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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Home Edition doesn't recognize USB or CD drives (SOLVED!)

    Hello everyone,

    I have encountered a Dell Dimension 4500 Optiplex with XP Home installed. SP3 is installed, and the computer has the latest from Windows Update. However, I have encountered an interesting problem with the machine. The computer has a CD-RW optical drive that is not recognized by Windows. I know I have the drive attached correctly, as it is getting power, and open and closes normally. Yet Windows doesn't see it in My Computer, nor does Device Manager or Disk Management pick it up either. Would I need to get the driver from the Dell website - specifically, the webpage that has all the downloads for this specific model? Or is there something else amiss with the drive?

    Furthermore, Windows Explorer is also not recognizing any external USB devices I attach to the computer. I've tried 3 separate thumb drives, all in different USB ports, along with an external HDD. Interestingly enough, Disk Management actually does see any device I attach and assigns it a drive letter, and Windows did install the necessary driver when I first plugged them in. I also checked Device Manager, and the USB devices are shown there. But none of it is appearing in My Computer. Is there a hotfix I need for this, or would I also need to get some sort of driver from the Dell website? I've already ensured that the BIOS and chipset are both fully updated with the latest from the Dell website, but there could be more that I am simply missing.
    Last edited by Diogones; 2011-10-04 at 14:13.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
    Furthermore, Windows Explorer is also not recognizing any external USB devices could be more that I am simply missing.
    Diogones,
    Hello... I have XP-Pro but you might check under "Device Manager"> "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and click on "Properties" on each one and see whats up Regards Fred
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    Disk Management detects the drives and assigns a drive letter, but Windows Explorer fails to show the drives - how weird! I have s sneaky feeling that whatever is doing that to your USB devices is causing the symptom on your "undetectable" CD drive too.

    In disk Management, can you right click on one of the mounted USB drives and Explore?

    What happens if you open a DOS command prompt and attempt to navigate to one of the mounted USB drives? Are you able to browse the contents or do you get an error?

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
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    XP's handling of USB devices and optical drives is often problematic; the drivers are not robust.

    MS has two support articles relating to the type of problem you describe.

    This one is for problems with USB device identification, and includes a "Fix It" which refers to CD/DVD drives as well. It patches a registry corruption, which may or may not be the problem but does not hurt to try:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925196

    This one is specifically for optical drive problems, including drive not recognized:
    http://support.microsoft.com/mats/cd_dvd_drive_problems

    Both articles include other references which may be useful if the fixits don't sort the problem.

    To eliminate hardware/configuration issues I boot with an Ubuntu live CD and see if the devices work there. That can save some tail chasing.

    Jock

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    Jock, agreed on the use of a Linux live CD. As I recently found out with a NTFS index corruption though, it doesn't always show the complete picture, but it is a jolly good start.

    However, just to clarify what Diogenes noted in his first post:

    Disk Management actually does see any device I attach and assigns it a drive letter, and Windows did install the necessary driver when I first plugged them in.
    {my highlighting}

    If Disk Management detects and assigns a drive letter, Explorer should....umm, well,....explore.

    Diogenes, could you post a screen grab of Disk Management detecting and assigning the USB device and perhaps one from a Linux Live session showing the drive configuration so we can compare?

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    Tinto Tech wrote:
    If Disk Management detects and assigns a drive letter, Explorer should....umm, well,....explore.
    Yes it should ,but it seems that with USB drives this is often not the case.
    I've run into it numerous times.To be honest ,I don't don't where this setting is in the Registry, but
    The easy way is to install TweakUI for XP http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...ads/windows-xp
    Go to Featured Downloads ,you'll find it near the bottom.
    After installing it ,run it and go to My Computer > Drives and tick all drives -then the drives will show up in Explorer.
    You can also just tick the drive letter that showed in DiskManagement ,but ticking all will prevent new drives to be hidden.

    Pete.


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    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your prompt and helpful replies!

    Fred, I did check the USB controller properties under Device Manager, and it reports all of them as working properly. I also tried updating the drivers individually from the Properties page, but unsurprisingly, XP did not find any new drivers.

    No Tinto, the Explore option is greyed out from the right click menu in Disk Management. However, I didn't think to try and navigate to the device from the DOS prompt, so I'll give that a try and let you know what happens.

    Jockmullin, thanks for the MS Support links, but unfortunately neither Fix-it worked. Again, I didn't think to try and boot to a Linux environment - another great suggestion, and one that I will also attempt.

    I've heard of TweakUI, DiggerP, but I've never used it before. I suppose that is worth a shot as well.

    So right now, I have three techniques that I haven't tried yet: using the command line, a Linux CD boot, and using TweakUI. I'll give them all a whirl, and let you know what I find. If nothing works, then I'll post the requested screenshot Tinto.
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    After experiencing the same problem on my own PC and seeing it on customer's PC's
    I finally found a script that edits the registry and fixes the problem.
    It's been written up quite a bit on the internet forums.

    In a nutshell, it deletes Upper and Lower filters.
    That little reg script is available here.
    http://www.box.net/shared/uqrsvto6c4t4cecis7ya

    Download it, run it and reboot. The CD drive should be visible in Windows.
    If not, then that wasn't the problem. Eh?

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-09-23 at 13:53.
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  9. #9
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reg script, Dr.Who: it did the trick! And thanks to everyone else for their great suggestions! I'm marking the thread as resolved.
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

  10. #10
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diogones View Post
    I have encountered a Dell Dimension 4500 Optiplex with XP Home installed.
    I think you have a fake Dell! It certainly isn't an Optiplex...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger Diogones's Avatar
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    It isn't a fake dell BATcher, but thank you for the correction. It is simply a Dell Dimension 4500. Sometimes it can be tricky keeping these models separated.
    Last edited by Diogones; 2011-10-06 at 14:07.
    "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Issac Asimov, from his novel "Foundation"

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