Attach a (micro) SD card via USB card reader as physical hard-drive in Windows 8

The idea behind this article is to simulate a physical harddrive by changing the driver of the connected USB-card reader device, which is running the mounted SD-card drive.

This is only for development or experimental environments and should not be used as a productive solution.

Waht you need:

  • An USB card reader device
  • A SD card

To get ready, download the correct version of the base driver, we will use for it:
Hitachi Microdrive Driver Files, I have them ready on my Onedrive.

Adapt the driver

  1. Connect the (micro) SD-Card with your SD-Card reader to your PC.
  2. Start your Windows device manager and select the entry for your SD card.
  3. Open the properties window of the SD card and switch to the “Details”-tab and choose “Device instance path” in the drop-down.
  4. Copy the instance path, like, USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_MASS&PROD_STORAGE_DEVICE&REV__\125B20100804&0 to the clipboard.
  5. Extract the Hitachi-Driver Zip-File and open the cfadisk.inf in your prefered text editor.
  6. Modify the following lines, to adapt it to your usb device:[cfadisk_device]
    %Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install,USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_MASS&PROD_STORAGE_DEVICE&REV__\125B20100804&0[cfadisk_device.NTamd64]
    %Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install,USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_MASS&PROD_STORAGE_DEVICE&REV__\125B20100804&0

Disable Drive-Signing Check in Windows

  1. Choose “Settings” in the Windows charm bar and click when holding Shift select “Reboot”.
  2. In the new menu select “Troubleshooting”.
  3. Select “Advanced options”.
  4. Select “System Start”.
  5. Select “Reboot”.

After that, a special Start screen is shown, select the option to disable the driver-signing check.

Now you are ready to install the unsigned, modded drivers.

Install the unsigned drivers

  1. Open Device Manager, open Disk drives, right click on “SDXC Card” and chose to update driver.
  2. Click “Browse my computer for drivers software” then click “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.” Now click “File..” and open the cfadisk.inf file you just edited before.
  3. Windows will warn and complain that the file is not signed, and not a compatible driver. Proceed anyways.

After windows has installed the driver, you will see your SD-card as a “real” hard drive in windows explorer.

Published by mariofraiss

Mario Fraiss is an entrepreneur, author, global networker, expert for digital processes, and startup mentor, Founder & CEO of FRAISS. He works in the digital and IT-industry for more than 17 years now and is an expert regarding the complete production and development chain of digital products, services & processes, and digital business models. He loves to share his experience, exchange, and discuss ideas.

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