25 April 2012

Solved: USB flash thumb drive not recognized by Windows

So, today I decided to intall the newest build of Chromium OS for my Dell Mini 9.  I didn't have a 4GB thumb drive handy, and so took a risk using the 32GB one I have on my key ring. Needless to say, the install did not work, but what was worse, Windows now only saw 1GB of space.

Using Disk Management the problem was clear - imaging the drive had created a number of linux partitions which were not being seen by Windows. I  could delete them, but not merge them into a Windows friendly format, which is why I then reverted to the good old magic of GParted.

GParted not only saw and deleted all the partitions, it could also format it into a single 32GB NTFS space.


And here is why I am writing the post...

The drive was still not being "seen" by Windows. When I plugged it into a USB port a dialogue would pop up saying that drivers were being installed, and then it would fail. The drive did not appear in My Computer and did not show up in Disk Management either. I was flummoxed. I went into Device Manager and could see that when I inserted the drive it was recognized but the driver installation failed. No amount of forcing a driver update (locally or on the internet) worked as the OS reported that the latest drivers were installed.

So finally I went back to GParted and reformatted the drive, then clicked on "Disk" in the top menu and "Disk label" in the drop down menu. The entire disk was reformatted with a new msdos label. And lo and behold! The key was once again recognized in my PC. Hooray!