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Windows Phone 7 Mass Storage Mode Revealed

MobileTechWorld has discovered that Windows Phone 7 can be used as a mass storage device. According to the site, there's no "hacking" involved, as the feature is native to Windows Phone 7 but turned off by default. Users simply need to alter the Windows registry on the PC to re-activate USB drive mode support.

The instructions seem rather simple, however as always, registry tinkering could lead to nasty results, so back up before editing. Once that's done, open the Registry Editor (regedit), go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM and then expand the CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB folder (ignore ControlSet01 or 02). Now search for ZuneDriver.

The search results should pull up the Windows Phone 7 device. Choose the device and (1) change ShowInShell from 0 to 1; (2) Change PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell from 1 to 0; (3) Change EnableLegacySupport from 0 to 1. That's it. If there's more than one Windows Phone 7 device listed, you'll need to change the three values for all of them separately.

Once the registry edits are completed, just plug the Windows Phone 7 device into the PC. The device should appear in Windows Explorer after the Zune software launches, allowing direct access to the device's internal storage like any other USB-based drive. Users can close the Zune software and copy/paste files without Zune running in the background.

The site adds that Windows Phone 7 videos are either .WMV or .MP4 but transcoded to WMV9 with a maximum resolution of 800 x 600. Additionally, photos remain the same size when syncing from the PC "as original," however Windows Phone 7 creates thumbnails in the photo gallery for faster loading and viewing.

  • bob_white
    why wouldn't this be set as default?
    Reply
  • branflan
    Nice but pretty useless if you're trying to use it on public/friends computers.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    bob_whitewhy wouldn't this be set as default?Because Microsoft wants to control what you put on your phone. If you can't access the phones memory directly via USB, it "might" make it harder to hack the machine and/or install unapproved third-party apps. Of course, Tom's readers know this is pointless (people will unlock the phone), but Microsoft thinks it's doing itself some good here.
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    Because MS wants you to have to use WMP to sync your media on your phone. They also only want your media on Windows Live. At least the feature's actually there, MS just thinks it's customers put round pegs in square holes and can't do anything for themselves so they turn features off. Just look at how Windows OS is progressing.
    Reply
  • thedreadfather
    I can confirm that this works on the Zune HD as well. No, you can't access apps or the OS, but it does, in fact, turn it into a mass storage device, as advertised.
    Just make sure the Zune client isn't open when you try to access the device. ;)
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    hellwigBecause Microsoft wants to control what you put on your phone. If you can't access the phones memory directly via USB, it "might" make it harder to hack the machine and/or install unapproved third-party apps. Of course, Tom's readers know this is pointless (people will unlock the phone), but Microsoft thinks it's doing itself some good here.If this was true, why would Microsoft include it as a feature at all?? The reality is that they know a lot of users would just get confused and/or screw things up. Just like all other advanced Windows tweaks/easter eggs, MS hides things that could get Joe Average in trouble. They leave it to the advanced users to figure out.
    Reply
  • Travis Beane
    AlexTheBlueIf this was true, why would Microsoft include it as a feature at all?? The reality is that they know a lot of users would just get confused and/or screw things up. Just like all other advanced Windows tweaks/easter eggs, MS hides things that could get Joe Average in trouble. They leave it to the advanced users to figure out.But fiddling around as a novice user is what got me hooked to Windows in the first place. I may have accidentally destroyed my sound drivers once by mistake without knowing how to fix them...

    I prefer the simple option to press a button or two to completely unlock everything. If I mess up, that's my fault and my fault only.
    Anyways, I prefer drag and drop file transfers, and I have no intention of using Windows Media Player.
    Reply
  • damiano13mg
    why do all this to make mass storage. :(

    c'mon steve?!!?
    Reply
  • mauller07
    All modern phones should mass storage default, pisses me off when they want you to install a shitbrick piece of software that is slow and buggy as hell and then they hide the activate mass storage option on the phone 5 pages deep into the device settings usually in a ridiculously named place.
    Reply
  • abhik
    it wasnt a hack. i read an article the other day (not on toms) that its to ensure that 1. only supported files get put on and 2. that the files put on have the appropriate metadata (and possibly also thumbnails and album art for must). makes sense if they want to keep it fast.

    I know, i use windows mobile which some may know to be an OS that you could change anything on if you wanted to and things like the viewing pictures can be very slow as thumbnails are being generated.
    Reply