Windows 10: Windows thinks my USB flash disk is a ''hard drive" or something

  1.    18 Dec 2017 #1

    Windows thinks my USB flash disk is a ''hard drive" or something


    Let me explain what I really mean. A work computer screwed up my flash drive. I'm wondering if it is fixable or not.
    When I went back to my computer to test it out Windows will beep telling me that it is recognized. Explorer shows it as a new drive "E" written as "USB Drive (E : ) <-- Note the colon ":" . However, a pop up window shows up saying, "Please insert a disk into USB Drive (E : )" As if it's a Cd drive or what-have-you. Is there anyway to repair this or not?
    Thank you.
    Note: I had to add a space after the E and before the colon or else it came out as a smiley face.
    Note: I had to add spaces above after the E and the colon and closed bracket or else it came out as a happy face.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 7,062
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       18 Dec 2017 #2

    pintree3 said: View Post
    A work computer screwed up my flash drive. I'm wondering if it is fixable or not.
    Fixable - probably. Salvageable (as in recovering any data it may have held) - probably not.

    To wipe the flash drive clean and restore it to a useable condition, you can use DISKPART in a Command Prompt (Admin). Use LIST DISK first to identify the disk number for your flash drive. In this example mine was disk 2.

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 7,062
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       19 Dec 2017 #3

    pintree3 said: View Post
    I had to add a space after the E and before the colon or else it came out as a smiley face.
    If you click the 'Go Advanced' button at the bottom right of the editor, you can tick 'Disable smilies in text' below the editor. Then you can type USB Drive (E:) without needing spaces.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    19 Dec 2017 #4

    Thanks Bree. It didn't work. The attached photo will perhaps show why.
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 7,062
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       19 Dec 2017 #5

    Well, it was worth a try. Diskpart is about as low-level as you can get in Windows.

    One thing to try would be to open Device Manager, uninstall that particular flash drive (you may need to use 'View > Show hidden devices' to see it) and see if that helps (probably not).

    If you have another working USB flash drive of the same make/type you could try taking an image of it and restore that to the broken one. I use USB Image Tool for that. http://www.alexpage.de/usb-image-tool/ In fact, after running the Diskpart demo to get that screenshot I restored that USB to its 'factory fresh' condition with an image I made before first using it.

    If you have a Live version of Linux on a USB you could try booting from that to see if it has any more luck, otherwise your flash drive looks like it's fried
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 324
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit Edition
       19 Dec 2017 #6

    Actually, if it was messed up,, once you plug it in, windows will pop up message saying it is damage and ask if you want to repair it. I had two that windows said were damage and asked if I wanted them repaired.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 7,062
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       19 Dec 2017 #7

    MrHudson said: View Post
    Actually, if it was messed up,, once you plug it in, windows will pop up message saying it is damage and ask if you want to repair it...
    There needs to be some sort of recognisable file system (or at least partition info) for it to say that, and looks like this one is more damaged than that
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    21 Dec 2017 #8

    The Diskpart message says that it is a Virtual Disk CD drive, not a USB. So, this could actually be a Virtual CD drive and Not the Flash drive. A virtual CD is software used to open an ISO file.
    Press the Win key+X and choose Disk Management. In the lower pane, do you see the USB Flash Drive? Is it the same drive letter you are seeing elsewhere? Does it say that the file system is Unallocated Space? or the Disk # (ie) Disk 1, Disk 2 etc says it is Not Initialized?
    You can also press the Win Key+X and choose Device Manager. Expand Disk Drives. Does the flash show here? If so, Right click it and choose Properties. Go to the Volumes tab click the Populate button. What does it say about the drive?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    21 Dec 2017 #9

    I'll get that if I plug in one of my USB card readers, and forget to put a card in it. This wouldn't happen to be something similar? I can put a card in, and then put the cap back on and it just looks like a large USB thumb drive.

    You can get the virtual disk service error with normal media. I do believe the virtual disk service is needed for diskpart to run, regardless of media.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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