Why the computer does not see the USB flash drive

The first step is to deal with the source of the trouble. If the computer does not see the USB flash drive at all, one of the parties is to blame. You can start looking for the culprit by inserting the USB device into another computer or laptop . If it works, the problem is most likely in the PC. A similar feint can be done by trying to apply another flash drive to a capricious computer. Let’s start debriefing with a faulty drive.

Read: How to quickly connect a USB flash drive to a tablet – 4-point guide

The flash drive itself does not work

A USB drive is not as fragile as a hard drive , but you can deal with it too. Malfunctions are caused by:

  • physical damage
  • logical errors,
  • electrical problems.

The first point refers to cases of creasing of the contact pad protruding beyond the plastic case. It is generally not advisable to use a broken USB flash drive. The situation with drowning does not look so sad. It is not recommended to try to immediately remove information from a flash drive that has fallen into the water. She has a much better chance of surviving if the owner is patient and dry the drive thoroughly. A characteristic sign of physical damage is the lack of indication when connected.

Logical errors, due to which the PC does not see the USB flash drive at all, include the consequences of pulling out the media during recording, lack of formatting, etc. Electrical problems occur when the wrong voltage is supplied to the USB connector. What to do? Try to fix the situation or buy a new USB flash drive .

Topic: How to choose a USB flash drive?

Faulty or disconnected USB port on the computer

If the flash drive is read by another device, the PC is to blame for the problem. Let’s go through the hardware problems first. Possible reasons for ignoring USB drives and other peripherals include disabling ports at the physical layer or in the BIOS. Before opening the case , restart the computer and look into the I / O system, check the activity of the USB related installations. They can be disabled in the assembled PC only or in the case of a BIOS reset to initial settings.

The next step is to check the front panel connections. Possible causes of the malfunction: the loop has moved away or a short circuit has occurred due to dust. In the first case, the recipe for treatment is obvious.

Another physical problem is a lack of food. If the ports on the front panel are overloaded, the flash drive can become the last straw, after which there is a power shortage. Only low-power peripherals, such as the keyboard and mouse, can be connected to the front of the computer .

What about hard drives? Read: The computer does not see the hard drive: what is the “root of evil”

The USB connector of the flash drive is dirty

Up to 50% of problems with computer equipment are associated with lack of proper care. Dust litter the coolers , power supply , USB-connectors. And if the flash drive is also dirty, it will be in trouble. Cap-type flash drives have one drawback – the cap is easily lost, after which dust and debris collects in the connector. Dirt builds up especially quickly if you carry the USB device in your pockets. And then people wonder why a clogged USB flash drive does not work on a computer. Due to dust, a short circuit may occur, and the PC will simply turn off when the media is connected.

If you need to clean the drive from dust deposits and small debris, arm yourself with a toothpick or brush. After storage in an open form in a production or kitchen, an oily coating may form on the USB stick. You can deal with it with a damp cloth or cloth slightly moistened with alcohol. The ports on the PC panels need to be periodically vacuumed. Unused computer connectors can be sealed with caps.

Infection with viruses

Malicious software can spread via flash drives. By default, after recognizing the device, Windows looks into the media, and then the following scenarios are possible during a virus infection.

  1. The computer displays something like: “Media not found.”
  2. A virus attack begins on the PC.
  3. Both of the first options together.
  4. This is not to say that the inserted USB flash drive is not displayed, but the files on it are hidden or corrupted.

A virus problem is easier to prevent than to clean up the consequences. Usually, to solve it, it is enough to install an anti-virus program and make sure that it is periodically updated. Haven’t you taken care of this? Then insert the USB flash drive into a computer with good protection and check it for lice. Something can be done in manual mode: go to Total Commander, which shows hidden files and delete the .exe from nowhere, as well as the RECYCLED and RECYCLER folders.

Defeated the virus? You can start recovering files. If there is nothing valuable on the flash drive, it will not hurt to reformat it.

Driver failure or outdated drivers

Usually Windows does not need any additional software to recognize the USB drive. However, there are exceptions. Examples:

  • an advanced flash drive does not want to be detected on an old computer with antediluvian drivers;
  • “Firewood” flew due to a failure in the system caused by an incorrect shutdown of the PC;
  • the outdated OS does not understand how the volume of a flash drive can be 32/64/128 GB.

All of these problems have one solution – updating the “firewood”. If the system device manager has a line related to USB with an exclamation mark, you need to delete it. Next, the OS will offer to update the drivers. You may need to provide a path to them.

You can also enter from the other side. There are programs that make it easier to work with drivers. In particular, DriverPackSolution has proven itself well. It is enough to launch it, and the search for the drivers that need updating will be performed automatically. The last word in their installation always remains with the user.

File system conflict

It happens that a flash drive blinks, but a stubborn computer does not see its contents, ignores the activity of the drive indicator. A possible cause is a misunderstanding between file systems. Winchesters are friends with NTFS, and a USB device can be partitioned for Mac.

To work with a single flash drive with a Mac and a Microsoft miracle operating system, you need to find a universal solution. Consider what formats these operating systems like to communicate with:

Operating system Top formats
Windows FAT32, NTFS, exFAT
macOS FAT32, exFAT, APFS, HFS +

We get two intersections: FAT32 and exFAT. The first option is bad in that it does not perceive monster files larger than 4 GB, it will not be possible to cram a movie into a USB flash drive in 4K quality. That leaves exFAT. It is necessary to transfer the files from the storage device to a compatible device, and can be formatted for exFAT. All information on the flash drive after the procedure will be destroyed. The disadvantage of exFAT is the rejection of older Windows. For an adequate perception of the format, an updated XP or higher must be installed.

The flash drive is not formatted

It happens that a person bought a USB drive, inserted it into a computer, and in response – silence. That is, the flash drive is not visible in the explorer. A similar situation happens when a drive was treated for logical errors with special utilities. He was treated – and he was no longer visible in the conductor. What to do? If the hardware of the flash drive is in order, it will be visible in disk management. Right click, select “Formatting”. We decide on the nuances:

  • In the “Volume label” enter the name that will be displayed next to the letter of the flash drive.
  • File system. If you use Windows exclusively, you should choose NTFS or even FAT32 if recording large files is not relevant.
  • We do not touch the cluster size.
  • In the absence of logical errors, fast formatting is sufficient.

If, after formatting, the computer does not see the USB flash drive, something was done wrong. Most likely, they chose the wrong format or played with clusters. Novice users need to be careful when formatting: it is important not to confuse a flash drive with a computer disk.

About formatting by the program: How to format a USB flash drive?

A problem with a partition or a USB flash drive is automatically assigned a busy letter

Another problem in which the flash drive glows brightly, but is not detected, is a leapfrog with the letters of the disks. Sometimes Windows does not notice that the letter is already taken and tries to assign it to the drive. As a result, it is not possible to work with him. This sometimes happens when the user actively connects external HDD / SSD or the computer is working in a local network. The situation can be corrected by changing the letter through disk management. There are also alternative options: making edits to the system registry, a set of valuable instructions to the system in the command line.

Everything worked out, but the next day the situation repeated itself? Then you should stop choosing the following letters and move closer to the middle or end of the alphabet. Variants with X, V, W are more reliable. After renaming a drive, sometimes the software that reads data from a removable device malfunctions. Although smart programmers provide the ability to choose a drive along the way.

To summarize the article, we will give a scheme of actions in the absence of recognition of the flash drive:

  1. identify the culprit (system engineer or drive);
  2. find out whether it is a hardware or software problem;

If the flash drive has failed, it is necessary to act taking into account the importance of the recorded files, the possibility of saving them. It’s important to remember that deep formatting burns everything out.

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