How to Fix a Computer Not Reading Removable Storage

By Erin McManaway

Removable storage, such as USB flash drives and external drives, can be used to quickly backup and store files from your computer or transfer them to another computer. If you have a removable storage device that your computer can not detect, you may need to configure the drive in disk management. Sometimes USB external hard drives and flash drives with large storage capacity do not always detect properly.

Enable Drive Letter View

Step 1

Click the "Start" button and choose "Control Panel" from the start menu.

Step 2

Click "Folder Options" and navigate to the "View" tab.

Step 3

Scroll down and place a mark next to "Show drive letters," then click "OK."

Configuring Drive Manager

Step 1

Click the "Start" button to launch the start menu.

Step 2

Right-click "Computer" and choose "Manage" from the menu.

Step 3

Click "Storage" in the menu on the right side to extend the section.

Step 4

Click "Disk Management" under the "Storage" header. This will show you a list of drives and removable storage on your computer. It will also report the status of the drives, such as "Healthy." If the removable storage does not have a drive letter or has a drive letter in conflict with another drive, you can assign it a new letter.

Step 5

Right-click the icon of your removable storage drive and click "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

Step 6

Click the "Change" button, then choose a drive letter from the drop-down menu. Select a letter that is near to the end of the alphabet to prevent drive overlap issues.

Step 7

Click "OK" to allow the changes to take place. You should now see the removable storage listed with your other drives on the "My Computer" screen.