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Downloading directly to a USB drive

By Creamy_Goodness ยท 9 replies
Jul 26, 2007
  1. hi guys...

    a minor irritation ....

    My harddrives run quite loud, and are the only real source of my PC's noise while (I'm) trying to sleep - (running a Zalman controller to take care of the fans).
    So if I'm running d/l overnight, I'd like to do it straight to a USB device, bypassing any HD activity so that it can suspend.
    Obviously the first thing i tried was directly saving to the device, but it still writes an intermediate file to the HD which keeps it alive.
    Second thing was changing the environment variables to write TMP data to the USB drive, without success.
    Last thing i tried was setting my Temporary Internet Files to the USB, with some degree of success, though something is still pinging the drive periodically to start it up.

    The only "resident" 3rd party software running is Avast, so I dunno if that's the cause...(running XP MCE 2005)

    Is there any definitave way of writing directly to USB in this scenario?

    This is not really a problem, but I'm curious to know if anyone out there has tried this with success...:D
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,426   +112

    You can download files to any USB drive, USB zip drive or IPOD, ZVUE, ZUNE all will work as external HDD. I can install programs from these drives. I would recommend using regular EIDE ULTRA, PATA or SATA HDD instead for large volumes of data. Drives have come down a lot now and are dirt cheap!
  3. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but Tipstir. Can you explain to me how you can use a Zune in this manner?
  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,426   +112

    Something you can try...

    It's okay... try this.(use it at your own risk).. good luck...

    1. Make sure your Zune is not plugged in and your Zune software isn't running
    2. open up regedit by going to the start menu and selecting "run". Type regedt32 and hit "OK"
    3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Enum\USB\
    4. Search for "PortableDeviceNameSpace". This should be contained in the Vid_####&Pid_####\########_-_########_-_########_-_########\Device Parameters within the above ...\USB\ The ##'s listed here will be numbers and letters specific to your Zune
    5. Change the following values:

    EnableLegacySupport to 1
    PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell to 0
    ShowInShell to 1

    6. Plug in your Zune, and make sure the Zune Software starts up.
    7. Hopefully at this point you can open up "My Computer" and browse your device, though it does NOT show up as a drive letter.
  5. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Tipstir, thanks! I will try this on one of my XP laptops later this afternoon. Know of a way to make the Zune work in Vista?
  6. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    I don't see why you can't save directly to your USB hard drive. The only thing I can think of is if your PC enters stand-by or hibernation or some sort of power save mode, your drive can be turned off by Windows to save power. This of course means that the drive is no longer being detected by Windows and the file copy would fail.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Ummm.. so what disk does your operating system sit on? You assuming nothing is running in the background that might read operating system files or need the pagefile on disk? (i assume you are running w/pagefile set).

    You might be able to save your file xfr directly to the USB drive but your hard drive still stays on to support the operating system and background processes still running, i'd guess.
  8. Creamy_Goodness

    Creamy_Goodness TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    my OS sits on my primary HD, so i accept that the drive will ping from time to time, but I've monitored it and if the machine is absolutely idle, the HD rarely fires up if at all.
    I was thinking that handling something as mundane as a download (and nothing else) directly to a USB drive would achieve the same thing.
    I think I was misunderstood earlier (sorry!) - I can d/l to a USB drive by obviously just choosing the destination as such, but the OS always d/l's to a specific directory on the HD, and only when it's done will it copy the completed file over to the USB.

    I'm trying to skip the "specific directory on the HD" step.
  9. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    What exactly are you downloading through? You should be able to configure the settings through that program and point the default saving location to your HDD.
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Ohhhhhhhhhh....... Thaaat;s what you mean!

    Well, in that case, i'll say.... maybe. :)

    I think would be dependant on your OS, the devices you're using and the types of data transfers they support.

    If it's a simple copy or file transfer of a file.. the command, or utility or whatever you use to start it most likely has a destination you can indicate BUT USB 2.0 transfer speeds can be slower then the devices.

    Depending on speed on source and destination devices and source incoming data channel transfer might still require HDD for buffering (unless you have a xfr method that let's u indicate memory - don' know just what it is you got or doing for sure)

    1. What OS are you running?
    2. State an example of how you usually (or in at least one case) start your downloads.
    3. Do you have a download manager running?
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