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USB Drive shows up in Device manager, not in explorer

Posted on 2006-05-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I have a pretty standard USB flash drive, 1GB, that when plugged into a WinXP PC will show up in Device manager and Disk Management, but will not "mount" to My Computer. The drive works perfectly in other machines, and other drives do not work in this PC.
What I have tried:
creating a new partition on the drive, and letting windows create the new partition.
Uninstall and reinstall all the USB controller drivers.
I have already searched the daylights out of this site.
 

I realize I am probably looking at reload city, just wondering if anyone had anything clever. Full points to the right solution. I'll split 2 ways for suggestions.
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Question by:RiceyRice
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Expert4XP earned 600 total points
ID: 16581843
First us Remove from system tray to disconnect your flash drive, then disconnect it.

Here's something to look at and verify.  Open regedit to the following key:

(Always backup the registry or at least export registry key before modifying)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

All of the \DosDevices\ ... values correspond to external usb drives/keys/thumbdrives etc.  If there are any of these that are no longer used, delete them.  Reboot.

Don't mess with your valid c: a: etc or cd/dvd drive letters.

After rebooting, plug in usb drive and see what happens.

Let me know if this helped?
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by:RiceyRice
ID: 16581859
nice...will do. I won't be able to be back at this PC until tomorrow, so bear with me.
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by:Expert4XP
ID: 16581934
Ricey,

Sometimes the usb support for your specific motherboard may need a bios update.  Go to your manufacturer's website to verify.  I've seen a few computers where this was the case.  

I've also had a few where I had to install an inexpensive PCI USB2 card and plug the usb device into that.  In those cases, everything worked much better.  Note, that's also a lot easier than "reload city", so don't give up!
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by:Nick Denny
Nick Denny earned 450 total points
ID: 16582303
Go into disk management and assign it letter x or something.

Maybe it is try to use a drive letter that you have mapped to a network drive??

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Assisted Solution

by:knoxzoo
knoxzoo earned 450 total points
ID: 16588492
Expert4XP and seriousnick are probably on the right track.  You can only have so many temporary drives assigned the same drive letter.  Additionally, if you've added any other permanent drive along the way (CD, DVD, new partition, Zip, new HDD, etc.), that drive may be taking the drive letter that XP was reserving for USB devices.  Clearing the hardware cache and/or assigning a free drive letter should fix you right up.

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Author Comment

by:RiceyRice
ID: 16589140
UPDATE:

No dice....assigning a drive letter results in Disk Managament showing the letter, but still not in explorer. The drive has worked in the past on this PC.

I like the idea of throwing a new USB card also, but this is my work PC and they frown on that type of thing.

The registry did have some extra letters under Mounted Devices, which I eliminated to no avail.

In disk management, the parttition shows but no volume. When I try to force a format it comes back saying
"the operation could not complete because the volume or partition is disabled. Restart the computer to re-enable the volume."
Of course I followed the advice, no good.

I did have emulation software (Nero Image Drive) but uninstalled to see if it was affecting...it didn't seem to affect it, besides the virtual drive letter was way down at z:, far lower than the potential letters for this one.
A real headbanger... (as in against the wall!!)

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Expert Comment

by:knoxzoo
ID: 16589286
Have you check group policy?  If you're not the admin at work, check with him/her to see if they've disabled temp drives.  It's always a possibility.

I just remembered something I did on a customer computer a while back.  I put a hub on the computer, then plugged the flaky drive and printer into it, and everything started working again.  So, I put a bigger power supply in the case, removed the hub, and viola!, everything worked like it should.  It could be that the power supply in your system is getting weak or is just too small (seems to be the way of the majors) and can't provide enough power to the MB and consequently USB buss/ports, so offloading the power requirements to a hub might just be the ticket.
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Author Comment

by:RiceyRice
ID: 16610849
Still no dice. Reload it is. No biggie, our images go on in about 5 minutes. Thanks everyone for the input. i think it is just a case of Windows being too far gone.
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