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  1. #1
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    Reconnect USB drives

    Sorry about the word "unremove" but it seems like good PC-speak

    Sometimes, after I have safely removed-external USB drives I want to re-connect them. Of course I can do that by unplugging the USB cables and reinserting - but is there a software-driven way to force W7 to rediscover USB devices ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    In such a situation I've had to close Windows Explorer [File Explorer in Win8 and later] then open it again, usually gets all the USB devices discovered. In extreme cases I've had to shut a computer down and pull the power cord out for a few seconds, put it back and try again.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    You should be able to do it using Devcon. Have a look at post #3 in this Why do we have to physically re-plug a USB drive to “read” it again? article.

    Uwe Sieber has also written a specific utility. Have a look at his RestartSrDev V2.0 article here.

    If I remember correctly you can also re-enumerate devices using Nir Sofer's USBDeview.

    Hope this helps...

    Edit - I used 'Safely remove' to eject a USB stick whilst I watched what happened in USBDeview. I tried USBDeview's Reload USB Hub option but couldn't force re-enumeration of the USB stick. I didn't try RestartSrDev ('cos, frankly, I have no use for it).
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-04-20 at 08:10.

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    ...when I saw the switches for those utilities and the explanations, I thought I was in Devcon 2. I need to read some more...
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Sorry, but Windows is an OOED environment (Object Oriented Event Driven), so if you tell Windows to disconnect a USB device ("Safely Remove...") Windows will do so because you (he/she who must be obeyed) have ordered so.

    If you subsequently decide you want to re-connect to such dis-connected hardware (without severing the physical connection) then Windows needs an "event" to cause the re-connection of the hardware.

    Others have posted suggestions in this thread re software that might help, but I wonder why it is such a problem to disconnect/reconnect such USB devices?
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Not tested it in a few months but my usual non-reboot method for this is to enter Computer Management > Device Manager, right-click the computer name in the right pane and click Refresh (Scan for computer changes).

    EDIT: Forget that, I just tested it and it still requires physically removing and reconnecting the USB connection.
    Last edited by satrow; 2015-04-20 at 08:20.

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  8. #7
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    If I understand the question correctly, MartinM wants to have the USB drive re-discovered/re-installed. If that's true then he could remove the USB drive by doing it in Device Manager and then plugging it back in.
    Here are instructions that I saved from a long ago post to remove the USB drive.
    "The OP could try the following (unplug the USB Flash drives first):
    Open an elevated Command Prompt (Start/Search, type "cmd" [no quotes]).
    At the top of the list of results right-click "cmd" (cmd.exe) then left-click "Run as Administrator".
    At the prompt type "SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1" (no quotes) then press Enter.
    Then type "START DEVMGMT.MSC" then press Enter.
    A "Device Manager" window should open; click on View/Show hidden devices

    Any greyed-out (disconnected) devices listed under "Disk Drives" and "Universal Serial Bus controllers" that you recognise as your USB Flash drives should be removed (right-click/Uninstall).
    Any greyed-out (disconnected) devices listed under "Unknown Devices" should be safe to remove.

    Once you have removed any problem devices you should restart Windows; once Windows has loaded fully plug in one of your Flash drives - Windows should now detect and install it normally."
    HTH

  9. #8
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    Thanks for the replies - which I am working through to find the solution.

    For those who maybe thought that I was just lazy, a fair assumption, it is actually for a neighbour who has bad arthritis and the consequences of mistakenly "safely removing" an external drive are (literally) a pain.

    PS I had already installed Uwe Sieber's Remove Drive utility, along with a batch file, to reduce the clicking needed to remove a number of external drives - that works beautifully.
    Last edited by MartinM; 2015-04-23 at 04:55.

  10. #9
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    I too have long wished for a way to avoid having to physically unplug and replug in usb sticks which have been "Safely Removed." The issue is the cheaply made usb jacks (read junk hardware) which don't last and malfunction.

  11. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    I use a USB extension cable permanently plugged into the back of my PC. The other end sits on my physical desktop so need to bend down etc to access the USB slots on the PC.

  12. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    I have seen a few USB keyboards that have one or more USB ports, but for years I have just used a Belkin USB extension cable connected to one of the rear ports with the socket end fixed to my desk beside my keyboard.

    Using an extension cable also helps to avoid accidental damage to the front USB ports on desktop cases. I have seen many customers' PCs that had broken front ports; sometimes the contacts are shorted causing the PC to fail to boot up.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  13. #12
    3 Star Lounger
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    Why bother to "safely remove" if not disconnecting?
    George

  14. #13
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Sierra View Post
    Why bother to "safely remove" if not disconnecting?
    It's one way to force any write cache to hurry up and write.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  15. #14
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    High Sierra,
    Sometimes she Safely Removes then remembers there's something else she needs to do.
    Unplugging and then re-plugging is (literally) a pain.
    Please don't be scornful - she has some difficulties !
    Martin

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinM View Post
    High Sierra,
    Sometimes she Safely Removes then remembers there's something else she needs to do.
    Unplugging and then re-plugging is (literally) a pain.
    Please don't be scornful - she has some difficulties !
    Martin
    Sorry if I came off as scornful. No disrespect meant. I had the impression that the USB drive was always left connected (plugged in).
    George

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