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USB Flash Drive Not Detected in Windows

External storage devices such as USB flash drives are commonly used to store and share data across computers. In general, these devices are automatically recognized when plugged into the computer, but there are some instances where external devices do not show up in your My Computer folder. If your PC is not recognizing your USB mass storage device, there are several methods you can use to find your USB key, external HDD or pen drive.

What To Do When Your USB Isn't Detected

Connect your USB drive to your PC and open the Control Panel. Open the Device Manager and click on the Scan for hardware changes button. This will force your computer to search for the USB key:

If the above solution doesn't work, go back to the Device Manager and expand the USB Serial Bus controllers section. Right-click on the faulty USB device and select Uninstall to uninstall its driver:

Once done, restart your computer and let Windows reinstall the missing driver. If the problem persists, go to the Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. Search for the Shell Hardware Detection service and set its Startup Type to Automatic:

Repeat the operation for the Plug and Play service:

When finished, close the Services utility and restart your computer.

Solution for Older Windows Versions

If you have an older Windows version, such as Windows XP, the following might work for you:

  • Go to Device manager.
  • Select Usb hub controller.
  • Next, right-click on the usb hub controller and select open.
  • Right-click on Usb root hub and choose Properties.
  • Go to your device and click OK.
  • Repeat 4 or 5 times to make it work.

Photo: Unsplash


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