USB flash drive appears with an icon of hard drive in This PC


Anixx

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I expected that it should appear with a flash drive icon, especially given that such icons exist in shell32.dll
 

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JMedlock83

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I expected that it should appear with a flash drive icon, especially given that such icons exist in shell32.dll
Windows sees it as a "drive", and doesn't really know it's a flash drive.
 

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glasskuter

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You can make any usb drive show any custom icon you want. Find an icon your like. There are many free ones on the net. They must be in .ico format. If not you can convert a .png file to .ico using one of the free online converters. Then do the following:

1. copy the .ico file to flash drive

2. create autorun.inf file on your removable drive using these steps:


3. Using File Explorer, open the removable drive.
At the root of the drive, right-click, select New, and click Text Document.


copy and paste the following:

[Autorun]
Icon=xxxxx.ico (the name of your icon)
Label=xxxxxxx (label you want on drive)

Name the file autorun.inf
Under save as type use drop arrow select all files
Save the file.

4. To make these files invisible inside the drive, so you don't delete them by mistake.
For both the .ico and .inf file Right-click and click Properties.
Under Attributes, check the Hidden option

This label and icon are permanent until you reformat the usb drive or show hidden files and delete them yourself.
What I've done is save my autorun file so I can add it to the next usb drive I buy. All I have to do is open the .inf file and change the label to describe my next one. I have several colored icons so I can use whichever I want.
See drive F in screenshot:
usb drive.png
 
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Anixx

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No, I just want all flash drives to be shown as flash drives as on Linux.
 

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JMedlock83

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glasskuter

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No, I do not want individual drives, I want all drives.
As @JMedlock83 says, the OS sees them as drives and you can't override that. Either label each one or accept what cannot be changed. The following is a good explanation taken from answers.microsoft.com website:

Windows recognizes USB flash drives as removable devices due to the presence of a special descriptor bit RMB (removable media bit) on each of the devices. If the system determines that RMB=1 when polling the connected device using StorageDeviceProperty function, it concludes that this device is a removable drive. Thus, in order to convert the USB-flash to the hard disk it is enough to modify this descriptor. You can do this directly (which is quite risky because of the differences in the device-specific hardware implementations, and not always possible), or indirectly – by replacing the response of a USB device using a special driver, which allows to filter out the information in the device response.

Of course you got a point by evaluating it comparing it with two Different Pc's. But to pass specific certifications from Windows 8 onwards usb flash drives received some inbuilt changes by their manufacturers. These can cause the USB drive to be recognized as HDD on 1 pc while being a removable on another.
 

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JMedlock83

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No, I do not want individual drives, I want all drives.
Yes, I understand that, but you are going to have to plug in EACH individual flash drive that you have and do what @glasskuter said to do. . There is no other way around what you are wanting to do. You can't do it in a "batch file". .
 

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glasskuter

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It is for this very reason that I use a tiny app called "USB Safely Remove" since these drives do not give me an option to do so.
 

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glasskuter

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USB Safely Remove is a paid app but there are free alternatives although I have no experience using them. This program has the ability to force stop processes that kept a hard drive hung up and before I would have to restart to get Windows to release them. It resides in my system tray.
It recognizes devices at the usb level no matter what kind of device it is but it shows devices like mouse, keyboard, and printer as hidden devices so as not to clutter up its popup window when I click on it..
https://alternativeto.net/software/usb-safely-remove/
 

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glasskuter

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PS: I got USB Safely Remove long ago and bought the one that had free updates for a year. But it still works as good today as it did then for managing my usb devices even though it hasn't been updated in a while. There's no limit to the number of computers it can be used on.
It's not cheap but with as many devices as I use, it's necessary for me. Right now a license that includes 1 year of updates is $20

I might point out that some usb drives will be recognized as removable by the OS. It all depends on what RMB the manufacturer embedded into it.
 

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Sir_George

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USB Safely Remove is a paid app but there are free alternatives although I have no experience using them. This program has the ability to force stop processes that kept a hard drive hung up and before I would have to restart to get Windows to release them. It resides in my system tray.
It recognizes devices at the usb level no matter what kind of device it is but it shows devices like mouse, keyboard, and printer as hidden devices so as not to clutter up its popup window when I click on it..
https://alternativeto.net/software/usb-safely-remove/
I've used USB Safely Remove for years and find it to be very useful and worth the price.
 

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glasskuter

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OK
Here is a site that suggests you can accomplish what you want. But use the information at your own risk because I have no personal experience doing it. Removable USB Flash Drive as Local HDD in Windows 10 / 7 | Windows OS Hub.

If it's good, post back so others can be helped with the same issue, although if the utilities fail to do the job, i would hesitate to mess with an unknown driver myself. I doubt it because this is a widespread complaint across the web dating back to Windows 7. I figure if there was a firm solution it would be posted in more places than one.
 
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glasskuter

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I do have a safely remove icon
With most of mine, I do too, but not always. I probably have at least 50 of the little buggers, all brands and unbranded, reformatted and reused many times for various purposes. Some will give me the safely remove option on one computer but won't on another. There's no rhyme or reason why and I didn't want to spend the time trying to solve the mystery. Though it makes no sense, I've always suspected it had something to do with one of the apps that did the erasing and reformatting. But that's a separate issue from the icon Windows now uses to identify them.
 
Last edited:

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    32 gb
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    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
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  • Operating System
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    standard
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
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