My dell hates me!
May 30, 2008 7:58 AM   Subscribe

I have a Dell Inspiron 600m that has a weird problem: USB flash drives aren't detected at all, but other usb devices (i.e. external usb harddrives) work perfectly fine. Clean install of Windows with updated drivers does not fix this problem. My google-fu apparently isn't sophisticated enough to dig up a solution. Ideas?
posted by jytsai to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I've had problems with my Dell Inspiron 6000 related to USB devices, sometimes including flash drives. From what I was able to discover it appears that Dell didn't make this model with fully-powered usb ports, so the devices weren't being powered as they are intended to. I bought an externally powered usb hub and it seemed to fix the problem. Don't know if the oversight in usb design applies to your model as well, but that might be an avenue to pursue.
posted by ictow at 8:13 AM on May 30, 2008

Do the devices show up in the Device Manager?

If so - then maybe it's the format of the file system on the drive.
If not - it's hardware issue. Trying a powered hub is good idea. Ideally, the machine should tell you when there is not enough power available.
posted by plinth at 8:23 AM on May 30, 2008

I have had this problem before on other computers. Give this a try...

1) While your computer is running, plug in the USB drive that is not being recognized.
2) Click on your start menu, right click on My Computer. Select "Manage" from the context menu
3) In the left-hand pane, click Disk Management (which is found under "Storage")
4) Your USB drive will be shown.
5) Change the drive letter of the USB Drive by right clicking on it in the right-hand pane.

Restart your computer. See if your drive is recognized.

This work around has worked for me in instances where I am having a problem with similiar symptoms as yours.
posted by yoyoceramic at 8:38 AM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

1. Assuming the devices are connected directly to the laptop and not via a docking station?

2. Do you have mapped drives that might conflict with newly detected drives?
-Do the flash drives appear at all under Disk Management? (right click on "My Computer", select Manage, select "Disk Management" under Storage, and view the lower window on the right). If you see the USB drive there but it does not appear otherwise, try renaming the drive letter to something not in use (Q:).
posted by Challahtronix at 8:38 AM on May 30, 2008

Response by poster: Directly connected to the laptop. Flash drives don't even show up on device manager, let alone disk management. =( I'll check out the wired hub power theory.
posted by jytsai at 8:49 AM on May 30, 2008

You might also try the Latitude D600 drivers, as I believe it is the same laptop.

Two other things to try:
1. Plug a USB hub into the laptop and plug the Flash drives into the USB hub. If they work, this tells you that your Windows install is at least capable of recognizing a Flash drive and points to the laptop's USB ports, or possibly the chipset driver.
2. Burn a Knoppix CD and plug your Flash drive into the laptop to see if Knoppix will recognize it. If this works, it eliminates the USB ports as the source of the problem and points to a Windows or driver issue.
posted by cnc at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2008

« Older Help me find IA and UXD educational resources.   |   If you can't trust a car salesman, who can you... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.