PC Doesn't Recognise USB Flash Drive

  warthog01 15:21 07 Mar 2008

I'm running WinXP and have recently had problems getting my 2GB memory stick to appear in My Computer. The stick is fine--works well with another computer and always used to work fine with this one. The problem seems to have surfaced since I bought a WD My Book external hard drive, which now takes up the "E" Drive designation the memory stick used to open on. When I plug in the memory stick, the chimes sound as if recognised and the LCD on the stick flashes a couple times, but there's no drive listed for it on My Computer.

The drive is displayed in Device Manager and seems to be running properly, but the only way I can access it is to create a shortcut from the device manager to my desktop. Even then, it won't perform as in the past, for example as an update drive for my Quicken financial programme. Surely there's a way to allocate the memory stick to an unused drive and access it through My Computer??


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:24 07 Mar 2008

Refresh USB Ports
Use Drive clean up to remove USB device drive info from the registry
click here
In device manager Uninstall EVERYTHING under the heading USB,
reboot the PC let XP find and install new hardware.
Your equipment should now be recognised.

  skidzy 15:38 07 Mar 2008

If Fruit Bat /\0/\'s advice has no luck (it should sort you out)try;

Insert the flash drive

Right click My Computer


Disc Management

Right click the flash drive (if it is recognised) then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.

Click Assign the following drive letter if it is not already selected, and then either accept the default drive letter or click the drive letter that you want to use.

And ok and exit Disk Management.

Remove the flash drive and reboot the computer.

Insert the flash drive

Is it now recognised in My Computer ?

  Jim_F 16:07 07 Mar 2008

I have a USB flas drive with a security partition that does the same thing - for some reason it doesn't seem to like having different drive letters on different machines. When I set it to have the same drive letter on each (as above) the problem went away.

...wish I knew why tho :)

  warthog01 07:56 08 Mar 2008

Fruitbat and Skidzy

Thanks for your responses. I tried both of your suggestions and they worked......to a point. Here's the bit that drives my nuts: Using both your methods, I plugged in the flash drive. It was immediately found, then recognised (Buffalo mass storage device), and I got a message telling me the hardware is installed and ready to use.

Maybe, but it still doesn't make an appearance in My Computer. When I right click My Computer/manage/Disc Management--there it is! In Drive G--all ready to go, but if I simply double click My Computer, I have drives C,D,E (WD External Hard Disc)but NO drive G.

This is driving me slowly 'round the bend!!

  skidzy 08:11 08 Mar 2008

Did you try changing the drive letter ?

  warthog01 08:51 08 Mar 2008


Yes-changed to "H" Same result.

  skidzy 11:58 08 Mar 2008

just to confirm;

You have an external drive connected ? and when using the flash drive it is not present in My Computer ?

Firstly,try removing the external drive (disconnect) ,plugin the flash drive and see what happens.It looks like a conflict somehow of the drive letters and paths.

  warthog01 12:51 08 Mar 2008


Now it does show a drive "F", but shows it as "DVD Drive F" a second CD Drive. (My real CD Drive is "D")

Could this be the source of the confusion in my system?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:23 08 Mar 2008

My Computer/manage/Disc Management--there it is! In Drive G

right click - select format once formatted it shoud appear in My computer.

DO NOT format if it has files on you need.

  warthog01 22:23 08 Mar 2008


Woe is me. formatted as you suggested. Seemed to work as advertised, but still no sign of the little bugger unless I chase it down in disk management.

It knows my memory stick is there, but won't let me use it!!

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