Drives C: and D: are taken by the hard drive and the DVD. So the first available drive for a USB stick is E:. When I plug any USB into the computer, it does not show in File Explorer or in the "My PC" view. But, if I manually tell Explorer to go to "E:", it works fine. Also, if I plug a second USB drive into the computer with the first one still in, it immediately shows up in all views as drive F:. So, only drive E: is not automatically recognized.

Please note: the USB stick itself is fine and not corrupted; autoplay is enabled and set to open Explorer to view files. The problem is only in automatically recognizing drive E:.

Another note: this used to work fine. At some point, I was given an option to change how it reacted to drive E: and I changed it, but I can't remember what I was asked or what I did. There must be a setting somewhere to reverse this.

  • More info - the drive (E:) shows up in Disk Management as healthy; the latest driver is installed. Also, if I reverse the order of plugging in USB drives, then the second drive plugged in always shows up correctly as drive F:. It is only the first drive plugged in that has to be accessed manually.
    – Ottprof
    Jul 3 '19 at 16:06
  • Try to remember what option you changed for the drive.
    – harrymc
    Jul 3 '19 at 16:16
  • Maybe review these steps - groovypost.com/howto/…
    – xpkiro
    Jul 3 '19 at 16:54
  • What happens if you assing the stick a different drive letter and then remove it an stickt it back in? Will it keep that drive letter? Do you have any network drives? Jul 3 '19 at 19:49
  • Yes, mit keeps the new drive letter and continues to work. Then when I stick another drive in, it defaults to E; and again doesn't work.
    – Ottprof
    Jul 4 '19 at 20:03

I found the answer: Unplug the drive(s) if it is plugged in.


Device Manager > View > Show hidden devices

Expand "Disk drives"

Right-click and select "Uninstall device" and uninstall all grayed out entries for the drive(s)

Close Device Manager and plug the drive back in

  • This solution worked for a while then stopped working. So I mapped drive e: to an unused network address. Now the system doesn't use E: and everything works.
    – Ottprof
    Jul 4 '19 at 20:04

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