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Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive

When creating a USB bootable media, many users are troubled by the Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive error. If you are also trying to fix the issue, this post of MiniTool Partition Wizard is what you need.

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The media creation tool is a practical utility that can be used to create a bootable USB drive for reinstalling or upgrading Windows 10. However, a lot of users encounter the Windows 10 we can't find a USB flash drive error in the Setup screen. Here is a true example from the answer.microsoft forum:

I'm trying to make a USB for the windows 10 install. I'm using the Windows 10 media creation tool to create that USB. When I get to the area that says would you like to create the USB or ISO file I select USB. When I click on Next, it tells me that the USB cannot be found. I have tried this on two separate computers and get the same results. In addition, I can navigate using file explorer and see the USB but the creation tool will not find it. Does anybody have any help with this?https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install-winpc

What Causes Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find USB

According to user reports, the Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive error often appears on the Select a USB flash drive screen. No matter how many times they click on Refresh drive list, the Windows 10 setup not finding USB error still pops up. The strange thing is that the USB flash drive can be seen in the File Explorer or Disk Management.

Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive

What causes the Windows media creation tool can’t find USB error? After investigating extensive user reports and references, we find there are some possible causes of the error:

  • Incompatible USB flash drive: Many users reported that they encounter the Windows 10 we can't find a USB flash drive error especially when using a SanDisk USB.
  • A corrupted USB flash drive: If there are bad sectors or file system errors on the USB drive, the Windows 10 setup not finding USB can occur.
  • Outdated USB drivers: Since the Windows 10 media creation tool is a relatively new utility, you may encounter the media creation tool not recognizing USB issue if associated drivers are outdated.

Based on these possible causes, we explored corresponding solutions. Let’s see how to fix Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive.

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How to Fix Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find USB

Here we summarize 5 effective troubleshooting methods that you can try one by one until the Windows 10 setup not finding USB issue is resolved.

Fix 1. Use a Different USB Flash Drive

The simplest and most direct method is to use a different USB flash drive. This is because a lot of users reported that the media creation tool not recognizing USB error appears when using a SanDisk drive. We don’t know the actual reason for the incompatibility, but many users managed to fix the error by using a different USB brand like Kinston, Toshiba, or Lexar. Here you may have a try. Make sure you connect a USB drive that has 8GB free space at least and is formatted to FAT32.

Fix 2. Check Your USB Drive for Errors

If the Windows 10 ISO file happens to be located in the bad sectors or file system errors of the USB drive, you may encounter the Windows media creation tool can’t find USB issue. In this case, you need to check your USB drive for errors. How to check bad sectors and file system errors together?

Here MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you check them with ease. It is an all-in-one partition manager that boasts many powerful features like convert NFTS to FAT, data recovery, migrate OS, disk benchmark, resize partition, etc.

Now, let’s see how to check file system errors and bad sectors using MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Free Download

Step 1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to enter its main interface, and then select the USB drive from the disk map and click on Check File System from the left pane.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, select the Check & fix detected errors option and click on Start. After that, this program will automatically scan the USB drive for file system errors and try repairing them.

check and fix detected errors using MiniTool Partition Wizard

Step 3. If the Windows 10 setup not finding USB error persists, you can perform a Surface Test to check bad sectors. To do so, select the USB flash drive again and click on Surface Test from the left pane.

Step 4. Click on Start Now to start scanning the USB drive. Once any bad sectors are detected, this program will make the blocks with red color.

perform a Surface Test with MiniTool Partition Wizard

If you find the bad sectors on the USB drive, we recommend you switch to a new USB drive as Windows 10 bootable media.

Fix 3. Update the Related USB Drivers

As mentioned above, the associated USB driver issues are responsible for Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive. To resolve the problem, connect the USB to your computer and follow the steps below to update related USB drivers.

Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type devmgmt.msc in the box and hit Enter to open Device Manager.

open Device Manager via the Run box

Step 2. Expand the Disk drivers category, and then right-click your USB driver and select Update driver.

update the USB disk driver

Step 3. In the pop-up window, select the Search automatically for drivers option and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update.

Tip: Alternatively, you can select Browser my computer for drivers. Then click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer, and select the available updated USB driver and install it.

click on Browser my computer for drivers

Step 4. You need to update the USB root Hub driver as well. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers menu, and then right-click the USB root Hub driver and select Update driver.

Step 5. Now, you can update the driver automatically or manually like in Step 3.

Step 6. In addition, make sure the USB Mass Storage Device driver is enabled. If not, right-click the driver and select Enable Device.

After that, you can restart the computer and check if the Windows 10 we can't find a USB flash drive error is resolved.

Fix 4. Reformat the USB Flash Drive

If all the above methods fail to work, you may have to reformat the USB drive or try using an alternative tool to create a Windows 10 bootable media. This part focuses on how to reformat a USB drive.

When comes to formatting a USB drive, most people may select Disk Management, File Explorer, and Disk Management. But as you know, these Windows utilities have some drawbacks such as can’t format a drive larger than 32GB to FAT32 or formatting takes forever

To reformat a USB drive quickly and easily, we highly recommend you use MiniTool Partition Wizard. Here’s how:

Free Download

Step 1. In the main interface, select the USB drive that you connected to the computer and click on Format Partition from the left pane.

Step 2. Select FAT32 from the File System drop-down menu, and then you can set its Partition Label and Cluster Size based on your needs. Once done, click on OK to save changes.

Step 3. Click on the Apply button to execute this formatting.

format a USB drive to FAT32 using MiniTool Partition Wizard

If the Windows 10 setup not finding USB problem still exists, you can proceed with the following method.

Fix 5. Alternative to Create a Windows 10 Bootable USB

In addition, you can download the ISO file of Windows and then use professional software to burn the file to your USB directly. Here is a guide for you.

Step 1. In the Choose which media to use page, select ISO file instead and save the file to a location on your computer.

select ISO file from the Windows 10 creation media tool

Step 2. To create a bootable USB from the ISO, you need to use a professional ISO burn tool like Rufus. Click here to open the official website of Rufus, then download and install it on your Windows 10 PC.

Step 3. Plug your USB flash drive into your PC and launch Rufus to enter its main interface.

Step 4. Now, the tool will automatically detect the USB drive. Click on Select to choose the ISO file you downloaded, and then you can specify the partition scheme and label. After that, click on START to start creating a bootable USB from the ISO file.

click on START on Rufus

Step 5. Once the ISO file is burned to the USB drive successfully, click on CLOSE to exit the tool.

When creating a USB bootable media, I’m stuck in the Windows 10 media creation tool we can't find a USB flash drive page. Fortunately, this post helped me fix the error. Perhaps you also need it.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

How to fix Windows 10 setup not finding USB? The top 5 methods have been elaborated on in this post. Do you have any better ideas on this subject? You can leave your words in the following comment area.

If you encounter any issues while using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please give us feedback. You can contact us by sending an email via [email protected].

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find USB FAQ

Why does my USB flash drive not showing up?
According to a survey, the USB drive not showing up can be caused by various factors, including outdated USB driver, damaged USB drive, wrong file system, and device conflicts.
How to boot my computer from a USB?
  1. Insert the bootable USB that you burned Windows 10 ISO file in and press the Power button to start your computer.
  2. During the initial startup screen, press ESC, F1, F2, Delete, or F10 key to enter BIOS
  3. Navigate to the Boot tab and put the USB drive to the first boot sequence by using the arrow keys.
  4. Press the F10 key to save the boot order changes and exit BIOS. Then your Windows 10 computer will restart from the USB.
Does formatting USB delete everything?
Formatting a USB will delete all the data on the drive and set a file system to prepare an available space for the operating system. There are three levels when formatting: low-level formatting, formatting, and high-level formatting. Only the high-level formatting will erase data.
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