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posted by janrinok on Monday March 03 2014, @04:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the its-my-way-or-the-highway-said-the-Borg dept.

An Anonymous Coward belatedly writes:

"Sandisk changed the configuration, beginning in 2012, for all USB drives they make so that in future external USB devices will be seen as physical hard drives. This has been done to meet requirements set by Microsoft for Windows 8 which states that all USB devices must be configured to be recognised as fixed drives (nb. this is possibly related to Windows-to-Go). This has caused havoc for many users as Sandisk drives can no longer be used with Windows Recovery or any program that will only write to USB External devices. Sandisk deleted the support page that described why Sandisk USB drives are now configured as fixed drives, although the blog author includes it in his blog.

Beware any USB pen drive which states it is "Windows 8 certified". The device will not be detectable as an external drive in Windows 8. The HP Recovery Disks page says to avoid any Windows-8-certified USB devices."

One comment on the blog suggests that Sandisk might have reverted to more conventional practices for subsequent USB devices.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by regift_of_the_gods on Monday March 03 2014, @04:53AM

    by regift_of_the_gods (138) on Monday March 03 2014, @04:53AM (#9909)

    Googling around, there are quite a few reports of problems with using Sandisk USB flash drives to boot Windows 8, and at least one that mentions that Sandisk recommends not using their products as a boot device.

    The solution is probably to use some other manufacturer's product, after checking their web site first.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Hyper on Monday March 03 2014, @11:58AM

      by Hyper (1525) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:58AM (#9995)

      The solution is to only use USB devices NOT marked as Windows 8 compliant

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:31PM (#10001)

        Avoiding Sandisk USB devices manufactured in 2013 would also be wise

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by song-of-the-pogo on Monday March 03 2014, @05:57AM

    by song-of-the-pogo (1315) on Monday March 03 2014, @05:57AM (#9916) Homepage Journal

    I had initially assumed, upon reading TFS, that this would be OS-dependent and, since I'm not running Windows, wouldn't be of concern to me. Having read the linked blog post, however, I see that my initial assumption was incorrect. How irritating. I've been partial to SanDisk products in the past, but it looks as though they may force me to reconsider.

    --
    "We have met the enemy and he is us."
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheLink on Monday March 03 2014, @06:19AM

    by TheLink (332) on Monday March 03 2014, @06:19AM (#9925) Journal

    I don't see why Microsoft has to require the USB drive to look like a fixed drive for their Windows To Go stuff to work: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_To_Go [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/ products-and-technologies/devices/windowstogo.aspx [microsoft.com]

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:40AM (#9986)

      Because Windows 8 will only create a single partition on external devices and Window To Go requires multiple partitions

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by quitte on Monday March 03 2014, @11:48AM

        by quitte (306) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:48AM (#9990) Journal

        Holy Shit. That explanation makes so much sense! Microsoft would rather talk all USB fob vendors into changing one bit than fixing their Partitioning tool.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Vanderhoth on Monday March 03 2014, @11:55AM

          by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:55AM (#9993)

          That's what MS does. They have an overwhelming market share (especially in enterprise) so they can tell hardware companies how it is. If a hardware company wants their product to work on Windows, they'll do what MS tells them to. Otherwise a hardware company's competitor will be the choice product, and MS may decide to make "support" for company A's product difficult.

          --
          "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
        • (Score: 5, Informative) by mojo chan on Monday March 03 2014, @02:01PM

          by mojo chan (266) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:01PM (#10033)

          Actually the problem is with BIOS vendor's code. If the disk appears as an external device the BIOS will try to boot it in a different want to a fixed disk. The BIOS expects external drives to have one partition in a very specific format, not suitable for Windows To Go.

          Microsoft had two choices. They could hack around getting Windows To Go working with the old single partition system, but it is considered legacy and depreciated. Alternatively they could ask vendors to produce compatible drives and mark them as Windows 8 compatible, but in doing so break everyone else's code and violate the USB spec. I'd have preferred the former option.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:40PM (#10081)

            They could also have chosen a third route: Only certify computers as Windows 8 compliant if they can boot from multi-partition external disks.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:00PM (#10060)

          I don't think it's so much they don't want to fix their partitioner as it is the UX-guys and the users causing problems. If multiple partitions could be created easily in Windows, hilarity would ensue, as the set of removable usb device owners, and Windows users, not actually trying to use WTG, intersected. I can see it now. 63 extended partitions, followed by a call for support for a "broken" flash disk.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:09PM (#10067)

            s/extended/logical/g, because morning

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Vanderhoth on Monday March 03 2014, @11:50AM

      by Vanderhoth (61) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:50AM (#9991)

      I'm betting it's not about making Windows-To-Go work, it's about making the competition not work. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. I hate to sound conspicuously theorist, but to me this looks like MS trying to force it's will on the useful peripherals market to make sure useful peripherals don't work with other OSes the way they should so MS can claim Windows is the only "compliant" OS.

      Just my opinion though.

      --
      "Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe
      • (Score: 1) by marcello_dl on Monday March 03 2014, @01:42PM

        by marcello_dl (2685) on Monday March 03 2014, @01:42PM (#10029)

        Technically it's not EEE, it's walled gardening, increasing the hassle to switch to different OSes, even if they are windows themselves.
        If you think of the problem in terms of what can we done with freer OSes, the problem itself is ridiculous.
        Get USB device, does it mount with USB storage? Yes, mount it wherever it suits you to backup with whatever program. No, return it as incompatible/faulty.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:35PM (#10004)

      I don't understand why the Windows 8 Recovery program can't be installed on a 'fixed drive' ... but there you have it. Think about this for a moment. The Windows 8 Recovery disk can be over 10Gb. That is 30 times the size of the first hard drive I purchased with my own money *flashback* Wow! I how fast this will be in the 486? */flashback*

      Other than it wipes the drive.. it should at least have the option of using any 'drive' as a target for making a backup with. Who knows, someone may have an old drive lying around they want to use as a Recovery drive.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @06:22AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @06:22AM (#9926)

    which also would not use a non-"external USB" drive (like network mounted filesystems) out of the box for Time Machine, but there is a file you can touch to make it use it anyway.

    M$ OTOH probably didn't think as far as to give the customer a way to override this.

    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by iNaya on Monday March 03 2014, @07:32AM

      by iNaya (176) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:32AM (#9939)

      God! I got sick of people writing "M$" about 10 years ago.

      Every company exists because, why? Because they make money.

      There was no -1 childish mod, so I wrote this comment instead.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by daver!west!fmc on Monday March 03 2014, @07:39AM

        by daver!west!fmc (1391) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:39AM (#9941)

        Besides, MICROS~1 gave us a better way to spell their name with Windows 95. (Thanks to Fred Cisin for pointing this out.)

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:42AM (#9951)

        Those who want to indicate a dislike to Microsofts business tactics are the ones writing MSFT.

        The $ sign is from the good old days, when Microsofts main product was BASIC - real BASIC with line numbers, not the modern Visual stuff.

        Back then, variables were one or two letters, plus a character indicating the type of variable. A was a floating point variable, A% was integer (but all calculations were done in floating point, so using an integer variable was actually slower) and A$ was a string variable. And yes, you could have all three A variables at the same time.

        So, if you needed 13 string variables, and started with A$, B$, C$ - variable number 13 would be called M$, which looks almost like MS.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @05:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @05:52PM (#10136)

          I tend to think that's a wonderful piece of creative history. Nicely done.

          But "Informative" ?

          Really, guys? That's not why anyone EVER used "M$".

          Mod it funny if you want, but not "Informative".

      • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:54AM

        by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:54AM (#10442) Journal

        So don't read those comments, you mad bro? wanna rage quit now? [apply all the other memes you hate here]
        you'll probably find people are using M$ these days as M$ tends to make decisions based on how much money they think they can rip us off for over functionality every time. they just keep proving it over and over, xbone always on connection? whatever they're doing with USB drives now to piss people off when they've been working fine for years. those are just two examples off the top of my head without even reaching into the soiled abyss that is my mind. dropping support for xp, there's another, I'll stop now. I don't want to think those dirty thoughts any more.

        • (Score: 1) by iNaya on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:01AM

          by iNaya (176) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:01AM (#10504)

          Yes, that is exactly correct. At the same time, Microsoft isn't special in that regard. I dislike Microsoft as much as the next man, but I would rather express it by calling them out on what they have done wrong, rather than resorting to writing their name incorrectly.

          Apple, Google, and others are just as guilty of abusing us as Microsoft is. At the end of the day, all companies that grow large enough will do anything to make another dollar.

          I see no reason to single Microsoft out on this, as that is avoiding the real problem, which is why do we [insert your group here] allow large companies to abuse us?

          • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:50PM

            by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @08:50PM (#10946) Journal

            my personal experience is that only M$ is doing this, at least apple provide the fanbois what they desire, ease of use, and I've never bought a brand new apple product so they've never received any money directly from me, I've had a couple of broken ipods which I've repaired but I usually end up selling 'em, dont have one currently.
            Google provides me email and search results for free, they're welcome to scan my emails to my Mum and target ads at me as that is the only price they ask of me, never paid them a cent other than that. M$ - nearly every pc I've ever bought (maybe 4 over my lifetime, all others are made from parts)has been bundled with an M$ OS which I haven't wanted for at least the last 5 years but am still forced to pay for. as for your final question, this I think sums it up: "vendor lock-in" as soon as I can go all linux at work I'm chucking out our volume licences. full disclosure: I did have a personal run-in with M$ jerks at a previous job, they gave us too many oem copies of win98 and instead of leaving it to us to pack up the extras and send them back they sent the goons around who walked around our support office with the CEO picking up unopened packs off everyone's desks, the one on my desk happened to have already been sold to a customer and was sitting on top of their pc ready to go back, so just to make it legal again I had to perform a full re-install against the customers wishes. so there is possibly some personal bias against M$ here but I've never had to pay money to apple, google or had either of their employees violate my workspace and cause me additional work. Interested to hear your thoughts on these points.

            • (Score: 1) by iNaya on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:46AM

              by iNaya (176) on Thursday March 06 2014, @05:46AM (#11777)

              I get your reasoning about Google, because they do provide products for free. However, with Apple, you have never done any business with them, so using that as a comparison versus Microsoft is unfair.

              And let me reiterate that I am well aware of all the anti-competitive and anti-consumer activities that Microsoft has undertaken since its inception.

              Apple does actually sell products for money. The fact that you have never given them your money doesn't change this. I personally haven't given any money to Microsoft in the last 6 years, but I have given money to Apple. Apple has never had the chance to abuse me, apart from the overly high cost of their products, which do have a much more polished feel about them, which makes me feel better when using them.

              As for your PCs coming with Windows, why not change vendors? There are quite a few vendors around that supply bare PCs. With laptops, it's harder to avoid. The laptops I personally like the best tend to come with either the Windows tax or the Apple tax (I put linux on most stuff). One could argue there is no Apple tax, but, if not, why is Apple stuff at the same spec as a Samsung, so much more expensive? IMO I'm paying extra.

              But Apple has certainly done many evil things. I will leave that as a Googling exercise for you. For instance, in the EU they tried to charge customers for a warranty, which by law they had to offer anyway, so they were basically trying to literally steal money of people through deception. This is not the only greedy, self-absorbed thing they have done.

              Neither Apple, Google, nor Microsoft as organisations would have any qualms taking every cent you have. If they could, they would. Microsoft has done it in a very direct way, whereas Google supports their things through advertising. The cost of this is harder to calculate, as it comes in the form of lost privacy (which is neither a concern to you, apparently, nor is it to me), and in the form of products being slightly more expensive to cover advertising budgets (but this is not Google's fault, as they would use another agency if not Google).

              I have worked in and with many organisations, including the a large Australian bank, a large British Financial organisation, a security organisation, the US military, a few New Zealand Government SOEs, and the Korean police, among many others. The only two organisations I worked for where my boss' eyes didn't light up at the idea of being able to scrape a few extra cents out of existing and potential customers - whether it benefited them or not - were the US military and the Korean police. Which also happened to be the only two organisations I've worked for who don't rely on revenues to survive.

              The British financial organisation I worked for, for two years. And they were greedy bastards. They built multi-million software product for a particular customer, who also paid (much more than just the salaries) for a certain number of developers to always be working on fixing ongoing issues. The organisation for which I worked put less than half that number on it, and completely lied to the customer.

              Then once the product was nearly door, they simultaneously fired about 30 developers while telling the customer that they were increasing efforts to get the product released on time. They were also making the largest profits they had ever made. The product was still going to get released on time to miss penalty payments, and I got some measure of justice by collaborating with several others to leave the org at roughly the same time as me (it wasn't hard, many were just as disgusted as I was), so they lost two project managers, the entire testing team, and most of the graphics team.

              What it comes down to, I guess, is that I have had too many bitter experiences to put any faith in the kindness any business other than a small business where the managing director personally knows the customers. Once the hive mentality takes over, caring about people, the environment, etc. all go out the window; except when doing so has an obvious (positive) effect on revenues, or a negative effect on costs.

              Anyhow, the reason I dislike the use of "M$" or "fanbois", is because they are words which detract from any meaningful content in a conversation, and are instead an appeal to emotion. Which is all very well when discussing an emotional topic. However, organisational ethics are not an emotional topic, though it is certainly something that provokes extreme emotions in many people, including myself.

              Using angry words however (and my original reply here is a prime example of that), never gets people onside with one's line of thinking. In fact, it serves to alienate people, even if they were people who would have tended to agree with you. So I did that and I got modded as flamebait, which is a correct mod considering how I wrote what I was thinking.

              I guess, what I'm trying to say, is that using monikers which mock an individual or organisation makes one look childish when there are better ways to express those opinions without resorting to name-calling.

            • (Score: 1) by iNaya on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:01AM

              by iNaya (176) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:01AM (#11784)

              Oh and that thing with Microsoft goons coming around to your workplace - that's terrible. What country/state are you in? Surely that can't be within the confines of the law.

              • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:17AM

                by EvilJim (2501) on Thursday March 06 2014, @06:17AM (#11786) Journal

                New Zealand, they would have talked the ceo into it who was the accountant at the time, he was with them, I was out at lunch.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by bryan on Monday March 03 2014, @06:24AM

    by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Monday March 03 2014, @06:24AM (#9927) Homepage Journal

    Still shows up as /dev/sdc1 for me!

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Marand on Monday March 03 2014, @07:36AM

      by Marand (1081) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:36AM (#9940) Journal

      Still shows up as /dev/sdc1 for me!

      You jest, but it still showed as /dev/sdb for him, too, and he said it still worked as expected except for buggering up his home-brew install script.

      How does this actually affect Linux users? I'm guessing helpers like the one KDE* uses for popping up device notifications and auto-mounting on USB stick inserts would be affected, but what else? Nothing else is coming to mind.

      I'm curious what sort of tools care about the removable flag, since most programs will only care about read/write access of specific locations, not what media the locations are mounted from.

      Also, how much better or worse is the situation in Windows? Using HP's recovery software as an example make that very clear, since the last time I checked, the software HP provided with new laptops was fragile crap already.

      --

      * KDE's device notifier has an option to show non-removable devices as well as removable, so you could mitigate the annoyance there.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Adrian Harvey on Monday March 03 2014, @08:29AM

        by Adrian Harvey (222) on Monday March 03 2014, @08:29AM (#9950)

        My first guess would be that the external flag would affect write caching. Ie: an external device which might be removed at any time should have minimal or no write caching, so that the device, if removed without unmounting would be in a coherent state.

        If the portable version of Windows 8 needs write caching to work, it would have been better to code an exception into the the disk driver to change the caching default for the case where the external drive is the system drive, rather than break things for all other uses.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mmcmonster on Monday March 03 2014, @10:42AM

        by mmcmonster (401) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:42AM (#9971)

        The problem is for avoiding simple mistakes on any OS.

        ie: You want to burn an ISO onto a USB stick. The application only shows the removable drives as options so you don't overwrite /dev/sda or something stupid like that. Not possible anymore.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @12:38PM (#10007)

          Perhaps Sandisk did not realise how many things are not possible when a USB drive no longer detects as external. Perhaps some real world testing with the OS they were certifying for would have helped..

        • (Score: 1) by morgauxo on Monday March 03 2014, @03:03PM

          by morgauxo (2082) on Monday March 03 2014, @03:03PM (#10062)

          At least until if/when devices that DO register as removeable become rare I would continue to only list the "removable" ones by default. Then there could be a checkbox that allows all devices to be seen preceded by a "continue at your own risk" popup.

          Also, do these devices have some sort of other identifying information? Like the USB manufacturer/device id? Maybe there can be a whitelist to make these devices show up. It's far from ideal but it's better than ingnoring the problem.

      • (Score: 1) by gottabeme on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:56AM

        by gottabeme (1531) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @06:56AM (#10478)

        I'm guessing that udev rules could be made to force said devices to be marked as removable to the kernel. I think there are already a lot of rules in the kernel, udev, and distros that have specific device IDs to work around issues, so maybe this wouldn't be a stretch. But keeping up with the device IDs might be impractical, or at least result in recent models not being caught.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by stderr on Monday March 03 2014, @07:11PM

      by stderr (11) on Monday March 03 2014, @07:11PM (#10161) Journal

      Still shows up as /dev/sdc1 for me!

      Then your so-called "real OS" is broken. It's a USB drive, not a USB partition. :-)

      --
      alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @08:58AM (#9953)

    It's probably another subtly veiled plot to make it harder to switch out operating systems on your PCs, etc. Look at tablets! x86? Sure, go ahead, load Linux on it! ARM, otherwise the same? (think MS Surface), NO LUCK BUDDY!! This pattern has been repeated over and over. It's deliberate. If they can slowly get people used to not being able to install OSes of their own, then when they try and make all PCs locked down like tablets, there will be fewer screams.

    Try loading Fedora on any tablet besides a google nexus or hacker tablet with an ARM chip. Virtualization and chroot does not count.

    This is why tablets are really, really evil.

    It's about control. Which is about money.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by redback on Monday March 03 2014, @09:29AM

      by redback (1011) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:29AM (#9960)

      try and do a fresh install of windows 8 on a laptop that came with it when you dont have the restore media.

      Windows 8 laptops (and presumably some desktops) have the serial key embeded into the mainboard, and its not on a sticker anywhere on the machine. As a result you cannot use a standard install dvd to install it.

      Took me a lot of searching and trial+error to find a disk that could do it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @11:44AM (#9988)

        The windows 8 internal key is to prevent people from installing one version of Windows 8 on other machines

        WHY anyone would WANT to do such a thing, or than being highly negative evil or just plain callous, I do not know

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by TK on Monday March 03 2014, @02:35PM

          by TK (2760) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:35PM (#10046)

          Use case: I buy a laptop with Windows 8 on it. Five days after the warranty ends, the motherboard fries. I say "screw it", I'll just build a new desktop PC. In theory, I still own a valid license for Windows 8. In the bad old days, I would be able to borrow a friend's OS install disk, use the license key printed on the bottom of my laptop, and go on my merry way.

          Unfortunately, now I have no way of getting that license key, and am forced to buy a new license/copy. I have a problem with that.

          Disclaimer: I would never buy Windows 8.

          --
          The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by mojo chan on Monday March 03 2014, @02:08PM

        by mojo chan (266) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:08PM (#10035)

        As a result you cannot use a standard install dvd to install it.

        Yes you can. I have done this with a couple of my own laptops using standard install DVDs (OEM). Maybe you were using retail discs, but it has always been the case that retail copies would not install with OEM keys going back to 95. If you are wondering why it's because OEM copies are supposed to be non-transferable, i.e. the sticker is stuck to the PC's case and dies with it, while retail copies can be moved to new machines and have less copy protection.

        --
        const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
        • (Score: 1) by dwywit on Monday March 03 2014, @10:27PM

          by dwywit (1166) on Monday March 03 2014, @10:27PM (#10287)

          That's the theory. In practice, OEM Win XP would continue to validate itself on a new install. If on the rare occasion it refused, a phone call would quickly get another validation code after speaking to a MS rep. "Customer's machine suffered a power surge and needed a {mainboard/CPU/memory} replacement".

          --
          They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
          • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Monday March 03 2014, @11:24PM

            by mojo chan (266) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:24PM (#10323)

            I must have made hundreds of those calls... As you say, their Indian staff never ever refused to activate the machine.

            --
            const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
            • (Score: 1) by EvilJim on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:43AM

              by EvilJim (2501) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @04:43AM (#10439) Journal

              Same here, didn't get to talk to indian staff though, it's been all keypad presses for at least a couple of years for XP. why would it matter what the disk enumerates as under linux? there aren't any restrictions on running your OS from a USB drive like there are on XP (cant say I've tried installing 7 or 8 so cant comment on those)

        • (Score: 1) by redback on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:48AM

          by redback (1011) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:48AM (#10546)

          How do you get past the window asking for a key then?

          • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:57AM

            by mojo chan (266) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:57AM (#10548)

            It picks up the key from the BIOS.

            --
            const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
            • (Score: 1) by redback on Friday March 07 2014, @09:21AM

              by redback (1011) on Friday March 07 2014, @09:21AM (#12566)

              Not with a standard disk.

              • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Friday March 07 2014, @11:28AM

                by mojo chan (266) on Friday March 07 2014, @11:28AM (#12601)

                I reinstalled my laptop from a standard disc and it picked up the key automatically. My laptop doesn't have an actual sticker on it anyway.

                --
                const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by etherscythe on Monday March 03 2014, @05:56PM

        by etherscythe (937) on Monday March 03 2014, @05:56PM (#10139) Journal

        Incorrect, although you sometimes have to work at it a little harder (definitely not as intuitive as previous Windows versions, for sure). Standard Win8 DVDs generally are designed specifically for either Core or Pro edition. It is possible to change the source files so that it does not automatically choose the edition for you. One easy way to do this is to use RMPrepUSB [rmprepusb.com] with the Easy2Boot [easy2boot.com] package - it has xml files that pass parameters to the ISO on a bootable flashdrive that bypass this, and can be configured with a number of options. Alternatively you can remaster the ISO if you've got e.g. UtraISO.

        There is also a utility [startpage.com] for retrieving the key from the BIOS in case it is not picked up automatically by Windows. Just make sure you check the MSDM key option or you will get the temporary install key rather than the proper BIOS key.

        --
        "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by zafiro17 on Monday March 03 2014, @11:31AM

      by zafiro17 (234) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:31AM (#9980) Homepage

      Tablets aren't evil. Software creators that try to force pre-selected computing paradigms in order to work around their sh*tty software are evil. Actually, let's keep subjective things like good and evil out of this.

      They aren't evil. They just suck.

      This is a case of not being able to write software, so using your leverage to force hardware manufacturers dance around your incompetence. And it's pathetic.

      --
      Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday March 03 2014, @05:20PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday March 03 2014, @05:20PM (#10121)

        Sorry, but you're wrong: they are indeed evil. Let's look at the definition of "evil", from Wiktionary:

        evil (comparative eviller or eviler or more evil, superlative evillest or evilest or most evil)

                Intending to harm; malevolent.

                        Do you think that companies that engage in animal testing are evil?

                Morally corrupt.  [quotations â–¼]

                        an evil plot to kill innocent people

                Unpleasant.
                Producing or threatening sorrow, distress, injury, or calamity; unpropitious; calamitous.  [quotations â–¼]
                (obsolete) Having harmful qualities; not good; worthless or deleterious.  [quotations â–¼]

                        an evil beast; an evil plant; an evil crop

                (computing, programming, slang) undesirable; harmful; bad practice

                        Global variables are evil; storing processing context in object member variables allows those objects to be reused in a much more flexible way.

        Many of these points apply to this situation. Forcing a pre-selected computing paradigm in order to work around shitty software (or worse, using your leverage to force hardware manufacturers to dance around your imcomptence) is undesirable, and demonstrably harmful. It's obviously a bad practice. It's also unpleasant. You could even argue that it produces or threatens sorrow or distress. I might even go so far as to say their practices are morally corrupt.

        Any of these meets the definition of "evil". So yes, they really are evil. Let's call a spade a spade, instead of trying to euphamize things. Microsoft and the tablet makers really are evil, according to the very definition of the word.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by quitte on Monday March 03 2014, @11:42AM

    by quitte (306) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:42AM (#9987) Journal

    From the dmesg output in the article it seems there is a distinction between disk and drive. Of course that doesn't make a lot of sense for usb sticks - but why not. And since CD/DVD/BluRay isn't dead yet that distinction makes some sense.

    So while the "disk" is not removable from the drive the drive is removable from the PC? Removability is an assumption that should be made about any drive that's not soldered onto the Mainboard.

    So this seems technically correct. But what's the point? What the fuck does it change that MS is interested in? To Linux Distributions it's a problem that exists for one point release at most.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mojo chan on Monday March 03 2014, @02:14PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:14PM (#10038)

      The distinction is that removable drives use a simplified protocol that allows basic read/write functions but is low performance. They are supposed to be formatted with a single partition in an old, limited format that makes them easier to read for embedded systems. Fixed disks use a subset of the ATA commands and are higher performance with better caching and things like SMART monitoring and TRIM support.

      The main issue is that removable drives old support the old partitioning system and a single partition. Some BIOSes will handle more, most won't and refuse to boot such devices. Since Windows needs at least two partitions now that means it needs a fixed disk to boot from. I'm sure they could have hacked around it with a bootload stub but for whatever reason decided not to.

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:37PM (#10079)

        Oh for the good old days where "boot from this device" meant "load the first sector, execute it, and don't care the fuck what else is on it, that's the boot loader's business" ...

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by quitte on Monday March 03 2014, @03:42PM

        by quitte (306) on Monday March 03 2014, @03:42PM (#10082) Journal

        There are two partition schemes on PCs that I'm aware of: MBR and GPT. Booting from MBR partitioned USB sticks with multiple partitions hasn't been a problem since the late Pentium 3s at least. I'd have to see it fail to boot on anything new enough for Vista myself to believe there was a problem with MBR partitioned USB sticks. Syslinux works just fine as a bootloader in such cases.

        The problem of having both GPT and MBR schemes on a single hard drive is solved, too.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Hyper on Monday March 03 2014, @11:52AM

    by Hyper (1525) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:52AM (#9992)

    The HP Recovery Disks page says to avoid any Windows-8-certified USB devices.

    Oh, the irony. Bravo Microsoft. A new low.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mclearn on Monday March 03 2014, @12:38PM

    by mclearn (3555) on Monday March 03 2014, @12:38PM (#10006)
    Interestingly, data loss prevention (DLP) software usually keys on disallowing copying files to drives marked as "removable". This change by Sandisk will likely allow bypass of this feature for the short term.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:58PM (#10090)

      If it is bypassed that easily, it certainly doesn't deserve the name "security". If at all, I would have expected them to disallow writing on any USB device, because no matter whether it identifies itself as "removable" or not, the very fact that it's on USB is a clear indication that it is.

      But then, actually I would have expected such a feature to depend on an explicit whitelist.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mechanicjay on Monday March 03 2014, @02:14PM

    by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday March 03 2014, @02:14PM (#10039) Homepage Journal

    I though, we might have been past the days where MicroSoft was able to throw their weight around and effectively change the way something fundamental works for their own twisted reasons. I mean, they've been behaving themselves so well recently with IE.

    Isn't the whole idea of USB storage to be hot-pluggable and what not? I really don't understand how this is a win. It sounds like just a stupid hacky workaround for a poorly thought-out restriction in Windows -- and we're all made to suffer.

    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:06PM (#10065)

      If you thought so, you didn't pay attention. One word: SecureBoot?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dbot on Monday March 03 2014, @02:17PM

    by dbot (1811) on Monday March 03 2014, @02:17PM (#10041) Journal

    They could put a switch on it for the mode it will attach as:

    - Removable
    - Non-removable ...although kludgy, and increase manufacturing costs.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 03 2014, @03:04PM (#10063)

      Why so complicated? Just put a tube of glue in the package, to be applied by the user if desired. Then you have:

      * No glue: Removable.
      * Glue: Not removable.

    • (Score: 1) by dbot on Monday March 03 2014, @05:08PM

      by dbot (1811) on Monday March 03 2014, @05:08PM (#10117) Journal

      ... or a documented ioctl

  • (Score: 1) by Boxzy on Monday March 03 2014, @09:40PM

    by Boxzy (742) on Monday March 03 2014, @09:40PM (#10253) Journal

    I'm willing to bet a Sandisk micro SD card in a stick cardholder will work just fine. There's no reason for those to be changed.

    --
    Go green, Go Soylent.