Copy data from and to a Microsoft Zune

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 28, 2007
Updated • May 28, 2013
Music and Video

I do not own a Zune and will probably never own one but I know a few people who do own one, this article is for them. The reason why I probably never own one? Because Microsoft is making the music player only available in select countries, and mine is not one of them.

You can enable a hard drive mode in the Zune which is similar to the hard drive mode on Apple's iPods. All you need to do is change some registry keys in windows to enable the feature.

The benefit of enabling the hard drive mode is that the Zune will then be recognized like any other removable storage devices on the system making it a lot easier to copy data to and off of the media device. For that, you can use Windows Explorer or any other file manager installed on the system.

You need to perform the following operations to prepare your system for it:

  1. Press Windows + R, type regedit and hit the enter key afterwards.
  2. Go to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ControlSet001\Enum\USB\.
  3. Search for PortableDeviceNameSpace and change the following registry keys to enable hard drive mode.
  4. EnableLegacySupport to 1.
  5. PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell to 0.
  6. ShowInShell to 1.

Plug in your Zune and make sure the Zune software starts. The Zune should now appear in My Computer as a drive letter. You can now transfer files from and to the Zune using Windows Explorer or any other file manager that you are working with.

That's excellent if you want to create backups of all data on the Zune for instance, or if you want to copy all the songs found on the Zune to a hard drive to have them available on the computer as well. You can for instance create a full backup of the Zune's hard drive whenever you connect it to your PC so that you can restore it at a later time.


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  1. Rich Reamer said on March 17, 2021 at 12:22 am

    im having same issue (cant copy off zune device) might be windows 10 thing ??

  2. Zahid Hasan said on November 1, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Just search for it under the USB key.

    Also you are NOT able to copy to and from the zune device not sure what this guy is talking about!

  3. benjamin said on August 18, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    i cant find the “PortableDeviceNameSpace”

  4. Bernardo said on October 4, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    i stell havent founded the past “PortableDeviceNameSpace� so i´m trying to create it but i need to knou all the registry keys. doe´s some one knous?

  5. Martin said on March 19, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    I think this is created when you connect the zune the first time..

  6. Bernardo said on March 19, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    I can`t find “PortableDeviceNameSpaceâ€?.Do you know what`s the problem?

  7. Mike said on March 1, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Yes it’s true, try reading


  8. tash said on March 1, 2007 at 5:25 am

    Thanks, now I can use my Zune as an external HD if I ever decide to plug it back in. I remember reading something about having to make the zune software think it’s still syncing files for this to actually work though, is that still true?

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