Smokey's Security Weblog

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Windows Vista / USB device detection problems: How-To-Fix

Author: thedave.ca

During the initial installation of a USB device (most often external drives, although not always), Windows Vista does not locate or install drivers for the device.

Windows Vista might report that there is “no driver found for you device” and/or will not display the pre-installed Vista OEM drivers. Even by manually selecting the driver, you will still get the “no driver found…” error. This is most likely caused by a corrupted INFCACHE.1 file. This file stores the location of drivers and their INF files. This file is hidden, has restricted access, and can be found in “c:\windows\inf”.

Delete the INFCACHE.1 file and it will force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file the next time Windows searches for drivers. To delete this file, you have to set the security permissions of it to allow Full Control for the User Group Administrators or full control for your user account. Please follow the directions below:

1. Open a Windows Explorer window by right clicking on Start and then clicking on Explore.
2. In the address bar, type C:\windows\inf and press Enter.
3. Find and then right click on the file named INFCACHE.1.
4.Select Properties.
5. Click on the Security tab.
6. Click on Edit to edit the permissions of the file.
7. Click on Add to add User Groups.
8. Type Administrators in the User Groups field and click on OK.
9. Set Administrators to Full Control and click on OK.
10. Move or delete the file INFCACHE.1.
11. Reinstall a device to force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file (DO NOT reinstall the same external hard drive that you were having issues detecting before. Please connect another USB device other than the one that Vista had an issue detecting).

This detection issue can happen several times in a row, but repeat the steps 1-11 and try again until this works.

Source: thedave.ca

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May 31, 2008 - Posted by | Advisories, Friends, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

37 Comments »

  1. Hey : ) thanks for your post, I had exactly the same problem, but ive tried to do the same 1-11 like 6 times, and nothing happens when i repluc new usb?? is it really a 10% chance to hit the right?
    Thansk : p

    Comment by Frederik | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi Frederik,

    i neither thedave.ca will guarantee the fix will work, however, please repeat the fix again several times.

    Comment by Smokey | July 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. The above solution didn’t work for me for two USB external harddisks, however, there IS a fix for USB devices that won’t work and keep flashing driver install dialogs that result in ‘driver not found’

    In Device Manager right click the device or the unknown devices to update drivers, point to ‘C:\Windows\winsxs’ instead of windows/inf or windows/system32, this is where Vista stores it’s legacy DLL files and frameworks, Vista will warn that the driver isn’t signed, install anyway, it’s perfectly safe, it will install the malfunctioning device and install all drivers associated with the deviceID

    Comment by MKVDB | July 28, 2008 | Reply

    • Thanks a million, this little winsxs tip just ended a week long zebra hunting expedition for me. I tried everything, from installing MS hotfixes, to removing upperfilters and lowerfilters in the registry, to replacing the drivers files with ones from another system, to deleting the infcache.1, nothing worked… that is until i read your comments…

      Worked like a charm…

      Comment by Wally | February 26, 2010 | Reply

    • OMG… after months of searching for a solution.. finally this tip has done the trick… I love You. . .

      Comment by BobbyG | October 12, 2010 | Reply

    • Wow !!!!! finally the hhdd detected .. my heart filled with emotions.. n tears rolle out .. thank u v much !!!! winsxs

      Comment by yash | April 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for posting this, this worked for me, after being so frustrated with not been able to transfer my files via usb

      Comment by Vicky | June 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks very much! Unbelievable that my hours and hours of searching for solutions to solve my huge driverproblems within Vista could end ‘all solved’ in just a few minutes with your excellent tip! MKVDB for president!

      Comment by Frans | July 6, 2011 | Reply

    • dude you are a goddddd..i researched all over and tried so many different ways to try fix this and nothing worked and it FINALLY worked thanks to your help..thanks sooo much man :)

      Comment by Runny | June 23, 2012 | Reply

    • It worked smoothly! If I had not read this post, I probably would have returned my Western Digital My Passport drive to the manufacturer. I have a Windows Vista Home Premium 32 bit edition and the hardware detection process was not able to automatically install this device. I am an IT professional. I bet a non-IT user of this device would have given up much earlier and thrown away the hard drive.

      Comment by Ernes | July 7, 2012 | Reply

  4. dear Smokey,

    I have a couple of Sansa players and the Windows Vsta progrom will not supposrt these players much of the time.
    The retailer who sold me the players told me they are compatable

    What can I do?

    I also suspect that a virus may have trickled into my hard- drive which was orignally on Windows XP and I can no longer use the music-match program I once used to upload the music.

    Comment by Kim Dwyer | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. I have installed Vista on a dual boot with XP. I had an issue with the front set of USB ports in Vista, but never in XP. The four attached directly to the board would work, the four attached by cable to the front would not work.

    I noticed in the Device Manager that there were 4 of “VIA Rev 5 or later USB Universal Host Controller”, and 1 “VIA USB Enhanceed Host Controller”, and 5 USB Root Hubs.

    I’m running an older VIA K8M800 chipset with an Athlon 64 3200+ and an ATI 2600 PRO AGP. The K8M800 supports 8 USB ports.

    The VIA USB Enhanced claims 8 ports, and the VIA Rev 5 claim 2 each, which creates a conflict. I discovered that disabling the VIA USB Enhanced makes a USB Root Hub disappear, and my front ports are now working in Vista. I can plug my LG cellphone and my Logitech Rumblepad 2 in the front.

    Comment by Saber | July 31, 2008 | Reply

    • I also was able to fix the problem of all USB flash drives/hard drives not working (keyboards and mice would work just fine) by disabling the “enhanced host controller” in the device manager under USB devices.

      Comment by fivefootrachel | July 7, 2010 | Reply

  6. FYI uninstalling the USB Enhanced (the hog) won’t work because it will simply be installed by Vista again. Just disable it. This was my fix in one scenario

    Comment by Saber | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  7. Dear Kim,

    your retailer is telling the truth: the Sansa players are indeed Vista compatible.

    Probably it is a rhapsody issue. Please explore the cd, go into the folder FSCommand, and run the setup.exe file.

    To be sure your PC is malware-free, post a HijackThis Log on my board Before submitting such log, register (for free) on the board and read the instructions in “How to post a HijackThis Log”.

    Comment by Smokey | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  8. Hello,

    I don’t know enough to fix my driver F problem. I have worked on it for 3 days now trying all different things. I just did the steps above, but have not tried it yet. A box comes up that says, “Driver F error”. It worked a month ago and was able to connect, use, and add songs to my players. Now they do nothing. They will not connect. Any suggestions? Thanks, Kim

    Comment by Kim | August 13, 2008 | Reply

  9. hey, how can i fix dis problem with my laptop, im using vista and wen the frst time i used my newly bought usb device (something like a usb plug and MEMory card for my cp slot at the back part), it installed the driver, but wat bothers me is dat i cant open the removable disk, it says that i shud enter the disk into the disk, i thnk its the device or the driver, pls help

    thanks

    Comment by denz | August 21, 2008 | Reply

  10. I followed the instructions and tried it for 5 times until it read the drive and corrected itself. Thank you.

    Comment by What about Bob | September 15, 2008 | Reply

  11. The above solution didn’t work for me for two USB external harddisks, however, there IS a fix for USB devices that won’t work and keep flashing driver install dialogs that result in ‘driver not found’

    In Device Manager right click the device or the unknown devices to update drivers, point to ‘C:\Windows\winsxs’ instead of windows/inf or windows/system32, this is where Vista stores it’s legacy DLL files and frameworks, Vista will warn that the driver isn’t signed, install anyway, it’s perfectly safe, it will install the malfunctioning device and install all drivers associated with the deviceID

    Thanks to smokey i just follow this step and i fix my usb storage device thanks a lot i was really helpfull

    Comment by Maykol | December 6, 2008 | Reply

  12. Absolutely worked perfect. I’ve wasted about a day dealing with various tech non-support and they all said I’d have to reinstall Windows.

    Thanks you.

    Comment by John | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  13. Wow… works great. Just made a little batch file and create a shortcut to it on the desktop and I’ll be ready to delete the next ‘problem’ INFCACHE.1 file.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Comment by Phil | May 8, 2009 | Reply

    • You are welcome, I am pleased to hear you could solve the problem with the How-To. (:

      Comment by Smokey | May 8, 2009 | Reply

  14. all i have to say is that this works!!

    i used to think that maybe it was a file that messed up, so i tried resetting my laptop to factory settings and i still had the problem.

    i followed your instructions, and it worked :)

    Comment by Chiaro | May 17, 2009 | Reply

  15. Thanks dude, this shit worked…..i’m grateful

    Comment by Y.I Chilima | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  16. […] Windows Vista / USB device detection problems: How-To-Fix Smokey's Security Weblog __________________ […]

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  18. Alas: How can we fix exact same problem in xp?

    Comment by Bob | September 18, 2009 | Reply

  19. When I pluged my USB Flash Disk ( 2GB stored so many informations) in to the computer ,the computer says <> and some times when I pluged the flash disk in to other computers it says <> This was my problem and I tried the solutions provided by differen persons .But ,still it does not work for me.What would you suggest me to do further to solve this problem?I am bothered a lot . Please help me in any way?

    Comment by wubshet ezra | October 16, 2009 | Reply

  20. awesome thanks

    Comment by Jeff | November 3, 2009 | Reply

  21. Thanks, worked for me after hours of frustration trying to install a portable backup drive. Very grateful.

    Comment by Peter G | January 18, 2010 | Reply

  22. Thanks, this fix worked perfectly in Windows 7 as well! Very annoying, Micro$oft please fix.

    Comment by Simon | June 13, 2010 | Reply

  23. Okay, so what happens when the device doesn’t even show up in the my computer. Say I have a GoGear by Philips. I plug it into the computer, and the device starts to charge. It registers that its connected to something, so its not the mp3 player or the cable. But it wont even register on the computer that I’ve plugged anything into it at all. Any ideas on that one?

    Comment by Rhaze | July 3, 2010 | Reply

  24. THIS IS SO GREAT!!! Now i don’t have to smash my printer and USB card reader already!!! Thx alot dude!!!

    Comment by MyProbSolved! | September 21, 2010 | Reply

  25. IT WORKED !!!! For USB Drive that can’t find the driver in Windows Vista but you know it’s there. The fix below is GENIUS !!!!

    The above solution didn’t work for me for two USB external harddisks, however, there IS a fix for USB devices that won’t work and keep flashing driver install dialogs that result in ‘driver not found’

    In Device Manager right click the device or the unknown devices to update drivers, point to ‘C:\Windows\winsxs’ instead of windows/inf or windows/system32, this is where Vista stores it’s legacy DLL files and frameworks, Vista will warn that the driver isn’t signed, install anyway, it’s perfectly safe, it will install the malfunctioning device and install all drivers associated with the deviceID

    Comment by CodeRunner | March 27, 2011 | Reply

  26. This didn’t work for me. I am running windows 7 home premium. And I was able to find the INFCACHE.1 file and change the permissions but did not allow me to delete. Then when I looked for it again the file is not found and the USB still doesn’t work. HELP??????

    Comment by Narain | June 3, 2011 | Reply

  27. good stuff mate..tried to fix this for ages..thanks alot

    Comment by giri | July 14, 2011 | Reply

  28. Thank you very much. people like you makes the world a better place

    my computer can now open usb 2.0

    Olugbemi Eric. Nigeria

    Comment by Olugbemi Eric | November 13, 2011 | Reply


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