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

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  1. Posts : 480
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
       06 Jun 2018 #1

    How to make a disk drive "removable"


    I have several devices - some USB flash memory, some USB external drives - that have the Removable Media bit set to non-removable. (And no, I don't know if it's actually just one bit but it seems to be documented as "RMB".) I am working with a program that is sensitive to this flag. (Under non-disclosure agreement. Don't bother asked "What program?".) I need a removable external "drive" (SSD, HDD, or flash memory - doesn't matter) with at least 32GB capacity. More would be better. All my candidates - all removable and removed at the moment - have that *&(~*#^ bit set!

    I've seen lots of suggestions on the web to make removable drives set to "non-removable" so the bit is obviously accessible and changeable (at least for some devices) but all the utilities I've seen set the bit to "non-removable", not the other way around.

    Anyone know of such a utility?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Jun 2018 #2

    Wouldn't this do the trick ?
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 480
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       07 Jun 2018 #3

    You seem to have a different policy available than I do, but the effect is the same
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Write caching is disabled on these devices.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Jun 2018 #4

    Removable Flash Drive Recognized as a Local Disk and not a Flash Drive - Page 2 - Windows 7 Help Forums
    #12 suggests some were manufactured as non-removable...

    Does this tool
    Flip Your Bit USB Utility To Make Local Drive | USB Powered Gadgets And More..
    only function one way? (I.e. 'Flip' suggests 'Invert' - i.e. reversible).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 480
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       07 Jun 2018 #5

    dalchina said: View Post
    some were manufactured as non-removable...
    I'm certain that's true in the devices that are causing me trouble. But "manufactured" is a tricky word when it comes to IT gear. I would bet that there is a bit somewhere in the information presented to Windows when the device is attached.

    I've seen reference to the Removable Media Bit and have seen reference to programs that can set it to "non-removable". I've seen no references to programs that can set it to "removable" but certainly a bit that can be changed in one direction can be changed in the other ... if a program provides that option. (And, of course, nothing can be done if that bit is "hard-wired".)

    I'm just hoping some someone on the forum know of a program that can set the bit either on or off.

    By the way, the clearest explanation I've seen is here where it states:
    The SCSI Inquiry Command

    USB Storage Devices can be accessed by Windows using a 'SCSI Passthrough' API. SCSI-like commands can be sent to the USB controller and data received back.
    The removable media device setting is a flag contained within the SCSI Inquiry Data response to the SCSI Inquiry command. Bit 7 of byte 1 (indexed from 0) is the Removable Media Bit (RMB). An RMB set to zero indicates that the device is not a removable media device. An RMB of one indicates that the device is a removable media device. Drivers obtain this information by using the StorageDeviceProperty request.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Jun 2018 #6

    pokeefe0001 said: View Post
    You seem to have a different policy available than I do, but the effect is the same
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Write caching is disabled on these devices.
    That's why I showed like that otherwise that disk of mine has write caching enabled.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,829
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       07 Jun 2018 #7

    AFAIK the removable bit in a USB flash drive is hard-coded into the controller. Most USBs these days should be supplied as 'removable'. Those that aren't are specifically made to be used as 'Windows to Go' drives.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    07 Jun 2018 #8

    Useful technical detail here:
    Removable v. Fixed :: Easy2Boot
    The removable media device setting is a flag contained within the SCSI Inquiry Data response to the SCSI Inquiry command. Bit 7 of byte 1 (indexed from 0) is the Removable Media Bit (RMB). An RMB set to zero indicates that the device is not a removable media device. An RMB of one indicates that the device is a removable media device. Drivers obtain this information by using the StorageDeviceProperty request.
    Remember the above comment- times move on.. however as you've not thought of experimenting with what I mentioned above, whilst waiting for someone to give you a precise answer, I've found this for you:

    Recently I got a pretty interesting tool – Lexar BootIt. This is a free portable program that can change the RMB of a removable drive and make a removable USB device fixed (or vice versa). Despite the fact that the utility Lexar BootIt is developed only for Lexar devices (Micron, Crucial), it can work with flash drives from other manufacturers. The BootIt utility supports all versions of Windows, starting from Windows XP and finishing with Windows 10.
    http://woshub.com/removable-usb-flas...-in-windows-7/

    Who knows- it might (still) work- in some cases...

    Caveat:
    The RMB or Removable Media Bit is present on all flash drives, but whether the Lexar utility can flip it is something of trial and error. Although it goes without saying…and I’ll say it anyway…the utility works with Lexar drives, everything else, use at your own risk.
    Flip Your Bit USB Utility To Make Local Drive | USB Powered Gadgets And More..

    Oh, and there may be a difference between USB 2 & 3 drives...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    07 Jun 2018 #9

    dalchina said: View Post
    Remember the above comment- times move on.. however as you've not thought of experimenting with what I mentioned above, whilst waiting for someone to give you a precise answer, I've found this for you:



    http://woshub.com/removable-usb-flas...-in-windows-7/

    Who knows- it might (still) work- in some cases...

    Caveat:
    Flip Your Bit USB Utility To Make Local Drive | USB Powered Gadgets And More..

    Oh, and there may be a difference between USB 2 & 3 drives...
    Those tools that flip the bit on usb flash drives are years old and have not worked for a long time. Manufacturers gave up making them so the bit could be changed years ago.

    So you get two types - most are removable but Windows to Go drives are fixed.

    In fact, since 1703, windows has changed recognising multiple partitions on a removable flash drive and you can now install a UEFI version of windows on any removable drive - previously you needed "fixed" flash drive. The Windows to Go built into higher versions still expects to see a fixed flash drive BUT that is purely an artificial limitation now. You can use wintousb to install Windows as UEFI on a removable drive now.

    So basically that bit is basically redundant now.

    I cannot see why the bit is important to OP unless using UEFI secure boot perhaps.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 480
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       07 Jun 2018 #10

    cereberus said: View Post
    Those tools that flip the bit on usb flash drives are years old and have not worked for a long time. Manufacturers gave up making them so the bit could be changed years ago.
    Luckily the drive I'm interested in - a USB-attached external HDD, not a flash memory stick - was made years ago.

    I'm testing a process that gets triggered by plugging in a drive (or flash memory). But the vendor has decided to make this trigger definable only for devices flagged as removable. My old 1TB SeaGate drive need not apply. (The fact that the drive is removable doesn't seem to matter.)

    I might as well try the Lexar utility. It probably won't hurt. And if it does, well, last week was the first time I had used this drive in 8 years or so. If I can live without it for 8 years I can live without it forever.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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