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usb flash drive won't show up in My Computer

Posted on 2009-05-05
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I've searched the EE knowledgebase, but can't seem to get a usb flash drive to appear in My Computer, tried numerous flash drives, it's not the device.  I ran services.msc and started the removable storage, and set it to automatic.  No removable storage devices show up when I click on Manage and Removable Storage.  When I plug a USB drive in, the little "safely remove hardware" icon appears in the lower right, and the properties accurately depicts the drive, but I can't access it through My Computer or anywhere else.
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Question by:easybill
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Expert Comment

by:stany0
ID: 24308776
Do you have mapped network drives?
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308796
No, none.  Just a local hard drive, and a CD/DVD drive (and a floppy drive).  There are some shared network drives, but they aren not mapped to any drive letters.
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Expert Comment

by:Jacobh06
ID: 24308824
Are you able to see the drives in Disk Management?
Right Click on My Computer and select "Manage" >> Then click "Disk Management" on the left side panel.
Take a look at this post:
http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-xp/usb-flash-drive-not-in-my-computer/126083.html
It also suggests a few more things to try. It also states that the process "rundll32.exe" was actually the problem being recognized as a bug.
Let me know so I may help further.
~Jake
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308840
the flash drive(s) do not show up in disk management
I saw that rundll32.exe thread, but have run malwarebytes numerous times
isn't rundll32.exe a required program/file?
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308849
I tried to download and install the recommended hotfix from Microsoft, but it told me I already had the latest software and the hotfix was older than what I had.
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308852
the flash drive (when plugged in) does appear in Device Manager under Disk Drives
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Expert Comment

by:jbellflowers
ID: 24308855
Have you ever installed Daemon Tools or any other type of Virtual drive software?
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Expert Comment

by:Pete_Zed
ID: 24308872
In DISK MANAGEMENT, can you change the drive letter for your CD drive to Z: for example to see if your USB drive will appear?
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308874
Not that I know of, this is a refurbed Dell that came from somewhere else, been working fine for about a year, where can I look for this Daemon Tools?
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Accepted Solution

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Jacobh06 earned 500 total points
ID: 24308877
rundll32.exe can be malicious depending on the program that it is associated to, so I would check that out by looking in the Registry like suggested in that other link.
Have you tried booting with the device plugged in? Have you tried booting into safe mode to see if the device comes up?
~Jake
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308882
I'll try changing the drive letter of the CD/DVD drive, stand by (it's another PC in a different area of my location)
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24308972
I was able to change drive letter of CD/DVD drive to Z:, but didn't make the flash drive appear.
And I tried booting with flash drive in slot, but no change.
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Expert Comment

by:Pete_Zed
ID: 24308985
One thing I have tried in the past when my USB drives became unrecognized, was to do this:

Removing all entries under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Enum/USB that start with VID

Removing the VID entries from the registry will cause them to be redetected at restart.
CAUTION: If you have a USB keyboard or mouse, do not remove the VID entry for these devices, otherwise, Windows may not restart correctly.
1. Click Start and click Run. Type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor window will open.
2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB.
3. Highlight and delete all the VID_&. entries.
Permissions may be set allowing the deletion of the VID_ entries by following the steps below:
a)Right-click the key to be deleted, and then click Permissions. The VID_& Permissions window will open.
b)With Everyone highlighted in the Group or User name section, select Full Control in the Permissions section.
c)Click Apply, and then click OK.
4. Turn off the computer.

Reconnect the USB device to the computer system: ==
1. With the computer system turned off, reconnect the USB hub to the the USB port.
2.Restart the computer.
3.A New Hardware Detected window should open and reload the drivers.

Taken from this web site:

http://www.hat.net/geeky/node/221

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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24313715
I'll try this later today.  Stand by.  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:easybill
ID: 24357488
Problem was a bad rundll32.exe protect.dll, removed it using ComboFix and flash drive problem resolved itself.
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