Mounting to NTFS folders



Mounting to NTFS folders


Instead of letters you can set up empty folders on NTFS drives as mount points too.

If the target folder doesn't exist, then USBDLM creates it.

Once created the folder can be renamed. USBDLM accepts this as long as it is in the same base folder.


When using NTFS folders as mount point, you can use the drive's device name or disk name for the folder name:

Configure '%DevName%' or '%VolumeLabel%' which USBDLM replaces with the drive's device name or the volume label ('disk name') resp.

Sample: Assumed the drive's Friendly Name is 'Corsair Flash Voyager'.





Then USBDLM would create "C:\_USB\Corsair Flash Voyager" and remount the drive to it.


'%DevName%' and '%VolumeLabel%' are some of the USBDLM variables{linkID=}.



In contrast to drive letters, folders used as mount points are not removed when the mounted drive is removed. But USBDLM removes the folder.

If it not shall do so:





If the drive is removed while the USBDLM service is not running, e.g. after Windows has been shutting down, then the removal of the folder fails of course. This can be done on next startup or when a user logs on. Configure the folders which contains the NTFS mountpoints.

Sample matching to the DriveLetters section sample above:







Since V4.3 USBDLM can assign multiple NTFS folders; also in addition to a drive letter. For compatibility this is disabled by default.

Sample to get a drive at U: if available (the first free letter otherwise) and two NTFS folders:









Sample to get a drive at U: if available and no letter otherwise and two NTFS folders:









The default value for MaxMountPoints is 1 and can be set in section Settings to change it globally.






Mounting into NTFS folders brings some drawbacks: Several drive specific functions are no longer available in the Windows Explorer like autorun, eject, defrag, format...


If the drive letters appear insistently again, then another software is working which checks the drive letters and "repairs" them.

The "U3 launchpad" of U3 flash drives is known for doing so when it's started (the U3launch.exe on the fake CDROM drive).


The Windows Explorer sees the mounted drive and the host drive as the same. Therefore drag'n drop does move files instead to copy them.


When a file is deleted in the Windows Explorer then it is moved by default to the Recycle Bin which is a folder in the root of the drive. Only the reference to the file is moved, the contents stay untouched. But when a file is deleted that is located on a drive that is mounted into an NTFS folder, the moving doesn't work, the file must be copied then which may take a while. Deleting a folder to the Recycle Bin doesn't work at all, XP shows a misleading error message. Since Vista it works correctly. 

So, under XP hold down the Shift key when you delete a file to skip the recycle bin or deactivate the recycle bin for the host drive.


In the "Safely remove hardware" dialog NTFS mount points are unsupported up to including Windows Vista, so you have no idea which drive is which there (unless USBDLM makes readable names there{linkID=99})


To get rid of cardreader's drive letters, use USBDLM's No Media No Letter{linkID=29} feature.




Problem: Windows Portable Device driver does not start


Under Vista, Windows 7 and surprisingly Server 2008 for each USB drive Windows also installs a Windows Portable Device (WPD) driver. But the WPD driver relies on a drive letter for no reason. For drives without a drive letter their WPD driver fails with Code 10 (device cannot start). Ask Microsoft why. 


This is not a problem with USBDLM, it is just because a drive having no drive letter assigned.


This is fixed since Windows 8.