Is it possible to boot from MicroSD Card?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by Mastiff, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Mastiff

    Mastiff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Norway
    My Device:
    SPro4
    I bought my first Surface a week ago, an i5 with 128 gig SSD, since the price for the one step larger is quite a bit higher. I figured it would finally be possible to use this as the single unit I wanted, with working (I work as a translator with video files as the source material), reading comicbooks (the 3:2 screen is perfect for that, it beats the cr@p out of the popular, but rather stupid 16:9 format) and general surfing and reading. Until now I've had a few units, amongst them som Android tablets and convertibles.

    For storage I will be using the 2 TB drive from my previous working pc, a Dell Presicion M6500 17" monster, as a data disk connected by USB to the server in my house. In working hours the Surface will be hooked up to the new Surface docking, with two monitors, wired network and other niceties. I have also bought a 128 gig Micro SD card, and since I am a bit anal when it comes to backups I wanted to put that to double use. Because I do not take image backups from within Windows. Never. Don't trust them. So I took a 500 meg part of it for a Windows PE setup based on 8.1 ADK and used Acronis True Image to make the PE. No dice. No way to get the thing to boot from it. I have been using a smallish USB stick for this so far (I think it's 16 gig, or something like that), and I have been able to boot, but not without problems. It has to be plugged into the USB port on the side of the unit itself to boot. Not one of the ports in the Surface Docking, and not through an USB hub. That just doesn't work, the unit doesn't see it.

    Can anybody tell me if I'm doing something wrong, or if it's simply impossible to boot from a card? I had the idea that the card reader probably was a part of the USB setup, but I may be wrong. It's so hard to see what's going on when I don't see any POST messages, as I'm used to (yeah, I'm old - been in computers since the Commodore 64, with almost all generations of Intel and AMD processors behind me in some computer or other).
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    5,071
    Likes Received:
    877
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Norcross, GA
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Welcome to the forum

    I think I remember someone who was able to do that but the card must be formatted FAT32 for it to work, if at all.
     
  3. Mastiff

    Mastiff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Norway
    My Device:
    SPro4
    Thanks! Yeah, I have done that. But I discovered a shortcoming of Windows that I didn't know: It only sees the first partition on removeable media. So I guess I'll have to stick to using that USB memory anyway, since I won't use the 128 gig card as a startup only, and there will be too much file mess on it when it has the Win PE. So I have formatted it as NTFS and mounted it in a directory on the document partition of the SSD.
     
  4. xbliss

    xbliss Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Is it not possible to partition a Micro SD card?
     
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,096
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    You can only partition if Windows views it as a "Fixed Disk", there are some external devices that support it, look for the Compatible with Windows 2 Go, but none are SD Cards....
     
  6. xbliss

    xbliss Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    My Device:
    SPro3
    And this is dependent on BIOS/ UEFI of said machine, e.g. S Pro? or Windows only?

    But USB flash drives are not Fixed drives, so why not Micro SD cards?
    Are there any Micro SD readers that make/ can make Micro SD cards look like Flash drives?
     
  7. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,096
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    It is dependent on the controller of said storage device, the Compatible with Windows 2 Go drives have the ability to appear as a "fixed disk" vs. "removable". Since the MicroSD card controller is in the Reader and not the media it is not possible...

    You could attempt a work around - create a VHD on the SD Card and then mount the SD card to the "C" drive using a Symbolic Link, edit the BCD Record so that Sym Link VHD is a bootable option. It is risky but in theory should work.
     
    xbliss likes this.
  8. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2014
    Messages:
    6,334
    Likes Received:
    1,279
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This would be a great addition to a future Surface. A second "non-removable" lockable SD/microSD slot. i.e a slot within a lockable door to preclude accidental removing that supported the drive as fixed and mounting to the C drive.
     
  9. xbliss

    xbliss Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    My Device:
    SPro3
    What about 3rd party Micro SD 3.0 readers? I'd prefer to buy and keep a single Micro SD / XD in addition to external HDD.. instead having USB Flash/pen drive as well as Micro SD cards. They are both kind of redundant storage (needed badly for tiny portability) and cost higher than HDDs and are not as fast as SSDs. Wish the Flash Drive and Micro SD space became one tiny Micro/ Nano SD that was a removable module that could be put in Readers Phones/ Tablets directly or in USB3 Reader to attach to devices without - Never needing stupid Flash Drives.
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,096
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    I don't know of any 3rd Party SD Controllers that allow for Fixed Disks...
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
boot from sd card surface
,
boot microsd card surface 2
,
boot surface pro from sd card
,
boot tablet from sd card
,
is it possible to boot from micro sd card
,
surface pro 3 boot from sd card
,
surface pro 4 boot from microsd
,

surface pro 4 boot from sd card

,
surface pro 4 boot sd
,
surface pro boot from microsd