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Accessing Android as Mass Storage Device
I have read innumerable discussions in myriad locations and have seen nothing resembling a satisfactory answer, so I am posting this here. If you have a direct link to a resolution that I, somehow, could not find, I would very much appreciate it.
Executive Summary: I want to unlock my phone via the complex password I have set to do so at the Phone Unlock screen, which was a prerequisite to encrypting my Internal storage and, also, my External 64GB micro SD card. From there, I want to plug in a USB cable into my phone and a computer on my home Windows (Active Directory) network and copy files to and from it without a hassle. I want to map a drive letter to the device - not have it viewed as and treated like a "Portable Media Player". I do not want to be hassled when copying files of various types back and forth. If I dump a .TXT file in my "Documents" folder that I wish to synchronize, I really don't need some ignorant screen pop asking me if I REALLY want to copy that file because my device may or may not know what to do with it. That's all I want.
Rants via verbosity:
By all accounts, this was entirely possible in earlier versions of Android. I accomplished this with my Blackberry Curve without an issue for years...a reliable phone I had to dump because TPTB at my place of employment "upgraded" me. I was given a choice of any Apple or Android device I wanted and I was told to select Android because Apple devices are "too locked down". The telecomm manager knows me and my personality and preferences and knows I don't like being constricted by do-gooder developers (I don't care what you add to something as long as you give me the option to turn it OFF) and overbearing device/content controls. So I picked a Samsung Galaxy S4 device that is, at this time, listed as being Android Version 4.4.2. I can still bail and get an iPhone. If that turns out to be the answer, then, groovy.
When reading these sorts of threads, I am utterly disgusted by the "Why would you want to do that?" questions that end up taking the discussion off the rails. "Because I want to" is sufficient enough of an answer. I don't want to FTP my files all over creation (and lose my file date/timestamps). I don't want to use the Google Cloud. I was tweaked enough that I had to create a Gmail account to use this phone and, further, infuriated that it created some sort of para-Facebook page along the way without me ever asking for one (upon which I, first, disabled every function I could and, then, deleted it). The first thing I did with my phone, when I received it, was uninstall everything that was not deemed "critical" to the operation of the device. Item-by-item...researching along the way. Everything. To give you an idea, I gladly paid $4 (or whatever) for an AccuWeather app that allows me to enter a ZipCode for the weather information I want instead of using the default/free one that, apparently, requires my "Location Data" (I turned off those services, too) to tell me what it is like outside. I travel to Tokyo and, guess what, I'm fine with either knowing how my family's weather is, at home, or manually adding Tokyo to my configuration.
At one point, I must have re-enabled some Google nonsense (I think it happened automatically after a series of updates) and it, without so much as a prompt, sorted my pictures (which I had migrated from my Blackberry) by facial recognition and synched them to the Google Cloud. I didn't ask for my daughter's face to be added to a database. Further, I didn't ask for "cloud" space and did even know I had it. I immediately got in touch with said cloud and deleted all of my content from it. I was disappointed to find that I got 15GB for free...with no option for 0GB. Because I could not turn it off and did not want that nonsense to happen again in the future, I took 30 minutes and created 16GB of 1MB ultra-compressed encrypted files containing utter garbage and, then, uploaded them to that cloud space. It is now full and I will not be paying for the next level of storage. Good luck "auto-synching" ever again. Problem solved.
So, that's where I'm at. To put it mildly, I do data for a living. Over my career I have been subjected to all manner of Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, SAS70, and other deep, detailed, and involved audits and policies. I respect data more than your average bear and my own data more than almost anything. My house catches fire, my wife and I will grab the kids, the drive arrays, and, maybe, if there is time, the cats. I have taken great pleasure in watching enterprise "cloud" solutions falter time after time after time. "I'd love to perform that data integration between your HR databases and your cloud-based meeting scheduling system, but you've put your data in the hands of people who don't give a flying fork about you. They have no incentive to help you with any urgency. Congratulations. You have access to inferior data that is probably being farmed to bejesus on their side of the fence, but, um, hey, at least it is 'everywhere'." I've witnessed and participated in "cloud snapback". Cloud solutions are not the utopia some would suggest and do more to benefit the provider than the customer.
So, my home LAN is my "cloud". I trust the dude who runs it implicitly. That is the place to which I wish to synchronize my content at will. I want to set up automated scripts and processes to handle these things. I want my wife to plug her phone into the USB port of her PC and, immediately and without user intervention, synchronize her stuff to MY very secure network. When we rocked the Blackberry devices, they were assigned drive letters and it was as simple as using some intelligence surrounding a series of targeted (Windows-based) ROBOCOPY.EXE and 7-zip commands. That is what I want. Again. Google seems intent on getting its hands on people's content - forcing third party involvement in data movement and I do not appreciate it in the least.
I just spent a week with a Microsoft engineer - a real one in the development mix - and he was sullen over the whole "Windows 8" [lack of] Start Menu thing. He was upset they retreated (to a degree) with v8.1. I'm sure the fools (including the boss' wife) behind Microsoft Bob, also, were dejected. That's how things roll when you assume you know what your users want more than your users do and don't give the advanced ones among them respite from your meddling - the ability to turn that "extra" stuff OFF. Some people liked a dancing paper clip popping up and guessing what they were doing when they started typing in Microsoft Word. I immediately turned it off. Everyone is happy.
What I would appreciate is any help you can give on this matter. Yes. I know. I am refusing to play nice with Google. You want to have that discussion instead of focusing on this issue? That's fine. We can do that. I much prefer, though, since I've already preempted such debate with my clearly stated positions on the matter, to just cut to the chase and discuss how we can fix this...how we can accomplish what was so easily accomplished not so long ago.
Thank you for your time.