Sandisk Cruzer not recognized by Windows 7

I’ve seen countless issues with sandisk USB drives and this is what I did to fix it. Please note, this involves moving files around and if your not careful you could make things horribly worse.

A few things to note

  1. The sandisk worked fine in any other OS except for Win7
  2. Sandisk wanted you to uninstall the “U3” software which you can’t do if you don’t have another computer the device is recognized on.
  3. I had completely obliterated everything on the drive including all special partitions etc including any and all U3 files without using any kind of sandisk un-installer.  [Please note I used a low level hardware format but it’s not something any one needs to do for this to work]
    4.Normally it would be detected as a storage controller but then would fail to install and listed itself as an unknown device. Previous suggestions from forums and Sandisk FAQ’s failed to work.

1.The first thing I did was delete the usbstor.inf file in c:\windows\inf (you may want to put a copy on your desktop just to be safe)
When I put the USB stick into a USB port it detected it again but this time it showed up as Cruzer in other devices in device manager. (Device manager can be accessed by right clicking on your “computer” icon and selecting manage.)

2.I then copied the file usbstore.inf from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\usbstor.inf_amd64_neutral_xxxxxxxx where xxxxx could be any combination of numbers and/or letters. The actual directory where this file is found is probably in a different location for your install of windows, depending on your specific comptuer. You could see _intel or _x86 it just depends on the type of operating system and computer you have. (The file should be in a subdirectory of C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\) Another way to find the file is to do a search in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ for the usbstore.inf file.)

3.When I scanned for hardware changes in Device Manager, (you should see the name of your computer at the top, just right click and select scan for hardware changes) this time it picked it up as the correct device and installed it as a USB mass storage device.

Although I didn’t try it, I suppose it’s also possible to simply remove the original usbstore.inf file from the c:\windows\inf directory and put it back later instead of copying the other one.

I hope this helps anyone who still has the issue. If this didn’t work for you or you had another issue pop up. I’ll try and keep an eye on this post. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Have the same problem if Staples cant fix{where I bought it} its goin to be returned

ok not sure about moving files but i had this same issue, but i couldn’t see my usb drive in my linux os either, so here is how i fixed it, and can now use it in win7 or Kubuntu

First I downloaded a free partitioning software called EASEUS it could see the usb stick and i told it to wipe all data and partition to a FAT32 after that windows was able to see it as an empty drive and I was able to make a Kubuntu startup disk, which is what i got it for. By the way the process too a long time to wipe and partition.

Hope that helps anyone else who might have this issue 

FWIW I boot Windows PE on my Cruzer and I didn’t reformat it or delete U3 from it.  I can use it both ways.

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Thanks a lot Myth024 !!!

I struggled so much and found no valid answer except yours :smileyvery-happy:

Thanks a ton… It worked like a charm…this problem has been bugging me since a long time

Just to give this a much deserved bump, after purchasing a 32GB Cruzer and not being able to get it to recognize on a Win7Pro system at all, I found this thread and it solved the problem. 

In my case, there wasn’t a usbstor.ini at all in the inf directory, but copying it over from the FileRepository did the trick .  Fantastic!  I had just spent 30 or so minutes with tech support and if I had found this before then, it would have been unnecessary. 

Very cool and thank you to the OP for sharing this excellent workaround.

I saved files on this Scandisk Cruzer 8 gb How do I get files off? Disk was to reformat itself?

Data has to be on it what do you think I should do to get files off scandisk?

@ajmcpa65 wrote:

I saved files on this Scandisk Cruzer 8 gb How do I get files off? Disk was to reformat itself?

Data has to be on it what do you think I should do to get files off scandisk?

The same way you put the files on it, only in reverse. Presumably, drag & drop or cut/copy & paste.

Disk was to reformat itself?”

Sounds like the file system has been corrupted.  Usually caused by not using Windows Safely Eject function.  See if running CHKDSK from a Command Prompt helps correct the FAT.

Hi !

i was not able understand this paragraph

2.I then copied the file usbstore.inf from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\usb

stor.inf_amd64_neutral_xxxxxxxx where xxxxx could be any combination of numbers and/or letters. The actual directory where this file is found is probably in a different location for your install of windows, depending on your specific comptuer. You could see _intel or _x86 it just depends on the type of operating system and computer you have. (The file should be in a subdirectory of C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository) Another way to find the file is to do a search in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\ for the usbstore.inf file.)

… where do i copy the usbstor.inf to… like where do i paste it after i have copied it from the system 32\driverStore ???

i deleted the usbstor.inf from the windows.inf… but then i did not get the rest… please help me if u can…

Thanks !

Worked for me with windows 8. Thnak you VERY much.

This solve my issue with 32GB stick - and worked for my other 64GB stick, too! :smileyvery-happy:

Thanks! 

Chances are you have Kies installed which is interfering with the drive–try this:  http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/All-SanDisk-USB-Flash-Drives/Windows-7-Explorer-not-showing-drive-while-it-shows-in-computer/m-p/286716#M3656

usbstor.inf contains information about your USB devices. For some reason information about USB flash drives stored in the usbstor.inf file causes some USB drives to not be correctly recognized by windows. This is probably because other USB flash drives from other companies have been used and windows is stupid. (I’m making an educated guess here.) Windows stores a back up copy of this file with default information in another directory. So what I did was delete the file that windows was using and replace it with a “backup” copy. I will note, however, that just deleting the file caused other issues so this is why I’m replacing the file with another copy.

The short version is we are deleting usbstor.inf file that is located inside C:\Windows\inf  and then copying a file from a different directory back into C:\Windows\inf

This usbstor.inf file is located in several different locations on a computer and each copy of this file contains different information.

Anyone who has been dealing with computers for a long time expects that file extensions always come after a period. (autoexec.bat command.com explorer.exe usbstor.inf etc…) However, in windows some directories will now use periods as part of the directory name. In this case it can be particularly confusing because the name of the file we want is also represented as part of the name of the directory we want to open. This directory is one that is dynamically created by windows so the exact directory name where this “backup” file is stored will vary depending on the hardware a computer has.

My processor inside my computer is a 64bit AMD processor so windows dynamically created a directory that contained, as part of the directory name, _amd64_ . If someone has an Intel processor, windows may use _intel_ as part of the directory name.

For anyone that only has experience with Windows 7, they may not be aware of how to directly access the file system. So thanks to microsoft thinking that people are really dumb, they have tried to make the windows interface so user friendly that you can’t really easily get to what you want. In most cases the “My Computer” icon may not be on the desktop but it can usually be found in the windows start menu listed simply as “Computer”.

Now, I hope I have clarified the directory issue.

So we are deleting (or copying to the desktop and then deleting) usbstor.inf file from C:\Windows\inf

Then we are going to copy the file from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\usbstor.inf_amd64_neutral_xxxxxxxx (or whatever the subdirectory is on your own computer) into C:\Windows\inf

Hope that clears things up.

Thanks for the update Myth024. :smiley:

How does one determine which backup file to restore from?  On my system I have several.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601] Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\>dir usbstor\*.\* Volume in drive C is Windows 7 Volume Serial Number is 1CB7-B854 Directory of C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository 07/14/2009 12:51 AM \<DIR\> usbstor.inf\_x86\_neutral\_83027f5d5b2468d3 04/28/2011 05:34 PM \<DIR\> usbstor.inf\_x86\_neutral\_9d88b35623781f49 04/30/2011 12:52 PM \<DIR\> usbstor.inf\_x86\_neutral\_c77d41a490bdc63d 04/30/2011 12:52 PM \<DIR\> usbstor.inf\_x86\_neutral\_e6d53e776821c5b8 0 File(s) 0 bytes 4 Dir(s) 5,199,818,752 bytes free

This worked for me with a slight modification:

1. I removed the ‘usbstor.inf’ from the C:/Windows/inf (keeping a copy in a temorary folder)

  1. I restarted my computer

  2. I went to Device Manager and saw the USB Mass Storage Device, but it was not showing up in My Computer as a drive.

I checked the Device Properties and it mentioned “This device is disaled (code 22)”

  1. in Device Manager I Uninstalled the device

  2. I put the ‘usbstor.inf’ file back in C:/Windows/inf

  3. In Device Manager I scanned for new hardware

  4. everything works now (-:

Hi:

I’ve tried a variety of your suggestions, but solution is only intermittent.

Yes, following instructions such as those give (immediately above) by Ed_P (above) *do* work.

However, as soon as I use the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ icon (as one is told they are supposed to do!) the flash drive disappears and upon reinserting the flash drive it is not recognized. Upon reinserting the flash drive, the Device Manager states that I have a ‘SanDisk Cruzer Switch USB Device’ (under ‘DIsk Drives’) but the drive does not show up in Windows Explorer, and I’m back to square one again.

I have TWO SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drives (16GB & 32GB) and this applies to both of them. Other flash drivers inserted into the same port

As I use the larger of these two SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drives for all-important work files (transporting the drive between home and work) makes me wonder if I should change to new company seeing that it is ONLY the SandDisk drives this is happening to.

BTW, I am *not* having this problem at work where I am also running Win 7 (Professional) - the problem seems to exist only with the Win 7 (Ultimate) computer at home.

Any suggestions…please???

I just wanted to add to my post immediately above with some extra information.

Today I started in Safe Mode with the the two flash drives (16GB & 32GB) inserted. Both showed up. I also used the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ icons, and one-by-one, ejected them both. While still in Safe Mode I re-inserted the drives, and they were both recognized again.

I restarted the computer in _ Normal Mode, _ once again with the drives inserted. When the computer started up the drives were present and recognizedd.

HOWEVER , when I disconnected them by using the I tried using the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ icons, and then tried to reinsert them they WEREN’T recognized.

So, in _ Safe Mode _ they are recognized and using the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ method means that they can be reinserted and recognized, but when running in  Normal Mode , using the ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ method means that they ARE NOT recognized when reinserted.

I hope this extra infromation helps with possible solutions for my problem.

I look forward to any replies!