Portable Notes on a USB Flash Drive

Audience: Faculty and Staff

This KB Article References: Lotus Notes
This Information is Intended for: Faculty, Staff
Last Updated: August 11, 2020
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You can install Notes on a USB flash drive, plug the device into any PC and run the Notes Client without the usual install and setup. The advantages of using this are:

  • The Notes Client with your ID file can be carried with you around campus or around the world.
  • It allows you to use the Notes Client instead of the web interface.
  • You can access other Notes databases (your bookmarks).
  • It works on machines that may have limited user rights to.
  • It uninstalls itself when you are done.


  • The flash drive should be a USB 2 device
  • The flash drive should be 512 MB or larger.
  • The bookmarked databases and Contacts List that you copy to the flash drive are not updated as they reside on your PC not the Notes server. You can always re-copy or set up some sync-ing of these files.
  • This install will put some files on the root level of you USB drive (file names beginning with LotusNotes and autorun ). Do not delete these files! They are needed for the autorun function. You can move them into a folder if you prefer.
  • If this is an upgrade, you will go through the setup process again, but your bookmarked databases and Contacts List will remain. You might want to re-copy them just to get the latest copies.

Download the Installation Files from Softweb

  • Go to Softweb (softweb.cc.sunysb.edu) and log in using your NetID.
  • Under the Email and Telnet heading click Lotus Notes.
  • Click the Direct Download link next to Portable Notes . This file is a self extracting zip file.

Save it to your desktop.
This will take a few minutes.

Copy Files to Your USB Flash Drive

  • Insert the flash drive and remember the drive letter assigned to it (the drive letter will be dynamic depending on the number of drives on the computer you plug into).
  • Double click the file that you saved to your desktop: 
  • Change the drive letter in the Extract to box to the drive letter of your USB drive (i.e., E:\\).

Click Extract . This will take a few minutes to complete.

  • ? On your computer go to your C:\\Lotus\\Notes\\Data folder and copy the following files:
    • Your ID file (yourname.id)
    • Your Contacts (names.nsf)
    • Your Bookmarks (bookmark.nsf)
    • Your Desktop (desktopx.ndk)
  • Paste the files in the Program Files\\IBM\\Lotus\\Notes\\Data folder on your USB drive. They will replace the default files that are already there.

You now have a working installation of Notes on your USB flash drive. To launch Notes on any computer:

  • Plug in your USB flash drive
  • Double click the autorun.exe file

Configure Notes

The first time Notes starts up there are configuration settings that need to be completed.

Select Online.
Click OK.

Click Next.

Enter your name.
In the Domino server field type notes.cc.sunysb.edu . Notes will find your name in the public name and address book and use this information to set up this Notes Client.
Click Next.

On your USB flash drive go to Program Files\\IBM\\Lotus\\Notes\\Data and find your ID File (yourname.id)
Click Open.

Click Next.

Enter your Notes password.
Click Log In.

If prompted, choose Online as the Location.

If you use Sametime instant messaging, enter the name of the instant messaging server (noteslim1.cc.sunysb.edu/DoIT)
If not then uncheck the Setup instant messaging box.
Click Next.

Do not select anything.
Click Next.
Click Finish.

Click OK.

Launch Notes

Each time you want to use the Notes Client:

  • Plug in your USB flash drive
  • Double click the autorun.exe file

Trouble Shooting

  • If it the client cannot find the Notes server, make sure the Location document is set to Online in the lower right corner of the Notes Client screen.
  • If you do not copy your names.nsf database to the USB drive, you may have to go through some set up screens for the location document creation.
  •   If you do not want Notes to autorun, just rename the autorun.ini so that it will not be found.

Configure Notes to Run Automatically

If you would like Notes to run automatically when you insert the USB flash drive into any computer you must configure the following:

  • Open Contacts
  • Click Advanced > Connections
  • If there is no connection for Notes/DoIT , click on New > Server Connection
  • On the Basics tab type Notes/DoIT for Server Name and check TCPIP
  • Go to the Advanced tab and type notes.cc.sunysb.edu for the Destination server address.
  • Click Save and Close

This install will run Notes automatically. It may also ask you what to do with the files it found on the USB flash drive. If you want to just autorun Notes and nothing else, go to My Computer , right click on the USB drive and select Properties . Select take no action for each file type.

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