Windows 7 will not recognize flash drive, sees it as disk drive

How do I get win 7 to recognize my flash drive for what it is and allow me to use it? Whenever I try to open it in my computer it tells me there is no disc in the drive. Disk manager list it as a usb drive....

win 7 says flash drive is a disk drive in my computer. Device manager lists it as a usb flash drive but lists it under disk drive


Question Info

Last updated March 13, 2018 Views 4,389 Applies to:


Does the drive work in other computers? Have you tried other USB drives in this computer?

If the drive used to work try a System Restore back to before this happened.

How to Do a System Restore in Windows 7


If needed :

References to Vista also apply to Windows 7.

Do these to clear corruption and repair/replace damaged/missing system files.

Start - type in Search box -  COMMAND   find at top of list -  RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

sfc /scannow

How to Repair Windows 7 System Files with System File Checker

Then run checkdisk (chkdsk).

How to Run Disk Check in Windows 7


Then lets refresh the USB Stack

Control Panel - Device Manager - click anywhere in the blank/white area - then VIEW -
Show Hidden Devices

Now look everywhere EXCEPT USB Controllers for your device(s) and if you find them (may have
more than one of each) under Disk Drives you may have several - RIGHT CLICK and UNINSTALL 
for all instances.

Control Panel - Device Manager - USB Serial Controllers - RIGHT CLICK on EVERYTHING and
UNINSTALL all except the category itself - REBOOT - this refreshes the drive and the USB stack

This KB shows the XP how to and the Vista and Windows 7 methods are identical

Here is a utility to help but do the above 1st.

USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that currently connected to your computer,
as well as all USB devices that you previously used. Run it Options and check the 1st three choices
to see if any are there.

You would remove all instances of the devices then reboot.


If needed try both of these :

Tips for solving problems with USB devices - and a Mr Fixit

Hardware devices not detected or not working - Mr Fixit


This might be helpful to determine if incorrect driver is loading.

DriverView - Free - utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your system.
For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address of the driver,
description, version, product name, company that created the driver, and more.


If nothing else works a Repair Installation "might" help.

How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7

Hope this helps.

Rob Brown - MS MVP - Windows Desktop Experience : Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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