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Drives letters not visible in windows explore & disk management

Posted on 2009-04-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello, I a running Windows XP OS and have not been able to get the USB drive to show up in windows explore and in disk management only the cd drive shows up.  Any ideas?
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Question by:WyleOP
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by:apinet
ID: 24166526
Can you try it in a friends computer?  I ask because if it's not showing up in either spot it maybe the drive is bad.
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by:WyleOP
ID: 24166549
I've tried several different usb drives in this box without success, where the drives are seen and work perfectly in other computers.
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by:apinet
ID: 24166738
Does anything work in the USB ports?  IE mouse (just making sure)  If so
go to start run and type in compmgmt.msc.  Go to storage and select your cd rom drive and right click it and change the drive letter to Z it that drive letter is open.  Then try to replug your usb drive and see if it shows up.  

Also check in Device Manager and check if anything is showing up in Universal Serial Bus Controller.  When you plug in the usb drive should show USB Mass Storage Device.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24166743
Have you tried any other USB device at all in the same USB ports? Mouse, keyboard etc?

When first connected, do you see the pop-up balloons in the bottom right corner telling you that a new device has been detected and is being installed etc?

Also, do you have lots of other drives (mapped network drives, CD/DVD drives etc)? Sometimes drive letter assignment goes a little crazy and removeable media drives can get lost 'behind' a different drive letter that is already in use...

Anyway, let me know! :)

Pete
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Author Comment

by:WyleOP
ID: 24167056
- The mouse & keyboard work fine in any available usb ports
- I've previously changed the cd drive letter, rebooted the cptr, and plugged in the usb drive without success.
- I tried several usb drives without success
- When the usb drive is inserted in to an available port, the pop-up balloon apears in the right hand corner of the task bar.
- In the device manager the drives show.
All of the these things have be previously tried.
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24167330
So if you look in Compmgmt, and in the removeable media section, you see nothing in there at all either? (as in the screenshot)

It's possible that the USB drivers have gone a little haywire. I have a tool called renewUSB, I'm just trying to find where I downloaded it from... It's worked for me a couple of times with USB issues.

This is definitely it - http://www.robvanderwoude.com/devcon.php

However I'm pretty sure I downloaded 'precreated' batch files from somewhere. Still, all you need to achieve the same thing is at that URL... I'll see if I can find the actual batch file in the meantime!
Media.JPG
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24167345
In fact I think at that URL, if you just find the renewusb.bat at the bottom, copy and paste it into a batch file, when you run it will actually prompt you to download the devcon utility anyway. So it should be pretty simple!

Although as advised, use at your own risk, and it may be safer to create a restore point / ensure you have all you need backed up before proceeding. I've run this a few times without problems, but better to be safe than sorry. :)

Pete
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by:WyleOP
ID: 24197036
no joy, i was unale to get devcon to run
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24197104
has the usb drive ever worked before on this machine?

why not download latest sp for xp? maybe this would load correct drivers?

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by:WyleOP
ID: 24197193
Yes, the usb drive worked previously.  This started about three weeks ago after SP3 was installed.
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24197314
well install sp3 and see if that fixes it.
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24197319
i mean uninstall! sorry typo
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by:apinet
ID: 24197589
Go into Device Manager and open the Universial Serial Bus Controllers.  See what controllers you have and download the latest drivers from the manufacturers site.  Update your USB controller drivers and see if that resolves your issues.
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by:WyleOP
ID: 24197962
no joy with sp3 uninstalled and drivers update!
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24198101
hey where are the location of the usb ports? in front? if so, make sure wires are connected inside case!
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by:WyleOP
ID: 24198138
everything is connected.  not only the usb drive not showing in the disk management, the "C" drive doesn't show either.  Only the cd drive shows.  I've change drive letter for the cd drive think that might help, but it didn't.  my next step is to reformat HD.
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by:apinet
ID: 24198148
There's a hotfix for a similar problem but it was a problem with SP2...  Since you uninstalled SP3 may want to try it.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892050

Also can you log in with a different user account just to make sure your profile isn't the issue.
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24198168
why dont you disconnect all cd/dvd drives from inside. and leave only one HDD.

also check BIOS settings and make sure USB settings are enabled.

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Author Comment

by:WyleOP
ID: 24203890
Luke, it tried your suggestion with the cd/dvd drives, still no joy.  BIOS settings are good.  Thanks to all for your suggestions, I think the next step will be HD reformat and install a clean OS.
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by:lukefuno
ID: 24204776
yes or try to boot with a live cd and see if the usb ports work then...
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WyleOP earned 0 total points
ID: 24295671
Please close this question.  The hard drive is to be reformated but not until a few weeks down the road.  Many thanks to all for your help.
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by:PeteJThomas
ID: 24372335
By the way, just in case you haven't reformatted yet, I've just sorted the exact same issue here - All I did was go into c:\Windows\System32\Drivers, renamed usbstor.sys to usbstor.old, then navigated to c:\Windows\inf (hidden folder), found the usbstor.inf, right-clicked it, and selected 'Install'.

Restarted the machine, and USB flash disks then worked ok again... :)

Pete
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Author Comment

by:WyleOP
ID: 24420640
PeteJThomas, you are a genius.  Problem solved!
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