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[Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

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[Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby loulou » February 21st, 2015, 6:41 pm

Hello all!

I have a Samsung 128GB MicroSD card for my Linx 10. I'm trying to figure out how to set it up on my Linx 10 properly. Windows apparently knows it is a removable drive and won't sync with Dropbox, etc, and deletes files immediately rather than putting them in the Recycle Bin.

I've formatted the card to NTFS. My boyf has looked at this "hack", copy/pasted below: You need to be registered to view this link, please log-in or register

Optional: clear out the contents of your SD card. This is not absolutely necessary, but the amount of free space on the SD card will become the amount of space on your new disk.

Open Disk Management (from my Start menu search, it shows up as "Create and format hard disk partitions").

Optional: ensure that your SD card is formatted to NTFS. As the card will be a permanent fixture and cross-platform compatibility doesn't matter, might as well go with a more modern file system. Furthermore, this wlll enable the next optional step directly below.

Optional (only possible if you chose to format the SD card to NTFS): select the partition on your SD card, and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths". Remove the drive letter and add a new mount point to an empty NTFS folder. You can stick this somewhere onto your main drive, I chose "C:\Media Container". This way, the SD card won't show up anymore as a separate drive anymore, but can still be accessed by the system for the virtual drive.

Under the Action menu at the top, select "Create VHD". Browse to your SD card location ("C:\Media Container" if you changed its mount point to what I suggested above). Create a VHD here... I called mine "Media Store". I also changed the virtual hard disk format to VHDX for its resilience to power failure events, though I have no actual insight into this beyond what Windows described it as. I stayed with the recommended dynamic expanding disk type, with the thought that this could be useful if I get a bigger SD card in the future.

Right click on the new disk (on the left, now on its partition), and choose initialize. I went with a GPT partition table, as it is a newer design and presumably better, though I have no other insight on this. After it is initialized, right click on the new unallocated partition, and choose "New Simple Volume". Follow the wizard, allocating all space to the new partition, assigning it the drive letter you would like your new hard drive to use (probably D:), and formatting it to NTFS. If all went well, you should now see your new hard drive available in Windows Explorer.

Now, the trick to bring it all together is to set up Windows so that the drive is mounted when the computer boots, as it's no fun having to go into Disk Management each time your computer starts to mount the drive. To do this, you'll need to create a script for mounting it, and then using Task Scheduler to execute the script on boot. I found a really good guide here, which I'll summarize below.

First create a text file wherever you like, named whatever you want - this will become your script. I named mine "Mount Script.txt" and placed it in "C:\Media Container" with my virtual hard drive file. Open it up, and paste in the below, with the path and drive letter edited to match your info:


select vdisk file="C:\Media Container\Media Store.vhdx"
attach vdisk
assign letter=D

Open Task Scheduler under Computer Management, which comes up in my Start Menu as "Schedule tasks". On the right pane, select "Create Task".

The key points are:

On the General tab, enter a name of some sort for your task, I called mine "Mount SD card". Under "When running the task, use the following user account", change it to SYSTEM by typing it in the object name box. Also, it may be important to set "Configure for" to your operating system, I'm not really sure and a quick search online didn't really explain what this setting does.
On the Triggers tab, click New, and set "Begin the task" to "At startup".
On the Actions tab, click New, and set "Program/script" to "diskpart" (without the quotations). Under "Add arguments" paste in the following with the path set to your script's path: /s "C:\Media Container\Mount Script.txt".
On the Conditions tab, clear the checkbox for "Start the task only if your computer is on AC power".

You can also go through the options and see if there's anything else you'd like to set, but those should be the essentials.


My boyf has tried it, but he says he has to do it on every reboot, which, of course, isn't suitable. Anyone had any luck with this?

Edit: Boyf said he did this extra bit too: add one additional step: On the general tab, change the "use the following user account" to SYSTEM and you won't have to select whether to run the account if the user is logged in or not, and you won't have to worry about when your password changes.
Last edited by loulou on February 22nd, 2015, 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How To Make Windows Use MicroSD Card As A "Real" Hard Dr

Postby westonpf » February 22nd, 2015, 5:01 am

I also prefer this approach to the modified driver approach although using the VHD route is slightly slower than the modified driver route.

For the modified driver route look up 'modified cfadisk.inf'.

Whichever approach you take though remember that any programme files, library files or system required files that are on the SD will result in loss of function if the SD is removed or fails.
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby loulou » February 22nd, 2015, 3:31 pm

Hi westonpf, Thanks for that, I'll look into the 'modified cfadisk.inf' links via Google. I realise that the MicroSD has to be a permanent fixture from there :)
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby westonpf » February 22nd, 2015, 4:53 pm

I'm not sure if it works with Windows 8 or if it works with Wimboot installs but it used to be possible to extend the C drive to an SD card mounted as an internal drive using the modified drivers. This could add an extra 64GB to your system drive (maybe even 128GB if these cards work).
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby thegct » February 24th, 2015, 6:39 pm

I've used the modified driver router on mine and it worked a charm. (even stopped the issue I was having with it refusing to boot with the card inserted)
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby westonpf » February 24th, 2015, 7:27 pm

thegct wrote:I've used the modified driver router on mine and it worked a charm. (even stopped the issue I was having with it refusing to boot with the card inserted)


Are you using the SD card as a second drive/partition or have you mounted it on to the C drive to show its space as being an extension of C?

Can't say I've had any issues booting with an SD card installed, system won't boot from SD but it doesn't cause any problems for me either. it's interesting as the modified drivers load with Windows so shouldn't influence the BIOS boot process.
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby eby4073 » April 12th, 2015, 9:34 pm

Thanks, really helpful guide, did it last night and seems to work well.
Couple of issues, any workarounds would be appreciated
1. Not serious, just an annoyance really, if you restart rather than switch off and back on again the drive doesn't mount automatically and has to be done manually
2. Just for my interest, why would this not work with a FAT32 formatted drive?

I did have another issue which I have figured out... I was hoping to be able to transfer my onedrive to the SD card virtual HD to free up space on C Drive. You do this by choosing onedrive properties from within explorer and then going onto the location tab - In theory easy, in practice slow but worked after several crashes.
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby eby4073 » April 28th, 2015, 8:17 pm

Bump:
eby4073 wrote:Thanks, really helpful guide, did it last night and seems to work well.
Couple of issues, any workarounds would be appreciated
1. Not serious, just an annoyance really, if you restart rather than switch off and back on again the drive doesn't mount automatically and has to be done manually
2. Just for my interest, why would this not work with a FAT32 formatted drive?

I did have another issue which I have figured out... I was hoping to be able to transfer my onedrive to the SD card virtual HD to free up space on C Drive. You do this by choosing onedrive properties from within explorer and then going onto the location tab - In theory easy, in practice slow but worked after several crashes.
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby loulou » May 23rd, 2015, 5:11 pm

I went with this in the end You need to be registered to view this link, please log-in or register

Had to change the default download paths for IE, Mozilla, MS Office and (ahem) utorrent but it works fine and it's a much simpler fix.

Edit: It appears it doesn't put files you delete in the Recycle Bin, though. One for those nervous about more complicated tweaks.

I'm using a Samsung Evo 128GB MicroSD.
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Re: [Guide] How To Use MicroSD Card As A Hard Drive?

Postby eby4073 » August 19th, 2015, 2:37 pm

Has anyone managed to get this working with Windows 10?
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