I was working on a friend’s computer this last weekend and I ran into a problem where her Kingston DataTraveler 16 GB suddenly stopped working on her Windows 7 Home Premium PC. My netbook, Eek, is currently running Windows 7 Ultimate and recognized it just fine.
This was only the start of the USB problems.
The original complaint was that the desktop couldn’t recognize a multimedia card reader (she was trying to offload some photos), which my netbook had no problem with. Next, I tried plugging in her iPod Nano (1G) which both iTunes and Windows also claimed were not formatted correctly. Then I tried my iPod Touch (2G), which worked without a problem. Finally, I decided to unplug the working USB mouse and use its port to plug in “not formatted” devices. No dice, and when I plugged the mouse back in, it didn’t work any more. At this point, the only functioning USB device I had was the keyboard. So I rebooted, which gave me the mouse back, but still no luck on the other devices.
- Boot the machine with Windows 7 install disk
- Click ok/next on the first screen (asking about language and such)
- At the next screen, instead of clicking Install, select Repair.
- It will look for your install, once it finds it click Next then launch a command prompt.
- Plug in the USB device
- Navigate to it via command prompt (just keep trying drive letters till you find it).
- Once you are there, give it a
- If that works, try any other malfunctioning devices (I just did the card reader, didn’t try the iPod).
Once Windows 7 boots back up, the devices (including the iPod) worked again. Huzah!
It seems that INFCACHE.1 may have been the culprit, I couldn’t find it to delete it while in Windows (it is supposed to be in C:\WINDOWS\inf), but I saw it from the recovery console and figured that it might be the cache generated by the recovery process, which was in fact working, so I left it on there (rather than deleting it, which was my first instinct) and now things are working great.