How to Use A Zune as a Hard Drive the Easy Way

Page content

If you have a Zune lying around your house after you have bought a new MP3 player, you could put it to good use by turning it into an external hard drive. If you are not using your Zune to watch videos or listen to music, turn it into a hard drive and back up some of your important files.

How does one go about turning a Zune into a hard drive? You don’t have to perform a hardware hack and void your Zune warranty if it is still valid. The procedure actually involves editing your registry to enable your Zune to function as a hard drive.

Does the thought of editing your registry frighten you? You may have learned that if you don’t edit your registry in the proper way, you can end up with a system malfunction or you may end up in a situation where you cannot even start Windows.

Even if what you are going to learn below has been tried and tested, you could do well to have a backup plan in case the process goes wrong.

You do this by creating a restore point. To do so in Windows XP, you click the Start button, go to All Programs, choose Accessories and then click on System Restore. If you are in Vista, choose the Open System Protection.

In Windows 7, you would want to do the same but choose System Tools and then choose System Restore and follow the instructions on the screen.

Now let’s move on to editing your registry so that you can use your Zune as a hard drive.

Registry Editing

Before you get started, you would want to disconnect your Zune player from your computer and close any Zune software.

  1. Click on the Start button and choose Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK
  3. The Registry Editor window will pop up.
  4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Enum\USB\
  5. Right click on the USB folder and then choose Find
  6. In the Find What box type EnableLegacySupport and click Find
  7. Your computer should find the value of EnableLegacySupport.
  8. Double click on it, set the data value from 0 to 1, and click OK.
  9. Next, double-click on PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell.
  10. Adjust the value data from 1 to 0 and click OK.
  11. Next, double-click ShowinShell.
  12. Set value data from 0 to 1 and click OK.
  13. Exit the Registry Folder. Close all the windows.
  14. You are now ready to connect your Zune to your computer and run your Zune software.

If you have followed the above steps correctly, your Zune should be detected as a hard drive in your My Computer window.

It is important that you run your Zune software each time you want to use your Zune as a hard drive. If you fail to launch your Zune software, you will be met with a permission error.

You must perform these steps on every computer where you wish to use your Zune.


Information on creating a restore point based on writer’s experience of the procedure. Registry editing information gleaned from