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Windows 7: Computer Unable to Detect USB Flash Drive

03 Dec 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
Computer Unable to Detect USB Flash Drive

Hi everyone!

I have a problem with regards to a USB thumbdrive which I would like to consult the community.

Recently, about a week ago, I used my thumbdrive on a MacBook, upon which I am done with using the thumbdrive on the system, I ejected the disk, and removed it from the port. However, to my dismay, when I tried to plug it into my Windows laptop running Windows 7, the device (i.e. USB thumbdrive) failed to show up in My Computer.

My thumbdrive have been working perfectly fine thus far, till I plugged it in and out of my MacBook.

At first, when I plugged the thumdrive into my Windows laptop, Windows attempted to install the driver automatically, but after a while, the installation failed. As my thumbdrive was brand-less, as I got it from a fair, the system read the drive as UDisk.

I tried to troubleshoot the device, going to Device Manager, and trying to update the device driver, but to no avail. I have tried to go to Disk Management in Windows to see if the volume happened to be unmounted/not assigned a drive letter, however, Disk Management did not show up anything related to the thumdrive.

I suspect that my thumbdrive may be spoilt because it suddenly failed to work, and when I tried plug in my other thumbdriver (a SanDisk), Windows was able to detect and enumerate the drive.

Hence, just wondering, is there a safe to 'force mount' a volume? This is because I have data in my thumdrive which I hope to be able to retrieve.

May I also have some advice on what should I do to make my thumbdrive 'recognizable' on my laptop?

Thank you very much for all your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

The first thing I would like to say is that you should never buy an unbranded cheap flash drive. That would be inviting trouble. And now you are in trouble - invited trouble.

Most branded flash drive manufacturers carry a warranty plus an online recovery tool to repair a thumb drive with which you can most of the time repair your drive and make it usable again - though data in it will be lost. You have no such means now. If the drive cannot be set right, you just have to throw it in the dust bin that will carry your sin.

Anyway just answer these questions and wait if somebody familiar with both Mac and Windows can help.

1. Was the drive used on the Macbook as a new flash drive - that is even before it was used on Windows or was it used on Windows before you plugged it into the MacBook?

2. You say you have data on it. From where was it copied? From a Windows Machine or a MacBook?

3. Do you know the file system with which your thumbdrive was formatted? Fat32, NTFS, HFS,ExFat or whatever? Did you format the flash drive anytime?

4. Can you plug it back into the MacBook and read the drive? Answer to this question is very crucial. That will most probably save our heads and time. ( As a matter of fact you should have done that before putting it up here.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x86

Hi jumanji. Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I shall answer your questions below:

1. The drive was not used as a new flash drive. I have used it many times on my Windows machine without any problems. (I used the thumbdrive on a Windows 8 machine usually. I used Windows 7 to test my thumbdrive to see if it was working.)

2. The data in the thumbdrive was mostly copied from a Windows machine, more than 90% of the data was copied from a Windows machine.

3. I am not sure what file system my thumbdrive was running on as I did not take notice of the file system. >.< It should either be FAT32 or NTFS, though I feel that there is a higher probability that it was on a FAT32 system. I have never formatted the flash drive, as I was always storing new files or accessing my work files from it.

4. I have not tried plugging the thumbdrive back into my MacBook. I shall try it when I get home today. :)

Just wondering, as I have tried to use Linux (Ubuntu) to mount the disk, is it okay if I were to post messages from the Terminal in Ubuntu here? In Ubuntu, the system could detect that a USB thumbdrive was plugged in when I tried to use dmesg, but when I did a "sudo fdisk -l", I was not able to find the disk.

Thank you very much, jumanji, and to everyone in the community for your assistance. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Computer Unable to Detect USB Flash Drive

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