Find Your Missing USB Drive in Windows XP

Have you ever plugged in a USB drive or any external device with a hard drive and wondered why you cannot see it in My Computer?

More than likely the cause is that Windows renamed the drive to a letter that is already in use. This will happen if you have several card readers, thumb drives or external hard drives attached. It will also happen if you are on a network and have mapped drives.

To find the drive and then rename it, you’ll want to right-click on My Computer and select Manage.

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From the Computer Management screen, select Disk Management.

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In this window you should see all of your connected physical drives, their format, if they are healthy, and the drive letter.

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In this instance I am going to change the drive letter of my Lexar USB drive. Right-click on the drive in the list, and from the resulting menu select “Change Drive Letters and Paths…”

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Click on Change so we can change the drive letter. You might notice that you can select Add, which would let you mount the drive into a folder if you wanted to. We don’t want to, so just click Change.

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Select a new drive letter from the drop down list, preferably the one that you usually use for this drive.

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Click Yes on the confirmation screen and you are done

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If you have auto play enabled, you will get the normal pop up dialog asking what you want to do.

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Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+