USB Flash Drive in Windows XP

  Gary Wood 10:42 19 Sep 2005

I have Windows XP Pro with SP2. When I plug in my USB flash drive a little icon appears in the systray next to the clock which indicates that a USB device is attached, but the removable drive icon doesn't appear in My Computer so I can't access it. It works fine on other computers, though.

Any ideas what's causing this issue and, more importantly, how I can fix it?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:48 19 Sep 2005

In TweakUI you have the possibility to hide some driveletters in explorer.

Maybe you have hidden the drives beyond the letter of your last physical drive installed. i.e. A (floppy) c:(hdd) d: CD ROM e:(DVD RW)

You need the remaining letters avaiale to show any removable drive that is plugged in.

  Gary Wood 10:51 19 Sep 2005

Fruit Bat,

I've tried the drive in two identical new computers which have fresh installations of Win XP Pro (and not TweakUI) but the problem occurs on both.

Any more ideas?


  freaky 11:10 19 Sep 2005

Does the Flash Drive show in Device Manager when it is attached to the PC?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:12 19 Sep 2005

Try Computer management. It can be accessed through the "administrative tools" section of control panel.

If you cant find it here go to START and run. Tpye "mmc" for microsoft management console. You have to go "Console" then "Add/Remove Snapin". If you add the "Removable Storage Management" snapin you get what you need.

In removable storage go to physical locations and then delete your drive, making sure that it is not connected at the time. Close the management tool, hopefully when you put your USB device(external HD) back into the USB port it shall recreate everything and all will be working.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:16 19 Sep 2005

if the new volume appears in Disk Management, specify a different drive letter for the new device or volume. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.

2. Under Computer Management (Local), click Disk Management.

3. In the list of drives in the right pane, right-click the new drive and then click Change Drive Letter and Path(s).

4. Click Change, and in the drop-down box, select a drive letter for the new drive that is not assigned to a mapped network drive.

5. Click OK, and then click OK again.

  ventanas 11:27 19 Sep 2005

Have you tried the manufacturers web site. I had just this problem with my flash drive and discovered that it would not be seen if the system already had a "F" drive. The device did not want to be F, it didn't care what letter it was. It just failed to be displayed if this letter already existed.

  Gary Wood 14:25 19 Sep 2005

Many thanks for your replies.

Looking in computer management as you suggested revealed the problem: the flash drive was set to be drive E: but a network drive had taken that letter. I'm not sure why Windows didn't reallocate a different letter, but doing so manually has made the flash drive now show up in My Computer.

Thanks again,


  JohnC123 10:50 24 Mar 2006

My Flash drive is not being recognised by the computer, I tried looking in computer management as suggested by fruit bat - whenever I go to disk management a window appears, usually several at once all the same saying "an internal error occurred. Restart the disk management snapin" Can someone please tell me where it is and how to restart it. I tried to find it in Services - it's not there.
Thanks - John

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