It does not emulate anything, it only mounts files with a mount point.
I am looking for something similar but opposite... simulate an internal hard drive (please do not confuse with hard disk), not an USB one.
Who asked the question (and I) want a full hard disk emulation, so it is called a hard drive emulator... not hard disk... the difference is very important.
While hard disk emulators can emulate the MBR/GPT structure (not all I must admit, some only emulate a partition), they do not emulate the hard drive part, and so Windows Disk Management does not see it as a hard drive, worst it is not even shown as any kind, not shown at all.
On the other part hard drive emulators do a full disk emulation, so Windows can not difference it from a physical one, it is shown on Windows Disk Management (normally as if it were internal).
I must admit most tools (paid ones) I tested that really emulate a hard drive, emulate an internal iSCSI, not a SATA/IDE, etc... but I could not find any that emulate a USB one.
I neither found any internal hard disk emulator (freeware) that works well, nor paid ones works perfectly well... most detectable when you try to emulate a SSD disk with some USB sticks...
- Put a file on each USB stick (2x, 3x, 4x, ... identical ones)
- Such file must emulate an Internal Hard Drive (partitionable, seen as internal fixed hard disk by Windows disk Management, etc.)
- Now where most fail... convert such virtual hard disks to Dynamic
- Now where all I tested failed miserably... do Windows RAID equivalent
- Not yet got to this point... use it for ReadyBoost
- ReadyBoost does not use concurrently all USB sticks (not like a RAID0), it uses them in sequence, like a BIG RAID (concatenation)... till one is not full it does not use the rest... losing a lot of speed and I/O operation(s).
Solution I can give to the one that asks:
- Use any old HDD inside a really cheap USB enclosure for 2.5" or 3.5" HDDs (depending on the disk)
If you have one old HDD somewhere in a closet, etc... use it... USB 2.0 enclosures are really cheap (<10$ and without shipping and taxes).
But for what I want it is really harder... yes, I know about Removable Bit on USB sticks... the ones I want can not be flipped... hard-coded in read-only firmware (not flashable)... and Windows is 64-bit, so replacing driver is really ugly, not signed drivers cannot be used... among each reboot must do things and reboot again (activate the accept non-signed drivers on the next reboot), really horrible (it is only for next reboot, after that the system goes to normal and does not accept them anymore till reactivation of sush and reboot) for having ReadyBoost 3x speeded up... not to mention I also do not know if it is even possible to use dynamic disk for ReadyBoost... or I would need both... emulate internal and then emulate USB stick over RAIDed internal emulated ones, etc... too complex.
As I said, your solution could be:
- Buy a cheap (<10$) USB enclosure and use an old drive
Mine? Really hard! And the final objective is maybe impossible!
P.S.: VHD /VHDX can not be Dynamic... I also tested that! And Windows Storage Spaces refuses to use any <4GiB drive!
Why M$ is knocking our asses so much with such stupid limitations... on Linux and other OS there are no one of them, VHD can be dynamic, you can RAID whatever size you want (I'm not sure if under 512 bytes is possible, but I tested to RAID0 1024 files of 512 bytes and it worked... without any filesystem on it of course... it was only 512KiB and only a proof of concept).