Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to partition a USB disk in Windows

As Microsoft has published the manual instructions on how to create a USB stick for Windows To Go the only drawback is that there are only a handful of devices that these instructions can be used on. The problem is that the USB drive needs to show itself to the OS as a normal basic disk rather than a removable drive as Windows doesn’t allow partitioning a removable drive. You can do it with one partition but you lose the support for UEFI. I used to use a 7200RPM 500GB USB3.0 external drive but that’s not really pretty for demonstrations although it performs well and is totally suitable for running Windows 8.
You can get USB sticks partitioned following these instructions:
  • Install Windows 8 x86 on some machine
  • Download USB_LocalDisk here
  • On you Windows 8 machine extract the USB_LocalDisk to local harddrive
  • Insert the USB stick you want to use and find it in your Device Manager
  • Open the Details tab and find the Device Instance Path –value. Copy the value to the clipboard by right clicking it
  • Open the .inf file and replace the device_instance_id_goes_here with the string from your clipboard – Save the file
  • Go back to Device Manager, find your devices Driver tab and choose Update Driver
  • Browse for your driver
  • Choose Let me pick…
  • Choose Have disk and find your driver
  • Choose the default driver