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Thread: USB Flash drive not appearing in My Computer or Windows Explorer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I am facing huge problem with USB drives on my Windows XP computer. Whenever I connect any USB drive, it wont appear in My Computer neither the Auto play comes up. But surprisingly I can see it in Disk Management with proper assigned drive letter U. Now as it is already showing up in disk management with assigned letter, if I try manually typing U:\ in windows exploer address bar, it says cannot find file:///D:/.

    Any idea what could be wrong? Please help me. It is very important to access these drives on PC because I carry all my important files on USB drives.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Re: USB Flash drive not appearing in My Computer or Windows Explorer

    Well if it is already detected in disk management then I guess you need Powertoys for XP' TweakUI. Once installing the same when you open My Computer, you will be able to tell your computer which drives to show / hide in Explorer. By doing this you can make U drive visible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Re: USB Flash drive not appearing in My Computer or Windows Explor

    I’ve been facing the same problem couple of months ago and like you, one of my friend also suggested me the same TweakUI but it dint helped me. Later I managed to fix it my own. Just for a test when I booted into safe mode, I found my USB drive was visible in My computer. So I thought obviously there should some process that is interfering with USB drive and hence it is not showing up in Windows Explorer.

    So I went to Task manager and wrote down the running processes as a "safe list." Restarted the computer and booted in normal mode. Here I noticed many new processes than in safe mode. I left the ones which were also seen in Safe mode and marked rest of the process as unknown process. I then continued by going to the task bar and stopped a single program, noted which process disappeared from the table, and unplugged then plugged in the USB drive to see if it works.

    Finally when I killed a process named apdproxy.exe, my drive appeared in My Computer. So it was this which was interfering with the drive. If someone else facing the same problem can go through this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I had the same problem on my Vista PC.

    Normal boot up USB Flashdrive is recognised, comes up in my computer but when i try to view the files on it i can't system hangs, can't view in explorer.

    If i do the same thing in Safemode i can access the USB flashdrive with no problems.

    I found out my culprit was ZoneAlarm and its true vector service (vsmon.exe)

    so boot up normally, shut down zone alarm, plug in usb device and it can be access OK, start up zone alarm and i can still access it.

    But if i have zone alarm running before i plug in the usb device, thats when all the trouble starts.

    hope this solution can help some others also

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: USB Flash drive not appearing in My Computer or Windows Explorer

    Drive not showing up could be partition error in which case scandisk might save you or other recovery tools. Though usually you are screw in these cases.

    But there is another possiblity you can hope for. There is a conflict in assigned drive letters to diffent devise/network drive ect. Or lack of assigment of drive letter. This problem can easiely be fixed if you right click on This Computer and choose "Manage" in some lanaguaes "Adminster".

    Then choose "Storage" and you will some under groups and try to look into them and see if you can find your USB devise. If you find it you can right click on it and choose change drive letter/path.

    Then assign an unused letter to the drive. And things should work

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