Unusual behavior - USB flash memory drive


  1. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
       #1

    Unusual behavior - USB flash memory drive


    I have 2 Kingston 16GB flash memory sticks. One of them (along with 9 other USB flash memory sticks I have) get mounted as drive G: by Windows. The other Kinsgton drive gets mounted as I:. In the past, both Kingston devices acted just like all my other USB flash memory drives, but I've obviously don't something to the one. I may have had it formatted as an NTFS drive, but I've reformatted it to FAT32. I've re-reformatted it using the "Restore device defaults". Nothing seems to help. As near as I can see its characteristics are identical to the other Kingston drive.

    This is obviously not an earth-shaking problem, but I'd like to know what I've done, why Windows is reacting to whatever I've done, and whether it presages problems with this device.

    And by the way, how does Windows decide what drive letter to assign to a USB drive? I know it picks a different letter for FAT32 and NTFS drives so there must be some sort of logic process going on.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 12,461
    Win10 Version 21H2 Pro and Home, Win11 Pro
       #2

    I know it picks a different letter for FAT32 and NTFS drives so there must be some sort of logic process going on
    I've not noticed that to happen with all the USB Thumb/Flash drives, keep the drives formatted as they come. I have have noticed at times where the port involved has an effect on the drive lettering.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I just went into Disk Management and tried messing around with drive letter assignment. I tried deleting the letter assignment (I:) for this device, but Windows took that very literally. It no longer assigned any drive letter to the device. I then changed the assigned letter to G: - the same as is dynamically assigned by Windows to all my other USB flash memory drives, but I assume that Windows will now try to use G: for this device even if it has reason to switch to H: for other USB drives.

    Apparently there is something (in the registry?) that is mapping some identifying hardware characteristic of this device to the assigned drive letter. Or maybe something stored in the device itself. (Something that is note restored when restoring to factory defaults.)
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 381
    Windows 10
       #4

    For the drive listed as I:. did you ever plug it in when another device was using G:? The Windows registry does some weird things when it comes to remembering things. Perhaps the registry is reading the I: device's signature and associating it with drive I:?
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  5. Posts : 25,026
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    Drives have serial numbers so windows is able to tell two apparently identical USB drives apart. AFAIK it just assigns the first available letter to a new drive, you probably already had one plugged in when you first connected it.

    The way to tell windows to forget its ever seen a USB drive is to go into Device Manager. Tick 'show hidden devices' under 'View' and every USB you've used will be listed under 'Disk drives'. Uninstall the one you want it to forget.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 720
    Win10 x64 Pro - 2 desktops, 2 laptops
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Hah! Thank you. I've got 12 different USD flash drives listed - 6 different Display Names. Some of the names were unique and easy to match to a device. Others (like 2 "General UDisk USB Device" and 5 "Generic Flash Disk USB Device") are not so easy. So for the time being I won't delete any of them. But if any device shows up with the "wrong" drive letter, I now know how to fix it.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 25,026
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    pokeefe0001 said:
    Others (like 2 "General UDisk USB Device" and 5 "Generic Flash Disk USB Device") are not so easy..
    To ID a USB, just plug one in and its icon will go from grey to black.
      My Computers


 

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