Resolve the Dreaded Unrecognised USB Drive Problem

Just imagine you have bought a brand new USB drive and you are really looking forward to using it. The tension is building as you open it up and see how fantastic it looks. High speed file transportation in a beautifully designed USB drive. You put the USB drive into an available USB port and wait.

You wait a little bit more for your computer to say 'downloading drivers' so you can test out your new purchase. Nothing has happened and nothing happens for a good few minutes. This is probably when you are starting to worry that your USB drive is broken or there is an issue with your PC.

All of a sudden your worst nightmare appears! 'Unrecognised USB device' and you are stuck with no idea what to do. This is where we can help you. Read this article to learn how to overcome this very annoying issue.

Hardware or software issue?

Ultimately when you have a computer issue you need to figure out whether it is a hardware or software issue. In the majority of cases with the message 'unrecognised USB device' this is going to be a software issue.

If you are not seeing any message at all and when you go to look at the computer section of your files there is no USB drive there then this is going to be a hardware issue.

Defining what is causing the issue is the first step.

To learn how to fix your issue you first need to decide whether it is a hardware or software issue. Use the two means of testing as said above and this will probably give you your answer.


Hardware issues in the majority of cases will be the most annoying as often there is nothing you can do other than buy a new replacement for the faulty hardware.

A broken cable or connection in the USB drive can often be the reason for your issues. An easy way to check if the USB drive itself is the issue is to try another USB device and see if that works. If the new device you try does work then this will most likely mean you have a faulty USB drive and will need to replace it.

If no USB devices work in the USB port then the USB port itself will be faulty and you will need to go and get this replaced and/or check internal connections.


Software issues are the most common cause when it comes to the unrecognised USB drive issue. The biggest issue with software 9 times out of 10 will be down to the drivers. Many users will not know what drivers are, for those who do not then drivers are the software that your computer will use to run different pieces of hardware.

For example when you have a graphics card you will need to regularly update the drivers to ensure that it is working properly. With USB devices you do not need to update drivers as frequently, but sometimes an update can be for the best.

Resetting your drivers

The simplest thing you can do that quite often will resolve the issue is to go to your Device Manager and reset your drivers. On Windows this can be done simply by typing 'Device Manager' into your search bar. When you do this is it is vital that your USB drive is not plugged into the computer.

Go to the device tab titled 'Universal Serial Bus controllers' which will often be near the bottom. You should see some USB look alike symbol with exclamation marks next to them saying unknown device.

Drivers will nearly always be what causes the software issue.

Uninstall the devices by right clicking on them and selecting uninstall. If you then plug your USB device back in it should try and reinstall itself. If this works then it will have meant there was just a simple fault when the USB drive tried to install initially.

Filter drivers

For most hardware there will simply just be main drivers the computer uses to run. However occasionally there are what are known as filter drivers which are lesser drivers to help compliment other drivers.

Occasionally these drivers can at worst backfire and completely mess up your drivers for the associate hardware. This can happen with USB devices causing them to be unrecognised or even not appear.

The only way to deal with these drivers is to go to your control panel and select 'Programs and Features'. The problem with these drivers is that you need to know which program or software it is that is causing the issue.

If you do not know this yourself then it is best to not uninstall software as this can cause bigger issues. If you are not confident of doing this yourself find a friend who can do this as filter drivers vary on a case by case basis. Uninstalling the software with the conflicting drivers can often resolve the issue.

Blocked Drive Letters

When a USB drive is plugged into a PC then you may have assigned a specific drive letter to it. For example if you look in your 'computer' section your main hard drive often will have the letter C assigned to it. If you are trying to put a USB device in a drive that has already got something assigned to it then it will fail to work or be recognised.

The best way to avoid this issue is to ensure that when you plug a new device in is to make sure Windows assigns a new letter to it automatically. To do this open up your computers command prompt by typing 'cmd' into the search bar. Make sure you are running this as the administrator.

When you have completed this a big black box with white text should appear. Type “Diskpart” into it and hit enter. When you have done this a new box should appear. In this box write “automount enable” and hit enter again. This will tell your computer to automatically assign any new device with a new letter. Try plugging in your USB drive again and hopefully it should assign it a new letter and allow it to appear for you!


Computer issues can be infuriating at the best of times. By trying out these various methods we hope that you will be able to get your brand new BabyUSB drive working just as it should.

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