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18-09-2023 22:41 PM

USB flash drive has turned into a disk drive

I was copying some files from my (D:) flash drive (Kingston DataTraveller) to documents in my hard drive.  There was an error message, something to do with the disk being unavailable, and I just assumed it was because the files I was copying had originally come from a Dell Inspiron laptop with a disk drive.     

Now whenever I click on the (D:) drive, I am asked to insert a disk.  I cannot do this because this laptop doesn't have a disk drive.

Is there any way to restore things so that I can access the Kingston USB and get rid of the insert a disk message?

2 Intern


4K Posts

19-09-2023 10:53 AM

The Forum users cannot correctly assist you until you post the specific Laptop model and operating system.

If your USB flash drive has turned into a disk drive and you can't access its contents, it's possible that the file system on the drive has become corrupted or there's a problem with the drive itself. You can try the following steps to attempt to recover the data and fix the issue:

  1. Check the Drive on Another Computer:

    • Sometimes, the issue may be computer-specific. Connect the USB flash drive to another computer to see if it's recognized as a disk drive there. If it works on the other computer, the problem may be with your computer's settings or drivers.
  2. Use Data Recovery Software:

    • If your USB flash drive is not recognized correctly, you can try using data recovery software to retrieve your files before attempting any further fixes. Some popular data recovery tools include Recuva, TestDisk, or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.
    • Install one of these programs, connect the USB drive, and use the software to scan for and recover your data. Save the recovered files to a different location, not on the problematic USB drive.
  3. Format the Drive:

    • After you've recovered your data (or if you don't have any important data on the drive), you can try formatting it. Formatting will erase all data on the drive and may help resolve the issue.
    • To format the drive in Windows:
      1. Connect the USB flash drive to your computer.
      2. Open File Explorer.
      3. Locate the USB drive, right-click on it, and select "Format."
      4. Choose a file system (FAT32 or NTFS) and give it a new name.
      5. Click "Start" to begin the format process.
  4. Use Disk Management (Windows):

    • If you're unable to format the drive using File Explorer, you can try formatting it using the Disk Management utility in Windows:
      1. Press Win + X and select "Disk Management" from the menu.
      2. Find your USB drive in the lower section of the window.
      3. Right-click on the drive and select "Format." Follow the on-screen instructions to format the drive.
  5. Try a Different USB Port and Computer:

    • Sometimes, the USB port or computer you're using may be causing the issue. Try connecting the USB flash drive to a different USB port on your computer or to another computer to see if the issue persists.
  6. Check for Hardware Issues:

    • If none of the above steps work, it's possible that there is a hardware problem with the USB flash drive. In this case, you may need to consider replacing the drive.

Remember that formatting the drive will erase all data on it, so make sure to recover any important files first. If the drive still behaves as a disk drive after trying these steps, it may be a sign of a more serious hardware issue, and you should consider contacting the manufacturer's support or a data recovery specialist for further assistance.


Community Manager


53.2K Posts

19-09-2023 18:07 PM

Our users cannot correctly assist you in troubleshooting until you reply back with the specific Inspiron Laptops model and the operating system installed.