Windows 10: How to make a disk drive "removable"

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  1.    10 Jun 2018 #11

    RMPrepUSB will show you whether the USB drive is Removable or not.
    Usually all USB HDDs are of the Fixed type. I have never found one yet that is of the Removable type.
    Most USB Flash drives are of the Removable type (RMB=1) - but not all.
    Microsoft 'Windows Certified' USB drives will be of the Fixed type because up until Win10 Creator Edition, WindowsToGo would not run from Removable-type USB drive. The Corsair GTX USB 3 Flash drive is of the Fixed type.
    The BootIt.exe utility by Lexar is the only program that will easily change the RMB bit (it toggles it each time you run it). It works on some old Lexar drives (e.g. USB 2 Jump Drives) and some others such as some older Netac, HP and Verbatim USB 2 drives. It's pot-luck whether it will work or not.

    The RMB bit is returned by the firmware in the USB drive, so BootIt is essentially reprogramming or modifying the firmware using proprietary means. I have tried it on many USB drives and it either works or it doesn't - it does not seem to harm the drive if it doesn't work. You need to unplug&re-plug after flipping the bit.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    10 Jun 2018 #12

    Hard drives always have the fixed attribute set and no way to change it.

    USB flash drives are mostly set as removable, but some are set as fixed.

    As I said, most manufacturers stopped making flash drives with a programmable bit years ago.

    The various tools very rarely work now unless you have an old flash drive, and even then it was only a small portion of them that were programmable.

    In summary - there is nothing you can do with a fixed drive, and virtually nothing you can do with a usb flash drive - end of story.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    10 Jun 2018 #13

    SteveSi said: View Post
    RMPrepUSB will show you whether the USB drive is Removable or not.
    Usually all USB HDDs are of the Fixed type. I have never found one yet that is of the Removable type.
    Most USB Flash drives are of the Removable type (RMB=1) - but not all.
    Microsoft 'Windows Certified' USB drives will be of the Fixed type because up until Win10 Creator Edition, WindowsToGo would not run from Removable-type USB drive. The Corsair GTX USB 3 Flash drive is of the Fixed type.
    The BootIt.exe utility by Lexar is the only program that will easily change the RMB bit (it toggles it each time you run it). It works on some old Lexar drives (e.g. USB 2 Jump Drives) and some others such as some older Netac, HP and Verbatim USB 2 drives. It's pot-luck whether it will work or not.

    The RMB bit is returned by the firmware in the USB drive, so BootIt is essentially reprogramming or modifying the firmware using proprietary means. I have tried it on many USB drives and it either works or it doesn't - it does not seem to harm the drive if it doesn't work. You need to unplug&re-plug after flipping the bit.
    Actually true "Windows to Go" still requires a flash drive with the fixed bit set. You could always create a bootable flash drive on a removable flash drive in legacy bios mode using wintousb (Windows To Go Creator, Data Recovery, BitLocker Home Edition & PC Utility) but now Windows recognises multiple partitions on removable drives, you can now create a bootable UEFI usb flash drive.

    The official Windows To Go is still restricted to WTG certified drives but this is now an artificial constraint not a technical constraint. MS try to justify this saying WTG drives are certified to a higher standard but that is bs really.
    MS created the need for manufacturers to develop expensive WTG drives, but changed Windows so any drive of sufficient capacity COULD be used but if they allowed that, the WTG drive manufacturers would be very upset as their lucrative niche market would be destroyed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    10 Jun 2018 #14

    Well, not to get too 'off topic' but some 'fast' USB 3 flash drives are totally unusable at running WinToGo - e.g. Lexar P20 128GB USB 3. These types of USB 3 drives may have fast large-file transfer speeds, but are terrible at 4K random I/O transfers and so not suitable for WinToGo.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    10 Jun 2018 #15

    SteveSi said: View Post
    Well, not to get too 'off topic' but some 'fast' USB 3 flash drives are totally unusable at running WinToGo - e.g. Lexar P20 128GB USB 3. These types of USB 3 drives may have fast large-file transfer speeds, but are terrible at 4K random I/O transfers and so not suitable for WinToGo.
    A drive may only use WintoGo if certified by MS. You could not use that if not certified.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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