Removable Drives Not Showing Up on Desktops

What happens when a removable drive does not show up on your desktop? Or to rephrase the question, what can you do when a removable drive does not show up or appear on your desktop?

In computer language, removable drives are also called removable media. They are designed as external drives normally read or written in desktops or laptops by removable readers, writers, and drives.

Examples of these include:

  • Optical discs like Blu-rays, DVD’s, CD’s, etc
  • Memory cards such as compact flash cards, secure digital cards, and memory sticks
  • Disk packs
  • USB flash drives
  • External hard disk drives such as IDE, EIDE, SCSSI, and SSD
  • Digital cameras
  • Smart phones
  • Cable connected or wireless printers

Sometimes, what happens is that the desktop recognizes and installs the device drivers, but they do not show up on the desktop. There is no driver letter that appears to explore. On other occasions, the balloon appears at the bottom right corner and says that the device installed successfully and the external device lights up. However, the autoplay option window does not automatically appear. When going to “Computer” to search for the drive letter, nothing appears.

This is actually normal if your desktop is a somewhat older model and the drivers for the device manager have not been updated. Check the device manager for this. Usually, this happens when we ignore driver updates that are prompted from the Internet.

Another cause is perhaps your desktop was configured only for drive C and D, but not configured for removable disk drives. To resolve this follow these steps:

Step 1: Log on to your computer as Administrator.

Step 2: Insert a removable drive in one of your ports.

Step 3: Go to START.

Step 4: Right click on MY COMPUTER.

Step 5: Choose MANAGE.

Step 6: Click on DISK MANAGEMENT.

Step 7: Right click on the partition, logical drive, or volume that you want changed.


Step 9: Click the removable drive.

Step 10: Click on CHANGE.

Step 11: Choose the drive you would like to use.

Step 12: Click OK.


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