Troubleshoot Please Insert A Disk Into Drive Error In Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 2, 2010
Updated • Aug 12, 2018

The following troubleshooting guide offers instructions on correcting error messages that confuse removable drives with disk drives.

A Ghacks user contacted me recently about the issue. He noticed that a new hard drive was showing up in Windows Explorer but a click on the drive to access it would return the error message "Insert Disk, Please Insert A Disk Into Drive" followed by the assigned device letter of the drive.

It is a confusing error message, considering that the device is a hard drive and not a drive where a disk can be inserted.

There are however a few things that users can do to troubleshoot the issue.

Drive Letter Conflict

please insert a disk into drive

A drive letter conflict occurs if the disk that is affected by the error is mapped to a reserved drive letter.

That's probably the easiest to resolve, as it can be resolved by changing the drive letter of the affected drive.

  • Type computer management in the start search box and hit Enter. You can alternatively click on the Start Menu orb, then Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management. Please note that the path is valid for Windows 7, and may differ for other operating system versions. Windows 10 users can use Windows-X to display the special menu and select Disk Management from there.
  • Click Disk Management.
  • Right-click the partition, logical drive, or volume that you want to change and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  • Click the removable drive, select Change and then the drive letter that you want to use and OK in the end. Make sure you map a drive letter that is not in use, preferably x,y,z. If that works you can still change it to another drive letter easily.

change drive letter

You may also want to try plugging it into another free port if available.


Transcend JetFlash Online Recovery is a free software program to fix the insert a disk into drive error in Windows. Please note that this drive has been designed for Transcend removable drives but that it appears to work with other drives as well but there is no guarantee for that.

It did work fine with removable devices from other manufacturers during test. Before you use the software, try finding a comparable software from your device manufacturer. Many happen to have recovery software for this problem available. You may also want to consider contacting the manufacturer's support first.

Visit the site and download the RecoverISP tool. The program is compatible with all Microsoft operating systems that are supported including Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Once downloaded plug the removable drive in the computer and start RecoverISP. It is a portable tool that requires no installation. The software scans the removable drive and displays that the ISP is ok or broken.

recover isp

Press the OK button. If broken was shown a new window appears. A pulldown menu is available in that window. Make sure the right device is selected before starting the repair with a click on the Start Fix button.

please insert a disk into drive fix

Press ok on the next screen to confirm the procedure. The program displays a report in the end detailing whether the fix was successful or not.

repair removable drive

Unplug your drive, and plug it in again to see if the fix has resolved the issue. If it did, the error please insert a disk into drive should not appear anymore when accessing the drive in Windows Explorer. The software has been designed to preserve the data on the removable drive. Still, it may be a good idea to backup the data before you proceed with the repairs.

Super Stick Recovery Tool

This tool is not available anymore on a company website. I have downloaded it from Megaupload and checked it at Virustotal. No antivirus engine used at the site reported a hit. I have uploaded the program to Ghacks for a more reliable hosting option. Download Super Stick Recovery Tool from this location and unpack it once it has been downloaded. Please note that this tool will erase all data on the drive, use it as a last resort or if no or only unimportant data is on the drive.

Run the tool as administrator while the removable drive is plugged in. It may take a few minutes before the process completes.

Formatting, Partitioning

Formatting the drive may or may not work depending on the type of error. Some users may get the error "There is no disk in drive. Insert a disk, and then try again." when trying to format the drive.

That's usually the case if you look at the drive properties and notice that it reports a capacity of 0 Megabytes (in Device Manager > Disk Drives > Right-click, properties > Volumes.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights. Type cmd in Start menu search box and hit Ctrl+ Shift+ Enter or right-click on the result and select "run as administrator".
  2. First type DISKPART and hit enter. You will see a text block saying version number. Takes a second depending on number of drives.
  3. Next type LIST DISK and hit enter. Note the Disk number of your USB flash drive. it will be listed as disk 0, disk 1, and so on. My thumb drive was Disk 4 and the four other drives of the PC were listed before it (it begins with 0). You can also see the total size as well as free space for each drive.
  4. Here my Thumb drive was ** bytes, 0 Bytes free. While the windows manager displayed a 0 bytes, 0 free.
  5. Replace the drive number “#” with the correct drive number for the following commands.

(here you put the file type you wish to format in to. NTFS, FAT32, FAT16. FAT32 is standard.)


(Format process will take a few seconds)

  • EXIT


The Please Insert A Disk Into Drive error can have numerous causes and symptoms. That makes the troubleshooting and fixing problematic. As a rule of thumb: If no data is on the drive, or only unimportant data, then use the the formatting / erasing / partitioning option. If important data is on the drive, contact the drive manufacturer first, they sometimes have tools that they send out on request only.

Have you encountered this error message before? How did you fix the issue on your PC?

Troubleshoot Please Insert A Disk Into Drive Error In Windows
Article Name
Troubleshoot Please Insert A Disk Into Drive Error In Windows
The troubleshooting guide provides instructions on fixing "please insert a disk into drive" issues on Windows with connected removable drives.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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