Here's the setup:

  • Dell Precision M4700 laptop
  • Windows 8 To Go installed on a week-old Patriot Tab 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive
  • Laptop natively runs Windows 7 Professional
  • From Windows 7, flash drive was set to favor performance instead of quick removal

I had booted into Windows 8 To Go on my laptop and I was doing some audio editing. I was rendering some audio to WAV. The render was nearly completed, and the disk was nowhere near being full - I had about 10GB free, and the render should have used up a little over 1GB.

My digital audio workstation hung at 100%, and the application window 'whited out' as Windows does when an application becomes unresponsive. I expected this - my Windows 8 To Go setup is mind-breakingly slow with anything regarding disk IO.

But then, after a minute or two, I got the Windows 8 BSOD.


  • If I boot the computer with the flash drive in, it hangs at the BIOS splash screen
  • Windows 7 does not recognize the drive when I plug it in
  • The drive does NOT show up in diskmgmt.msc OR in the Device Manager - not even as a device that needs troubleshooting. As far as I can tell, the USB port it's plugged into shows up as empty.

I have not yet had the chance to boot into Linux and check to see if it's recognized there... but does anybody have a clue of anything that I could do to fix this problem from within Windows 7 - and more importantly, does anyone know what could have happened to cause this?

TL;DR: Win8 To Go BSODs on a disk write operation and now Windows 7 won't recognize the drive at all.

  • Before any help can be offered you have to confirm some other tool can see the device.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 24 '13 at 12:30

I would advise using a program like WinHex to open the disk in raw mode and see what can be done about the filesystem, but if your flash drive isn't recognized at all, it may not show up in this kind of tool either. Check if the drive does show up in any way on another computer, if you have access to one (a friend's? at school? etc). If it does, the problem is likely a faulty USB port in your computer.

I don't know what might've happened to cause this, but if you'll allow speculation, I would guess the BSOD was caused by the flash drive (or USB port) experiencing some kind of hardware failure. This would cause any write operation to time out, and when the OS tries to do something after that, it can't read from its primary 'hard drive', hence the BSOD.

Good luck!

  • After some testing, I can see the disk from OSX... but I can't erase / reformat / anything in Disk Utility. It always fails out. I think the hardware failed. :(
    – eckza
    Nov 5 '13 at 18:17

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