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I have a Sandisk Cruzer Micro 8GB flash drive. It used to work just fine, but now when I plug it in, a drive letter for it only appears for a split second and then disappears. Sometimes the light on the drive also goes out, sometimes it stays in idle mode (slowly fading in/out).

Disk Management does not show any device plugged in; I see USB Mass Storage Device in the USB section in Device Manager, but I feel that it isn't my flash drive. I tried multiple PCs, and the same happens on all of them.

I have a bad feeling that this is a hardware problem and the flash drive is going to have to hit the dustbin :( But maybe there still is something to try?

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If you have confirmed another flash drive working on all these PCs, the Cruzer is suspect. –  nik Aug 5 '09 at 12:44
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6 Answers 6

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sounds like a flaky flash drive. If it has demonstrated itself to be problematic, and replacing it would set you back all of ~$15.00, why try to salvage it? I say it should "hit the dustbin".

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Hoeray for cheap USB drives! –  Ivo Flipse Aug 5 '09 at 12:58
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the problem is not to salvage the hardware, but usually people want to recover their files! –  Decio Lira Oct 30 '09 at 3:20
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Troubleshooting an unrecognized USB device:

Q: When I plug in my USB drive I hear the audible "ding" sound but nothing happens after that. I don't see that the drive is being recognized at all. If I leave the thumb drive plugged in and reboot, Vista will then recognize it. How can I get the system to recognize the thumb drive without rebooting the system?

A: There are two methods that I have seen work for this issue:

Method #1:

  • Go to Start
  • In the Search field, type in: device manager
  • Open device manager and navigate to your USB controller
  • Right click the drive and select Properties
  • Be sure that the option for "Write Caching" is enabled

Method #2:

  • Navigate to Device Manager using the above instructions
  • Right click and Delete all of your USB controllers
  • Reboot Vista
  • Vista will recognize that you have deleted the USB controllers and add the new hardware back to your system. This may fix anything that had been corrupt.
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I have had a problem like this before. Plugging in the flash drive would work for a moment and then the drive would disappear. The cause in my case was a drive letter conflict. it seemed that the SD card reader was attempting to use the same drive letter for the removable SD card slot. I had to go into computer manager. Right click on my computer -> select manage then go to disk administrator. Here you can give the removable storage a different drive letter and this should resolve the conflict.

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If it happens on all computers it's not a drive letter problem.

Chek your warranty. I had similar symptoms with a Sandisk Cruzer. Mine was the Titanium model, and still under the warranty (4 years I think), so Sandisk sent me a replacement.

If you have anything important that you need to get off it, you might (like me) just get it working long enough to get those files, by repeatedly unplugging and replugging it.

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Click Start > Run and type diskmgmt.msc and click OK,

check if your drive appear there, if yes, right-click and FORMAT.

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