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[Fixed] 'We Can't Find a USB Flash Drive' Windows Media Creation Tool Error

Updated on Dec 05, 2018 by Jean to Partition Manager

Windows Media Creation Tool says 'we can't find a USB flash drive', so Windows installation stopped midway. It seems that something inappropriate is with the flash drive and you need apply quick fixes here to make Windows Media Creation Tool detect the USB flash drive without any problem.

"We Can't Find a USB Flash Drive" Error

"We can't find a USB flash drive" is a common error generated by Windows Media Creation Tool when the Windows 10 Setup arrives at the "Select a USB flash drive" step. No matter how many times you refresh the drive list, the Media Creation Tool can't find the connected drive. Windows 10 installation now stops because you don't have other options to move on to the next step unless you can figure out why your USB flash drive is not showing up.

we can't find a usb flash drive windows media creation tool

Next, we're going to share some experience in troubleshooting Windows Media Creation Tool "We can't find a USB flash drive. Windows 10 setup error 64-bit or 32-bit". The full explanations of all the solutions are below.

Overview of Possible Reasons for the problem

1. Windows Media Creation Tool cannot find USB flash drive if it's a SanDisk drive.
2. Before you install, update the drivers on your Windows 10 computer.
3. The 64-bit installation size is a bit larger than your 4GB USB drive, especially when you're told that xx GB of free disk space is needed on the selected drive.
4. USB 3.0 port or USB 2.0 port issues causes Windows 10 Media Creation Tool being unable to recognize the flash drive even it's correctly connected.
5. USB flash drive itself has corruption or bad sectors; it's currently malfunctioning.
6. USB flash drive is wrongly set as the primary drive in Windows.
7. USB flash drive shows up as CD drive or even C drive in Windows.

How to Display the USB Flash Drive in Windows Media Creation Tool

We provide two possible approaches to solve the issue. Try them with the step by step guides. 

Method 1. Automatically Solve the Issue with Software's Help

EaseUS Partition Master helps resolve the 'We can't find a USB flash drive' if the problem resulted from the primary partition, wrong file system, and corruption issues. Download the partition magic software and give each fix a try.

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 Windows 10 is supported

1. Format your USB flash drive

Right-click on the USB drive -> Choose "Format" -> Choose a file system (FAT32 or NTFS) -> Click "OK" -> Click "Apply" to save the changes.

format partition

2. Convert the primary partition to logic

Right-click on the USB drive -> Choose "Convert to logic" -> Click "Apply" to save the changes.

convert primary to logical

3. Check and repair USB bad sectors

Right-click on the USB drive -> Choose "Check File System" -> tick the options "Try to fix errors if found" -> Click "OK" -> Click "Apply" to save the changes.

check partition

Method 2. Manually Settle the Matter Without Software

What else can you do to get rid of the USB undetectable error in Windows Media Creation Tool? Here, we gathered some suggested troubleshooting ideas on superuser forum and Microsoft Community comments.

Step 1. Use UEFI boot option instead of Legacy to install Windows.

Step 2. Use USB flash drives like Lexar and Toshiba if it's the SanDisk USB flash drive that Windows Media Creation Tool can't find even on several computers.

Step 3. Try to change the connection between the USB 2.0 port and USB 3.0 port. Fix USB 3.0 fails to work issue if necessary.

Step 4. Start from scratch. Follow the standard USB install instructions; this time uses Rufus (as many people advised) to create the bootable USB. Go through three steps.

download Microsoft MediaCreationTool -> use the tool to create an .iso -> use Rufus to create a bootable USB with the .iso