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Make Win7 see USB flash drives as fixed disks (w/o flipping RMB)?

Discussion in 'Storage' started by zoran555, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. zoran555 New Member

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    Hi!
    Been looking into making USB flash drives come up as regular HDDs in Win7.
    The easiest way would be with the Lexar Bootit tool, but it doesn't support flipping RMB for my drives :(

    For XP there is a trick with the old Hitachi Microdrive drivers where you hack the .inf file so that it uses the Microdrive drivers for that particular USB flash drive/s.
    Unfortunately it doesn't work in Win7 x64 as the drivers haven't been updated in years :(

    In *nixes it's a piece of cake as they don't care about RMB an can easily do stuff like this here nice RAID 0.

    For the curious, yes I wanna make a software RAID 0 made of USB flash drives in Win 7 :)
    I have 10x1gb identical ones which would serve nicely as swap/temp files drive.
     
  2. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    lol I had the same idea when I got these 2gb thumb drives some years back. Mind you I didn't even think about trying to make them to be seen as a fixed disk :\ While I know it won't work, I was curious about what would happen if 2 drives were connected to one port. I'm sure there'd be a conflict though, and it wouldn't work.

    If you figure it out, PM me as I'd like to try it for fun :p

    I've been trying to find a cheap 2.5" SATA drive, and had 2 dumb ideas last night since the 2.5" SATA is the same as a desktop variant :p Get a bunch of the old laptop drives and make a RAID out of them. Then I took it a crazy ass step further and thought, why not get a bunch of ZIF drives (those small 1.8" HDD in things like iPods) and some ZIF to SATA adapters. Then RAID them! :laugh: Hey... I warned you they were dumb! :D
     
  3. zoran555 New Member

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    Ah, there is no conflict, just plug them in :)
    But you need to flip the RMB (ReMovable Bit) on the drives or else you can convert them to dynamic drives, which you need to use Windows software RAID.


    Well it is kinda dumb, I agree :laugh: ;)
    Flash drives make sense cause of their lack (almost) of access times. Depending on the brand/make you can actually get decent throughput speeds also. My main flash drive gets about 20MB/s writes and 25MB/s reads, so 6 of them could have a constant 110mb/s writes and 140mb/s reads :rockout:

    Most mobos have at least 2 USB buses, so you can divide the drives as to not hit the bus speed wall.
     
  4. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    I see. Hmm.... I tried searching before, but maybe I'll see what I can find out with Google this time. Maybe I'll even look through the Registry :)

    What I meant by plugging in 2 drives and there being a conflict, was say splicing 2 drives into one USB cable and plugging that into a single USB port. Or using a splitter, which may be easier haha


    I didn't meant the flash chips that some MP3 players use (which I typically think are embedded), I meant true spindle based HDDs. :laugh:
    Example: http://cgi.ebay.com/250644232612 with http://cgi.ebay.com/250559128099

    There is one I see that is an SSD ZIF, but that isn't as comical as a micro spindle drive in RAID :D
    http://cgi.ebay.com/300439423654
     
  5. zoran555 New Member

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    Um, ever heard of USB hubs?

    As long as you know that it doesn't make sense, right? :twitch:
    Get some Microdrives then, they are proper spinning HDDs the size of a type II CF!
     
  6. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    *bahleeted!*
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  7. zoran555 New Member

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    Ahem, no they're not. These are Microdrives:
    [​IMG]
    and
    high-res
    Right.
     
  8. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    *bahleeted!*
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  9. zoran555 New Member

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    That's a fake photo right there.

    Here take a look at my collection :D
    [​IMG]

    Could not be bothered to find the rest.
     
    Formula350 says thanks.
  10. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    So I was looking for a way to make a WinPE USB drive, and in the tutorial I thought perhaps the format portion might actually offer what you are after... If not, perhaps there are some options available that just aren't listed in this tutorial that may be of use.
    http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=431
     
  11. zoran555 New Member

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    Formatting and partitioning have no connection to my question, unfortunately, though yes, you can't partition a removable drive with Winows LDM, but it's easy to sidestep.
     
  12. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    Didn't know :) The ability to assign a partition as a system partition, and ability to mount, may by chance convince windows it isn't a removable drive heh

    So what about an IDE-USB converter? I'm thinking since USB is... well... universal, no one would actually make that kind since people would try connecting anything USB and expect it to work :laugh: I figured if it would be possible to recognize the drive over the IDE channel, it would allow you to convert it to dynamic and my theory is when it is plugged into the USB port it could then be stuck in RAID :\

    I did some looking into what you had said about the INF drive trick. Makes me wonder, while yes I know it is a dumb idea, if one was to take the wpdfs.inf and put in all the contents from the disk.inf file... Or possibly modify them in a way to not see the drive in USB as a removable, since you said that is the limitation we face. While I'm not worried about anything happening if I was to blindly do that, I figured I'd ask to see if it was even worth the time, since I could be using it for other projects :)
     
  13. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    Awwww deyz sooo cuute!! >^_^<
     
  14. twilyth Guest

    Haven't read all the posts so not sure what's up, but here's a site that describes how to boot from usb drive.

    http://maketecheasier.com/boot-and-install-windows-7-from-usb-flash-drive/2009/01/23

    as far as I can tell from skimming it, they're telling you to just copy all the files in the ISO to the USB after formatting as NTFS and change the USB to the first boot drive.

    Is this where the RMB thing is important? Will most bioses not allow you to point to a USB flash as a boot drive? With RMB on though, why wouldn't it look like a cd or dvd?

    IDK, just fyi.
     
  15. zoran555 New Member

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    Yes, it would help if you read the Opening post. Lay of the booze :toast:
     
  16. twilyth Guest

    Good point.:toast:
     
  17. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    Not to sound too much like a jerk, but why even bother posting if you haven't read all the posts first? In general, it would keep you from repeating what someone else has said, but more importantly you would be up to speed! Not that you were exactly up to speed to begin with :laugh:

    So IDK either, just FYI ;)

    And you probably thought I was bad, eh Zoran? :D
     
  18. twilyth Guest

    I did read it but I read too hastily - a mistake I'm sure YOU never made.

    I'll be right back as soon I finish my shrine to your awesomeness.
     
  19. zoran555 New Member

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    What are you? Twelve? Cut it out both of you.
    Back on topic.

    In the mean time I found some new tools:
    Chipgenius
    Really useful tool for usb storage, but to get most of it you need access to a chinese forum,, which are pay/invite only :(
    Gives you very useful info, though.

    usbview
    Should help you spread the devices over your USB buses.
     
  20. zoran555 New Member

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    Well ChipGenius helped me find the vendor tools for my drives and after some intense google-fu I got them of a russian site :D
    The tool happily flipped the RMB on the drives and yes, they come up as fixed now, but....wait for it......win7 won't use dynamic disks over USB....aaaargh!
    Though it'll happily partition them :/
     
  21. Formula350

    Formula350 New Member

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    Nice find! :) Even if it didn't quite work out in the end.

    I ask this out of pure ignorance, as I've never used RAID before... You had said software RAID, and is it required for them to be Dynamic a limitation of the built in Windows' RAID, or a requirement for all of them and a limitation of Windows itself? Or maybe would something like, say, Partition Magic be able to "force"(?) the drive into being Dynamic? If not, could perhaps what I had mention, going into the main INF file to make it appear as if it isn't a removable disk even if on the USB bus? Again, having not dabbled in RAID before I really have no idea what I'm talking about, thus why my question may not even make sense! :ohwell: lol
     

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