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Windows 7: Windows 7 stopped reading thumb drives and SD ram cards

22 Feb 2011   #1

windows 7
Windows 7 stopped reading thumb drives and SD ram cards

My laptop, running Windows 7, suddenly started giving me an error message with code 10, and says "You need to format the disk before you can use it, do you want to format now", every time I insert a thumb drive or an SD ram card. When I go into disk management it shows that they are both "raw"n but when I insert them into my desktop running XP they read fine and disk management shows them as fat32. Why would Windows 7 suddenly start reading the fat32 thumb drives and SD ram cards as Raw? How can I get it to read them, as they read fine on other computers? I also have an external cdrom/dvd drive (because Windows 7 won't recognise the internal cdrom either), and also have an external hard drive that work fine.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

This is a well known issue with thumb drives, somehow they get flagged dirty (E.g. if you yank them out without going through safely eject) prompting windows to scan them. Best to get the data on said drives backed up with the xp machine that can read them, then use the HP format utility to format them.

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #3

windows 7

The thing that really ticks me off, is that I've had Windows 7 on there for almost a year with no problems reading my thumb drives (I have several) and SD ram cards I have several of them as well). I couldn't get it to see my internal DVD drive since I upgraded to 7 from Vista, so I copied and backed up the hard drive and did a clean install of Windows 7 to see if that would solve the problem of the DVD drive (it didn't). The Jump drives and SD cards worked for about 3 weeks and then the laptop says can't read any of them. I could it seeing one or maybe 2 as being "dirty", but to say all of my thumb drives and all my SD ram cards are dirty seems a bit much. I use the drives and cards all the time to transfer data and pics between my comps. So this is really frustrating. I think I wasted a big chunk of change when I purchased Windows 7 in an attempt to get the laptop to work better than it did with Vista. Should have wiped the drive and installed XP. Don't have near the problems with XP as I have had with both Vista & 7. Makes me mad thi think I should have to transfer all the data on all my thumb drives, and sd cards to another computer, then have to try to format them all on the Windows 7 laptop, then copy all the data back on the drives and cards...Then "hope" it will read the info on both comps as well as hope the sd cards will still work in my cameras with the new format. There has to be a better way!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3

I feel your pain but please give the suggestion a try and post back so we can try and get this figured out so it can help many others.
Thanks. Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2011   #5

7 all the way!

Some additional info. If you have still have some money so spend, try this program Safely Remove Hardware in one click! USB, SATA, Firewire. Keyboard shortcuts for stopping, clear device names, remove a device from the icon Been using this program for a couple of years and am a satisfied customer. Have you experienced trying to safely remove a USB port only to be prompted that a program is still using it and therefore cannot be ejected? USB Safely Remove will find the process and stop it for you. It has a forced stop option and kill process option so that you can surely eject your drive. The newest version supports external hard drives. What it does is spin down or power off the drive first before ejecting it so you can be assured that your data and drive are safe.

I sound like a sales agent back there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2013   #6

Windows7 64 bit

I just experienced this same problem. Yesterday all my flash drives were working fine, today all of them failed to mount, with windows saying they needed formatting. Tried several reboots, removing USB devices from device manager etc, but eventually found the solution here...

Use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7

in short, open an administrator cmd prompt and type ..
sfc /scannow

It fixes any broken windows system files and after a reboot, all my USB drives are working again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi hybridalienrob,

Welcome onboard and thanks for sharing your experience.

It is always good to know the resolutions from users.

Perhaps it would have been more informative had you given the sfc report on which files it repaired to restore the USB drives functionality but still good to know that it corrected the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 stopped reading thumb drives and SD ram cards

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