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  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
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USB Thumb drive has no drive letter in Windows Explorer

Hi all,

This question had probably been asked before. However, after trying the suggested solutions, I still couldn't fix my problem.

I have checked that the thumb drives were working fine on other computers.

When I insert my USB thumb drives into my PC, I can hear the connected sound but these drives could not be found in Windows Explorer.

So I went to My Computer > Manage > Disk Management, these drives were there but do not have any drive letters. So I tried to assign some unused drive letters to them. But they still do not appear in Explorer even after refreshing the screen.

So, on the Disk Management screen, I right-clicked on the thumb drives and tried to open them. A new window had popped out showing all the files in the drives.  

I now discovered that when I tried to drag or copy files into this drive, I will see the following message:

"The destination does not support long file names. Please enter a name for this file..."

I am not able to use the original file names which are more than 8 characters. This problem only happened after I formatted my PC and reinstalled a new copy of Windows XP. It used to be fine :(

My PC configuration as below:
OS: Windows XP Pro SP2

Please help, much appreciated and thanks in advance.
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1 Solution
It almost sounds like you formatted the drive with FAT, not FAT32 or NTFS.  If you check the General properties of the drive you formatted, what's the file system?

tubbycubAuthor Commented:
Its stated as RAW. But, when I run these drives on another computer with Windows XP, they were perfectly fine.
Oops - I just re-read your question and realized you're dragging things INTO the thumb drives, not FROM your thumb drives.  I'm so sorry - I read this late last night and started thinking the destination drive was your C drive which you'd recently reformatted.  I was heading down a totally wrong track.  

Although maybe not totally wrong, since this just started after reformatting and reinstalling WinXP.  Hmmmm.....  When I look at the properties of a USB flash drive on my system, the format is FAT.  I think I remember seeing someplace that attached drives have to be either FAT, FAT32 or EXT.  Are you in a situation where you can format one thumb drive and then test it?

tubbycubAuthor Commented:
Hi Karen,

I've just reformatted my harddisk and reinstalled a fresh copy of Windows again. The thumb drives can finally be read and everything, including copying of files works right. I suppose the previous problem could be due to bad Windows installation.

Anyway, thanks for everything! :)

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