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karlywarly

Windows PE Can't Find USB Flash Drive

14 posts in this topic

Hi Guys,

Ive just created my windows PE disc from the microsoft tutorial and im trying to capture an image of windows 7 using imageX which will save the image to my flash drive but it can't seem to find either my USB flash drive or my USB external hard drive.

Anyone got any ideas?

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what kind of machine? Are you booting form CD or USB? does it work if you plug into a different USB port?

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what kind of machine? Are you booting form CD or USB? does it work if you plug into a different USB port?

Thanks for the reply.

The PC was built by myself and is a little old now but it runs windows 7 fine (im just using it to test the whole unattended installs on it etc).

My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-8I848P775-G and its located here: My link if this helps.

Im booting the windows PE from CD and its the x86 version. Ive also tried all the 4 USB ports on the back of the motherboard to no avail and i can't figure out for the life of me whats wrong with it, it just doesn't detect my USB flash drive or my external USB hard drive. :wacko:

Edited by karlywarly
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Im booting the windows PE from CD and its the x86 version. Ive also tried all the 4 USB ports on the back of the motherboard to no avail and i can't figure out for the life of me whats wrong with it, it just doesn't detect my USB flash drive or my external USB hard drive. :wacko:

WHEN are you inserting the USB device?

Normally a PE will autodetect devices already connected at boot time AND NOT devices connected after boot. :unsure:

jaclaz

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Im booting the windows PE from CD and its the x86 version. Ive also tried all the 4 USB ports on the back of the motherboard to no avail and i can't figure out for the life of me whats wrong with it, it just doesn't detect my USB flash drive or my external USB hard drive. :wacko:

WHEN are you inserting the USB device?

Normally a PE will autodetect devices already connected at boot time AND NOT devices connected after boot. :unsure:

jaclaz

Thanks for the reply.

I had been inserting it into the pc before i turned it on.

I created a new PE disc and formatted my flash drive and it seems to be working fine now thanks. :rolleyes:

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All my PEs will automatically detect USB Keys without a problem, even if inserted after boot. The thing is that it won't pop up anything, but behind the scenes it will assign it a drive letter if a file system is found on it. After you insert, it is usually going to be the next available drive letter, but you can open diskpart and type LIST VOL to see a full list.

Other possibility is that USB for mass storage has and option in the BIOS (I've seen this on some boards) and it is disabled.

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All my PEs will automatically detect USB Keys without a problem, even if inserted after boot. The thing is that it won't pop up anything, but behind the scenes it will assign it a drive letter if a file system is found on it. After you insert, it is usually going to be the next available drive letter, but you can open diskpart and type LIST VOL to see a full list.

Other possibility is that USB for mass storage has and option in the BIOS (I've seen this on some boards) and it is disabled.

Well after further investigation into this problem as i had it again i realised that when you have done some work in windows PE (created partitions and then assigned drive letters etc) and shut the pc down then come to use windows PE again the drive letters get reset so if you created a system partition and gave it letter S, it would be the first available letter the next time you use windows PE and this was my problem.

I remember reading this somewhere in a tutorial that windows PE does this but it never clicked in my mind until now.

A bit daft really.

Thanks for the reply though :)

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Yes this is an annoying problem. Consider this scenario:

Boot to PE and create partitions as C:\OS, D:\ODD, E:\HDD2

Install OS to C, format E

Boot system, C is primary Boot drive, system is AOK.

Boot to PE and parts are C:\OS, D:\HDD2, E:\ODD

so in this situation, WinPE changed the drive letters because C and D are both hard drive partitions but E is the CD Drive. I can fix this by using WMI to find the CD Drive letter, set it to F, sel vol D and set to E, sel vol F and change to E. But if I don't do this and reboot into the OS again, the drive letter arrangement that WinPE detected stays! This means if you have anything on the HDD2 volume, all your permissions, links and programs are broken! :angry:

Let's not think about making matters worse by having a USB key plugged in when you boot. If there was a way to set a drive letter in WinPE and have it always be that letter no matter what you do, that would be awesome. But yes, I know you could say "just make the ODD a letter after HDD parts" but sometimes I don't get this option. :no:

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If there was a way to set a drive letter in WinPE and have it always be that letter no matter what you do, that would be awesome. But yes, I know you could say "just make the ODD a letter after HDD parts" but sometimes I don't get this option. :no:

Actually there is for PE 1.x.

I don't think that on PE 2.x or 3.x it should be much different:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=19663

I guess it is possible to import the DosDevices key in the offline Registry inside the .wim.

jaclaz

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I'll have to see if this method is supported or not. But even so, since you have to specify the drive info, wouldn't it be different for different hard drives?

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I'll have to see if this method is supported or not. But even so, since you have to specify the drive info, wouldn't it be different for different hard drives?

Sure.

BUt you can create the setting while "rightfully" booted and export it to the PE in your example, don't you?

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Well technically, I could have it search for the OS drive which should always be 40GB. I just won't really be able to make it so an end-user can't change something to make recovery not work, but currently everything is just hard-coded.

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All my PEs will automatically detect USB Keys without a problem, even if inserted after boot.

I think WinPE1.0 was not plug and play. BartPE needed a PnP plugin.

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