August 28, 2013

Change a USB to a HDD : Make a Removable Media as Fixed Disk in Windows


USB Flash Drives are seen as Removable Media and USB Hard Disks are seen as fixed drives in Windows. Due to this USB Flash Drives cannot be partitioned using the inbuilt Disk Management Utility.

Also all the partitions of a partitioned USB Flash Drive cannot be accessed simultaneously.However they can be partitioned and accessed one by one using Bootice.


Important Facts about Windows and USB Storage Devices

  1. USB Flash Drives cannot be partitioned using Windows Disk Management
  2. USB Hard Disks can be partitioned using Windows Disk Management
  3. Third Party Tools can partition a USB Flash Drive. But all partitions will not be visible.Only the first partition will be visible
  4. All partitions of a USB Flash Drive are visible in Linux


However a USB Flash Drive can be disguised as a USB Hard Disk using Filter drivers.This way a USB Flash Drive can be partitioned using the inbuilt Disk Management Tool(diskmgmt.msc) and all the partitions of the USB Flash Drive can be accessed simultaneously in Windows Explorer.


A filter driver is a Microsoft Windows driver that adds value to peripheral devices or supports a specialized device in the personal computer. It is a driver/program/module that is inserted into the existing driver stack to perform some specific function.

In this case Filter Drivers make USB Flash Drives (Removable media) appear as fixed drives in Windows.

There are three filter drivers which can be used for this purpose. The pros and cons of each driver will be discussed :

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