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Solved: Windows Will Not Assign Drive Letter To USB Flash Drive

Problem Issue:

This is happening on Win8 and Windows 10.
When I remove a USB drive and reconnect it, Windows will not assign a drive letter. Clearly this is a problem as every other computer I use assigns a drive letter.

There are three solutions. All of which will work.

      1) You can go into Disk Management and select the device and assing a drive letter. This is a manual process and not ideal for each time you plug in a flash drive.
      2) Good chance the driver or registry entry for that device is rogue or corrupt. Use this USBScrub tool to remove the registry entry. Chances are this will fix the problem. USBScrub link
      3) Use ‘diskpart’ and enable the automount feature.
  • Open Command Prompt as Administrator (search for Command Prompt in the Start Menu, right click, Run as Administrator)
  • Type ‘diskpart’ and hit Enter.
  • Once in the ‘diskpart’ command prompt type ‘automount enable’ and hit Enter.
  • Type ‘exit’ and click Enter

For solution number one from above, Disk Management is really the GUI version for diskpart, but a GUI (Graphical User Interface) which has scaled down functions from what all the things diskpart can really do.

Diskpart has 37 commands that you can do very cool things with. The 38th command is

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USB Tutorial: USB Spinner or Jog Wheel

Sifting through the Instructables website I came along this retro looking USB spinner wheel or Jog wheel. The USB tutorial project is a bit complicated and requires some technical know-how, so if you are looking to increase your mod skill sets, this might be the project for you. So what is something like this good for anyway?  The jog wheel functions like your wheel on that mouse you have, but larger and has good momentum which is nice when searching through large bits of code, viewing long webpages or searching through numerous documents. A job wheel is also excellent for media editing like sound or video.  You can scroll around in these large files effortlessly and without stressing out your finger from the mouse scroll wheel.  With the heaviness of the VCR head you can get the motion going and it’s inertia will keep it spinning for quite some time and when you’ve found the frame you’re looking for, just hold the wheel to stop it. Enough about the sales pitch of a DIY project, jump over to Continue Reading

How To: Turn Off USB Auto Run in Windows 7

How to turn off autoplay Windows 7 for USB flash drives.

Some may want to turn off the USB auto play so that when a USB device is connected the auto pop-up window doesn’t appear.  I don’t mind the pop-up window as it usually defaults to the area or program I’m trying to get into anyway, but for some, I could see the frustration.  So on that note, here is a quick USB tutorial on how to turn off the USB auto run function. First, click START > RUN and type in gpedit.msc  then click RUN.

USB autorun Win7 - 1

Next you’ll want to navigate to the location shown below.  That would be: Computer Configuration > Admin Templates > Windows Components  Once there you would double click Windows Components

USB autorun Win7 - 2

That will take you to the following area where we can select the menu to edit the USB autorun functions.  Double click the AutoPlay Policies

USB autorun Win7 - 3

Next select the Turn Off Autoplay by double clicking it. Continue Reading

How To: Run LED Solo From PCless USB Connector

Do you see something odd about this picture?  Maybe the fact an LED is illuminating from a USB connector with no PC in site?  Ya that’s it.  Good job Sherlock.

USB LED

So what we have here is a How To or USB Hack on running an LED from a Super-capacitor.  If you are non-technical, then we basically mean a very short lived battery to run the LED.  A super-capacitor has the ability to store energy for longer periods of time over traditional capacitors – yet still not long enough as with batteries.The concept of this tutorial is to wire a super-capacitor to a USB socket whereby your computer can charge up the capacitor and when disconnected you’ll get about 10 minutes of LED illumination.

USB LED

Granted there isn’t much day-to-day use with this USB hack, but just a fun little project if you have the time. Over on the Instructables website there is an updated USB tutorial which includes Continue Reading

DIY: How To Get Power From USB For Any USB Gadget Project

Here is a 7 minute video on how to wire up any USB port and suck the power right out for that USB gadget you dreamed up at 3am.  For DIY projects, USB hacking is one of the most popular forms of taking something ordinary and making something unique.  So if you’ve never tried a hack or USB tutorial, this is a great building block for yourself.  Enjoy! Source: YouTube. Continue Reading

USB Laser Duck Solves Lack of Laser Ducks

I think we can all agree there are not enough USB laser ducks out there.  To help solve this problem we came across a nice USB laser duck tutorial to take any rubber ducky and turn it into a zombie, creepy laser duck. I don’t think Ernie will be to pleased to hear the news.

USB duck

The USB hack is fairly simple and the ideal project for a young kid looking to do something cool for the first time.  All you need is a USB cable, rubber duck and some diodes. You’ll need to solder the diodes to the USB cable, then mount the laser eyes correctly and securely into the rubber ducky.  If the concept doesn’t make sense, you can jump over to Instructables and get the play-by-play. I think one way to increase the coolness would be stuffing the entire USB cable into the duck body.  Either that, or take another Instructable where you can increase the laser intensity to pop balloons, burn paper and more… but do it with a bit of caution and common sense. Video. Continue Reading

How To: Two Port USB Bike Generator

USB bike generatorBiking is great exercise, but don’t let a healthy body be the only reward for this activity, power up your gadgets.  Here is a  USB tutorial which incorporates a two port USB hub and switching regulator to generate a 5v charge to any USB device. There are so many small electronics that can be powered or charged from a USB connection it only makes since that people might want to do this while riding a bike. The hack isn’t too complicated, but it is a weekend project and will require some soldering skills.  The two fundamental components are a Rectifier which changes AC current into DC current and a Voltage Regulator which is a switching regulator to control the amount of volts going to the charged devices. To get all the details visit the DIY project here. Continue Reading

How To: Duct Tape USB Holder / Wallet

I’ve seen some USB holders at Staples and Office Max for over $20 dollars and that’s just for a fancy pouch to place your USB sticks while on-the-go.  What about a DIY duct tape USB holder?  You get the satisfaction of making it yourself, save yourself some cash and a hint of coolness to your storage devices.

usb duct tape holder wallet

Granted the duct tape approach is more in tune with kids, but lets give this a quick review. In four simple steps you can do this exact project. Step 1 – Grab some materials, that being a ruler, knife, duct tape, thumb drives and creativity. Step 2 – Make the back plane duct tape which is very similar to making a duct tape wallet. Step 3 – Add the pockets.  In the picture you can see the USBs are parallel with each other, I would recommend staggering them so the thickness is reduced when folding. Step 4 – Put the finishing touches on there with some clean lines of duct tape, patterns and custom designs. For the full tutorial and loads more pictures visit Instructables. Continue Reading

How To: Use Physical Lock To Enable / Disable USB Ports

I came across this very interesting USB hack from TechOat the other day.  The concept of this modification is taking the key of a power box in your computer and turning that into the physical on/off switch for USB communication. The premise is disassembling the wires of the USB cable and port and weaving that into the circuit of a locking switch on your PC.  I think this illustration shows it best:

USB lock on off

What I particularly like about this USB hack, is the physical requirement to have the key in order to work the USB port.  This type of security [more fun then practical] for USB devices in general is much better than a Truecrypt type solution as that only protects the device, not the system. So what you need includes: Small USB thumb drive USB extension cable or USB socket and plug with cable Locking switch DPST Plastic box The rest is just elbow grease to get it working, for the specific details and tutorial, jump here.

USB lock enable disable

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How To: USB Steampunk a Flash Drive

Here at GetUSB.info we love the USB steampunk drive.  We’ve reported on at least a dozen of them over the past couple years and I’m sure we’ve missed three times that many.  Today we are tipping you off to a great tutorial on how to USB steampunk your own flash drive. Instructables has a very detailed, 9 page tutorial on how to steampunk your own gear.  It gives you a list of material, a detailed process, good and creative guidelines along with plenty of pictures and resources.

USB steampunk flash drive

It’s my goal to actually do this over the July 4th weekend [2010] and post my result.  Lets hope for the best! To give you an idea of the scope of project considering the following list of materials and tools.  If it fits into your abilities, then give it a shot! Continue Reading

USB Not Working – Try This

Do you have USB ports on your computer but for some reason the devices connected are not working? Or maybe your USB ports stop working after a long period of time? Don’t worry, the USB not working is [most likely] related to your computer configuration, not the ports malfunctioning. If our hunch is right, the fix is easy.  This is what we recommend checking if USB devices are not working on your computer. Lets check to see if the USB hubs and ports are set to power save when idle.  What this setting controls is the ability for a USB port to sleep if not used.  The sleep mode of the port is an effort to help your computer save energy going to connected devices that are not in use. To check the USB power setting lets do the following: Go to > START > CONTROL PANEL > SYSTEM. From here go to the Hardware Tab and click the Device Manager. Next, scroll down to the section labeled Universal Serial Bus controllers and expand it out.  Right click on the USB Hub listing and select properties.

USB not working

In the properties box, go to the power setting tab and look for the following.

USB not working

Once you’ve configured this correctly [uncheck] there is a good chance your USB devices will begin working [consistently] again. Continue Reading

How To: USB Game Pad With Accelerometer

Make a custom USB game pad with an accelerometer for endless fun. The concept for this USB tutorial is taking a game pad and adding some USB.  Then putting in a small PCBA to enable keyboard shortcut programming so the device looks like a keyboard to your computer, but with specific buttons for game play.

The USB game pad can be used with nearly any software, such as a MAME emulator, game, simulation software, or for custom user interfaces. We’ll start by turning the buttons of the game pad into keyboard buttons, so that pressing ‘up’ is converted into the ‘U’ key, for example. The firmware is easily adaptable, so you can adjust it for whatever software it will be used with. Then we’ll beef things up by adding an interesting twist…an accelerometer. This will allow Continue Reading

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