|If the drive has data on it you can no longer access and you want to try things to get access to that again, and/or if the drive is not showing up in My Computer or Windows Explorer..... |
Troubleshooting USB device problems including for flash drives, external drives, memory cards.
See Response 1:
If you have a desktop computer, Note that I answered a Topic on this site recently where a guy had an external drive, which does require the full 500ma, connected to a port on the back of a desktop case - it would not work properly when a webcam was in the port next to it, but it worked fine when the webcam was unplugged. Ports on the back of a desktop case often have two ports connected to the same USB controller module that are ports one above the other - you could try connecting the cable to one of those and leaving the other un-used.
You can easily re-format a flash drive (or memory card) in Disk Management in Windows, or in My Computer or Windows Explorer,
- but if you can't see the drive in My Computer or Windows Explorer, that indicates you have another problem. See the info at the link above.
- but Windows itself does not allow you to re-partition the flash drive (or memory card) in Disk Management or anywhere else because it's a removable drive.
Some flash drive (and memory card) brands have a program available on the maker's web site that allows you to re-partition them.
This can change something in Windows so removable drives can be re-partitioned:
"Windows Enabler is a program that runs on Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/NT4.0/2000 and WinXP. It allows the user to enable disabled windows and controls such as buttons and tick boxes and choose menu options that would normally be disabled. This is obviously a very dangerous practice if used recklessly but having said that, you’d be surprised at how often it comes in handy."
Some of the data repair programs mentioned in the info at the first link in this post may be able to re-partition a flash drive, but if you had/have data on the drive you want to try to retrieve, try to repair the problem first, and if that's a success, copy your data to elsewhere, BEFORE you re-partition.
To Format the flash drive (or memory card) - this is a last resort if there is or was data on it you want to retrieve -
- in My Computer or Windows Explorer, RIGHT click on the drive letter for the flash drive (or memory card) - make sure you picked the right one if more than one is plugged in - select Format.
- in Disk Management, RIGHT click on the box beside the drive letter - the title will be Disk x removable - make sure you picked the right one if more than one is plugged in - and Select Format.
Control Panel - Classic View - Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management -
Click Start > Run, type diskmgmt.msc, click OK
Flash drives and memory cards with a capacity of 2 gb or less are usually supposed to use FAT partitioning, NOT FAT32 or NTFS partitioning.
(NTFS partitioning is not recommended for any drive that has a capacity of 4gb or less, because the space taken up by the partitioning uses up more drive space than FAT or FAT32 partitioning does.)
Flash drives and memory cards with a capacity MORE THAN 2 gb are usually supposed to use FAT32 partitioning, NOT NTFS partitioning - they can't use FAT partitioning..
In Disk Management, it shows you what type of partitioning the flash drive presently has in the box beside the drive letter.
In My Computer or Windows Explorer, if you RIGHT click on the drive's drive letter, choose Properties, it shows you what type of partitioning the flash drive (or memory card) presently has at the top under File System.
Note that some memory cards that come with a camera, or are sold to be used with a specific camera brand's model or group of models, are partitioned or formatted an oddball way, e.g. for some Olympus camera models - and you should always re-format them (or re-partition them if that's possible) by using the format (or partition ) feature(s) on the camera itself, rather than do that with Windows or some other program.