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Why is my connected drive not visible as a storage destination in MPE+ nFIELD?

Created by: Brendan Bone
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MPE+ nFIELD only allows you to select storage destinations classified by Windows as "Removable Storage" (as seen in Windows Explorer or as the "Type" in the drive's Properties). This is done to prevent images from being stored on internal drives as MPE+ nFIELD is meant to be used on pass-through devices. This may also prevent MPE+ nFIELD from being able to use certain external drives.

 

The cause

The firmware in USB drives have a "removable" flag (set to 1 or 0). Microsoft created a "Windows to Go" standard and they told USB manufacturers if they wanted to certify their products as "windows to go" or "Windows 8 ready" they had to set the flag in firmware to indicate to windows that it was a local disk. This prevented it from being identified as a "removable disk."

 

Solutions

There are really only two solutions to making sure a USB drive is seen as "removable" by windows so it will work with nField MPE +.

  1. Look for and buy a USB drive that does not contain the phrases "Windows to go" or "Windows 8 ready" or "Windows 10 ready." This will increase the chances that the USB drive will show up as removable in windows. Additionally, it's a good idea to buy from a retailer that the drive can be returned to if it does not read as "removable" in windows. 

  2. Modify the removable flag in the USB drive firmware. If you search around the internet, there are ways to read the VID and PID values from the firmware of the USB drive. You can then use that to look for mass production tools (firmware editors) for that specific USB drive. Doing this will void your warranty with the drive manufacturer and AccessData can not provide links or support in any way for this option.

 

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