Can't access USB flash drive in 'My Computer' [Closed]

chris - Oct 31, 2008 at 07:33 AM - Latest reply:  chris
- Nov 1, 2008 at 08:42 AM

I can't access my USB flash drives by double clicking them in the 'My Computer' window of windows explorer. It shows a small dialogue box with a red cross saying Cannot find application. However, when I right click on the drive and choose explore, it opens my usb drive without any problem. The first option is in bold and says install or run application which is weird because I don't think I have any application on it. I am also pretty sure there is no autorun.inf on the drive. Also when plugging in the drive, the auto play window pops up and I can access the drive contents by choosing the browse option. In is only in 'My Computer' that double clicking to browse doesn't work.
Also the flash drives works in my other computer without any problems.
I also have a usb hdd which works ok and built in card readers that work ok too on the same computer, it is only USB flash drives that don't work.
I am using Vista Home Premium and the problem only appeared recently.
It might have stopped working after my friend plugged his sandisk cruzer that seemed to have 2 partitions on it into my computer and vista autoinstalled some drivers for that usb drive.
I am not sure if that caused the problem.
I'm not sure if a virus can cause problems like this. (I have norton antivirus 2008 but the subscription expired)(I think it still actively protects my computer because it picked out the eicar test virus when I downloaded it)

Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide some help.


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2 replies

xpcman 18932 Posts Wednesday October 8, 2008Registration dateContributorStatus May 22, 2018 Last seen - Oct 31, 2008 at 09:47 PM
Your "friend" had some program on his flash drive that wants to auto start. Try this to remove the USB devices

in the Device Manager click on "view" at the top and "show hidden devices"

click on the + next to Universal Serial Bus Controllers:
then uninstall all USB listings like "USB composite device" or "USB mass storage device"
turn the computer off and unplug all USB devices
reboot twice and plug in your USB device

My problem went away by itself today but thanks a lot for helping me out. I learnt something new from your post :) I never knew I can click on "view" at the top of the Device Manager and "show hidden devices" .
I only have one 'USB composite device' entry and no 'USB mass storage device' entries in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers list (I don't have any usb flash or hdd pluged in now, all I have is two built-in card readers)
I did not uninstall any 'USB composite device' from the list as my problem had gone away.
Just an observation: choosing "show hidden devices" did not alter the number of entries in my 'Universal Serial Bus Controllers' list.

If my problem ever comes up again, I will give your solution a try.