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USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

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  #1  
Old 24-09-2007
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

My Windows XP laptop is working fine except one thing, USB Drives. Whenever I connect any Pendrive or Portable HDD with this system, it assigns them a drive letter but when I try to open the same, it gives me an error message saying ďDisk is not formattedí. Damn, these drives are working fine on all other PCs. I tried few workarounds to fix the same, yet getting the same result. I just canít format my drives as they donít need to be formatted and there are various important data. Also am sure problem is not with these drives because am getting the same error with all USB drives only on this laptop.

But the surprising part is that devices (other than storage) like webcam, printer, digicam, etc are working without any problem. Than whats the problem with my storage drives ? Also, I tried a pendrive not having important data with this system. I thought lets see if it works after formatting. I connected the same, got the same error saying to format, I tried formatting the drive but guess what, I cannot do that as well.

Hope I explained my problem perfectly. Any help will be appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 25-09-2007
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

Probably seems like drivers conflict. But before we try installing new drivers, lets try out something else. Iíll suggest you go to C:\Windows\inf\ and delete the file named ĎINFCACHE.1í. Remember donít delete this file from Recycle bin, let it be there until we finish our testing. Now reboot the system, let it work with the drivers loading itself and once it comepletes doing the same, try connecting your USB drives and see if it works.
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  #3  
Old 25-09-2007
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

Thanks for your attempt helping me friend, but I am aware of that file already. I read somewhere it before, a guy wrote to delete INFCACHE.1 but he also added to delete some registry files as well. He had mentioned the following location in registry to delete:
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\ branch which point to USB Mass Storage device drivers.

But the problem I faced here was that I wasnít able to delete this registry. And removing just INFCACHE.1 dinít helped me. What else ?
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  #4  
Old 26-09-2007
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You are correct Stellar!. I was facing the same problem weeks ago, and the solution was the same, removing INF file as well as the registry key you mentioned. But I donít know why you are not able to delete it because I removed the entry without any problem and my problem was solved.

I guess you are having some permission issue. I hope you are the admin of the system. If yes, type Regedit in RUN command, once you get the Regedit window try right clicking on any folder or file and click on permissions. This will show you what permissions you have. If there is any permission problem, resolve it first and than delete the registry entry mentioned above.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2009
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

In my case the problem was similar but it was only with Pen Drives smaller than 8GB. Rest all are working fine including portable HDDs. When I was attaching my Pendrives it was too giving me error saying to format the same, and offcourse I was too not able to format them. But like to you guys, I don’t wanted to play with my registries and hence just for a trail I restored my system to the previous Restore Point (3 weeks earlier point). And guess what my problem solved. I think you guys should try this out instead of removing or doing anything in registry.
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  #6  
Old 23-07-2009
R.D R.D is offline
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Ive had a similar problem and could not fix it, until, - if you don't need the data to be recovered then try this out it works in recovering dead usb sticks, and in changing the format or recovery of a stick to any format you choose. First get a copy of UBUNTU 8 or 9 , plug in your usb stick and if it ask you what to do, then skip a bit of what i say next, go to the part where it ask you - Do you want to use the usb device as a boot disk - say yes - format the device, - remove the usb stick, - and reformat it in your computer as what ever you want 16 bit , 32bit , NTSC. The usb stick should now be working, if not give it to someone you don't like. -Also remember this - hard drives have a simular problem - can not load windows or will not read you can also try this out on them, or, you could get a keyboard with a F lock key try a Microsoft Digital Media (business pack) turn on the F lock and then load windows, this will recover your hard drive.
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  #7  
Old 23-09-2009
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

I had the "disk not formatted" problem and solved it for my flash drives by formatting them into NTFS and not FAT32.

It worked for my 512MB and 2GB flash drives.

I am still having problems with my 320GB USB drive (that should already be NTFS) and my digital camera.
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  #8  
Old 29-09-2010
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

Thought i would share my thoughts on this issue, i have had the same issue on several machines several times.

This thread is on the right track.

These are the 4 things i do to fix this issue:
1)backup my registry - i suggest using ccleaner - go to ccleaner.com
(a good program to keep registry somewhat in order)

2)go to C:\WINDOWS\inf\infcache.1 - move the file to another location(for backup purposes and to make sure local cache isnt an issue)

3) open registry as admin - then go to the following two locations - right click the folders and select permissions - set everyone to full control:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR

4)now tricky bit - you have to find all entries relating to the device you are having trouble with(possibly this issue occurs becuase of a registry conflict),
I do this by either/and:
a) using the find function to search for parts of the name of the device(i.e my samsung phone had this issue - so i search for all entries in both above locations with "samsung") i then delete the whole parent folder of the keys in question,
b) also to be certain - i sometimes manually open each folder and examine for signs that it relates to the device having the issue.

It is important to remember to do the above for both usb folder and usbstor folder.

Lastly, i restart the machine.

If it has not worked - then you have missed an entry.(ive done his for about 5 different devices and managed to get it to work eventually - sometimes quicker than others)
I know and understand that it can be difficult for some devices.

Anyways, i hope this helps.

Any feedback welcome
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  #9  
Old 17-09-2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

Just to post one encounter with this problem:

I had tried cloning an xp installation by direct xcopy file transfer, after which the cloned install could no longer read fat32 media (NTFS was fine...)

For some reason fastfat.sys was missing from the \windows\system32\drivers directory

I copied fastfat.sys from another install, rebooted and now fat32 drives are read properly
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  #10  
Old 23-09-2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

I just had this issue on a computer and the fix turned out to be quite unusual. It was a bad power supply. On a whim I tested the power supply with my handy tester and I was getting an over-voltage. Replaced the power supply and everything works just fine. There were other tiny little odd problems with it, but nothing I would have related to a power supply had I not tested it on a whim, and I've been doing this for a while.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2011
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

hey guys..I've tried:
1) system restore, no changes in system so nothing to restore
2) re-installed Windows XP
3) tried to delete reg values, but I'm not sure what to remove.

still having this problem with my PC and its driving me nuts..cause I move files all the time.

any help will be appreciated.
-no USB drives work
-unable to plug and sync my phone

all the drives and phone work with other pc.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2011
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

On a further check of the PC I was working on I also found a virus infecting some DLL files. The best thing to do to check for viruses is to remove the hard drive, hook it to an uninfected computer and do a complete scan with a high quality, up to date antivirus. Eset is the one I use. Kaspersky is also very good. For a free Antivirus I recommend Avira, Avast or AVG. All are good, each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Please note, if they detect an infected MBR (very common these days), the antivirus often can't fix it. To fix that I usually use Acronis Disk Director Suite to copy the MBR from another drive with the same operating system over top of the infected one. I am not an expert in MBR and there may be some instances where this won't work, but it has always worked for me so far many times. Acronis is not free and there may be a free or lower priced alternative, but I cannot speak for anything I haven't used.

Good luck.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

I have tried all the steps mentioned by Dan the Man, even reinstalled Windows XP after formatting C: Drive but still get the same 'Disk not formatted' error!
Can't use my SanDisk Cruzer or my cell phone memory card. However, when I try to access my memory card through Nokia PC Suite (Phone Browser), I can access it but it is painfully slow.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2011
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

It sounds like you have a hardware problem.

The first thing to try is to turn off the computer and unhook anything from the USB ports on the motherboard. The plugs will likely be blue, have 10 pins in 2 rows and will most likely have one hole in a corner plugged for the key pin. The most likely culprit will be a bad media card reader if that's the issue, but it could also be front USB ports.

NOTE: If your case or media card reader has individual wires instead of single plugs it is VERY common for those to be hooked up wrong. Check the motherboard manual and make sure the wires are in the right order and you only have one of each color wire connected in each row. I have seen problems when an inexperienced person connected a ground wire to the pin opposite the key pin, which is supposed to have no connection. They key pin is missing, the one right across from it in the other row should have nothing connected to it. The order is usually red, white, green, black, no connection for BOTH rows, even the one that has the extra pin.

If that doesn't work, try flashing the BIOS, IF you know what you're doing. Although I haven't seen it in years a BIOS flash can brick your motherboard, especially if you get the wrong BIOS or lose power in the middle. Generally they protect against getting the wrong BIOS these days. Asus does, at least. That's all I buy. Flashing the BIOS is unlikely to fix it, but it's worth a shot.

Failing that, try a different power supply. Just borrow one from another computer temporarily to see if you have any better luck. Make sure it's a decent one. At least 350 watts if you have a very low end computer. I would recommend 500 watts or better.

If that doesn't work you may have a bad motherboard or you may just have been lucky enough to get a bad USB drive and a bad media card. It's hard to say. It's someplace to start, though. The bottom line is if you've wiped the computer clean and still have the problem then it's hardware related.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2011
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 994
Re: USB Flash Drive - Disk not formatted error

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiuser View Post
I have tried all the steps mentioned by Dan the Man, even reinstalled Windows XP after formatting C: Drive but still get the same 'Disk not formatted' error!
Can't use my SanDisk Cruzer or my cell phone memory card. However, when I try to access my memory card through Nokia PC Suite (Phone Browser), I can access it but it is painfully slow.
Alright, can you try to follow the below steps and check if the Disk not formatted error gets resolved in xp:
  1. First of all click Start, click Run, type c:\windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst\spuninst.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. After that when the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Removal Wizard starts, click Next.
  3. Lastly follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows XP SP3.
Reboot and you're back to SP2 and your flash drives, USB devices will run as normal.
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