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USB2 Flash Key Unreadable in WinXP/SP1 - Can't Delete Enum..

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Anonymous
July 27, 2004 2:18:39 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I recently purchased a SanDisk Cruzer Mini 128MB USB 2.0 flash key, used it a few times successfully between 3 PCs all running WinXP Pro with SP1, and also used it on a Win2K PC with USB 1.1 ports only. All went well, but then suddenly the key became unreadable on all my WinXP systems. Of the WinXP systems, the most current is a Compaq PC with the USB2 ports integrated on an ASUS A7V8X-LA (Via KT400 chipset) motherboard, another provides USB2 via an Adaptec DuoConnect card, and the 3rd is a Gateway Solo laptop with USB 1.1 ports only. Each will detect the Cruzer Mini and assign a drive letter, yet it is reported in Disk Manager as unreadable. Given the failure on all 3 PCs, I assumed the USB key must be faulty, so I exchanged it for another identical one at Best Buy. Upon installing that key, it too immediately was reported as unreadable.

Consulting the SanDisk support website, a search resulted in replies to a common "my USB key does not work" sort of question, where the replies all mention editing the Windows Registry to delete various SanDisk registry keys. So, I proceeded to take that approach right up to the point where I could not delete some keys in the Enumeration\USB section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001 yet I could delete other keys in the Enumeration\USBSTOR section of the same branch in the registry. Where unused software or uninstalled devices are concerned, I've never seen such a situation where one cannot delete an associated key in the registry, and this leaves me to wonder whether there are problems with Windows XP regarding support of such devices as these flash keys. Curious to see what my PC at work would reveal, I attempted the same edits of the Windows 2000 registry and found that it also refuses to allow deletion of the keys for the flash drive.

I proceeded next to attempt deletion of another device's enumeration keys and found that too was refused. So perhaps this is unique about the Enumeration area of the registry? I know Windows will maintain entries for phantom devices that have been installed and removed so that they are more readily recognized later with drivers already known, but why is it that one cannot delete these enumeration keys and force redetection of a device? I'm not sure if this is at the heart of the problem with why the Cruzer Mini was unreadable, but I'm very puzzled by the situation. My only solution was to return the Cruzer and purchase a different key, one made by PNY in this case, and which has worked so far. One other thing I attempted before giving up on the cruzer was to boot into safe mode and delete all USB devices, inclusive of host controllers, PCI bridges, etc. related to USB support. Even with all USB devices gone (and none physically conected) and no hidden devices reported by Device Manager, the SanDisk enumeration keys still exist and refuse to allow deletion.

So, I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with any USB2 flash keys? Also, can anyone explain why the enumeration keys could not be deleted? Is this a known Windows XP problem affecting only a few users? I'm at a total loss on how to avoid this problem in the future, should it eventually rear its head with the PNY key.

Thanks,

Daryl
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 7:49:01 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I have the exact same problem. 512mb SanDisk mini-cruzer that shows in My
Computer as E: but I can't open it, or format it. there's nothing on it that
I need, but what a waste if I can't get it to work. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks. C. Carr

"Daryl Pritchard" wrote:

> I recently purchased a SanDisk Cruzer Mini 128MB USB 2.0 flash key, used it a few times successfully between 3 PCs all running WinXP Pro with SP1, and also used it on a Win2K PC with USB 1.1 ports only. All went well, but then suddenly the key became unreadable on all my WinXP systems. Of the WinXP systems, the most current is a Compaq PC with the USB2 ports integrated on an ASUS A7V8X-LA (Via KT400 chipset) motherboard, another provides USB2 via an Adaptec DuoConnect card, and the 3rd is a Gateway Solo laptop with USB 1.1 ports only. Each will detect the Cruzer Mini and assign a drive letter, yet it is reported in Disk Manager as unreadable. Given the failure on all 3 PCs, I assumed the USB key must be faulty, so I exchanged it for another identical one at Best Buy. Upon installing that key, it too immediately was reported as unreadable.
>
> Consulting the SanDisk support website, a search resulted in replies to a common "my USB key does not work" sort of question, where the replies all mention editing the Windows Registry to delete various SanDisk registry keys. So, I proceeded to take that approach right up to the point where I could not delete some keys in the Enumeration\USB section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001 yet I could delete other keys in the Enumeration\USBSTOR section of the same branch in the registry. Where unused software or uninstalled devices are concerned, I've never seen such a situation where one cannot delete an associated key in the registry, and this leaves me to wonder whether there are problems with Windows XP regarding support of such devices as these flash keys. Curious to see what my PC at work would reveal, I attempted the same edits of the Windows 2000 registry and found that it also refuses to allow deletion of the keys for the flash drive.
>
> I proceeded next to attempt deletion of another device's enumeration keys and found that too was refused. So perhaps this is unique about the Enumeration area of the registry? I know Windows will maintain entries for phantom devices that have been installed and removed so that they are more readily recognized later with drivers already known, but why is it that one cannot delete these enumeration keys and force redetection of a device? I'm not sure if this is at the heart of the problem with why the Cruzer Mini was unreadable, but I'm very puzzled by the situation. My only solution was to return the Cruzer and purchase a different key, one made by PNY in this case, and which has worked so far. One other thing I attempted before giving up on the cruzer was to boot into safe mode and delete all USB devices, inclusive of host controllers, PCI bridges, etc. related to USB support. Even with all USB devices gone (and none physically conected) and no hidden devices reported by
Device Manager, the SanDisk enumeration keys still exist and refuse to allow deletion.
>
> So, I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience with any USB2 flash keys? Also, can anyone explain why the enumeration keys could not be deleted? Is this a known Windows XP problem affecting only a few users? I'm at a total loss on how to avoid this problem in the future, should it eventually rear its head with the PNY key.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Daryl
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 9:07:04 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Hi Christine,

Sorry to hear you've run into the same problem as I did. I never found a
solution in my case other than to return the Mini-Cruzer and exchange it for
a PNY Attache flash key. The latter has worked fine across multiple USB1 and
USB2 platforms, be they Windows 2000 or Windows XP. If you are still within
an allowed return period for your flash key, I suggest you change to another
brand.

Good luck,

Daryl
Related resources
Anonymous
September 15, 2004 5:55:44 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

When trying to delete the keys, did you guys change the permissions for
the key? You need to make sure the hardware is no longer connected,
right click on the key, click permissions, check allow full control, and
then delete the key.

----
Nathan McNulty


Daryl Pritchard wrote:
> Hi Christine,
>
> Sorry to hear you've run into the same problem as I did. I never found a
> solution in my case other than to return the Mini-Cruzer and exchange it for
> a PNY Attache flash key. The latter has worked fine across multiple USB1 and
> USB2 platforms, be they Windows 2000 or Windows XP. If you are still within
> an allowed return period for your flash key, I suggest you change to another
> brand.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Daryl
Anonymous
September 15, 2004 10:45:03 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Nathan,

Thanks for the suggestion....changing permissions did indeed allow me to
fully delete the registry keys related to the MiniCruzer. Given how rarely
I've ever had to concern myself with the permissions on registry keys, I'd
not even thought of that factor.

Christine, if you're comfortable with editing the Windows Registry, you
might try deleting the keys for the SanDisk flash key and then see if Windows
redetects it and allows you to use it again. If so, at least you'd have a
workaround...and hopefully a permanent solution, although I'd bet not.

Regards,

Daryl
Anonymous
September 15, 2004 5:32:46 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Glad it worked. And the solution isn't really a workaround, but a fix.
Windows sometimes messes up when it is installing the device and this
happens. It isn't even the fault of the drive, but Windows itself.
Also, most of the hardware keys are protected like that so you have to
change the permissions on them even though you are logged in as Admin. ;) 

----
Nathan McNulty


Daryl Pritchard wrote:
> Nathan,
>
> Thanks for the suggestion....changing permissions did indeed allow me to
> fully delete the registry keys related to the MiniCruzer. Given how rarely
> I've ever had to concern myself with the permissions on registry keys, I'd
> not even thought of that factor.
>
> Christine, if you're comfortable with editing the Windows Registry, you
> might try deleting the keys for the SanDisk flash key and then see if Windows
> redetects it and allows you to use it again. If so, at least you'd have a
> workaround...and hopefully a permanent solution, although I'd bet not.
>
> Regards,
>
> Daryl
!