We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


USB Thumb Drive isn't recognized unless i repeatedly uninstall/reinstall.

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have a CRUZER mini 256 MB thumb drive. It works correctly in a all of my machines except my laptop. My laptop is running XP PRO SP2.
The behavior occurs like this:
1. I plugin the USB drive. Windows detects new hardware and installs the appropriate drivers.
2. I am prompted to reboot.
3. I am able to successfully use the drive.
4. I try to stop the USB device from the system tray and get the message: "The device 'Generic volume' cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the deviced again later." Of course no matter how much "later" I wait, I still cannot stop the device.
5. I reboot the machine without removing the key. When the machine comes back up, it is aware of the the USB Drive. But when I try to access the drive, I get the message: "The disk in drive E: is not formatted. Would you like to format it now?"
6. I open "Device Manager", select the disk drive, right click and Uninstall. I am prompted to reboot.
7. When the machine comes back up... (GOTO 1.)

Because the drive works correctly with my other PCs (also running xp pro sp2) I am assuming that it is an issue with the setup of my laptop. I have diligently searched the web, but the work-around described above is the closest I've gotten to a solution. Any help would certainly be appreciated.

Watch Question

try to update the latest service pack of xp and retry .

the probablity of cause is might be due to some accesing is happens in USB drive on the time of closing ur usb device.
don't try restarting the system by keeping the device on the system. It may corrupt some data on the usb.

be sure no explorer is open while closing the USB device
and be sure no other application is accesing your usb device.

Distinguished Expert 2019

try this :
-disconnect all usb devices
-in device manager>view, click show hidden devices
-now delete all usb entries, and reboot - and test

maybe this can help too :


and info about usb problems :    www.usbman.com

Try updating your chipset drivers. If you have an Intel mainboard, you need to find Intel chipset drivers specifically for that board. If you don't know what chipset you've got, download SIW from:


Go to mainboard/motherboard and see for yourself.



Thanks for answering the post, but I don't think you really read it. I'm already on XP SP2 (as is specified in my post). If you have acces to XP SP3, please send me the link. It is answers like this that force me to post a question on a general forum such as this only as a last resort with little to no confidence that it will yield anything useful. Your speculation based on half reading the post was no help. Thanks anyway.


try update.microsoft.com      
and get the latest of all.
Distinguished Expert 2019

did you try my suggestions?


yes, but the problem persists.
Distinguished Expert 2019

is this problem recent? did you install / upgrade anyhting? if yes, uninstall it.
Or try a system restore to a previous date.


I originally thought the problem stemmed from installing NERO. After that I noticed the problem. (not just with my thumb drive, but also with my digital camera).
I read some posts that described how uninstalling and reinstalling the device fixed their problem. I thought it had fixed mine too, except I have to repeat the process every time.

I have been following this post and it sound like you need to fully uninstall nero if you have not already and download something like ccleaner or erunt to clean you registry.
(If you down load one of the above uninstall nero and other new program before running.)  




Is there any explainable reason why nero would affect my usb stuff?

Not nessisarily but there is a great chance that is you problem an unistall and clean your reg will most likely resove your problem.

Does anyone object?
Distinguished Expert 2019
in most cases, it indicates 1 of these :
-problems with XP OS
-the unstalled soft changes the name of the usb device, thus making it unrecognised.
the problem is, up to now, i have not seen a real fix for it, other than trying the suggested.
Can you try a system restore?

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Laptops generally have issues with this as the system resources (IRQ's) are being spread more thinly than on desktops.
I have the same issue with my Sony Vaio. However, when using a different make of USB pen it worked fine.

I found the following helped me overcome these random/weird issues. Lots of reboots required to make sure each step is completed successfully.

1. Uninstall any software that was installed before the problem started.
2. Remove USB pen drive drivers as described above (make sure you remove them fully by showing hidden devices)
3. Remove registry settings (Some more obscure device leave a lot of rubbish in your system after Uninstall)
4. Perform a system cleanup such as RegClean etc. to make sure no 'stubs' are left
5. Reinstall SP2 if you can. This will overwrite any DLL's etc that may have been changed by the above.
6. Go into Disk Manager and make sure you have a spare, unallocated drive letter near the top. If you don't then you can sometime get problems where XP allocats G: drive to your USB drive and this is in use by a network share. The result is confusion by XP.
7. One more final reboot to make sure.

Then you can re-install the USB key and try again.

The steps are long and labourious but it meant I had a guaranteed clean system, and new clean install. It all worked following this.

Hope this helps
IPKON Networks Ltd
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.