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How do you (can you) re-enable a disabled USB generic volume? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I bought a WD Passport for my kid. When he tried to unplug it, Safely Remove Hardware kept saying that the generic volume could not be stopped. So he did something that would not have occurred to me. He selected the generic volume, at the bottom of the tree, and clicked Disable. It stopped all right, but when he rebooted and plugged it back in, Windows didn't recognize it. So he called his genius dad, me.
    I didn't have another Passport handy, but I had a SanDisk Cruzer, so I tried it with that. Same results.
    He is running XP; I'm on Vista. I told him to check the Device Manager. He found the disabled generic volume, enabled it, and he's happy as a clam. In Vista, the disabled generic volume doesn't appear. My feelings are akin to those of a less joyous bivalve.
    I can see the drive in Disk Management, but the only available options are Change Drive Letter and Paths, Format, Properties, and Help. Change Drive Letter and Properties fail, saying the Disk Management Console view is not up-to-date. Help is not much help. Format fails and writes this error to the system event log: Failed to open device \Device\Harddisk1\Partition1. Error code: 2@01050001.
    The drive itself is unharmed. It works fine in my XP machine at work. I have looked everywhere I can think to look. Problem is, I don't know exactly what the Disable button does, so I don't know how to undo it.
    I have not found anyone else silly enough to have done something like this, but I am never the first to do anything, so they're out there...

    Dave
    Sunday, January 20, 2008 4:34 PM

Answers

  • The KBs didn't help. System Restore did. Word of warning about System Restore in Vista: save any source files you have in Visual Studio 2008 projects--save them somewhere else--before you do it, because they WILL be replaced with earlier copies.

     

    Thanks for trying. I would say that giving users the ability to disable something they can't re-enable is a bug. And I would say having your source code revert when you do a System Restore is another bug.

     

    Thanks again.

    Dave

    Saturday, January 26, 2008 1:04 PM

All replies

  • Hi Dave,

     

    Yes, you are a genius dad.   I agree that the Device Manager should be checked first.

     

    Did you navigate to Device Manager -> Universal Serial Bus controllers -> USB Mass Storage Device? With my understanding, you may disabled that device. Right-click it and choose enable will help you on this issue.

     

    If you cannot find the device, perhaps the driver is not installed properly. Please right-click any item in the Device Manager and choose "Scan for hardware changes", to see any device can be found. Or is there any device has a yellow "?" or "!" on the icon?

     

    Thanks.

     

                                                    
    Sincerely,

    Yog Li

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:55 AM
  • Yes, I did navigate to Device Manager->Universal Serial Bus Controllers->USB Mass Storage Device. Enable is not an option. I tried uninstalling it, and that didn't help either. Scan for hardware changes found nothing. No devices with yellow or red icons. But no generic volume.

    Thanks. Where to next?

    Dave
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 9:30 AM
  • Hi Dave,

     

    With my understanding, the scenario is that your USB Mass Storage Device has been enabled and works properly, however, no USB device can be recognized. And before that, you have disabled something that you cannot remember. Please tell me if I got something wrong.

     

    If it is this scenario, try the following methods.

     

    1. Make sure every device is enabled. And then restart the computer to see if the device can be recognized.

     

    2. Refer to the KB 943986 and install the hotfix:

     

    943986 If you reconnect a removable storage device to a Windows Vista-based computer, Windows Vista cannot find the removable storage device
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943986/en-us

     

    Hope it helps.

     

                                                    
    Sincerely,

    Yog Li

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:21 AM
  • Not quite. The USB Mass Storage Device was never disabled. The generic volume associated with the USB Mass Storage Device is what got disabled. When I plug the flash drive in, I can see it in the Device Manager, but not the generic volume. Vista knows the drive was plugged in, so in that sense, it does recognize it. But without a generic volume, it doesn't show up in Computer with the rest of the drives. You can see it in Computer Management->Storage->Disk Management, but you get errors if you try to do anything with it or to it. So, in essence, it's gone.

    It's a very easy problem to reproduce. Plug in a flash drive, click on Safely Remove Hardware, then Stop, and when the components page appears, select the generic volume and click Disable. Of course, you won't be able to use that flash drive on that computer again, until we figure out how to re-enable the generic volume.

    The hotfix doesn't seem relevant. I'll try it though (in 8 business hours, when Microsoft lets me get it).

    Dave
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:42 AM
  • The hotfix did not fix this. Same error in the event log: Failed to open device \Device\Harddisk1\Partition1. Error code: 2@01050001. 
    Next step, for me, is to pick up another flash drive and see if this machine will read it, or if disabling that one device has rendered all USB drives inaccessible on this machine.
    Wednesday, January 23, 2008 10:11 PM
  • Hi Dave,

     

    I think you can also try these KBs to resolve the USB device issue:

     

    933442  A USB composite device does not work after you disable and then enable the device in Device Manager on a computer that is running Windows Vista
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933442/en-us


    941996  A USB device may not work when you start a Windows Vista-based computer or when you wake the computer from sleep
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941996/en-us


    935783  When you resume a Windows Vista-based computer from sleep, you may experience unexpected behavior from a USB device
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935783/en-us


    928631  A USB device may no longer work correctly after Windows Vista resumes from sleep or from hibernation
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928631/en-us

     

    Hope it helps.
     

                                                    
    Sincerely,

    Yog Li

    Microsoft Online Community Support

    Thursday, January 24, 2008 3:21 AM
  • The KBs didn't help. System Restore did. Word of warning about System Restore in Vista: save any source files you have in Visual Studio 2008 projects--save them somewhere else--before you do it, because they WILL be replaced with earlier copies.

     

    Thanks for trying. I would say that giving users the ability to disable something they can't re-enable is a bug. And I would say having your source code revert when you do a System Restore is another bug.

     

    Thanks again.

    Dave

    Saturday, January 26, 2008 1:04 PM
  • I have a similar problem, the only difference is, its not restricted to my USB card reader but I can't even see my hard drives, it was working fine till few days back until i decided to remove Ubuntu and delete its partition.

     

    I have 3 drives (2 SATA drives 80gb (Vista) and 160GB (my data on 2 partitions) plus a 40GB IDE with Windows XP on it. Everything works fine on XP but when i log in to Vista, i can only see the 80GB drive, the one that has Vista installed on it. On device manager, i can see all 3 harddisks and i can also see 3 Unknown devices (which is supposed to be installed as Storage Volumes). I also tried to connect my card reader, it gets installed but doesn't show up on My Computer. Connecting the card reader also adds another Unknown device. I have tried everything but can't seem to install any drivers for these

     

    I have KB 940199 update installed on my system plus the usbstor.inf / usbstor.pnf files are also intact in windows/inf folder, still it doesn't seem to work. Any help would be appreciated.

    Saturday, January 26, 2008 7:05 PM
  • Dave,

     

    Thank you so much for your posting.   Fortunately I have Window's XP, had the exact same problem as you son, and was able to get back up and running with help.  

     

    So do you have any advice for your son when he encounters the same problem again when he is not able to disconnect his external HD and get's the error that the generic volume could not be stopped? 

     

    Kent

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 11:20 PM
  • in xp or vista if a volume cannot be stopped you can try logging out of account rather than powering down or disconnecting the drive while it is still been used by the system... I my self have a problem but its is the other way around i have a 4gb memory stick that vista can not install drivers for even though it dose know it is a generic volume i also have several other drives and usb sticks of varying sizes and they all work i am working on the answer to this at the moment and i will post the results as soon as i get it working..the other thing you can try is put it in another pc and format it with a fat32 and see will this make a differance and also delete the name you have on the volume and leave it blank.

    When i format my usb stick in fat32 it reconised it as a generic volume even though it still cannot install the driver for it i continue to try other routes... if this is helpfull you are welcome to it and any results i get will be posted here...

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008 3:43 AM
  • This is how I corrected my generic volume issue. 

    I went through the device manager > USB Controllers and deleted the Storage device that had the communications issue (yellow exclamation point). 

    Reboot the system WITHOUT the flash drive in the slot. 

    Login to the desktop.  Check that the USB controller to make sure the storage device is not in error (device manager).  Insert the flash drive.

    Go to the control panel > Administrative tools > Computer management.

    Disk management on left panel.

    What you will, generally, find is that your flash drive is assigned to a drive letter already used by another device (listed in Windows Explorer).

    Find your flash drive and right click > change drive letter and paths > Change it to a drive letter not in use (something like "V").

     

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 7:22 PM
  • that would work sometimes but in some instances you will still get an error if you try to access the generic volume even though it is shown up in the drive manager.

    how ever there is one other thing that can be done and that is to OPEN msconfig AND DISABLE the removable media serial no RECORDER. this will allow devices to be used again in Vista if they had previous errors attached to them in the logs . the same can be done in XP..

    IN VISTA the safest way to disconnect a removable device that will not shut down is this LOG OFF or SHUT DOWN THE PC WHILE THE DEVICE IS STILL CONNECTED you may get END NOW warning just end and shut down it will start up perfect the next time you plug it in again in vista. TOTALY AVOID DISABLE right clik the usb icon in the tray and clik the volume to disconnect is proper.... DISABLING is not .......shutting down your pc is much safer in vista.....

     

     

    Thursday, March 13, 2008 8:54 PM