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I just plugged in a very simple 1GB USB stick from the office in hopes of making it a Fedora Live USB stick. For that to work, I need a removable storage device, or else it won't appear in LiveUSB Creator's list.

Explorer lists my USB stick as a hard disk:

USB stick as it appears in the Explorer

LiveUSB Creator indeed doesn't show it in the device list:

LiveUSB Creator doesn't see the device

Is there any way of forcing Windows to see the stick as a removable storage device?


From the device's properties window, I can obtain it's GUID:

Getting the device's GUID

With that, I can find the USBSTOR entry in the registry:

USBSTOR entry in the registry

However, when editing the Capabilities value to 4 (as implied by CM_DEVCAP_REMOVABLE) or 16 (as implied by the value of other USB stick entries), I receive the following error:

Error Editing Value

Cannot edit Capabilities: Error writing the value's new contents.

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Perhaps changing the registry tree's permissions may resolve the error, but I haven't tried this. It also seems like a dangerous operation. –  Paul Lammertsma Jan 7 '11 at 23:22
Some article on it. freeware.skynetblogs.be/archive/2009/04/26/… –  Gandalf Feb 5 '11 at 15:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The problem, appears, is not Windows but the device itself. For some reason, the device is registering itself as a Mass Storage device, not a Removable Storage device.

A nifty program I found via this blog entry called BootIt solved the problem for me in a jiffy: simply switch on the "removable bit"! Unplug and replug, and you're set to go.

I understand there's a bloatware version of this program all over the internet. See if you can get version 1.07; that gets the job done.

Additional bonus of being able to switch the "removable" bit: you can partition your flash drive!

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link now broken? –  Shevek Apr 23 '10 at 11:45
possible alternate: achugh.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/… –  Shevek Apr 23 '10 at 11:46
@shevek: not a broken/dead link (it loads for me), but it certainly looks outdated (i don't see any reference to "BootIt" software on that page). –  quack quixote Apr 23 '10 at 11:52
This is also known as "Lexar USB Format" and does not seem to work, at least for making a USB HDD show as removable. –  Matthew Read May 1 '12 at 2:44
@MatthewRead link : getusb.info/flip-your-bit-usb-utility-to-make-local-drive –  rebel Aug 12 '14 at 8:14

This is how I fixed that problem:

  • go to http://winsite.com
  • click utilities, then miscellaneous
  • find portable hdd low level formatter tool v.4.25
  • download and install
  • follow prompts

This cured my problem, hopefully yours too.

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