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Thread: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Many (most?) of us use USB flash drives at least every so often, and they are extremely cool, convenient devices. When you use flash drives under the Windows operating system, it shows up in "My Computer" as a removable device. There is bit on the device, which can be set to either a "one" or a "zero" which Windows interprets as the device being either a fixed disk, such as a hard drive, or a removable disk, such as a flash drive. Most of the time, this doesn't matter.

    However, if you would like to partition your USB flash drive under Windows, and/or access beyond the first partition under Windows, you have only two choices:



    1) Install a filter driver, which tricks Windows into thinking the device is fixed.

    2) Use a utility to flip the removable bit to indicate that the device is fixed.



    Other operating systems do not give a hoot about whether the device reports itself as fixed or not, and under, for example, GParted, you can partition away to your heart's content.

    The problem with Number One, installing a filter driver, is that the device will only appear to be a fixed disk on the computer you install the driver on, and therefore, the partitions will only be accessible on the same machine you installed the driver on. This is not feasible in a world where we are constantly moving around, and further, not every computer may allow us to do this. The problem with Number Two is that only certain USB flash drives support flipping the removable bit, using Lexar's utility BootIt. The utility only works on the firmware of certain flash drives.



    1) Has anyone had success flipping the removable bit on the Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning 4GB, part number JDP4GB-231 or the Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning 4GB, part number JDP4GB-431? Lexar used to use the twice-as-fast, longer lived SLC flash in the Jumpdrive, but I do not know whether the final round of 4GB Lightning drives are MLC (slow) or SLC (fast) since Lexar abandoned SLC in favor of the slower, cheaper, MLC memory.

    2/22/10 5:24 P.M.

    I just got off the phone with tech support at Lexar. They confirmed that all Jumpdrive Lightnings are SLC. This is good news. However, it does not answer, and the tech could not answer, my original question, which is "Does the Lightning support flipping the removable bit?"

    Has anyone been able to flip the removable bit on this drive?

    NOTE: If you decide to give it a shot and the drive melts/explodes/zips into space, I am not responsible. More likely, though, nothing negative will happen; it simply will or will not work in flipping the removable bit.



    2) Are there any other modern flash drives which you have had success in flipping the removable bit? By "modern," I mean a flash drive easily purchased in the United States, Canada, U.K., Europe, etc.



    I thought it might be cool to keep track of some of those drives here:


    Flash Drives Confirmed Working (initial list re-printed with permission of Uwe Sieber):



    • Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning II Part: JDP4GB-140-5000 (confirmed by LEDAdd1ct on 5/17/11)
    • Corsair Flash Voyager 8 GB
    • Corsair Flash Voyager 16 GB
    • Corsair Flash Voyager GT 4 GB (VID_1B1C&PID_1A90)
    • Corsair Flash Voyager GT 16 GB
    • Corsair Flash Survivor 32GB
    • OCZ Rally2 32 GB
    • OCZ Rally2 Turbo 8 GB
    • OCZ ATV 4GB
    • Buffalo Firestixx 1 GB (RUF2-S)
    • Buffalo Super High Speed USB Flash Type R 8 GB
    • Super Talent Pico-C Chrom 8GB
    • Intenso USB Drive 8 GB Slim Line
    • Sony Tiny Vault 2GB
    • LG USB Drive 2 GB (UB2GVMS01)
    • Ativa 325-300 16GB
    • PQI Intelligent Drive i820 4 GB (8 GB does not!)
    • Powerram mini Pro (16GB)
    • Verbaitim 4 GB Store' n Go
    • Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB (NON-GT)

    Flash Drives Confirmed Working by Me or Others (not on the initial list)


    • OCZ Rally2 4GB with SMI controller chip (added May 2, 2011)


    Additional Comments

    Drive: OCZ Rally2 4GB with SMI chip

    The OCZ Rally2 4GB with SMI controller ship can easily be made to be seen as a fixed disk by using a special utility. I will post a link to the utility shortly. I can't believe I had this drive sitting upstairs in my room, unused, even when making the initial post in this thread! The important thing to remember is that the BootIt utility released by Lexar years ago is not the only way to flip the removable bit. The BootIt utility by Lexar works with certain chips, though I am unsure which. Other chip manufacturers may release other programs which work with their chips, too, though the directions may be different. I now have three different FAT32 partitions on my OCZ Rally2 4GB, and can confirm them visible on at least two different machines, with no filter driver installed. *big thumbs up*

    Drive: Super Talent (any drive)

    From the many, many reviews online, particularly on Amazon, Super Talent's drives get very poor ratings, with failing drives under one year of ownership. I would steer clear.

    Drive: Ativa 325-300 16GB

    This drive was on my list since it was available cheaply; in fact, I nearly bid on one on e-Bay. Two things:

    a) I asked the e-Bay seller to test the drive with BootIt, and it did not work.

    b) This drive gets horrible reviews! Office Depot had reviews nearly all stating the drive absolutely stunk, failing at a very, very high rate. During the course of this research, I discovered that Ativa is using TLC, Tri Level Chips, a much, much stinkier sibling of SLC and MLC memory. This "3LC" can fail after only ten or so writes! I would definitely avoid Ativa.

    Drive: Power RAM Mini Pro 16GB

    This drive looks good on paper, but careful examination of their drives makes them look suspiciously like a distributor/reseller of Super Talent memory, which as noted above, has a high failure rate. I can't prove this (yet?), but if you look at their website here and here you can see many of the USB flash drives look identical to Super Talent's offerings. Anyone who can confirm this—please let us know.

    Not to be a Pessimist, but...

    Device manufacturers can and do switch the chips they use to access the actual flash. Whether or not Lexar's BootIt will work is contingent upon that flash having a compatible firmware/chip. So, it is possible to purchase a drive one month, and have the Lexar utility work, and purchase a drive a month later, and be unable to change it to a fixed disk. :-(

    How This Works

    If you are feeling helpful, brave, or especially curious:

    1) Download Lexar's BootIt and unzip
    2) Insert your USB flash drive
    3) Click "Flip Removable Bit"
    4) Remove and re-insert your USB flash drive
    5) Go to "My Computer"

    How does your USB flash drive appear? If it still appears as a removable device, oh well; you gave it a shot. If it now appears as "fixed disk," please post in this thread, and I will add it to the master list. I tried it on all three of my current flash drives, to no avail.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's some more reading on the subject:

    http://www.pendriveapps.com/lexar-us...edia-bit-tool/

    http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=15923

    <---download the tool here

    http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=21850

    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html#partitioning

    ...and for a ton of tools so alter the firmware on many, many USB devices, see here
    (the site is in Russian—sorry)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDIT: 5/17/11 7:24 P.M. EDT

    I, LEDAdd1ct, hereby do declare and decree that out of the flash drives listed above, there is a winner among them which satisfies my key criteria in finding a flash drive that satisfactorily answers the question implicit in the thread title. What flash drive is it? Why, none other than the Lexar Lightning 4GB flash drive. Here is why:

    1) Cost

    These drives have been discontinued by Lexar, and so are quite hard to find. Worse, it is hard to determine if they are genuine. However, I just purchased a pair of these drives, and before I continue with their merits, let me state that this drive can be had for under eleven dollars.

    2) Chip Type / Speed

    There are now three types of cells seen in USB flash memory drives.

    SLC = Single Level Cell

    MLC = Multi Level Cell

    TLC or 3LC = Tri Level Cell

    They are are fastest and most reliable in this order:

    SLC
    MLC
    TLC

    A prominent gentleman in a flash company (I honestly don't remember which one) told me that if the write/read speed is in a ratio of 2:3 or better, than the drive is most likely SLC. Worse than that, and it is likely MLC. This was before TLC came out, but if it is worse than 2:3, it is either MLC or 3LC/TLC.

    I measured writes of 24.4 megs a second and reads of 30.2 megs a second on my two Lexar Lightning 4GB drives. This is better than the 2:3 ratio described above, and almost guarantees that the drives have SLC chips.

    Finally, the last, and arguably the reason to own this drive is...

    *drumroll*

    3) The Ability to Flip the Removable Bit!

    Using Lexar's own BootIt utility, the drive easily switched from being seen as a removable device to being seen as a fixed disk. One can easily partition, backup, and generally manipulate the disk however you like, as programs which throw a tantrum with removable devices work perfectly now. The rare program which works better in one state is easily placated: if the program likes to see a fixed disk but the BIOS of the device you are using it in prefers to see a removable device, then use the application with the device flag set to fixed, and then flip the bit. After removing and reinserting the device, it will now show as removable.

    4) Other Notes

    The official name of this drive is the Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning II, JDP4GB-140-5000. Several customer service reps at Lexar informed me that the center figure, "140," refers to the batch number. There are other, higher numbers, which suggest that this drive is from an earlier batch.

    If I were feeling particularly daring, I would crack open the plastic/metal housing, and examine the controller and flash chip inside to see what they say. Using Chipgenuis (see the link with flash tools provided above) I get the following output with the drive plugged in:

    "Device Name: ++USB Mass Storage Device(Lexar JD Lightning II USB Device)

    PnP Device ID: VID = 05DC PID = A712
    Serial Number: 5DD2BC05055722051207
    Revision: 1100

    Device Type: Standard USB device - USB2.0 High-Speed

    Chip Vendor: (No match record)
    Chip Part-Number: (No match record)

    Product Vendor: Lexar
    Product Model: JD Lightning II

    Tools on Web: (N/A)"

    Although I am sorry that the chip vendor and chip part number are not available, this is not the only way to determine that the drive is likely genuine and not a cheap knockoff. I used the H2testw utility to write until the drive was full and then read back the data and compute a hash to verify the physical integrity of the drive. It passed perfectly.

    Finally, the read and write speeds H2testw spit out are in alignment with what one would expect to see from an SLC chip paired with a high quality controller. Here is the output from H2testw:

    "Test finished without errors.
    You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
    Writing speed: 24.4 MByte/s
    Reading speed: 30.2 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4"

    We get a ratio of about 4:5 (I rounded, but not by much) which is well within what one can expect from an SLC chip and a fast controller. My test machine and main computer has a Wolfdale E8400 and 3.6 gigs of accessible memory, which means on a newer platform you might see even faster speeds.

    5) Conclusion

    In my humble opinion, this is the drive to get. It meets my key requirements, namely:

    -it can be had for under eleven bucks
    -it has SLC chips
    -it is fast
    -the removable media bit is easily flipped by Lexar's own BootIt utility

    This drive will allow you to play with different partitions, ISOs, filesystems, you name it, and is very fast to boot (pun intended). If you see this drive and are a computer hobbyist who enjoys tinkering with different operating systems, and, for that matter, portable operating systems, I encourage you to trade for/purchase this drive at once.

    EDIT: 5/6/11 11:17 A.M. EDT

    On Identifying Fakes

    See this article here and this article here


    EDIT: 5/6/11 2:13 P.M. EDT

    Here is a link to handy flash tools. The file is only 1.78 megs. Use them at your own risk. Enjoy!
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 05-17-2011 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Removal of over-long dashed line to stop horizontal scrolling.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  2. #2
    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Interesting info - you're way ahead of me:

    A while back I wanted to do a RAID-0 configuration for 2x 4GB USB flash drives to get increased data transfer rates (in WinXP). However, the OS thwarted me as it doesn't permit this on removable drives, just fixed ones. I didn't know that there might be a workaround for this issue but now this sounds possible again.
    Last edited by Kestrel; 02-22-2010 at 01:25 PM.
    In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
    - Winston Churchill

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    It should be possible. I have good news: I just received permission from the author of one of the websites to re-post his list here. I will keep the first post updated with a list of drives which have been shown to be working with Lexar BootIt, i.e., where you can flip the removable bit.

    Kestrel, what make and model were you trying to use in your configuration?
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 02-22-2010 at 07:51 PM.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Hey guys,

    You should add Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB (NON-GT) on the list. The one I tried at least worked fine. Windows now sees it as a fixed disk and I managed to create 10 partitions (different Linux distributions as well as Windows 7 Live).

    Here is a post I posted on Corsair's forum: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=75465 and this is in relation to this drive: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA280_.jpg


    Here is an excerpt of the original question:

    I own a Corsair Flash Voyager 16gb UFD.
    With that big a drive I want to partition it, but windows refuses to see more then one partition at the same time...
    One of he Corsair's reps:

    NP I am sorry we do not offer a utility, we might in the future but I do not expect it.
    Later on I replied:

    Ok, this is obviously not officially supported however I used Lexar's BootIt utility on a Corsair 32GB Voyager (non-gt) and it works! I tried different drives before such as Transcend 2GB and Sandisk Cruzer 4GB and it did not work. I tried it on the Corsair 32GB Voyager (NON-GT), and it worked for me. The drive is now seen as a 'fixed' disk. Originally when I plugged in it appeared under the removable media group in 'Computer' and now it appears in the same group as the hard drives.

    I created 3 partitions. Now every time I plug the drive in, I get 3 separate drive letters. Each partition is about 10GB. The first partition has Win7Rescue installed (Live Windows 7) along with some Linux distributions (booting directly from ISO thx to GRUB4DOS).

    The second partition has a converted original Windows 7 StartUp disk into a USB one. This is a standard Windows 7 rescue disk that Windows 7 lets you create but I manually converted it into a USB bootable one. I wanted to have both versions on the same flash drive and the only way to do this as far as I know is to have two separate partitions since each partition must have its own BOOTMGR with BCD. I use GRUB4DOS to load BOOTMGR via chainloader.

    So to answer your question, perhaps officially this is not supported but as I said I have tried it on the above drive and it worked for me. I don't know if there are any side effects but so far everything seems to be fine. I will be considering getting another Voyager and I urge Corsair to seriously consider this feature and officially support it as techs like us need it!

    Corsair, please invest some time into this. It's really a great feature to have! Create your own version of BootIt that will officially work on your drives. You are already more than half way there. Lexar's utility works on at least on of your drives.
    Oh by the way, this is my first post!

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Okay, let's see:

    1)

    2) I will add the Corsair Flash Voyager 32GB (NON-GT) to the master list

    3) I just received two PQI Intelligent Drive i820 4GB drives, with the brown leather pouch. Neither drive works with the Lexar utility, which

    a) is disappointing

    and,

    b) just goes to show that manufacturers can and do use different chipsets :-( I am not sure yet if I will sell them or return them to the seller.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Thx for the welcome LA

    Well look, it really matters what you want to do. You can use your flash drive partitions on Linux so this means you can use Linux to copy/move files but this is if you want to go to that extent. If worst comes to worst and all new drives start coming with the bad firmware unsupported by BootIt, we would have to use Linux to manage files. My intent is to have VirtualBox running with a Linux distro, copy some files to a USB disk from Windows, then using the Linux VM, copy the files from it to your partitioned drive. I haven't tried this and I am not sure whether it will work. We might get some sharing violation as both OSes will try to utilize the disk. I think there is a work around for this. (Eject disk?)

    Anyway, I have successfully partitioned a Kingston drive with Parted Magic. Before I partitioned it, I ran the BootIt utility but it failed so the drive is still seen as a removable disk.

    I have been doing some research and I have been driven to an extent to even write my own tool that will flip the RMB and I have found some source code on the CodeProject that deals with this area but it's getting a bit over my head and it will take some time for me to understand what the code does even though I am fluent with C++ (just not with WIN32 API). Article: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system...t_hooking.aspx

    Sometimes, we run into a situation when we badly need to hook some kernel function, but are unable to do it via conventional PE-based hooking. This article explains how kernel functions can be directly hooked. As a sample project, we are going to present a removable USB storage device as a basic disk to the system, so that we can create and manage multiple partitions on it (for this or that reason, Windows does not either allow or recognize multiple partitions on removable storage devices, so we are going to cheat the system). On this particular occasion, we will hook only one function, but the approach described in this article can be extended to handle multiple functions (for example, one of my projects required direct hooking of quite a few functions from the NDIS library). You should clearly realize that this article is about direct hooking and not about dealing with USB storage, so please don't tell me that the sample problem may have been solved differently.
    Perhaps someone else can help?

    Someone should keep this list growing, the more identified drives we have the less risks we take to bluntly throw our $$$ and wonder if we can get a refund. I recently used another Lexar USB drive 4GB and this worked too. I threw the packaging away unfortunately (didn't know about this thread until about 24 hrs ago) but I will go to the store and see if I can identify the drive I bought. Oh also, I think when I show the boot menu of my laptop, the drive's part number is displayed but I will have to double check. The drive is currently booting another PC recovering stuff so I will check this later.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Ok, this looks like a "no frills Lexar drive". It just says 'Lexar' on it. The boot up menu says Lexar 1100. I am not sure if it's safe to assume that ALL current Lexar drives are supported by BootIt.

    Anyway, I found this: http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html#partition

    It tells us how to use 'Hitachi's" filter driver for USB devices. Seems pretty simple. It's a matter if updating the USB driver. MS could have used this work around as the default USB driver for Windows...

    I prefer this over switching between Windows and Linux.

    We need to keep updating this thread and every new tool we find needs to be posted here.

    UPDATE: I strongly recommend http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbtrouble_e.html#partition for drives that are not supported by BootIt but even for drives that are supported. We are fooling Windows on a software level and we don't change the actual drive's bits. All you do is add a single line to the INF file and update you device's USB storage driver via Have Disk. I like this. So LA, if I were you I would NOT refund the drives but that's just me. I gets me out of trouble. I like this method (for drives that don't work with BootIt).

    Also, look what the mighty MS says:

    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/usbfaq.mspx

    Q: What must I do to trigger Autorun on my USB storage device?
    The Autorun capabilities are restricted to CD-ROM drives and fixed disk drives. If you need to make a USB storage device perform Autorun, the device must not be marked as a removable media device and the device must contain an Autorun.inf file and a startup application.


    The removable media device setting is a flag contained within the SCSI Inquiry Data response to the SCSI Inquiry command. Bit 7 of byte 1 (indexed from 0) is the Removable Media Bit (RMB). A RMB set to zero indicates that the device is not a removable media device. A RMB of one indicates that the device is a removable media device. Drivers obtain this information by using the StorageDeviceProperty request.

    For more information about the SCSI Inquiry command, see the T10 committee located at http://www.t10.org.
    For more information about the StorageDeviceProperty, see the STORAGE_DEVICE_DESCRIPTOR storage structure in the Windows DDK, located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/aa510117.aspx.

    For more information on Autorun.inf files see the "Creating an AutoRun-Enabled Application" article located at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa969330.aspx.
    Bit 7 of byte 1 (indexed from 0) <== This gives me an idea. Hex editor?
    Last edited by TechWR; 03-09-2010 at 02:02 AM.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Sorry I didn't get to post earlier. I have compunctions about visiting CPF at work, so I needed to wait until I got home. :-) Okay, some cool points Tech brought up:

    1) In my first post of this thread, I noted that though you could install a filter driver in Windows, the downside of this approach, and the reason I did not treat it here, is because the filter driver must be installed on *each* and *every* machine you intend to view the partitions on. For me, this is a non-option, because there are many computers I use which do not allow me to:

    a) install drivers,

    and,

    b) run a virtual OS,

    leaving the only feasible option to flip the removable bit, something performed in the hardware which will work between machines, regardless of priveleges dictated by the OS.

    2) Software/firmware hacking is above my current skill set. Anyone capable of writing software to flip the removable bit across a range of devices has my utmost respect and admiration. Awesome idea!

    3) The link you posted with the filter driver is listed at top of this thread, in the initial post, where I credit Mr. Sieber for allowing me to post his list. The only reason I purchased two PQI Intelligent Drive i820 flash drives is to be able to flip the removable bit in the hardware via BootIt. I have been using the software hack for a number of years, but the fact it functions only on the machine with the driver limits its use severely. Additionally, for a multi-boot USB stick, many operating systems cooperate better with each other and with your chosen bootloader if the device reports itself as fixed, even as early as when booting from the BIOS.

    4) I agree with you 100% that we should keep an updated list of drives. I would like some data on whether others are successful with the PQI i820. If others are having difficulties, I will add a caveat to the list from Mr. Sieber's website.

    5) I would not assume all Lexar drives work with BootIt. Two separate Lexar reps say that the older BootIt software is not recommended for use on modern Lexar drives. I interpret this as meaning "We are not responsible if you fry your drive," but the truth is, it depends on the chip in there; there simply is no guarantee. Anyone willing to post modern Lexar drives BootIt works with/works on has my/our thanks, and that drive will of course be added to the initial post.

    For your Lexar 1100 drive, some quick questions:

    a) can you post a picture? It need not be anything special. I can try cross-referencing it with photos on the web.

    b) can you boot a live Linux distro and run "lsusb" and see what it reports the device as?

    c) if/when you have a chance to return to the store where you purchased it, I'd love to hear what the drive's model/name is as evidenced by its packaging.

    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    No worries, LA

    a) can you post a picture? It need not be anything special. I can try cross-referencing it with photos on the web.
    Look at the bottom of this page: http://www.bigw.com.au/homeoffice/data-storage.html

    It is the one listed as $17.88 Lexar 4GB USB. It is the white one.

    b) can you boot a live Linux distro and run "lsusb" and see what it reports the device as?
    Ok, I will do that next and will reply again shortly.

    c) if/when you have a chance to return to the store where you purchased it, I'd love to hear what the drive's model/name is as evidenced by its packaging.
    Ok, I will go to the store this weekend and will take a pic. Btw, from memory, the packaging looks similar to the one here: http://www.bigw.com.au/homeoffice/data-storage.html (again scroll to the bottom but look at the one which is $32.18 - Lexar 4GB Twin USB. If you look closely, even the drive looks the same.

    Also, yes, you did have the filter driver listed on your post. I just thought it would be a bit more complicated but when I saw how it is done, I got excited but I understand what you say. Switching the actual bit is the preferable way. I hope someone can update this tool. I will look at the code link I posted above though and I will see if I can make something up -- no guarantees!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    I just ran System Rescue CD (of the very drive) and I ran lsusb:

    Bus 002 Device 005: ID 05dc:a768 Lexar Media, Inc.
    I also noticed that on my boot up menu on my ASUS laptop, the drive is listed as: USB:Lexar USB Flash Drive 1100

    Also my desktop PC does not let me boot of a USB flash drive however it does let me boot of a USB hard drive. I haven't tried this option at all before however when I had my BootIt-ed Lexar drive plugged in and when I selected "USB-HDD", it didn't work.

    I intend to buy a speedy Corsair Voyager GT or may be a Corsair Survivor one.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Well it is not working on Corsair GTR Sticks..

    Tryed it with a Corsair Voyager GTR 32Gb one !

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Oh, well. It was worth a shot!
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    For me, hobbies go round and round, and sometimes I am into one thing more than another. I hadn't experimented with multibooting flashdrives for some time, but I have been working on one now, and it has been frustrating me because I need to use the Hitachi filter driver. I would like to simply find something new and fast which can have the removable bit flipped.

    Does anyone have any new suggestions for the list?

    Also, TechWR, any update on a universal bit flipper?

    :-)
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 05-01-2011 at 06:40 PM.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    First post updated with confirmation that the common OCZ Rally2 4GB with SMI controller chip can easily be set to fixed disk mode. I will list a download link to the utility and directions later today or tomorrow. Many computer enthusiasts (myself included) have these drives sitting around, so this is very good news indeed!

    First post also updated with additional comments regarding other drives, especially ones I would personally avoid.


    First post now updated (5/6/11) with a link to a zipped archive containing handy flash tools. It's tiny (under two megs), the tools are free, and they are incredibly useful. :-)

    First post now updated (5/17/11) with confirmation that the Lexar Jumpdrive Lightning II part number JDP4GB-140-5000 allows the removable media bit to be easily flipped with Lexar's own BootIt utility. This is fantastic news for computer hobbyists, and I recommend this drive highly! If you see one, buy it promptly.
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 05-17-2011 at 05:28 PM.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    Thread title updated at OP's request.
    Resistance is futile...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    I just found out that the Lexar utility does NOT work with all Lexar USB flash drives. I just bought a Lexar Echo MX 128 GB drive with the hope that I could flip the removable bit and it did not work unfortunately. I also tried the utility on a Patriot Xporter Magnum 64GB Flash Drive and it did not work either.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Hi, Gailahan. Yes, that is correct: the utility does not work for all Lexar USB drives—that was the original premise of the thread. Lexar is simply a brand, and the utility only works with certain chipsets inside the fancy USB housing.

    It is good that you posted those models, because it may help somebody else doing a google search exclude those models, as attractive as they might otherwise be, for their lack of support of being changed from "fixed" to "removable."

    Welcome to CPF!

    If you'd like an SLC drive that does support flipping the bit, try the 4GB Lexar Lightning. They are always available on e-Bay. If you'd like the name of a particular seller, drop me a PM and I'd be happy to help. We try and keep things "seller neutral" in public.
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 09-14-2011 at 06:08 AM.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  18. #18

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Most of the VMware Servers I set up nowadays don't have any internal storage or drives and come with 64GB bootable Flash drives with the sole intent of booting the initial hypervisor (a small Linux kernel), and that's it. Remote storage does the rest. I've also worked with a lot of high performance thin clients that use flash for temp storage, although they always limit to around 4gig, but are expensive storage likely due to the durability of the memory.

    Which brings me to being a Devil's advocate and wondering what really is the advantage to doing this given that:

    1. Removeable flash memory is often slower than SATA HD's (other than highly random IOPs)
    2. Removeable flash memory has unpredictable write lifetime. That's a big reason it's so cheap and designated as removeable storage.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    With respect to USB flash memory generally:

    1) It is cheap
    2) It is portable
    3) It is fast enough for most users
    4) It is easily replaced
    5) The USB port is ubiquitous



    With respect to flipping the bit:

    1) Older computers/BIOSES may not accept booting off USB disks marked "removable"
    2) Having a USB disk marked "fixed" allows Windows to partition and perform other operations which it arbitrarily restricts to disks marked fixed
    3) Being able to flip the bit at will allows you to use the drive with varying applications, some of which may prefer removable while others may prefer fixed


    With respect to the "on paper" / stated limited writes of flash memory:

    1) Most people will lose the drive, buy something faster, or buy something bigger before they run out of write cycles
    2) Most applications using these drives as multi-partitioned boot devices with several coexisting operating systems which load the OS mostly or completely into RAM, making the number of writes a non-factor

    SATA drives have their place, but USB flash drives have proven their handiness time and again.

    I enjoy tinkering with thin clients, too. I gifted one to my dad to use in his ham radio shack, and he leaves it on all day and sometimes nightly. Now he uses a paltry amount of electricity, never gets viruses, and relieves me of tech support duties.

    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Being able to flip the bit at will allows you to use the drive with varying applications
    Such as what? Redirecting personal / system folders to it such you can remove the drive and have them go with you and not get into trouble if somebody scans your drive? That's what I saw a contractor do, which I give him an +A for sneaky, until I dropped a GPO on him.

    Dedicated SSD's are getting cheaper and will crush USB flash in terms of perfomance and reliability. Dedicated RAM is getting cheap enough to the point of being absurd and if you want to see swap storage fly redirect it to a RAM drive.

    So, what about Thunderbolt -vs- USB 3.0? Oh wait.....didn't mean to kick that dog

  21. #21

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    On a whim, I got a Lexar Echo ZE drive from Newegg to see if I could get it's bit flipped. No dice with Bootit.

    I've also tried to flip an HP v165w, didn't work.

    I was hoping to be able to use one of these as virtual memory for my laptop, saving wear and tear from using it as a CG rendering farm part of the time.

    Are there any currently available (retail) sticks that you can still flip?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Doesn't work on a new Corsair Voyager GT 32Gb USB3.0 stick

  23. #23
    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    The idea of using a USB drive as virtual memory is attractive (I've used CF & SD in that way), but transfer rates for them are all over the map. Check out a (very small) downloadable USB benchmarking software called 'Flashbench'. I was able to see what the actual speeds of my USB drives were, even seeing that their speeds are different when full, empty, or freshly formatted. A very interesting exercise IMO.
    In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Hello everyone!

    I just checked CORSAIR Voyager 8 GB - and Lexar utility didn't work..
    I'm waiting for PQI Intelligent Drive i820 4GB and VERBATIM Storage n'Go 4 GB (will be shipped from Germany). I will check both and let you know..

    I scaned voyager by ChipGenius.
    Here are some details from my drive:
    Description: [E:]Masowe urządzenie magazynujące USB(Corsair Voyager)
    Device Type: Mass Storage Device

    Protocal Version: USB 2.00
    Current Speed: High Speed
    Max Current: 200mA

    USB Device ID: VID = 1B1C PID = 1AB1
    Serial Number: AA00000000001798

    Device Vendor: Corsair
    Device Name: Voyager
    Device Revision: 1100

    Manufacturer: Corsair
    Product Model: Voyager
    Product Revision: 1100

    Chip Vendor: SMI
    Chip Part-Number: SM3257ENAA - ISP 111216-AA-
    Flash ID code: 45DE9892 - SanDisk - 1CE/Single Channel [TLC] -> Total Capacity = 8GB

    -----------------------

    There are so many drives, I think it's good idea to give a detailed output for every scanned drive. Info like Part-number, Vendor-id, Product-id are very important...

    Have a better day from me, bye

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    Your best bet is a silver-bodied Lexar Lightning 4GB. They are difficult but not impossible to find.

    They very reliably do what this threads describes.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  26. #26
    Moderator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit... SUCCESS!

    I took a 'BootIt' shot at one of my two Sandisk Cruzer Micro 8GB's, no luck w/ flipping the removable bit. (Still hoping for RAID0 on an older laptop...)
    In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
    - Winston Churchill

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lexar Lightning 4GB/Change Removable Bit...

    I've honestly never looked up how to do it in Windows. It was always twenty times faster to load up a Linux flavor on a LiveCD with gParted and go to town. Is that terrible? It does what you want, but not in the way you want to.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

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