Using a Micro SD Card to Install Programs

Recently, concerns were raised about the amount of operating system reserved storage on of the Microsoft Surface Pro. Here is how you can use Windows 8 to install programs to an SD card (without any hacks, funky drivers, or registry changes) as if the Micro SDXC Card (or any removable storage device) were a part of your C:\ Drive.

Windows will not, by default, allow you to install programs to a removable device because of the obvious reason- they can be removed at any time, potentially affecting stability if removed while in use. However for devices like the Surface Pro, I do not intend to remove my storage card. Windows 8 allows for you to “mount” the drive and install programs.

Here’s how it works: This process “mounts” the storage to a folder on your C:\ Drive. For example, I created a folder called “Extended”. After mounting my storage card to that location that folder essentially “forwards” to the D:\ drive SD card. The icon for this folder in C:\ looks like a hard drive but is regarded by the system as a folder inside of my primary C:\ Drive. Don’t worry, this wont mean your C:\ will appear “full” and Windows will still regards both drives as separate.

While you can use these steps for a wide variety of devices, for this procedure I used a 64GB Samsung Micro SDXC Card which I formatted to NTFS on a Microsoft Surface Pro computer.

 

Step One

Create a new folder wherever you’d like on your primary partition (hard drive). I recommend the root directory if you are using it for programs. For my example I created a folder called “Extended” at “C:\Extended”

dskmgr

 

Step Two

Press the Windows key to return to the start screen and then type “Disk Management” for an instant search. Open “Create and Format Hard Drive Partitions” shown under Settings in the search. You should now see your primary drive (C:\) as well as the removable drive (generally D:\)

changepaths

Step Three

Right click on the removable drive and then press “Change Drive Letter and Paths”. In the window that appears you should see only “D:\” with the add, change, and remove buttons below. Press “Add”. You will now see the “Add Drive Letter or Paths” window. Ensure the “Mount to an empty NTFS Folder” is selected and then browse to the folder in C:\ you created in step one. Press “OK” on both windows.

mount

That’s it!

You will now notice that in your C:\ drive the folder you created has a icon like a drive and the shortcut arrow. You ar now free to install your programs to your removable device using the location “C:\Extended” or whatever your file path was.

extended

This should help greatly with storage concerns. So far I haven’t seen a program not work with this procedure but please let us know in the comments if you have anything to add! Thanks