PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Storage devices not working

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QUESTION: Hello,

I have been trying to get to get flash drives(PNY,SanDisk) and backup drives(Seagate Backup Plus) to work on my computer (2006 Sony Vaio, running windows XP Service pack 3, receiving automatic updates for Windows). I have done a lot of research and found many suggestions including deleting the USB controllers and rebooting, changing drive letters, letting the computer search for drivers when the drive is attached, etc. I have another computer from 2001 that I have never updated Windows since 2001, running windows XP. Yet this computer can recognize storage devices, and installs the drivers with no problems!

Hope you can help
Thanks
CB

ANSWER: I'm not quite following your question - do you mean that when you connect various external storage devices (if so, can you tell me how you're connecting them) to your computer, it does not recognize them? Or are you having issues with data corruption or data loss with the computer and various external devices?

If the former, my first question would be: Is AutoPlay enabled? If this doesn't apply or doesn't quite address your question, please clarify so I can better respond to your question.

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello,

Thanks Again for your help!

I am connecting them (storage devices) by USB and when connected I am prompted to search for a driver by the "Found New Hardware Wizard", which, going through the steps in the wizard, the driver is not found (and the USB devices do not show up in "My Computer", I guess because they never get installed). The devices show up in Device manager under "Other Devices" with a yellow question mark by a generic name, for example "Backup+BK" for my Seagate Backup Plus drive. Where as in my older computer, and my newer computer, these devices are recognized by specific manufacturer name, driver installed and I am told that the device is ready for use.

Thanks for your help
CB

ANSWER: It sounds like the system does not have a USB Mass Storage Driver, however this would not be a conventional problem for Windows versions newer than Windows 2000 (Windows 2000 and WindowsXP have native support for USB storage, assuming they have not been modified). Have you modified or "tweaked" the installation of Windows on your system? And are you using a genuine copy of Windows? (Oftentimes pirated copies will be "tweaked" to a varying degree, and various resources are removed as a result - this kind of oddity is entirely possible in that scenario).

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello,

No. I have never touched a thing! I bought this laptop from the Sony
website in 2006 with Windows installed, and receive updates regularly from Microsoft (Service Pack 3 and etc.). In my trying to find the problem, I thought the trouble may be the absence of the USB Mass Storage Driver, but I was not sure. What should I do? Should I download it? And where is it safe to do so?

Thanks
CB

Answer
This driver should be a native component of Windows - if Windows is not finding the driver via Windows Update (have you tried manually doing this, by selecting "Properties" on one of the devices with a yellow question mark, and selecting the "Install Driver" and following the on-screen prompts to have Windows look for a driver via Windows Update), the system likely needs the operating system re-installed. Do you have installation media for this machine?

-bob

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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