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USB Drive does not appear in My Computer

Posted on 2006-07-01
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I have a SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB Drive that works on my other XP computers.  However, I have recently restored this computer from a backup and although the drive is recognized and it appears without errors in the device manager I cant get it to appear in my computer...
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Question by:justchat_1
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by:phototropic
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Right click the device in device manager, select "uninstall" from the drop down menu.
Click on the "action" tab. Click on "scan for hardware changes". It will re-recognise the drive.
Look in My Computer.
Any change?
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by:justchat_1
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Done that already andreloaded the drivers...

I read somewhere else that I can go into computer management and activate the drive and that works because I was able to assign a drive letter but now it still wont show up in my computer...

I went to run and typed explorer.exe F: (the drive letter I gave it) and the folder shows up with all the dirves files but it still wont appear in my computer
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by:callrs
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Start > run > explorer
Tools -> Folder Options -> View
Play around with the settings there.

[Also, for better view: View -> Details. Then in Tools, Folder Options, View, click "Apply to all folders" & restart Explorer]
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by:callrs
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http://zabkat.com/x2lite.htm            xplorer² lite: free windows explorer replacement (file manager)
xplorer2 is a fantastic more efficient replacement for Windows Explorer. See if your drive shows up in there...
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by:justchat_1
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No luck with the folder options...and im not replacing windows explorer - any other ideas?
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by:phototropic
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Might the USB drive need to be formatted for your pc to recognise it?
click Start> Control Panel> Administrative Tools> Computer Management
Storage>Disk Management - Rt. click your drive and click on "format".
Let it finish. Check in My Computer.
Sometimes XP just insists on a format to read the disk...
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by:phototropic
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If your USB drive does not appear in Disk Management, try to format it in another pc.
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by:callrs
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>>...and im not replacing windows explorer
Sorry, it's not a 'replacement'. I meant its a better option & does the same thing as explorer but with zest. : )
You'll still have your Windows Explorer as before. But in your start menu or Quick Launch you'll have the option to use xplorer2 also -- just like any other program.

Try it. This way we know whether it's a Windows Explorer problem, or whether it's a system-wide problem.

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by:justchat_1
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Come on guys read the question and comments before you post:
It does appear in diskmanagement and i can view all the files when i type explorer.exe F: (the drive letter)

On all other computers it appears in my computer and works fine...
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by:callrs
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Have you tried xplorer2? Need to know if it shows up in there or not.
If it does, then it's purely a Windows Explorer problem that we can try to solve.
If it doesn't, then it's something more serious.
In either case this may help: http://ask-leo.com/what_is_the_system_file_checker_and_how_do_i_run_it.html
But try in x2 first, it's important to isolate the problem for sake of future troublsehooting...
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by:Alan Henderson
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Have you tried running System File Checker and/or reinstalling Explorer?

System File Checker:
1. Start/Run/ Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes.
2. Click OK.
3. Have your Windows CD ready to insert if prompted when repair is necessary.

Reinstall Internet Explorer:
1. Insert your Windows XP CD.
2. Click Start/Run and enter:
rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 c:\windows\inf\ie.inf
3. click OK.
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by:phototropic
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Have you tried the format option? This has worked for others with a similar problem...
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by:justchat_1
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phototropic you really need to read...I said 3 times already that this drive works fine in all other computers this obviously has nothing to do with the drive itself!  Therefore formatting is not the problem...
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by:justchat_1
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This works on all other systems running XP without having to use explorer alternatives... This is a local computer problem- driver problem? registry problem? something else do to a bad file recovery?
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by:FriarTuk
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by:phototropic
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justchat 1
"...I said 3 times already that this drive works fine in all other computers..."
That is why I said "...try to format it in another pc."
Sometimes XP seems to require a format.

If it is not a question of drive letter assignment, the next issue I would look at would be a format.
This is my suggestion, freely given. Whether you agree with it or not is up to you.
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by:justchat_1
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There is no reason many xp computers would read the drive fine and then one xp computer reads it incorrectly because of a bad format... Sorry but thats an incorrect answer

Any other suggestions??
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by:callrs
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>>This works on all other systems running XP without having to use explorer alternatives... This is a local computer problem- driver problem? registry problem? something else do to a bad file recovery?
In a few minutes you can isolate the problem to just Explorer or system wide, but you won't do it....
We need to know if its an Explorer thing, or a system wide thing. and the way to do so is to see if the drive shows up in the other program or not.
I'm out of here, wasting time when it would take you only a minute to test the suggestion so we can provide some solid feedback. Bye
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by:justchat_1
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I completely missed your comment sorry about that-my fault...

It shows up in xplorer2 but only after I assign it a drive letter in computer management... What does that mean?
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by:Alan Henderson
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Sorry about my previous drivel about reinstalling IE! Senior moment.
But I still think you should run sfc.
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by:callrs
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http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinME/Q_20832871.html  USB Flash Drive detected but not shown in Windows Explorer
>> Software (Kodak Easyshare) install caused problem. Uninstalling it fixed it.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_20950260.html     Storage: San Disk USB Mini-Drive not Recognized by XP
>>yldsky: "Go to Control Panel-->Administrative tools-->Computer Management-->Disk Management, then change the your Removable Disk (on the right bottom of the dialog window, just right click it to change) to another drive letter so it wouldn't conflict with the existing ones."
>>Many other suggestions there.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=733055     Google Answers: windows XP pro: drive-letter assignment when plugging a USB device broken
>>(this points to next link)

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21775930.html USB Flash drive not listed in My Computer despite visibility in computer management
>>Read Answers by 'sirbounty'. He presented many options (worth following), but final solution was to change a policy setting in the registry. First suggestion was to create a new account & see if the USB drive is visible from the new account.
>>Some steps:
Click Start->Run->rsop.msc <Enter>  [no luck with this]
Start->Run->cmd /k reg query hkcu\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\policies\explorer
Start->Run->cmd /k reg query hklm\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\policies\explorer
[the last command gave a key not found error..."Bingo...we've found it. You have a policy being pushed that's causing this."  Solution is next command]
cmd /k reg delete hkcu\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\policies\explorer /v NoDrives /F
[Then wait for command to come back "successful" & reboot]
<<

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297694     New drive or mapped network drive not available in Windows Explorer
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.  
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by:scrathcyboy
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It might be because, during the reinstall of the OS on this system, you "lost permissions" to get to the files and shares on this system.  Can you copy the files?  If you can, then the problem is that this array already exists in the registry with an orphaned drive designation, and that has to be removed before XP will see it as a new drive designation.  This can be fixed, if you want, let me know the status where you are at....
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by:justchat_1
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I will be away from that computer until the end of the week but thanks for all the great suggestions...

callrs:
great suggestions i will get back to you as soon as I can try them out

scrathcyboy:
I ran "explorer.exe f:" and was able to get the files on the drive to appear...I was able to copy files from the drive but when copying files to the drive I got an error because they needed to be DOS short file names which I know is not the case on any of the other computers

Does that help?
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by:scrathcyboy
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YOU bet that helps.  You have hit the heart of the problem.  During the restore, something happened to the file naming entries on the NTFS drive, probably including permissions.  Each file name has a LONG name that is 98-XP and higher compatible, and a backward-compatible SHORT name for DOS needs.  The backup and/or restore corrupted these names somehow, it is pretty rare for this to happen.

Check you backup restore software first.  Somewhere there will be a check box about saving long and short file names, usually in ISO9xxx format, maybe it will say Joliet file names.  Make sure that is on.

If this is the only computer that is causing this problem, some key system file got lost.  I would strongly encourage you to do a system files repair.  You boot from the CD, and go through the prompts as if you are going to reinstall the OS, but don't.  At the place where it recognizes the existing installation, press "R" for repair.  It only takes about 20 mins.  After this, you will have to reapply SP2 and all updates you want after that -- but it does repair the key system files that affect translation of files and names.  But if the drive is showing the same issues on other systems, it is NOT this system, but something in the backup restore process.  Also make SURE you check / change your USB cable, and use another USB port on the motherboard.
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by:justchat_1
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To clarify:
Files on the drive work fine with long file names on all other computers... Also, the restored files were on the computer only not the usb drive...

After the restore I couldnt boot so I did have to run a windows repair and just now I ran sfc... still no luck!

I was pretty sure all files were successfully restored except for part of the registry...is there any chance its a simple registry key?  If it is a file, is there any way of finding out which one?
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by:justchat_1
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callrs:
Great suggestions, summing them up made the reads even easier...

Unfortunatly the first link didnt help because there is no new software installed
The second link didnt work because there were no drive conflicts...

I didnt have any policies preventing the drives from showing so the third and fourth link didnt help (I did check the other solutions they suggested but they didnt fix the problem either)

Finally the fifth link helped me map the drive but I still couldnt get it to appear in my computer...
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by:FriarTuk
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did you try following my link & renaming F: to something else?
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=223188
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by:justchat_1
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The drive letter does not conflict with anything else but I found something interesting in that registrey location:

Alot of keys labeled:
\??\Volume{1655c004-a482-11d9-b69e-00508deb0366} and such (all starting with \??\)

in addition to the usual:
\DosDevices\C:

They were for removable devices but deleting them didnt fix the problem...
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by:FriarTuk
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try downloading & installing tweakui
http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/c/a/fca6767b-9ed9-45a6-b352-839afb2a2679/TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe

left section: my computer - drives
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by:justchat_1
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After deleting the registry keys and restarting I was successfull...
... but now I noticed that somewhere in these fixes I lost my system32 folder.  I can still access it by typing in the path but its hidden in the windows folder when I try to browse there.

Any suggestions?
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by:FriarTuk
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so removing the old usb keys under dosdevices, then rebooting solved the issued of your usb drive not showing up?

is it's folder prop's set to hidden attribute?
do you have show hidden & system & protected files in folder options checked?
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by:justchat_1
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Yea somehow protected files got enabled thanks... but the usb drive stopeed working again

It seems like whenever it is disconnected and reconnected windows doesnt automatically assign a drive letter-is that a registry key or something?
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by:FriarTuk
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not sure, but you could try removing the external usb devices in the registry by deleting all references to them but not hub, controller, or root entries from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB & USBSTOR.  first unhook all external usb dev's, then remove the registry entries to them, then reboot, then try hooking the problem one in first.

ex:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\Vid_0781&Pid_5150\SNDK21E7B5113C908205
  = DeviceDesc "USB Mass Storage Device"
  = LocationInformation "Cruzer Mini"

ex: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR\Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_Cruzer_Mini&Rev_0.1\SNDK4D166408B8402201&0
  = FriendlyName "SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB Device"
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by:justchat_1
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It reinstalls the drive but still no luck...
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by:FriarTuk
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the only other alternative i see, is reinstalliing xp in on that box in one of two ways: a repair install (installing xp on top of itself) or a full install (backing up pc hard drive data, formatting, & reinstalling)

need xp cd key, need to install driver, updates, & application software

xp in place upgrade/reinstall (repair)
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315341

xp hm clean install
http://www.theeldergeek.com/xp_home_install_-_graphic.htm
http://www.socrtwo.info/cleanxpinstall.htm
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp
http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/XP%20Install/XPCleanInstall.htm
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by:justchat_1
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I did a repair after the data recovery and this is too small of an issue for a clean install-thanks anyway...
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by:FriarTuk
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well you could always try, copying the data off of the usb drive onto one of your other pc's, then reformatting the usb drive as suggested by phototropic, being sure to format in ntfs not fat, then copy all contents back to it

but as you keep stating that this is only an issue on one pc, i think the problem is the o/s on that pc, & if everything else we've suggested doesn't work, there is only the full install alternative left
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by:justchat_1
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i agree it is probably something in the o/s... I did reformat in fat but I need the drive formatted in fat so it can stay bootable (no ntfs)

Thanks to all for their suggestions!!!
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