.Net ramblings
# Thursday, 05 July 2007
Vista Driver problems, Formac USB Hard Drive
i just got a 160Gb Formac portable USB/firewire hard drive. I plugged it in to Vista and i get a message saying that Windows needs to install a driver to get it to work, i wasn't expecting this as i thought these drives did not need any drivers.  I let it check Windows Update but it found nothing.  I tried the firewire option but it was no different.  I contacted Formac tech support and got the following reply, which was actually very helpful:
"If a driver is required, then it is required for your USB, or FireWire interface inside your PC. External harddrives didnĀ“t require special drivers, because they are ATAPI compatible."
I grabbed an old USB card reader which i know does not require any additional drivers, and i plugged it in.  I got 12 prompts to install drivers and each time it searched Windows Update and found nothing.  I took a guess at searching in c:\windows and it found them one by one.  I couldn't figure out why Windows would not search its own driver store automatically.  Apparently there is some bug with Vista where you can get a corrupt driver cache file and if you delete it then it will solve all these problems. 
The culprit file is called INFCACHE.1 and it's located in c:\windows\inf.  I discovered this on a newsgroup post.  This is the relevant part:

The solution to this annoying problem (I had it on one PC), seems to be to locate and delete the file INFCACHE.1, which may be corrupted and causing the problem. To delete this file, you will first have to modify its permissions so the users group can access it (right-click on the
file->Properties->Security). INFCACHE.1 file.  It's located at C:\Windows\inf (scroll down to the file). (Note: to see INFCACHE.1, you must set Windows Explorer to display hidden and system files)

When modify these system files, i usually find i have to take ownership first for my own user account, then add myself to the permissions with full control.  then you can delete it, or rename it to X_INFCACHE.1, etc.

I'm glad to say Vista is loading all my USB devices nicely now and the Formac drive works beautifully with USB and Firewire.

Thursday, 05 July 2007 10:18:30 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [32]  General

Friday, 28 September 2007 03:37:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Tim, this is fantastic information!

We were actually having a similar problem with a USB modem, removing the infcache file fixed the problem (I was tearnig my hari otu....)
David Blowes
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 22:42:27 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
you are the man thanks a lot...
Friday, 26 October 2007 14:23:23 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
God bless you! I have installed Vista twice. Pulled out hair, taken back two USB flash drives to store. Searched for 2 days on the internet - with no luck. Going home to see if this works.

Why can't Microsoft put this info on their website? I'm sure it will help keep people on vista. I have 2 friends that had this problem and they went back to XP!!!

Thursday, 01 November 2007 17:17:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Thank you so much for the help. I thought this was too quick of a fix for the time and trouble vista+usb caused me but it worked! you are a freaking genius!Thanks again!
kevin s
Monday, 12 November 2007 19:10:09 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I did as your post said but still having same problem. Western Digital 320GB external hard drive, Vista. Help!
Monday, 24 December 2007 10:49:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Big Thanks!
Worked perfectly and sorted out my problems!
My Hero!

Sunday, 30 December 2007 22:24:15 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
great info on the post for a harder to find solution than one would expect. thanks for putting it out there!
Friday, 04 January 2008 01:06:58 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
THANKS SOOOOOOOOOOOO much your the boss man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, 05 January 2008 17:23:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
thanks! that was perfect.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008 09:03:42 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
This did not work for me. I used this <a href="http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67717-take-ownership-file.html">tutorial</a> on taking ownership which allowed me t rename the file, but I still can't get my external drives (I have 2 different cases) to work though they both work with my xp machine.
Thursday, 24 January 2008 11:01:36 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
For those of you who are still haveng issues after you have followed the steps above, try the following.
Go into your control panel, and then to your device manager. Plug your usb drive in, and check if the device shows up in the unknowen device folder (Marked with a cation triangle). If yoru usb device shows up there, RIGHT click on the item, and then delete it. unplug the device afterwards, wait 5 seconds, then plug device back in.

Worked for me!
Thursday, 24 January 2008 11:22:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Problem solved. Prior to this problem I had imaged my drive with acronis. I restored windows > inf and then reinstalled the device in hardware control and everything has been fine since then...
Monday, 11 February 2008 04:00:37 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Que Bueno!!!
Tuesday, 12 February 2008 04:51:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I tried all the recommendations above yet Vista still couldn't show the thumb drive in the My Computer folder. The INFCACHE.1 reappears when Windows tries to install software for the thumb drive (after I have deleted as Umbra has suggested). Are there anything I could do to fix this?
Forky Oxymonic
Tuesday, 12 February 2008 08:46:30 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
hi. this worked for me, so your best bet is to try a support channel like the newsgroups.
good luck.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008 10:05:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Microsoft should hire you...
Monday, 17 March 2008 14:47:16 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Don't know if this will help anyone but you never know.

If your usb device is detected but Vista can't find any drivers then go through the driver wizard till it asked you for a driver disk and point the wizard to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository

Hopefully it'll find a driver and give you a 'not digitally signed' warning.. click the user driver option.

Doesn't work all the time but so far I've only had one failure which I solved using the info supplied by Umbra earlier in this thred.

I hope this makes sense :)
Monday, 17 March 2008 14:49:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Sorry it should read 'click the use driver option'
Monday, 28 July 2008 21:19:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
My issues is the following:

All of the sudden Vista thinks my external seagate 500gb drive is not format.

while trying to rename a file on my external drive, vista started claiming that it couldn't find the file.

after a couple of minutes when I try to browse the drive again, vista claim the drive was not format and prompted me if I want it to format it.

Vista recognizes the drive and assigns the drive a letter, the issue is that it thinks the drive is not format.

any body run into this issue before?

Monday, 28 July 2008 21:21:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
hi frank. sounds like the drive may be failing. best contact seagate support, they may have diagnostic utilities that can scan your drive for health problems.
tim mackey
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 03:40:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
finally real solutions. i have a comstar 160gb and it worked like a charm I was about to go buy a vista ready drive. glad i found this.
Friday, 24 April 2009 00:31:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi all,
I have the same problem as Forky Oxymonic, I tried deleting the INFCACHE file but then I checked and it had reappeared. Is there anything I can do about this or does that just mean that it isn't the right fix for me? I have a new formac 160GB external hard drive and a laptop with Windows Vista. It does recognise it now but it calls it 'unknown device' and tells me that the driver is up to date when I search for the driver, it does not show up in My Computer or in the disk management area either.
Thanks very much for any help,
Friday, 24 April 2009 18:45:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Hi RDale. The only thing I can think of is that you might not have initialised the drive in windows disk manager. Make sure there is a primary partition.
Best of luck
Monday, 27 April 2009 08:39:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I try evething u said and nothing work, after I change the cable it work perrrrrfect!
Saturday, 09 May 2009 01:17:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I have a win xp internal hard drive inserted in a caddy case and does not work on Vista, when i open My Computer, it does not respond until i unplug the usb and i have tried your above solution and nothing works. what can i do please?
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 23:34:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I am trying to install a seagate 1 terabyte external via usb port. My problem is my compuer sees there is a drive but refuses to assign it a leter or to show it as a drive. I did the steps suggested above and when I deleed INFCACHE.1 and re-installed teh drive, INFCACHE.1 returned to my windows file.
Sunday, 26 July 2009 12:16:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

I've tried this myself, and although the file is deleted my computer doesn't recognise the hardrive still. Any ideas? :(
Sunday, 26 July 2009 14:37:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
hi anna. i'd say the best thing is to contact the manufacturer. it might be worth trying to see if the drive works on another computer, e.g. Windows XP. best of luck with it.
Thursday, 13 August 2009 11:42:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
thank you! this worked for me.
Saturday, 15 August 2009 10:11:55 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
omg... THANK YOU!! after months and MONTHS since this year January of it not working I was very frustrated. I couldnt solve the problem and no where in the internet had a solution for me. This day, I found this awesome place, and solved the problem within seconds!

I thank you for such a great solution. I almost cried after seeing my external hard drive working so well

TYvm!! :)

I am at your debt
Kim Gyusik
Friday, 25 December 2009 00:47:12 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Thank you!

Simple uninstal - unplug - plug in - instal worked great!

Thursday, 27 May 2010 14:26:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
None of the above worked for me. The Device Manager was recognising the drive but it simply wasn't showing up in Computer.

To fix this, open the Control Panel and go to Administrative Tools > Computer Management the under Storage double-click Disk Management. If it's been recognised by the Device Manager, the drive should appear at the bottom of the window on the right. The problems seem to be that it had not been assigned a drive letter so right-click on the drive partition and select Change Drive Letter and Paths... then click on Add and assign a letter to the drive. It shoudl show up then.


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