Every now and then you must have seen the ‘flash drive not recognized’ error message appearing on the system tray. This issue generally appears when we connect an external device to the computer and the operating system is unable to recognize it or read it. It doesn’t mean that the drive is malfunctioning or is harmful. It’s one of the general issues associated with connecting an external device to your computer. It’s time we dig deep and fix ‘flash drive not recognized’ problem and eliminate this disturbance.
This issue can arise in both Windows and Mac systems. It may be an initial indication of your flash drive corruption or some data in it. At times it becomes a pain recovering files from corrupt flash drives if the issue is grave. Eliminating the minor errors can save you from facing a big loss of data.
There are different ways to face this issue in both Windows and Mac. I will explain you a few troubleshooting steps to solve this issue.
As you connect the device a message appears stating “One of the USB device attached to this computer has malfunctioned” labeled with “Flash drive not recognized” error message.
Let’s solve the Flash drive not recognized problem in 3 different ways for both Windows (Windows 10, Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 7, Vista, Windows Server 2003 & 2008, Windows XP, 2000) and Mac (High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, Mavericks, etc. ) systems;
Fix “Flash Drive Not Recognized” Problem in Windows
Method 1: Scan the Flash Drive for Issues
Every computer has an inbuilt mode of scanning any USB drive attached to it. You can use this method to find out any error in the connection or the device.
1 – Plug the USB drive on the computer
2 – Go to This PC (My computer for earlier versions) and right click on the flash drive and go to Properties.
3 – Open Tool tab and click Check Now
4 – It will display the scan result in a while.
This will scan and show you the results for any issues with your device. You can further troubleshoot the issues or use any third party element to fix issues.
Method 2: Flash Drive Reformatting
This method can prove to be very effective in some cases. There are a lot of flash drives which can give you a positive result in certain cases. In order to do this, follow the instructions;
1 – Right click on the flash drive icon and click Format; this opens the format window.
2 – Go to the File system.
3 – Toggle between NTFS and FAT32 and click Start
This will reformat your flash drive and it might help you to eliminate the flash drive not recognized issue
Method 3: Update Driver
To update the driver, you have to go to the device manager window. Do keep in mind you have the administrator rights to use and change the system settings.
1 – Open the Run command and Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open the device manager tab.
2 – Go to the Universal Serial Bus Controller drop-down
3 – Select Generic USB Hub from the dropdown and right click on it
4 – Select the Update Driver Software option
This step will update your driver software and fix the Flash Drive not recognized problem in the computer.
Fix “Flash Drive Not Recognized” Problem in Mac
If you are a Mac user and face the same issue with your system, here are some methods to eliminate it. I will take you through 3 methods to troubleshoot and fix the Flash Drive Not Recognized problem.
Method 1: Connect the USB Flash Drive Manually
In order to perform this first select a port to connect the USB flash drive.
1 – Go to Applications and click on Utilities
2 – Select “Ask me What to do” from the Devices pop-up box
3 – Go to Devices and click External Devices.
You can manually connect the Unrecognizable flash drive with this method. It can eliminate the error message that you were receiving earlier.
Method 2: PRAM Fix
To perform this troubleshooting you have to retune the PRAM.
1 – Shut Down the Mac
2 – Press the Power button and hold Command + Option along with P+R while the system starts.
3 – As the system starts boot release the buttons.
Method 3: Format Drive
This method solves the issue after the drive is formatted and reconnected to the system. In order to do that, here are the steps;
1 – Press Command + Spacebar and connect the flash drive.
2 – Open Application and Click on Disk Utility Option
3 – Select the Flash Drive on the left pane.
4 – Click on Erase button to complete the process
This will resolve your issue, you may reconnect the flash drive to your computer and start using it without the error message.
The Flash Drive Not Recognized problem is a usual issue with many computers, but it can be solved easily with any of the given troubleshooting methods. Formatting the flash drive will result in deletion of all the files in that drive. So make sure to recover all the important documents, photos, videos etc. from the drive before performing any troubleshooting.