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posted by janrinok on Monday March 03 2014, @04:30AM   Printer-friendly
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: 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)
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  • (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.