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Windows XP gives "disk not formatted" error on USB flash drive


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simonides's Avatar
simonides simonides is offline
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28-Dec-2011, 11:22 AM #1
Windows XP gives "disk not formatted" error on USB flash drive
My laptop is having problems with reading USB flash drives and recognizing iPod nano.

When I plug in a USB flash drive or iPod, Windows assigns a drive letter, eg. Removable Disk F: but if I try to open in Windows Explorer I get an error eg. :"The disk in Drive F is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?"

I've tried different USB sockets on the laptop- same problem. The flash drive and iPod work fine on all other computers so it seems local to this laptop and I can't see any reason to format it.

I am using a Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop running XP SP3. To attempt to rectify this problem, I reverted to SP2 using c:\windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$\spuninst\spuninst.exe

Following this, I was able to access files on the flash drive for a few moments but when I attempted same with the iPod, I got a Windows crash and following the restart am back to square one, with neither flash drive nor IPod being usable except windows XP remains at SP2.

Anyone have any clues to what might be going on?? Thanks for any pointers.

Last edited by simonides; 28-Dec-2011 at 02:17 PM..
Mark1956's Avatar
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28-Dec-2011, 04:25 PM #2
You should not remain on SP2 as it is no longer supported with security updates and that will leave your system vulnerable to attack when on-line, get it back to SP3 as soon as possible and check for any more updates that are available. Uninstalling a major update was never going to solve the problem.

Unplug all USB devices. Go into the Device Manager and look down the device list for "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" right click on the name and select "Scan for Hardware Changes". That should be over in a flash. Try the external devices again and let me know what happens. If there is a yellow question mark over the USB controller then you need to re-install drivers.

What is the make and model number of the PC.
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simonides simonides is offline
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28-Dec-2011, 04:54 PM #3
Thanks for your prompt reply!

I've enabled Automatic Updating. It's a Lenovo 3000 N200.

On scanning for hardware changes, Device Manager finds new hardware - but it's only Base System Device for which it cannot find a driver.
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28-Dec-2011, 08:17 PM #4
So, having run the scan for new hardware and got SP3 back has it made any difference to the problem with the flash drive or the ipod.
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29-Dec-2011, 04:49 AM #5
Hi Mark, No, unfortunately I still get the same result with the flash drive and iPod. Do you have any other suggestions please?
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29-Dec-2011, 06:11 AM #6
Open up Disk Management with both the ipod and flash drive plugged in. Open it full screen and then post a screenshot of the window.

Have you tried disabling your Anti Virus and then try to access the two devices? Might be worth a shot.

What PC was the flash drive formatted on and with what OS?
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simonides simonides is offline
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29-Dec-2011, 07:21 AM #7
Hi Mark, here is an image showing diskmgmt screen with the ipod and three other flash drives. http://www.freeimagehosting.net/367a4

All devices work fine on a variety of other computers including windows XP and Windows 7. I don't recall formatting them: don't they come ready formatted?

I disabled Microsoft Security Essentials but with no effect.

Last edited by simonides; 29-Dec-2011 at 07:42 AM..
Mark1956's Avatar
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29-Dec-2011, 09:18 AM #8
The system is clearly seeing the devices, but note, it has not recognised the file system on any of them. I suspect this to be a problem with USB drivers. The internet is full of people with a similar problem but I haven't been able find any common solution.

Try method 3 in this microsoft guide which will re-install the USB drivers. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817900/en-us
Mark1956's Avatar
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29-Dec-2011, 09:21 AM #9
You could also try re-installing the chipset drivers from this link.
http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/research/hints-or-tips/detail.page?&LegacyDocID=MIGR-68016
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piowaty piowaty is offline
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04-Jan-2012, 02:17 AM #10
Smile A possible fix, finally
Check your windows/system32/drivers folder and see if you have a fastfat.sys file in there. If you do, then rename it to fastfat.old and copy the file from another working install to your computer. Reboot.... If this works the problem was a corrupted fat32 driver for your machine. Since Apple doesn't speak NTFS.....bingo.
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Tags
drive, flash, formatted, ipod, windows xp

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