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Microsoft Surface Tip: Use microSD with Libraries and Metro-Style Apps

Earlier today, I wrote about the inability of adding content from microSD storage to the libraries in Windows 8 and RT, making it inaccessible to Metro-style apps like Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Photos. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this silly issue.

Check out Microsoft Surface: microSD Expansion and Windows 8 Tip: Overcoming Library Limitations if you’re unfamiliar with this issue.

OK, let’s add microSD storage to your libraries, allowing the content stored there to appear in the appropriate Metro-style apps. For purposes of this discussion, I’m using a 64 GB microSD card and have added folders named Music, Pictures, and Videos to the card. I’ve also added music, photos, and videos to the appropriate folders on the microSD card to ensure that everything works as expected.

The first step is to create a folder on your Surface primary storage, or C: drive. I just created one called SD right in the root of the C: drive, so C:\SD in this case.

Next, visit Disk Management, which, yes, exists in Windows RT too. The easiest way to find it is use the new Windows 8 (and RT) power user menu by tapping WINKEY + X or mousing into the lower left corner of the screen and right-clicking. Choose Disk Management from the menu that appears.


In Disk Management, locate your microSD card, right-click it, and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths. Then, in the Change Drive Letter and Paths window, click Add. Click Browse next to “Mount in the following empty NTFS folder” to find C:\SD and add it to the paths that are attached to that drive. Now, you will see two entries for the microSD card: It’s actual drive letter (E: in my case) and the new path (Windows (C:)\SD in my case).


Now, visit each library in turn and add the correct microSD-based folder to the library using the Manage Library command in the Manage tab of the ribbon. For the Music library, for example, you will add the location C:\SD\Music.

Repeat this for the Pictures and Videos libraries, again using the correct folder. Be sure to navigate to C:\SD\whatever instead of E:\whatever.

Now, launch the various Metro-style apps—Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Photos—and ensure that your content appears. And it does ... for Music and Videos.

Here, we see a mix of Store purchased content and my own DVD rips

It's unclear why photos aren't appearing in the Photos app. I'll keep working on that one.

Thanks to everyone that provided feedback about this issue. And yes, this works with Windows 8 as well, of course.


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