Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cannot find disk drive in Windows XP

A few things may have gone wrong if you cannot find one or your disk drives in My Computer. But let's assume you have already verified that the drive is present in your hardware configuration. If this is the case, the most likely explanation to the disappearance of your drive is that it is not properly formatted and it is not recognized by Windows.

Here is the solution from Microsoft:

Use Logical Disk Manager to make changes to logical drives when you have logical drives using both NTFS and the FAT file system. Fdisk is not supported for use in this configuration.

To open Disk Manager, perform the following steps:

Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.

In the Computer Management MMC window, click Disk Management in the tree under Storage.

The Logical Disk Manager will display, showing all available disks and their partition information.

Select the drive that is not partition by right clicking on the icon (usually it will be labelled disk1 since disk 0 is your primary disk)

You can now delete the current partition, create a partition and format the drive. Once you format it you will be able to use it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Installation of USB devices fails in Windows XP

I was setting up an XP dell desktop today and noticed that the USB keyboard and mouse were not working. Even after I installed the drivers and updated the OS to service pack three nothing would work. I was getting the same message: new device found, but no matter what route I took (pointing to the drivers or letting the OS find them) it would end up being unable to install the drivers.
I found this solution on the internet after many searches so I am posting it here:

First you need another computer with windows xp.
Copy the contents of the folder c:\windows\inf\ to the faulty computer. This folder is hidden so you need to change the folder options to allow the system to show hidden files.
To copy the inf directory you can create a cd or dvd with the content of this folder.
Start the faulty computer in safe mode. Remember that to do this you need to press F8 as you are booting the computer and select the option to start in safe mode.
Copy folder inf from the CD or from the good xp machine over the network to the faulty one.
Restart the computer.

This worked like a charm for me.