Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


USB drives are not seen in explorer

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    windows 8.1

    USB drives are not seen in explorer


    Some USB drives are not being seen in explorer.
    If I plug in a drive to a running system windows recognizes the drive assigns a drive letter which is visible in COMPUTER MANAGEMENT but not in the explorer windows. From management I can open the drive and all is well
    If I change the assigned drive letter in computer management the drive becomes visible in explorer .
    All drivers are up to date and the system is usable other than the fact that the assigned drive letter is not visible in explorer and hence applications that need to browse for a file don't work well.

    I suspect registry issue but not sure where to begin.
    Any Ideas?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Marion
    Posts : 111
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Is this a new built system or is this a prebuilt system like HP or something?

    Sounds like some errors in the registry for sure, also could be a corrupt Windows installation.

    You may want to start an elevated command prompt as administrator and type SFC -scannow and see if it repairs any system errors.

    Weird issue for sure
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    See if this tutorial can help you reset the drive letters and delete old ones to start from new.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 11
    windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by lmaneke View Post
    Is this a new built system or is this a prebuilt system like HP or something?

    Sounds like some errors in the registry for sure, also could be a corrupt Windows installation.

    You may want to start an elevated command prompt as administrator and type SFC -scannow and see if it repairs any system errors.

    Weird issue for sure
    No errors using scannow
    Its a Dell xps8700
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 11
    windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff S View Post
    See if this tutorial can help you reset the drive letters and delete old ones to start from new.
    Done most of the stuff in the tutorial before I posted--renaming the drive helps then after a reset its back to the old problem. Its as if drive letters are reserved by explorer but not by the Storage manager. Have no issues opening the drive from the management tool. ????
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Have you tried disconnecting all you USB drives and rebuilding the drive letters? Try USB Oblivion.

    Also check this out at TECHSPOT: Troubleshoot: Windows won't recognize USB hard drive / fix unassigned drive letter
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 11
    windows 8.1


    Thanks for the idea. Still no luck in fact USB oblivion made things worse.
    I have noticed that when I change drive letters on a USB drive it seems to FIX that letter to that drive--could that be true?
    Perhaps the other ports on the machine also have 'fixed' or reserved letters so if I plug in something new its signature doesn't match and the drive is not displayed??
    Grasping at straws here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    I saw an article on how to reset the drive letter cache once, but for the life of me I can't find it. I'll post immediately if I do.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    If I change the assigned drive letter in computer management the drive becomes visible in explorer
    Have you tried assigning a static drive letter? You say it shows up in explorer when you change the letter in Disk Manager.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 11
    windows 8.1


    Thanks. Yes have tried that. Now the question might be how to unassigned static drive letters. It may be that some letters are reserved in explorer but not in storage management? Seems like a registry corruption to me. Might have been induced when Dell replaced the mobo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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USB drives are not seen in explorer
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