Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

USB flash memory recognized as Disk Drive

by grynn / April 8, 2006 10:34 AM PDT

When I plug in my USB Flash memory, it is automatically recognized as a disk drive. When I try to access it, it asks me to insert a disk.

How can I tell Windows XP that it is a Flash memory and not a Disk Drive?


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: USB flash memory recognized as Disk Drive
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: USB flash memory recognized as Disk Drive
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
What did you expect?
by joesmithers06 / April 8, 2006 12:30 PM PDT

Flash drives are storage devices, just like disk drives, which is why XP treats them as such. What exactly were you expecting to happen?

Collapse -
There's no disk to insert
by grynn / April 8, 2006 7:30 PM PDT
In reply to: What did you expect?
Collapse -
2 possibilities.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2006 9:39 PM PDT

1. It's not formatted for us with Windows.
2. The USB port has an issue.

Try another port.


Collapse -
The device should not be recognized as an optical drive.
by retired / April 8, 2006 10:04 PM PDT

Do you use or have used an external optical drive, if so you may want to turn off the computer and unplug all USB devices. turn the computer back on and tap the F8 key while booting to enter safe mode. right click My computer and choose properties and the hardware tab now device manager tab and click the plus sign beside Universal serial bus controllers. Right click each entry and choose uninstall, reboot and let windows reinstall the USB controllers, once done try your flash memory again. Even if you have not used an external optical drive do the process anyway.

Collapse -
Good clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 8, 2006 10:20 PM PDT

" Even if you have not used an external optical drive do the process anyway. "

One of the nutty Windows Annoyances is that drives can spastically misreport or show an icon as if it is something else. I've seen this too often since people show me their PC issues and I've seen hard disks report as CD drives.


Collapse -
still not working...
by grynn / April 9, 2006 8:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Good clue.

I've just tried uninstalling the USB ports and then rebooting Windows, but I still get the same results.

I was using this device as a means to transfer some stuff form my laptop to my desktop. The first time I tried it, it was recognized properly. Second time, when I plug it on my desktop, it gets recognized as a USB disk drive.
And for some reason, it also gets recognized as such by my laptop!

If you have any idea please help, and thanks for your previous suggestions

Collapse -
It is a USB disk drive
by Merl Priester / April 9, 2006 9:51 AM PDT
In reply to: still not working...

Go to Control Panel -> Administative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management

With the drive plugged in (use a USB port on the back of the computer) Front USB ports are connected with wires and sometimes do not do as well with USB Drives.

Does the disk show in the list of drives? If yes then look to see if the format of the drive looks OK, either FAT or such. Usually is FAT.

If it is there but does not have a drive letter, then format the disk. After it is done windows should see it.

Collapse -
Not there
by grynn / April 9, 2006 6:11 PM PDT
In reply to: It is a USB disk drive

It doesn't appear under disk management.
But I can see it in Device manager.
Every time I try to access it it says insert disk.
What should I do to make it appear there?

Collapse -
USB flash drive
by glennlee / April 9, 2006 9:57 AM PDT
In reply to: still not working...

If your computer recognizes your flash drive as a disc drive, you will need to format the memory in your flash device to be able to use the memory as an accessable disc drive. There should have been some sort of software that came with your flash drive to do this, or use xp's facility. From start menu choose my computer. Right click on the flash disc, the choose format. Be careful not to format your C: drive!

Collapse -
It says insert disk
by grynn / April 9, 2006 6:14 PM PDT
In reply to: USB flash drive

I already tried that, but it says it sys 'there is no disk in drive H: - Insert a disk and try again'
Is there another way to format it?

Collapse -
So far.....
by Papa Echo / April 9, 2006 7:40 PM PDT
In reply to: It says insert disk have not mentioned the make and model of the flash drive. Is it compatible with XP ? All flash drives I came across do not require "XP" drivers, i.e. does not require "installation" for the XP OS. Does yours require them ? Other than the drivers/installation issue, I would conclude that the flash drive is broken - yes, it still can be detected, but as a HD . (Clue: it was detected properly as a flash drive by both your desktop and laptop, but no longer.)

Collapse -
Might be broken then...
by grynn / April 9, 2006 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: So far.....
Collapse -
If you can see it in device manager
by retired / April 9, 2006 10:17 PM PDT

right click the entry or any entry for that matter and choose "Scan for hardware changes" to see what it finds.

Collapse -
no result
by grynn / April 9, 2006 11:13 PM PDT

Just tried doing it but it didn't work.
I also tried uninstalling the driver and rebooting windows, but I don't get ay result either...

Collapse -
I know this is grasping for straws
by retired / April 10, 2006 2:15 AM PDT

so to speak, BUT, plug in the flash drive, go back to the device manager and uninstall the optical drive(s) and flash drive and reboot, maybe the OS will notice the flash drive and assign it a Letter. If not and with all the other things you have tried I would say the drive may be hosed.

Collapse -
easy way to check hardware
by glennlee / April 10, 2006 5:34 AM PDT

Just plug the flash drive into a friend's xp computer. If the flash drive is recognized and the memory accessable, you have a compatiblity problem on your system. If it is not, is is probably broken.

Collapse -
by PocketDrummer / November 18, 2009 5:26 PM PST

I'm getting the same issue with the Patriot XT 8GB Flash Drive. It shows up as Removable Disc (G:) on my computer.

I actually ran just fine at first.... had readyboost working on it and everything.... now I can't format it, can't open it, nothing.

I tried disabling it in the device manager, doesn't work. I also tried the front and back ports.

My current Setup:
Amd Athlon X2 4200+
DFI Lanparty NF4 SLI-DR Motherboard
OCZ Platinum PC3200 2GB (2-3-2-5)
Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit

Collapse -
Just checking.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2009 8:33 PM PST
In reply to: ME TOO!!!

While you can't format it, what does Disk Management think about it?

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.