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I have a 8 GB Sandisk Cruzer USB drive that I just purchased a few weeks ago. I use two systems, viz Windows XP and Windows 7 Professional. When I connect my drive to Windows 7, it's working properly as an external USB drive; I can remove it by safely remove option. But an issue is arising when I connect it to a Windows XP machine. It's treated as an internal hard drive!! I cannot even safely remove it.

The file system is FAT32. I used other USB drives too, but this is kind of weird; I've never seen this issue.. What is the reason and how can I fix this problem?

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The file system is not the issue nor is it as what it shows up, that's just a user representation. To avoid file corruption you need to have that drive disable its write caching.

Now, I don't remember the XP path, but it should be in its properties. Right click the drive > Properties > look for Policies and select Quick removal if it's not already selected.

Under 7 I know it's under Right click the drive > Properties > hardware > select the drive in question > Properties button > Policies tab.

I also have a drive, it's one of those 1,8" pocket USB hard drives. Ideally, it would be best to show up as a removable drive, but it shows up as a plain HDD, which has its advantages when trying to boot up OSes, and it's set for quick removal and formatted with NTFS. I have no issues with it even if most of the times I just yank it out of the USB port whenever I need it.

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On Windows XP you can change it by opening properties on the device:

  • Click hardware tab
  • Select the USB drive
  • Click properties
  • Change setings
  • Policies tab
  • Select Quick Removal

In a simple way, that choice turns off the cache feature on a USB/HDD drive (external). That will make it respond a little bit slower, but you can eject it quickly.

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