USB Flash Drive Won't Appear Under My Computer?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Fasika writes:

" Dear Dennis,

My USB flash drive was working for months -- flawlessly, but has recently encountered a problem. It starts 'misbehaving' after I try to use with my new computer, but it works fine with my old computer, and both computers are using the same operating system.

Problem: when I plug the USB flash drive into the new computer, the 'new hardware found' message box appears notifying me that my new hardware is installed and ready to use. But when I go to My Computer to check for the flash drive icon, it isn't there. What would you advise me to do in order to make the flash drive accessible? "

My response:

I believe this is a "plug and play" bug in Windows XP, as I have occasionally experienced the same problem. In order to get around it, I went to Device Manager and deleted everything related to USB. After that, I rebooted and Windows re-detected all my USB hubs. Subsequently, all my devices were redetected -- including my USB flash drive (which previously would not).

A page over at suggests that this problem is the result of mismanaged drive letters. The solution is to remap your drive letters (although I think my previous suggestion inadvertently does the same).

If anyone knows of a better "fix", please email me.

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