Sandisk Extreme 64GB - make it a fixed drive?


I would like to use my 64GB Extreme as a Windows 8 To Go host.  However, this does not seem possible unless the drive can be made to be seen as fixed rather than removable.  Please may soemone from Sandisk advise if it is possible to do this?

Regds, JR

Not necessary.

" Windows To Go is a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise that allows Windows 8 Enterprise to boot and run from mass storage devices such as USB flash drives and external hard disk drives.[1] It is a fully manageable corporate Windows 8 environment."

Maybe you have the wrong version of Windows?

Hi Ed’

Thank you for your reply.

I understand but you can build a Win 8 To Go drive manually with any Win 8 license (other than the upgrade option, which is crazily restrictive).  Here’s a guide -

I understand an enterprise version supplies an automatic utility to create a To Go drive.

So, the question remains - how may I switch the removable bit in a Sandisk Extreme 64GB USB stick so that it is seen as a ‘fixed’ disk?

From researching around this does seem to be possible on many (if not most) brands.

Regds, JR

An interesting link. 

But I see nothing in it that indicates the USB flash drive requires being made to be seen as a “fixed” disk.  Why do you think that it’s required?

The instructions here don’t indicate a “fixed” disk requirement either.

hmmmmm You want to partition the drive so Win 8 doesn’t use the whole thing I suspect and Windows only sees the 1st partition.   There are filters, DUMMYDISK.SYS or CFADISK.SYS, you can add to the host accessing the USB drive which will allow you to access multiple partitions on USB drives, maybe that would be a better approach for you?

Hi Ed,

It’s because Windows wont recognise (or allow the creation of) a second partition unless the drive is seen as  ‘fixed’.

Lexar supply a utility ‘BootIt’ that enables the removable bit to be flipped on their drives.  It also works on some other brands but not on Sandisk Extreme.

Do you know a way I could do the same on my 64GB.

By the way, this is what the Sandisk Extreme can do on my Asus P8Z77 rig with the ASUS USB 3.0 boost (UASP) capability enabled -


You can see why i would like to be able to use it as a Win 8 To Go Boot platform.

Regds, JR

p.s. Yep - filter drivers could be used to create the Win 8 To Go USB.  The problem is that this solution is not portable across many machines (and it is not easy to find the right driver).

The best (only good) solution is to flip the Removable bit in the FW. If sandisk doesn’t enable its sticks for use as as a  Windows To Go platform, I feel it is a ‘marketing’ mistake - the market segment will I think be quite big.

Regds, JR

We cross posted.  See my previous reply, which I was editing as you were posting.


Hi Ed,

I’m not trying to restrict the partitions Windows 8 can see.

I just want to create a two partition Windows 8 To Go USB stick (as per the guide I posted)

Regds, JR

Well there is the question about the “need” to create a separate partition for Windows 8.  Why not put it on the primary partition?  What do you have on it?  If files putting them in a separate folder works.

Or do you boot something else on the drive?

Hi Ed,

It needs a small Fat 32 partition at the front (populated with the MBR stuff), followed by an NTFS partition for the OS.

Regds, JR

The MBR doesn’t use a partition.  And not having Win 8 I’m not sure what it’s setup is but on Windows 7 some installs create a separate partition for the bootmgr file.  But that is not a requirement since I have Win 7 machines that aren’t configured that way.

I was under the impression that the Win 8 to Go was an image file that got loaded to RAM then booted.  Am I wrong about that?

BTW This might be a better forum to discuss this situation:

With the help of the folks there all my USB drives are bootable, including the U3 ones which still have U3 on them.  And some boot multiple systems on them.  But all have only 1 partition.

PS  At the very least review the steps to create Win to Go USB on the link I wrote earlier:  It doesn’t say anything about a FAT partition.

Thanks Ed,

I appreciate your help and I will look at the links you have posted (I do recollect going to 911dc before).

Putting all other things aside for a moment - is it possible to flip the ‘Removable Bit’ in the firmware on a Sandisk Extreme?

I ask as I am convinced, after extensive reading, that this is the answer to my issue and it is a question I feel Sandisk should answer.

Kind regds, JR 

Hi Ed,

I must stand corrected.

The cd911 method, which does not require a separate partition to be added before adding the boot records, works perfectly well.

Thank you again for your kind attention - excellent support.

Regds, JR

There is a need for the Sandisk Extreme to be able to flip the removable bit.

Without it, Windows 8 to go does not recognize it as a fixed drive and thus you are not able to install programs into it.

I.E. Microsoft Office, Anti-Virus etc.

So your entire ‘usual’ workspace is not portable.

Using ChipGenius and UsbDeview we can find the PID and VID but not the controller and thus we do not know what commercially available tools (with reference from can be used to flip the bit.

we do not know what commercially available tools (with reference from can be used to flip the bit.”

There are none. 

Microsoft has a list of approved flash drives for use with Win to Go on their website.  SanDisk is not one of them yet.


A friend of mine remove my Sandisk Extreme 32 Gb without “secure remove”, and all my data of the flash disk was gone.

To recover the partition, I used Partition Guru Pro, but accidentaly I used the option “HDD mode”, and now mi flash drive shows as “fixed disk”.

Is there a way to set it back to “removable”?

I google a lot, and found the REMOVABLE MEDIA BIT issue, but there is no software to change it.

Any clue?

!! An interesting question.  And useful info to prior posters.

I’m not sure having it classified as a fixed drive is that bad a thing.  Are you not able to remove it and plug it into other systems?  So long as it’s working for you, able to read and write data, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.  (Though getting backups of it’s files somewhere wouldn’t hurt)

Flash drives are usually manufactured as large floppy disks, no MBR, no partitions.  That helps in making them appear as removable and one of the things that one looses formatting the drives needlessly.  Your’s at this point I suspect has a MBR and a partition table.

Thanks Ed for your answer.

Indeed, it has a MBR, and a partition.

But, erasing the partition and the MBR, it doesn´t show up in windows explorer. And the only way that i know to solve this, is going to “administrative tools” and assign a letter to the unit and it shows up. But of course, first windows ask to add MBR or GPT, create a partition and format it.

The drive, still works fine reading and writing data.

Using it in windows 7, as a fixed drive, it has no trouble to remove it, but in windows XP, It cannot be remove safetly. So I´m interested in returning it´s “removable” setting.

I used the flash drive in 5 computers (windows 7 and XP), and in all the drive shows up as a fixed disk.

Have you contacted Partition Guru Pro to see what they suggest?

Although this topic is marked as solved, it is far from solved. I have still not been able to install Windows to Go on this drive, even though I bought it specifically for that. Can somebody point me to a way to flip the removable bit?