9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 26, 2008 10:35 PM by megagram
growler62000 Level 1 (65 points)
My USB Flash drives will not work under Windows XP Pro

Windows does recognize new hardware but, says it needs software.

I had updated the WinXP after installing under Boot Camp. I thought Windows didn't require drivers for flash drives. My old Dell PC had no problems with these 2 flash drives & my Mac 0S X 10.5.1 also has no problems with them.

Brands are SanDisk & Pony.


iMac 24" 2.8 GHz Core 2 Extreme, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 4 GB RAM, LaCie d2 Quadra 500 GB HDD (Win XP Pro-Boot Camp)
  • xnav Level 5 (6,635 points)
    Did you install the Windows drivers off the Leopard disc? There are required USB drivers, this from the ReadMe:
    +The Intel(R) Chipset Device Software installs Windows*+
    +INF files to the target system. These files outline to+
    +the operating system how to configure the Intel(R) chipset+
    +components in order to ensure that the following features+
    +function properly:+
    +- Core PCI and ISAPNP Services+
    +- PCIe Support+
    +- IDE/ATA33/ATA66/ATA100 Storage Support+
    +- SATA Storage Support+
    +- USB Support+
    +- Identification of Intel(R) Chipset Components in+
    +the Device Manager+
    I have no problems with ScanDisk USB drives.
  • growler62000 Level 1 (65 points)
    Thank you xnav!

    I did install the Windows drivers off the Leopard Disc.

    BTW, do you know the file extension of a USB driver? Is it DLL?

    I may have caused the problem by following some of the suggestions from this link:


    How-to: Quickly Reduce Windows Installation Size

    I was concerned that my new Windows partition (9 GB) would be too  small very soon.

    I didn't follow all the tips but, two that may have lost my USB drivers were:


    Precompiled Setup Files (30 MB). These files are cached versions of all Windows .exes plus every single .exe you have run since you installed Windows. I don't use half the .exes in there, so I don't need the cache around; and if I do run the program, it will create it on first instance, so no problem.


    dllcache (400 MB). This folder contains backups for all the system files installed on your machine. The folder allows the system to quickly restore files that are overwritten either by accident, bug, or virus/trojan. However, if you do not keep these files on your machine, then Windows will prompt you a Windows XP setup disc if some system file is being overwritten that it is monitoring. So I delete this huge folder and let my Windows CD house the backups.

This is a nice feature, especially if you are worried about security, so delete at last resort. I only mention it because it's a hefty 400MB or more and could really help out some people. It is hidden, so go to the below folder directly from the "Address Bar" in Windows Explorer:



    I had copied those folders onto the huge Mac side of my partition where space is abundant “just in case.”

    I put the PNF folder back into the Windows side & tried the USB flash drive again & same exact problem. I get a “triple beep sound” Nothing new located in “My Computer.”  I tried the USB flash drive once again in a different Windows computer & it immediately worked by a single beep & an appearance in “My Computer.”  So, I know the drive works.

    Next I attempted to put the DLLcache folder back to see if that was the problem.  I am unable to do it!  For some reason (unknown to me) the DLL cache folder (now empty) on the Windows side of the partition is LOCKED!  I have spent quite a bit of time trying various ways to put my saved content back. I tired to copy all the files & paste them in the empty folder-no luck. I tried deleting the empty folder so I could simply move the complete DLL CACHE folder back from the Mac side to the Windows side & cannot do that either. I keep getting messages that the dllcache folder is locked & it even has a tiny lock on it.

    I would like to unlock this folder!

    I wonder if there is some way to force Windows to recognize the USB drive as new hardware & ask for a driver. Then I could direct Windows to look online perhaps?

    Any further suggestions would be welcome.
  • xnav Level 5 (6,635 points)
    Try re-installing the Apple Windows drivers, just insert the Leopard disc again while Windows is running.
    If that doesn't work then reboot the Windows install disc and follow the 'Repair existing Windows' route thru the install. Follow this by another re-install of the Apple drivers.
  • growler62000 Level 1 (65 points)
    I think drivers have “SYS” as the file extension. I did look in Device manager. And looked at Generic USB Hub & Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller & USB Composite Device & finally USB Root Hub. All devices were said to be working properly. The drivers all were there :





    System32 also has a driver folder that is full of drivers & I even have WIndows/Driver Cache/i386 full of drivers as well as Windows/system32/reinstall backups/”13 different numbered files”/driverfiles/i386  and each of these 13 folders are full of drivers.

    I assume the Leopard drivers were so the Optical drive, iCamera, keyboard & mouse all work. And they do work.

    I don't want to reinstall Windows. I think the 'Repair existing Windows' route thru the install” that you mention is NOT a reinstallation of Widows but, I’ve never done that. I may try in a few days. If I just boot to Windows & insert the XPSP2 disc again I assume that 'Repair existing Windows' will be one of my choices, right?

    Why do you think that the problem is related to the Leopard drivers? XP comes with many generic USB drivers so that installing drivers for USB devices should not be necessary.

    I still would like to unlock that dllcache folder (which I discovered is locked from the MAC side) just to verify that it was not the problem. If I restore the contents & the USB drive still does not work.

    If possible, could you please tell me exactly what 'Repair existing Windows' does?  

    Thanks again.
  • xnav Level 5 (6,635 points)
    After hearing what you did by following macrumors, I don't really think it's the Apple drivers anymore. For Windows repair see:
  • growler62000 Level 1 (65 points)
    I see that IS a complete reinstallation of XP. I will consider that as a last resort. Much trouble.
  • dchao99 Level 4 (2,040 points)
    Sometime, it's just not worthwhile looking for an XP install problem. It's quicker and safer to just reinstall it. Because you can never be sure you have completely fix the problem, or you might have broken something else on the way.

  • xnav Level 5 (6,635 points)
    Again, for what it's worth, what I would do is:
    1. Re-install the Apple drivers (you can install individual drivers, see the BootCamp assistant instructions).
    2. Run Windows Update.
    3. Repair Windows from the install disc.
  • megagram Level 1 (90 points)
    Hope I'm not too late:

    I've had issues in the past with my USB flash drives in Windows. What happened was, I used Disk Utility to partition them with 2 partitions. One Mac, one FAT.

    The FAT partition was the 2nd partition and would never be recognized by Windows. Once I re-partitioned to make the FAT partition the 1st partition, Windows recognized it.

    Hope this might apply to you and help you.