Just before something goes wrong everything is working perfectly. I needed to give some files to a friend so I put my USB Thumb drive in the USB port. The computer recognized it with a somewhat musical sound effect as it always does. I copied the files to the drive and removed the drive. I did not use the "Safely remove hardware" icon as I usually do. A few moments later I needed to work on a file that was on the thumb drive so I installed it in the same port, got the same sounds but something did not seem right. I opened Explorer and did not see the E: drive as I normally did. I tried all the usual remedies. I did a system restore to the previous day. Still does not show in Explorer. I even have an Image of the drive on a separate external HD. I swapped out the regular C: drive and recovered the image from a few days before. Everything is perfect except the thumb drive (E: drive) still is not seen. Occasionally it flickers in between the D: and F: drives but shows a tiny red X icon next to it. Clicking it results in the following message:
"E:\ refers to a location that is unavailable. It could be on a hard drive on this computer, or on a network. ......."
Looking around various websites is not very helpful. There are some references to a handle or DLL that needs to be closed. All recommend using the Safely remove hardware option. That results in this message: "The device 'USB mass storage device' cannot be stopped because of an unknown error. Since this device is still being used, do not remove it."
Anyone out there have this experience before and can advise me fairly specifically of the steps needed to fix it? I can still burn CDs but a USB drive is the best way to go and I dont want to have to do without.
The drive is toast... you have removed it without using the Safely remove hardware feature in windows. That is why it is called "safely remove hardware" After having this happen to me I have learned to always use the feature...... The drive cannot be fixed but is it is under warranty the manufacturer may repalce it but the data on the drive is not accessable and the drive is not accessable to windows or any other OS.