Flashdisk filesystem not recognised

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I have a USB flash disk that has been performing very well for about 2
years.  When I put it into my WinXP machine (SP2 and all updates) I get
a message "disk has not been formatted, do you wish to format it now".
When I put it into another PC running W2000, it recognises it.  The
disk is formatted as FAT32.

What is the likely cause of this and is there a solution?

Is it likely to be a flashdisk or a software or a motherboard problem?

Re: Flashdisk filesystem not recognised

On 28 Nov 2005 01:21:53 -0800,
robert.spam.me.senseless@gmail.com wrote:

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My first guess would be that you have a USB driver and/or
operating system problem.  Supposedly XP's service packs can
do funny things with USB, did the system originally have SP2
on it or was it applied to a pre-existing XP installation at
a pre-SP2 level?

If the latter, try going into Device Manager and for the USB
ports, look for a newer driver for them (however it's
worded, I forget the exact phrase) in the properties for
them.  If that doesnt' work you could try deleting them and
having XP redetect them.

Before you do that, are all other USB devices working
properly, and have you tried any other USB flash readers and
found them working ok?  They're all going to be formatted as
FAT or FAT32... regular FAT (FAT16 actually) was far more
common until more recently.

Do you "need" FAT32?  I vaguely recall some benchmarks at
http://www.anandtech.com that showed many flash drives had
better performance with FAT rather than FAT32.  My
recollection could be wrong though, but you might try
copying off the files and formatting it as FAT in the XP
system then seeing if it works equally well in whichever
other devices and systems it's needed on.

Re: Flashdisk filesystem not recognised

Thanks - I'll try to reinstall the USB drivers.  As I recall, my flash
drive was working OK a few weeks ago - I wonder if its a problem with
automatic updates??

Incidentally I haven't been able to format floppies and my PC doesn't
recognise floppies either - it prompts me to reformat them.  I wonder
if there's a problem with recognising FAT filesystems.  Any idea as to
how I can remedy this?

Re: Flashdisk filesystem not recognised

On 28 Nov 2005 04:09:41 -0800,
robert.spam.me.senseless@gmail.com wrote:

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You should be able to format them... If this were the only
problem I would suspect either defective floppy discs,
damaged floppy cable or bad floppy drive.  Since it isn't
the only problem you might leave it alone until after
tacking the primary problem.

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Floppies formatted in a non-XP box may lack a media
descriptor and appear unformatted... just another way MS is
trying to encourage you towards being locked into only NTFS
& WinNT vs any other operating system.


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It seems very unlikely to be a problem with FAT filesystem
in general, though now I"m wondering if your flash drive
might not have a proper media descriptor on it as well.  I'd
try copying off data on the sytem that will read it, then
reformatting on the XP box... then rechecking that it is
still readable on the older systems.

As mentioned previously, unless you "need" FAT32 you might
consider using FAT (16) instead, though FAT16 has a
limitation on # of entries in the root of the device though
most people never come across this as a problem on a flash

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