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Flash Stick Doesn't work with XP?

Posted on 2012-04-12
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Last Modified: 2012-04-19
I have a flash stick and we have about 50 computers here. It's formatted in NTFS and for some reason it doesn't work with all XP machines.

It works great with Vista/7...but SOME of the XP want's to format my flash stick everytime I stick it in, and it won't let me access any files on it. I don't want to reformat it because I have files on it.
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Question by:Pancake_Effect
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Expert Comment

by:TazDevil1674
ID: 37837861
Are all your XP machines NTFS or are some FAT32?
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by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 37837888
They are all NTFS, I wonder if  I copy all my data off the flash stick, reformat it in one of the XP machines (the way they want it) , if it will work for all the computers.

But if this is a easy problem other people have had, I was wondering if there was a quick fix.
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by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 37837930
I cleared off the flash stick completely and stuck it into one of the XP machines.

When I click Yes to formatting it gives me only the option to format it in exFAT

There is no other option, so I clicked format, then it just says it can't complete this operation and fails.
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Expert Comment

by:TazDevil1674
ID: 37837967
Thats suggests that some of the XP machines are FAT32 - not NTFS.  This would explain why there is no NTFS support (ability to read/write/format NTFS)
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Accepted Solution

by:
Adam Leinss earned 167 total points
ID: 37838107
How big is the flash stick?  If it's 64GB or bigger, it might be using a SDXC reader internally.  In that case, you might need the exFat patch for Windows XP:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=19364
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Assisted Solution

by:marsilies
marsilies earned 167 total points
ID: 37838704
@TazDevil1674: All XP machines can read NTFS drives, even if the system drive is FAT32. The ability to read/write NTFS is built into XP.

@aleinss: the SDXC standard uses exFAT by default, but also supports FAT32 and NTFS. Also, just because the USB drive uses exFAT doesn't mean its SDXC. exFAT is cross compatible with Mac and Windows machines (Macs can't write to NTFS), and can store larger files than FAT32 (which has a 4GB file size limit).

The exFAT patch for XP will work, but you'll need to install it on every XP machine you plan to use the drive on. If you don't plan on ever using the drive with a Mac, you can reformat it to NTFS. I'd try reformatting it on a Vista/7 PC.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37841336
Here a list of things to try :
-from Device manager scan for new hardware
-in device manager>view tab, click "show hidden devices" and delete all usb entries and hidden devices,  reboot and test
-then you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs
-start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc
In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...
-In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install

***instead of view hidden devices, try:
Right click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings at the left side >
in the Advanced tab select Environment Variables >
 in System Variables click New and enter:  "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" without the parenthesis - enter 1 for the Value.
Click Ok and Exit.
Now delete all devices in device manager  that are not in solid black
Reboot and test
i also found Safely Remove very handy  :  http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
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Expert Comment

by:TazDevil1674
ID: 37841493
A utility I have used to see and delete incorrectly installed USB devices is USBDeView - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html

This will let you see (and delete) these from values int he Registry...  Does what it says on the tin...
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Author Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 37843146
Ah okay, it is a 64gig flash stick. I could of sworn it was NTFS on the stick, but I guess it's exFat after looking. Never heard of it before I put it on one of the XP machines and asked me to format it with it.

I'll try the mentioned fixes above and report back
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 166 total points
ID: 37843792
Windows XP EXFAT Driver Update

Install reboot, retry
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Author Closing Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 37865956
Thanks for the help! Got it going
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