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Why can't I see my flash drive?
December 10, 2006 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Why won't my USB flash drive show up?

I am using a PC in a public place (hotel), so some capabilities may be disabled. I would like to access my USB flash drive, but it is not displayed as a drive under My Computer. When I look in the device manager, it seems that the flash drive is working properly, and is assigned the letter F. Typing F:\ in the Windows Explorer address bar doesn't work.
posted by univac to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
i'm assuming that you're using windows
go ahead and click start, and right click my computer and click manage.
go to storage, disk management, right click your usb drive and select change drive letters and paths and choose a new one.
posted by killa62 at 10:30 PM on December 10, 2006


I tried that, but disk management is disabled.
posted by univac at 10:36 PM on December 10, 2006


The USB ports might be disabled in the BIOS.. for exactly that reason - people with USB flash drives. Very common.
posted by drstein at 10:38 PM on December 10, 2006


I think you have answered your own question.
posted by pompomtom at 11:10 PM on December 10, 2006


disclaimer: I am not as familiar with disk management tools as I should be.

I work in a computer lab and we sometimes see USB drives not showing up when plugged into the main ports on the front of the machines. Occasionally, it's because the plugin portion of the drive is more shallow than others. We happen to have more agreeable (shallower) ports on the sides of the monitors. When we plug the drives in there, they show up. So, if you have that option, give it a try.

Worth a shot, maybe.
posted by lilywing13 at 11:36 PM on December 10, 2006


I think killa62 is on the right track - I had the exact same circumstances recently, and it was because a new network drive had been mounted on G:, when my USB drive was usually G:. Therefore, my USB drive wasn't accessible until I got the IT guys out to open Disk Management and assign it a new drive letter. And if Disk Management is disabled, then I don't know how much luck you will have getting around the problem.
posted by Jimbob at 2:53 AM on December 11, 2006


This is exactly why, in networks I'm responsible for, I like to put my network drive letters higher in the alphabet, and limit how many I use. N: to T: is a pretty safe range for network drive letters. Much lower than that, and you start colliding with CD-ROMs, card reader/writers and USB drives; higher and you bump into drive mappings reserved by software vendors for assorted nefarious purposes.

The whole drive-letter concept really does suck.

As for the original problem: what happens if you plug in your flash drive, open a cmd window, and type

dir f:\

?
posted by flabdablet at 4:58 AM on December 11, 2006


In case anybody's still checking this thread, I just ran across this, which might be relevant.
posted by flabdablet at 3:57 AM on December 15, 2006


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