Tool released to enable USB Mass Storage on WP7

How many times have you been working on a computer, and needed a USB stick but only had your phone?  With older Windows Mobile 6.5 devices, this was fairly simple – just go into the settings, and change the sync mode.  HTC even had a popup in their Sense UI that would prompt when the device was plugged into a computer.

Since the inception of Windows Phone 7, however, one would have to launch the Zune software, and complete the file transfer there using the sync tool; there really hasn’t been an easy way to enable this functionality.  Sure, there is a way to do this via a registry tweak, but look through the Zune Software, or on the device, and this feature is absent.

A user on xda-developers.com, MarcHoover, has created a tool to enable and disable the USB Mass Storage feature on your Windows 7 device, with an easy to use interface:

All you will need to use is the Zune software, and .Net 2.0.  According to the developer's website, ultimate-networx.net (loosely translated from German), you will need to run the tool as an administrator for it to work correctly. Once it is enabled or disabled, you will need to disconnect the device and then plug it back in.  Upon checking drives listed in Computer (in Windows 7), you will see a device listed with the phone model, and files can be dragged and dropped to/from the device at will.  

Image source: xda-developers.com

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Is it just me or is it utterly ridiculous that hackers need to unlock the most basic of functionality of WP7 rather than have it officially supported.

Simon- said,
Is it just me or is it utterly ridiculous that hackers need to unlock the most basic of functionality of WP7 rather than have it officially supported.

Blame Apple and their sheep. People are buying iPhones etc claiming that it's just works and others like MS have no option but to cater to the demand of the market.

Simon- said,
Is it just me or is it utterly ridiculous that hackers need to unlock the most basic of functionality of WP7 rather than have it officially supported.

Not ridiculous, just a lack of understanding...

The ZuneHD for example is also like this. Instead of using a generic USB driver interface, it presents itselft differently to any host device/computer it is plugged into.

If it didn't do this, then all the DRM protected songs on the device acquired using the Zune Pass, would be locked and worthless.

As it works now and was designed to work, you can plug your ZuneHD in your XBox 360 or even the USB port in your Ford car, via Sync, and it lets you play and access all the music on the device, even if they are Zune Pass content.

If they did just the generic USB Mass Storage, the DRM files would appear to the host devices, but be locked and not playable.

So considering how Zune Pass content works, this was the best way and why this is the default way the device presents itself to the Host device/computer.

Having a USB Mass Storage also available is also a good thing, but if I were going to choose, I would want it to use the method it does, so that the Zune Pass content just works on hosts that support the ZuneHD USB interface.

Maybe Microsoft could inplement a way to give users the choice to have access both ways, which is what this tool flips, as it is not disabled, it is just not the default way the device responds to the computer.

thenetavenger said,
Maybe Microsoft could inplement a way to give users the choice to have access both ways, which is what this tool flips, as it is not disabled, it is just not the default way the device responds to the computer.

Considering this is how the update process works, I don't see why it would be so difficult.

XIII said,
Yeah, sigh. We even resorted to hack just to update the god-damn phones early . Don't know where it will go from here.

Fixed it for you... If you want to update your phone before it's pushed to your phone, that's no one's problem but yours... I see no reason why people can't wait for it to be pushed to them...

M_Lyons10 said,

Fixed it for you... If you want to update your phone before it's pushed to your phone, that's no one's problem but yours... I see no reason why people can't wait for it to be pushed to them...


Maybe because people aren't getting important security updates for 7 months? My phone is still at 7004. Not even pre-NoDo in sight.

RealFduch said,

Maybe because people aren't getting important security updates for 7 months? My phone is still at 7004. Not even pre-NoDo in sight.

And what phones get updates sooner really? iOS, with updates coming yearly for the most part, or Android where you never know if you're ever going to get an update? I'm sure WP7 will be handling updates much better in time than either of these platforms... But to give them a hard time about it already and whine when people have issues from forcing an update is just silly.

As far as I know it just changes 3 registry keys on the computer, but you must have zune installed to use it as USB Massstorage device. I think this is the way if I remember correctly.

Should be a a way to use it as mass storage on every pc, even without zune installed..

HopeForP7Update said,
As far as I know it just changes 3 registry keys on the computer, but you must have zune installed to use it as USB Massstorage device. I think this is the way if I remember correctly.

Should be a a way to use it as mass storage on every pc, even without zune installed..

That would be nice. Though in most cases you will have Zune installed I would imagine, there are times that I would see it useful to use it for mass storage on someone else's PC... I hope this feature comes in Mango honestly.

Memo to Apple - PLEASE add similar functionality to iPhone!
Why carry a separate USB stick when you typically have gigabytes of spare storage on the phone in your pocket, and which is always available when you need it?
Convergence - phones are assuming functions of many other devices, please add USB stick.

gb8080 said,
Memo to Apple - PLEASE add similar functionality to iPhone!
Why carry a separate USB stick when you typically have gigabytes of spare storage on the phone in your pocket, and which is always available when you need it?
Convergence - phones are assuming functions of many other devices, please add USB stick.

I use iPhone Explorer which doesn't need a jailbroken iPhone and gives you full access to all the files (system, video,audio,ringtons...) on the iPhone including drag & drop of any file.

gb8080 said,
Why carry a separate USB stick when you typically have gigabytes of spare storage on the phone in your pocket, and which is always available when you need it?

Do people actually carry their USB cables around in their pocket too? If you need to place some files on to your iPhone, use either alexalex's method above or get an app that allows WiFi file sharing.

Manish said,

Do people actually carry their USB cables around in their pocket too? If you need to place some files on to your iPhone, use either alexalex's method above or get an app that allows WiFi file sharing.

I often move data to my PS3 or my friends PS3s via my phone since I have 32GB storage on it.

Then again, my Nokia doesn't need stupid hacks to provide the functionality in the first place.

Manish said,

Do people actually carry their USB cables around in their pocket too? If you need to place some files on to your iPhone, use either alexalex's method above or get an app that allows WiFi file sharing.

I have a car and keep the cable in my car to charge my phone. It's easier to pop out and get the lead than to always have to remember to pick up a flash drive everytime I leave the house.

MarkusDarkus said,

I have a car and keep the cable in my car to charge my phone. It's easier to pop out and get the lead than to always have to remember to pick up a flash drive everytime I leave the house.


keep a flash drive in your car?

Manish said,

Do people actually carry their USB cables around in their pocket too?

No, but I have multiple cables at home and work attached to my PCs, to recharge as and when convenient. My phone, on the other hand, I have only one and I keep it with me when I travel. It would be helpful not to have to carry a USB stick as well, but to have an officially supported and native USB-stick-function for iPhone.

Manish said,

Do people actually carry their USB cables around in their pocket too?

since the usb is also the charger then yes.

Manish said,

If you need to place some files on to your iPhone, use either alexalex's method above or get an app that allows WiFi file sharing.

May be but it sound painful slow.

Magallanes said,

since the usb is also the charger then yes.

Fair enough. I personally just don't know anyone that carries around an USB cable or charger for their phone at all times.

Since I can't guarantee that there will be an Apple Dock Connector to USB cable everywhere I go (apart from my home of course) and I don't want to always have the cable in my pocket, I'd much rather stick with my USB flash drive attached to my home keys. Having said that, I have no problem with an option to enable USB mass storage support on phones for people who want such a feature.

Very nice indeed.
Now if someone could make an app to sync WP7 and the desktop another one serving as a decent Calendar I would be able to go back and use again my HD7......... in the meantime I had to buy back a HD2.
I miss WP7 GUI but between aesthetic and functionality I choose the latter.

It's stuff like this that stops me from switching from Android: WP7's interface is great and Visual Studio is excellent, BUT I just can't bring myself to give up this and many other small freedoms Android affords (I love having an FTP server on the phone so I can copy files to it without having to hook it up and being able to download and install a custom ROM without leaving the sofa, just to make two small examples)

Copying files back and forth from my phone to my desktop or laptop computers with a few swipes of my finger on the screen, no cables, no ponderous monolithic software required, not even to sync contacts, mail, calendar, music, video, pics... Android FTW! :-)

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