12.0.7002 for 32-bit USB Thumb Drives (17 MB)
    MAGic 12.0.7002 for 64-bit USB Thumb Drives (18 MB)

Video Intercept Download

Note: The video intercept driver is valid for English JAWS versions 9 through 15 and MAGic versions 11 and 12. If you are using a localized version, please consult with your distributor or support before installing.

  1. Select the appropriate video intercept link (32-bit or 64-bit) that appears at the end of this procedure. If your corporate firewall prevents you from downloading files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol), use the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) links instead.
  2. When the dialog box opens, choose Save and save the file to the root of your thumb drive. (If needed, this file will let you install the video intercept driver on any computer that does not already have it installed.)

    JAWS/MAGic 32-bit Video Intercept (85 MB)
    JAWS/MAGic 64-bit Video Intercept (88 MB)

Start Thumb Drive Application

  1. Unplug the USB thumb drive and plug it into a different computer. Windows automatically displays a dialog box asking what action you want to take next. Select "Start JAWS" or "Start MAGic" and then press ENTER.

    If this dialog does not appear, press WINDOWS Key+R, type "X:\JAWSY" or "X:\MAGicY" (where X is the drive letter assigned to your thumb drive, and Y is the number of your release) and press ENTER.

Note: If the video intercept has not been installed on the computer, choose the Cancel button when the Autorun dialog box displays. Next, press WINDOWS Key+R, type "X:\FSVideoIntercept.exe" where X is the drive letter assigned to your thumb drive), and press ENTER. This installs the necessary JAWS and MAGic video components on the computer. You must have administrative privileges to install these files.

  1. You can now use JAWS or MAGic just as if it were installed on the computer's hard disk drive. Any settings changes that you make are saved on the USB thumb drive so that you can use them next time. When you are finished working on the computer, quit JAWS or MAGic and remove the drive from the USB slot.

Previous Thumb Drive Versions

To download earlier JAWS thumb drive releases, go to JAWS Previous Downloads.

To download earlier MAGic thumb drive releases, go to MAGic Previous Downloads.