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Is it possible to duplicate a USB drive so that you can take advantage of faster file access by running it locally? The idea being to simulate the actual drive by reporting the same identifiers including path, size, serial and location to the OS.

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Which OS are you referring to? –  Paul Nov 25 '11 at 13:07
    
In this case we're using Windows 7. Sorry for being a little bit loose on the details. –  Matt Nov 25 '11 at 16:24
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On the assumption that you are using Linux - which as woliveirajr pointed out has not been stated - you should be able to do this by setting up a loop device that is linked to the USB image. Look up the losetup command.

You can then use this as if it is a block device, mounting it, etc. In any case an USB mass storage device on a Linux box is not treated as a serial device, if I am not mistaken, but as a block device.

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