Recently my brother’s laptop which runs Windows Vista home premium no longer recognizes any USB drive. Every time a USB drive is connected to the laptop, it asks to install the drivers for that device. A while back at my part-time work place, a customer returned a laptop because it stopped recognizing the USB thumb drives.

The good news is I found the solution (from the Internet) on how to fix this problem. The file INFCACHE.1 in C:\windows\inf could be corrupted which is the main cause of the problem.

So to fix this, we need to remove that file. First, locate that file, right click on it and select properties. Then, set the permission so that normal user can delete that file. Finally, just delete that file and don’t forget to try plugging any USB drive again.

I wish I had known this before.

Source: Vista does not recognize any removable USB drive

Warning: If you decide to follow the above mini step to fix your USB thumb drive problem, please proceed cautiously at YOUR OWN risk. I take no responsibility for any damages it may cause to your computer or equipment. It has been reported by someone that the above step did not work for him.