Installing Visual Studio 2012 on the Surface Pro’s Micro SD

When I heard that Microsoft was going to be releasing a piece of computing hardware, I have to admit my first instinct was to question their intent and what that would mean for their OEM hardware partners. After I got over that shock, the excitement started to build. Here, the OS/Office Productivity king was diving into the hardware business for their newest OS (Windows 8). Why was I so excited? Well, I had already purchased an original XBOX, an XBOX 360, and the Kinect is a wondrous piece of hardware. The thought of having a tablet computer to take on the Metro with me for my morning commutes was something I couldn’t pass up.

I had been waiting for something like this and didn’t jump on the IPad bandwagon early on because I had a feeling Microsoft would come along (better late than never) with something special. When the Surface RT specs were announced, I felt a bit apprehensive and decided to wait for the Surface Pro. If I had a guaranteed connection to the internet at all times, I would have jumped all over the RT because of its extended battery life and ability to RDP to the cloud. Since I knew I would be underground during my commute, I decided to wait.

What do you mean I can’t mount my ISO?

Before I went to buy the Surface, I found out that the OS would take a large chunk out of the available disk space. I knew I had to get a micro SD card to augment my storage. When I got home, the first piece of software I tried to install was Visual Studio 2012. Much to my surprise, the Visual Studio ISO didn’t mount didn’t properly because my Micro SD card was installed as the "D:" drive. A simple trip to Disk Management allowed me to remap the Micro SD’s drive letter to "E" seemed to fix this, but that was only the beginning.

My MicroSD isn’t a local drive?

When I tried to install Visual Studio, I got an error specifying that I could only install Visual Studio on a local drive. What could I do? Well, with Disk Management fresh on my mind, I just created an empty folder (which I simply named E to refer to my drive E) and went back and added an additional mapping for my Micro SD to an empty NTFS folder (the aforementioned E directory). And now Visual Studio could be installed without clogging up my precious C: drive.

Steps to Install

  1. First open up your Disk Management (Use the Windows-X shortcut and select Disk Management)

  2. Right-click the Removable disk and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths…"

  3. Click Add

  4. Select "Mount in the following empty NTFS folder" and then click "Browse…"

  5. Create a new folder (I named mine E) and then select it and click OK

  6. Observe the wonder of double mapping

  7. Install Visual Studio (or any other software requiring a local drive) by selecting your C:\E directory as the target!