So, having just installed my first NVME drive, I had been fiddling around in Bios and looking at the new storage in various ways, when I noticed what appears to be a hidden virtual drive on my machine.
(Hidden meaning that it seems to be invisible to normal scans)
Using Minitool Partition Wizard and others, this read-only space Identified itself rather unhelpfully as (Disk 8 GPT 1.64 GB Read ONLY)
Which did not tell me much. Further probing gave me a name for the drive, which was MSFT XVDD, and I was unable to affect or modify it in any way.
Some searches revealed this as apparently having something to do with GamePass, and the only game pass item currently installed on my machine is MSFS2020.
From what I can gather, windows may or may not decide to create several of these hidden drives on your machine if you are using Game Pass, but other than that, information seems to be surprisingly scarce.
Can any of the programmers or others here shed some more definitive light as to exactly what (supposedly) Gamepass is doing?
I kind of like to know what’s on my machine and what’s doing what, and why, so hidden drives make me kind of itchy…
It’s part of the Windows Store Delivery security sandbox. It came with Windows 10 and is used by anything from that store or the Xbox Game Pass. They did it as a SCSI virtual drive as it’s used to store downloaded info separately from your data; the thinking is that anything bad happens then the device is isolated. I think (would have to go look and not on a PC) that it’s just the Store’s cache and assemble area, it’s not even active data - so basically a neutral zone before your virus checker gets to it. It’s part of the UWP design, where the goal is to make it a uniform platform to run apps between PC, Xbox console, phone in an isolated sandbox with the same set of API capabilities.
You might not enjoy Windows 11.
Shush. The machines are listening.
The problem I have with things like this is when companies are deliberately vague and sneaky about what they’re doing.
To me, your description is akin to a neighbor surreptitiously storing his spotted rat collection in someone else’s wife’s underwear drawer without bothering to mention that “tiny” little fact.
Nobody is exactly injured (yet) but the urge to punch someone is high, especially as consumers are very aware that reciprocating against the companies would absolutely not be appreciated.
And now lately, just about every new website I go to is giving me a privacy popup; some of them straightforward, but many designed so that you’re actually agreeing when you think you are not. I’ve been saying NO with extreme prejudice, aware that Microsoft has always been one of the worst of the worst when it comes to this.
(Deep breath) I will have to show a lot of restraint to keep myself from finding a way to delete this partition (which once cracked, may one day become a haven for malware) with extreme prejudice, and going back to Steam… which is probably just as bad in its own way, but not quite as habitually high-handed and sneaky.
Anyone remember the Sony Root-kit? Sony BMG copy protection rootkit scandal - Wikipedia
This stuff is one of my lifelong pet peeves.