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USB ports will not recognize thumb drive

I have a Windows 7 machine that will not recognize thumb drives.  Tried many different drives.  Ports are active because they will recognize other usb devices.
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Robert Retzer
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Always use the XP, Vista and W7 “Safely Remove Hardware” or the Eject Media tool, before removing the usb device. Removing a usb device by just pulling it out of the USB port, without clicking on the safely remove hardware icon, is the worst way of handling your PC.
Refresh your USB drivers as follows:
First you need access to see all hidden files inside your PC. Right click Computer (my computer in win xp) > Properties > Advanced System Settings at the left side > in the Advance tab select “Environment Variables” in System Variables click New and enter:  "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" without the parenthesis and enter 1 for the Value. Click the Ok and Exit.
Using the above instruction you can safely modify XP, Vista, and Win 7 versions of the OS. Note: These instructions are intended to be used only on single PC ( never ever on a LAN, where some laptops connect to a docking station and use another keyboard and monitor to interact or the USBs are assigned to a specific fixed driver). Open the Device Manager and the Universal Serial Bus Controller look at the USB icons and you will notice that they all have a solid black color. Click the View menu on the Menu Bar and select “Show Hidden Devices” (this will have to be selected each time you open the device manager because the default setting does not show hidden devices). Again take a close look at the USB icons listed and you will see that some of the icons are transparent. These transparent USB icons are the empty leftovers from when Windows assigned drivers to usb devices that were later removed, in some cases month or even years ago. Uninstall all transparent USB icons only. The next time you plug any device, Windows will provide the required driver for the specific USB device.
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Darren S

Open device manager prior to inserting the drive and make sure its appearing in there without any yellow or red icons.  Then I would check in disk management (located in administrative tools) to make sure its appearing in there and being allocated a drive letter
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ASKER

When installed it comes up yellow in device manager
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ASKER

Comes up code 31.  
Driver is not available.
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
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Darren S

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Windows 7 should auto detect and install drivers for thumb drives, it is unusual if it requires extra drivers for thumb drives. It is possible that you may not have all the updated drivers for your mobo, I would focus on any updated chipset drivers for your mobo as the chipset drivers usually update the usb drivers.
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ASKER

I did the windows updates.  After the last update the system locked up.  Had to do a system restore.  Thumb drive still would not work.  Updated the driver and it worked.