Cruzer Blade USB Flash Drives 16 Gb Acts like a normal harddisk, and not USB Flash Drive

Many Lexar USB Flash drives can have their removable bit ‘flipped’ using the Lexar BootIt utility. I am not sure if Lexars more modern Win8ToGo flash drives work with BootIt though as I have not got one.

I your USB software needs to find AutoUnattend.xml on a removable drive, then a simple solution is to plug a small cheap removable USB flash drive into the system as well as the SanDisk ‘fixed disk’ flash drive - Windows will then pick up the AutoUnattend.xml from the small flash drive when it boots to Windows. Easy2Boot also supports this 2-drive method.

RMPrepUSB will work with USB Fixed disks - just press Ctrl-Z or use the Settings menu tab.

This trend of shipping USB flash drives as ‘fixed disks’ is getting more prevalent - manufacturers should provide a utility like BootIt to enable these drives to be converted to either fixed or removable. If not, then they are going to lose sales, receive returns and get many more complaints. They should also clearly state in the specifications which type it is shipped as. Having a ‘flip’ utility would increase sales and SanDisk should seriously consider producing controllers and utilitities which support this.

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RMPrep and Easy2Boot are exactly why I want the drive removable, they work on a non-removable disk but you can’t install windows from them, and they don’t have a way to flip the bit.

Yes, you can use a 2nd stick that is removable to load AutoUnattend.xml, but if I’m going to have to buy 2 sticks I’ll retrurn this useless Sandisk one and just get a removable one that works.

Wow, I’m confused. 

Ok, a dumb question, Windows installs are designed to run from a CD, which is non-writable, how/why does running the ISO from a flash drive, removable or fixed, cause this removable requirement???  The standard CD install has a CD and a hard drive.

Windows PE v2/3/4 all have a feature where on boot up, they look for an \Autounattend.xml and/or \Unattend.xml on a removable drive (CD or removable USB drive). E2B uses this feature so that when a Windows Install ISO boots to WinPE to run Setup, WinPE finds the \AutoUnattend.xml file in theroot of the USB FLash drive. In that file there is an entry to find and run a .cmd file located on the USB flash drive (loadiso.cmd). The .cmd file runs firadisk or ImDisk and loads the Windows Install ISO that is on the E2B boot drive into memory as a virtual DVD drive. Now when Setup runs, it looks around for a DVD drive containing the Windows source files and finds the virtual DVD drive - voilla - it can now see the \sources\install.wim file on a ‘DVD’ and is happy.

If the virtual DVD drive was not loaded before Setup runs, Setup would complain about a ‘missing CD/DVD device driver’ as it would not be able to find a CD/DVD drive with the \sources\install.wim file (and other files on the DVD).

Ok, gotcha.  Windows is not looking to write to the drive it’s looking to read a removable drive and a CD is  Removable!!  So Easy2Boot uses IMDisk or FiraDisk to load the ISO to RAM as a removable DVD.  Very clever SteveSi.  So this should solve the Fixed disk USB problem.

Thank you SteveSi.

CD/DVD drives are always removable. It is the USB flash drive that must be of type removable.

If the USB flash drive is of type ‘fixed disk’ then WinPE does not find the \Autounattend.xml file as it only searches removable drives. Hence, if you also attach a smalll 2ndary helper USB flash drive that is a ‘removable’ type and it has the \Autounattend.xml file on it, then WinPE will see that xml file and run loadiso.cmd and load the ISO as a virtual DVD drive.

CD/DVD drives are always removable. It is the USB flash drive that must be of type removable

Yes, that much I understand, now.  I just down’t use CDs/DVDs that often, I download most everything, and had forgotten.

If the USB flash drive is of type ‘fixed disk’ then WinPE does not find the \Autounattend.xml file

Now I’m confused again.  I thought the ISO was being loaded to RAM by Easy2Boot, using ImDisk, as a removable drive, before being booted.  Maybe the author of ImDisk can write a utility called ImDVD?? :wink:

Thank you for your time SteveSi.

When WinPE boots it looks for an autounattend.xml file on a removable disk.

So the \Autounattend.xml file must be on a removable flash drive.

WinPE loads the xml and runs the command in it which runs ImDisk which loads the ISO from the USB drive as a virtual DVD. After the virtual drive is loaded, Setup runs.

Setup looks for the source files on all ‘mounted’ volumes. e.g. If you copy the contents of a Win7 DVD to a USB HDD (fixed disk) then you can install Win7 from the USB HDD - so Setup is not looking for a removable source drive or even a CD/DVD drive, it is just looking for the source files on any mounted volume letter.

So the important bit is that the \AutoUnattend.xml file is in the root of a removable drive - otherwise WinPE never sees the file and therefore never runs ImDisk and therefore never loads the install ISO as a drive letter. Therefore Setup complains that it cannot find the DVD files.

I have found solution for the problem. Solution is in FAQ of Rufus. Hope this would help.

Thanks a lot for posting the soloution.  I cannot believe how simple this was. :wink:

I’ve never made a flash drive bootable or formatted it, yet I’ve been using flash drives for years.

What special reasons are there for doing those things?

What special reasons are there for doing those things?

I rarely format my USB drives also.  Some people do it because they’re afraid there might be some software on them that will invade their system.  Probably happened to someone years ago that they heard about so they don’t want to take any chances.  But years ago things could autostart when plugged in so Microsoft disabled that functionality.  Starting with XP SP2 I believe.  So autostart is no longer a problem on current vintage machines.  But old habits are hard to die so people continue to format USB drives blindly.

As for making a USB drive bootable, that’s pretty cool to do.  You can boot Linux distributions, Windows PE systems, Windows installation systems.  Frequently multiple systems on one USB drive.  Helpful for debugging an infected machine, testing new variations of Linux, having multiple software installations on one small USB flash drive rather than in a case of CDs.

Hi, I’m having some trouble with the same issue of the flash drive but not for install Windows, my problem is this:

I work in a audio company and we are resellers of some audio plug-ins to be used on digital audio mixing systems.

The authorization of these plug-ins must be placed into a usb flash drive, so it can be used on the mixing system, which runs windows xp embbed. The utility to transfer the license from cloud to the flash drive simply doesn’t recognizes the new sandisk flash drives because they appear to the system as a local disk. It doesn’t appears at least as a external disk, appears as a local disk.

I will also e-mail the support of the audio plug-in company to ask about this, but the simpler solution was a utility from sandisk which let we choose how our flash drives will behave. I know microsoft has set a new standard, but there’s a huge environment of other brands, systems and equipments that requires legacy, I think will be easy for you guys to just made a utility to select this and will be better than just stick this new standard into our throaths only because a specific function of microsoft benefits from it.

Best regards and I hope you help us.

 I think will be easy for you guys to just made a utility to select this

Unfortunately it is not else they would have done it.  And FWIW SanDisk doesn’t make them as Fixed anymore.

I will also e-mail the support of the audio plug-in company to ask about this

The better approach.  USB devices are no longer limited to flash drives, the removable test is obsolete.

This thread got some new life recently, and is a good source for information. My experience should prove helpful or interesting maybe.

I just bought a “Sandisk Cruzer 32 GB”, manufacturer refurbished, shipped from overseas…

My Win XP recognized it as a fixed hard disk, which is the first time I have seen that, and now I realize why after reading the forum entries from last Fall here.  I immediately set about looking for a utility to set the removable bit also, but of course did not find one.  I decided to live with it and use this for local storage and use my other drives for Windows PE and Rufus ISO bootable images.

However, when I pulled this Sandisk Cruzer from the USB 2.0 port, it always generated a message, “Windows delayed write failed…”, which bothers me more than a little. I tracked this down and found that it was related to hard drives that have write caching enabled.  I had already run Si Sandra on this USB stick and saw it had read cache but no write cache .  None of the everyday USB’s have write caching, which is why they speak with forked tongues when they crow about 2.5 Gb/s to 5GB/s!!!  The worst kind of trickery is being used here.  Not lieing because the Standard supports those speeds, but trickery because the hardward is not up to the task.  Usually you can get 125MB/s read speeds but the write is 1/3 that or even less.

Anyway,  back to the story. Since this Sandisk was generating an error that write cache was not written because I yanked it out of the port, I assumed they turned on the write cache flag when it was refurbished.  Open “My Computer” and right click on the Sandisk drive and select “Properties”.  Then select the Hardware tab, and then select the Sandisk from the dropdown list (very bad User Interface here, dontcha think!).  Then select Properties again and finally select Polices and you will see two radio buttons: “Optimize for Quick Removal” and “Optimze for Performance”.  The first option will be selected, so it should be ok.  But I wanted to trigger a bit change, so I selected “Optimize for Performance”.  Then a checkbox became available, “Enable write-caching”.  It was automatically checked by default, so I unchecked it and saved that change.  Then I tested the USB by copying some files which went ok, and then I  yanked it out of the port without using the “Remove Safely” procedure.  Sure enough, I no longer got the “Windows delayed write failed…” message.  Good enough.

Now I planned to re-insert the USB in the port and change the flag back to “Optimize for Quick Removal” and expect that to be the best settings.

What a surprise!  When I inserted the USB Sandisk 32GB again, I got “Found new hardware.”, “…installing”, “… installed sucessfully and ready for use.”

I opened my computer and in my list of drives I now had a Removable Disk named “Sandisk Firebird USB Device”, and all the data and formatting had been lost!

Well, this could be good news and bad news, take your pick:

The good news:  This procedure might work on your good drives for setting the removable bit.  Just make sure to back up your data before you do it!

The bad news: This might be a one-of-a-kind glitch on the USB which is malfunctioning still after it was “manufacturer refurbished”.

I decided to try to fip it back to the “fixed disk” state.  First I went to format it.  Imagine my surprise again, it said “64GB” instead of “32GB”… But the bad  news is the format failed, both quick and normal.  I used its Polices and set “Optimize for Performance”. Still unable to format it.  Pulled it out…no errors… re-inserted…yep, its back as Sandisk Cruzer USB Device. Did not need formatting, but I tried anyway… At first it showed it was 64GB, but then it reverted to 32GB.  Gave me an idea:  I wrote data to it, pulled it out, no msg, then re-inserted, set Policies to “Optimize for Performance”, “No Write-Enable”.    Removed it… haha, got the “Windows - Delayed Write Failed…” msg.  But no, I could not duplicate the transformation to “Sandisk Firebird 64GB Removable”. 

Quite interesting, but apparently I have a flaky USB here, and those “procedures” which set it to removable do not seem repeatable, sadly.

Terrible news.  I bought two Cruzer 64g, tested one, and returned to store. The sealed one OK, but the open one, they gave me grief. So I’m stuck with one useless drive.

I have a POS Lenovo W540 that has issues due to missing hardware features, so when on the road I may need to do a full restore from the time I left the office.

I needed a boot USB for TrueImage to take along.  Maybe a Lexar 128g to hold everything. Methinks MS is destroying the whole PC/Laptop business.

SanDisk is not being a pioneer in that area. Time will tell.  Need to look at the stock price <g>.  The writing is on the wall.

Making a USB drive bootable is easy with modern software.  If whatever you’re using doesn’t work write to the vendor/author and demand an update.   And if the app is from the laptop’s vendor write to them.  Some have patches to support the new drives.

FWIW Easy2Boot works with the new drives.

Has this issue been resolved? I don’t want a boot disk, just a USB drive that gives me the Remove option in Windows 7.

I don’t want a boot disk, just a USB drive that gives me the Remove option in Windows 7

My USB harddrives give me the Remove option in Windows 7.  I suspect a USB flash drive seen as a fixed drive would do the same. 

No Remove option.