USB Flash Drive Not Recognized – Don’t Worry Too Much

USB interface is used more and more widely in daily life and work. As you may know, many of our frequently used devices, such as printer, camera, mp3, mp4, reader and game console, tend to have a USB interface. This helps to eliminate unnecessary troubles users often come across when connecting USB flash drive with computer or other devices. In a word, USB interface makes exchanging data among different computers and devices a breeze.

Well, what if you find your USB device is not recognized by Windows? You must work this out to continue to use this device. No matter what are you planning to do, remember, you need to recover data from it firstly as most users care more about the data than the device itself.

USB flash drive not recognized 1 However, there are odds users will be stuck in USB flash drive not recognized error. If you search this in google, you’ll find you’ve got plenty of companions. How such problem is generated? Is there any way to fix it? In the following content, we’ll answer those questions one by one. All you need to remember is: please stay calm no matter what happens since a cool head is the decisive factor to make you quickly go out of the woods.

Some people ask why their USB3.0 flash drive is not recognized in computer. Is it repairable? If you never hear of or don’t know much about USB3.0 flash drive, it’s ok; we’ll introduce it briefly.

USB3.0 is actually a kind of USB specification, which is put forward by Intel and other companies. It’s the later version of USB2.0, which has already been widely recognized by PC makers, and has become the necessary interface for hardware manufacturers. The maximum transmission bandwidth of USB2.0 is 480Mbps (60MB/s), while that of USB3.0 is up to 5.0Gbps (500MB/s).

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All in all, USB3.0, also considered as SuperSpeed USB, provides a standard interface for a variety of devices which are connected to PC or audio/high-frequency equipment. While maintaining the compatibility with USB2.0, the new USB3.0 also owns the following features: greatly improved bandwidth, better power management, enabling the host provide more power to device, enabling the host identify device more quickly and more efficient data processing. But, remember, there’s no functional difference between USB2.0 and USB3.0 – they’re both just a hardware device.

USB Flash Drive Not Recognized Phenomena

As far as we know, either USB flash drives or external hard drives are easy to use. But there’s great chance that you may find yourself stuck in this situation: after connecting the USB flash drive to a Windows PC or another device through a USB port, you disappointedly discover it can’t be recognized.

USB flash drive not recognized problem is not rare; hundreds of thousands of users are facing or have met the same situation. Of course, all of them want to fix it easily and safely, but it turns out that more than half of them failed. Now, some common cases of USB flash drive not recognized problem are going to be shown in the following section

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  • A friend of mine brought me the USB flash drive which saves all of her school work to me. Seriously, everything she has done so far this semester is here. Most importantly, she doesn’t have a backup for those files.

  • "When I plug it in my computer, it says Not Recognized. For fear that I may make all the files gone, I dare not try any methods to try to solve the problem. I only tried connecting it to multiple other computers and I’m sure it’s definitely an issue with the flash drive and not the USB ports. The drive itself actually doesn’t matter, but we really need to find a way to pull all her documents off the drive."

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  • I have a SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB flash drive and it is not recognized by my HP dv7 laptop. A Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system is running on my computer. Why is this happening and how can I resolve the problem?

  • My Acer Aspire One computer has a Windows 7 Starter and when I connect my USB flash drive to it, nothing happens. I can’t find it anywhere in my computer. I have even borrowed a USB flash drive from my friend to see if it would be recognized. Yet, flash drive is still not detected. How can I get my computer to recognize the USB flash drive?

  • I just bought a new 16GB USB flash drive for Xbox 360 and when I go to check memory, I suddenly find my USB flash drive not detected on Xbox 360. Is there any way to make the Xbox 360 recognize it?

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8 Reasons to Tell You Why USB Flash Drive Is Not Detected

A great number of USB flash drive users are wondering how could their drive not detected by computer or other equipment all out of a sudden. According to researches, we found this problem is mainly generated by the following 8 reasons.

1.USB device is damaged physically: convenient as USB flash drive is, it often damaged by frequent plug in and out, magnetic interference, high temperature and other factors.

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2.USB device is disabled in CMOS: this situation is commonly seen in public places like café, net-bar, school computer room and office. USB interface is disabled for the safety of computer; it’s very understandable.

3.USB driver is not installed properly: this is considered as one of the most widespread failures occurred on USB flash drive device. After the USB device was inserted into computer, the system will prompt “Found New Hardware” and start to install the driver. However, if we cancel the installation process for feeling risky or troublesome, it will lead to failure in loading USB drive normally. Thus, this USB flash drive can’t be recognized by system.

4.The OS (Operating System) used in computer is excessively simplified: in general, the built-in driver package of common Microsoft OS already contains a lot of drivers approved by Microsoft. So, it’s able to identify many device drivers automatically, of course, including USB device driver. Nevertheless, in various simplified versions of Windows OS, the corresponding drivers are also simplified.

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5.The power supply of USB port is not sufficient: each USB device can only work normally under certain power supply conditions. If the USB port provides insufficient power supply, those signs will appear – the USB indicator does not flash or its state is abnormal; system fails to boot as usual after USB device is connected to computer; the content in USB device can’t be accessed or the access speed is much slower than before.

6.The drive letter assigned to USB flash drive has been already occupied by another drive in computer: if “J” is assigned to your USB flash drive, but now you connect it to a computer in which the drive letter “J” is used by another local drive, drive letter conflict will be caused at this time. And it will prevent your USB drive from being recognized by this computer as an available storage device.

7.Manufacturers of the newly installed USB device used unconventional flash memory chip and technology to make the flash drive: this situation can be mainly divided into two types.

One is that in order to protect their own chip technology, some large companies choose to use non-standard chip or encrypt data read and write mechanism; or they just decide not to share chip parameters with others, stopping USB driver writers from writing corresponding driver. The other is that some small companies or illegal small workshops create their USB device with inferior-quality fittings.

8.Virus attacked USB flash drive: if your flash drive was exchanging data with other devices which are infected by virus or some of the files you saved in the flash drive contains virus, it is very possible that this drive can’t be detected successfully. This is because virus may damage the driver or files which are needed for the normal working of device.

1 Special Reason Why USB Flash Drive Is Not Recognized by Xbox 360

If the USB flash drive is used on Xbox 360 when you find flash drive can’t be recognized, there’s a special reason other than above mentioned ones. That is the first partition of USB flash drive is not a FAT32 partition.

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Since Xbox 360 could only recognize the USB flash drive under the condition that its first drive is formatted as FAT32, we must check the file system of USB flash drive partitions to see whether it meets the identification condition or not. After confirming the cause, you’re able to take measures to make it right.

How to Repair USB Flash Drive not Recognized Problem

If your USB flash drive is not recognized on a computer, please check whether it is recognized in Disk Management or not at first and then you may try to fix it after reading the following tips:
*: If your USB device encounters hardware failure, you can check the broken component and replace it with a new one or turn to professional recovery companies to recover data from it.

*: Enter CMOS -> find USB device from related setting items in motherboard -> change the state from disable to enable.

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*: Open Windows Disk Management -> refresh corresponding interface to see whether the USB drive will be reloaded and reinstalled or just find the USB device with a question mark -> right click to uninstall it -> reconnect USB device to computer to install.

*: Find the official driver or make use of a third-party driver tool.

*: Change a USB port or provide separate external power supply to USB device. Or when choosing from various USB flash drives, you could buy a low-powered one.

*: Install MiniTool Partition Wizard to computer -> run it and right click on USB drive -> choose “Change Letter” function -> assign an unused drive letter to the device under guidance.

*: Go to manufacturers’ official website to download the latest USB driver package or find the original CD driver.

*: If virus is detected in flash drive, you’d better seek ways to recover data from USB device before trying to kill virus with powerful antivirus program.

USB flash drive not recognized 14 This post will tell you how to do USB data recovery.

If you find your USB flash drive is not recognized on Xbox 360, please check whether the first partition of it is formatted as FAT32 or not. If it is a FAT32 partition, you need to try above methods to fix it; if it is formatted as NTFS, you need to convert it to FAT32.

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Run MiniTool Partition Wizard -> select your USB flash drive -> choose “Convert NTFS to FAT” from left action panel or right-click menu -> click “Apply” in upper left corner to confirm change.

Just high-five yourself if you have solved your problem after reading above content. However, if accidents happen while you’re trying to fix the flash drive not detected problem, data saved in USB flash drive are easy to be put in danger.

Note: you may choose to reformat the USB flash drive in order to make it recognized, in which case, all data in that drive will be missing. Or you may make some mistakes during problem fixing process and this could lead to serious data loss. It gets worse if you finished fixing the drive problem and make it detected successfully, only to find some of the crucial data disappear unexpectedly. In view of this, we advise you to recover data at first.

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How to Recover Data from USB Flash Drive

In all above cases, we intensively recommend that users roll up their sleeves and get their hands on MiniTool Power Data Recovery because this software is considered as one of the best data recovery software even for Windows 10 by tens of thousands of users and enterprises. It can help users recover data from USB flash drive even if data loss is caused by various reasons.

Here are some tips on how to get back data lost during USB flash drive not recognized problem fixing process.

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Step 1: run MiniTool Power Data Recovery, confirm the causes of USB flash drive data loss and choose corresponding functional module to start.

Note: please download the free edition to have a try if you doubt the ability of our software. But keep in mind that the free edition can only allow you to recover 1GB of data. If you find your needed data are found by this software, but the total size of data waiting to be recovered exceeds that limit in the result interface, you may as well buy a license to break the limit.

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Step 2: click the suitable module to enter. If you’re not sure about the cause of data loss in USB flash drive, please click “Damaged Partition Recovery” as long as your partition is not missing. Otherwise, choose “Lost Partition Recovery” instead. Then, select your USB flash drive to perform a full scan to it by clicking “Full Scan” button in the lower right corner.

Step 3: check all the data you want to recover and press “Save” to set a safe storage location for them.


It only takes 3 easy steps to successfully regain your data no matter they’re saved in computer hard drive or removable disk like USB flash drive. Should you have any question, please contact us via email, telephone or fax. Or you can follow us on Facebook or Google +.

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