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.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. madn said on December 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    i used commands to repair my usb as i enterd clean comand it shows the earror “Virtual Disk Service error:
    There is no media in the device.”
    plz help me

  2. RAKAN said on December 18, 2016 at 10:30 pm


  3. Tiffany Gopal said on October 30, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Thank you! this worked for me I did fat32 quick version I tried using disk mangement and didn’t work but this methond worked thank you

  4. Angel Jimenez said on September 16, 2016 at 12:02 am

    I had a Seagate external drive (SRD00F2, USB) which was giving me the error message. I did two things to fix. First, I went into the computer’s Bios settings (on my computer I press ‘del’ during a cold boot to enter the program. I also had to go to the advanced options therein) and made the USB device an “HDD.” Secondly, I ran Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 to assign a letter to the new HDD that had been discovered by the utility. [DISKPART at the DOS CMD prompt did not work for me] Other hard disk management utilities would probably also work.

  5. B said on March 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Thank you!

  6. mike said on April 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Just wanted to post an FYI on this…

    I have a kingston USB 3 card reader that was working fine, and then one day had this error.

    I tried everything in this list and more with no success…..

    The thing that fixed it was…changing the USB 3 cable (which works perfectly fine on other devices)…not even the port, just the cable
    I had swapped the cable the night before, with another usb 3 drive that works fine with it.

    As crazy as it sounds, this commonly will solve drive connectivity problems with USB 3. I am a media pro, and have 17 portable drives on a shelf beside my desk and have seen this more then once.

    I have speed tested drives and found 20% difference in speed with problem USB 3 cables, other drives will refuse to connect with certain USB 3 cables….even to a USB 2 port.

    It may sound too simple and counter intuitive, but after updating the firmware on my card reader, remapping the drive ect ect…all I had to do was change cables.

    Sometimes the simple solutions get overlooked

    **This mostly is a USB 3 issue however…never had these problems with 2

  7. Muluken said on July 4, 2013 at 3:11 am

    i would like to say a great thanks for your supportive posts. i have tried the above listed steps in a well manner on different xp and window 7 installed PCs , but till i can’t solved the problem.My computer already recognize my 4GB USB flash but when i try to open it , please insert a disk in to a drive warring error message appear again and again, dear friends what shall i do? am waiting ur comments….

    Best Regards,

  8. Ashish said on December 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    hey guys
    use recover isp software to get your pendrive from error if it shows 0memory and says “please insert a disk into drive”.its awsome …….

  9. Alix said on December 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Hey dude
    I used Supper Stick Recovery tool on my PNY-16Gig and it worked. It took couple of minutes but it worked well. Thank you sooooooooo much

    Good Luck

  10. Mohammed said on December 3, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Thanks a lot
    this is very helpful

  11. jsabby said on December 2, 2012 at 4:04 am

    try this guys, hope this will work on yours cause this worked on mine.
    this option is only applicable if no important files are stored in your mem card:
    go to my computer, secondly locate your pen card/ flash drive, right click on it and hit properties, go to tools after then, on the error checking option click on CHECK NOW. Lastly on the check disk options, marked check on the two boxes and hit start.

  12. simran said on November 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    same probelm.- put the memory card other card reader .connect your (not detectable) pc. format with low level format tool.–warning–after formatting create partition(with mini partition tool or any other) tick primery and fat16 or fat32.onece again format. i sccessful. thanks

  13. Anonymous said on September 15, 2012 at 11:45 am

    it works thankssssssss

  14. Kreyznero said on July 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    cool…this works…thanks :D

  15. Anonymous said on April 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

    when i plugged in the pen drive, the computer can detect the pendrive, but when i double click it at my computer, it coms out a dialogue box “Please insert a disk into drive”. I try to format my pendrive, it comes out another error saying “There is no disk in drive. Insert a disk and try again.”Then, i go to computer management,and take a look at my disk management,under volume there, the pendrive drive is not under the volume. Under there at the disk there, detected Removable(G but no media. i tried using the pen drive in diff comp bt still the same result. Does anyone know how to solve my problem?? Thanks

  16. Farhan said on April 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I have tried all the methods… but no use…
    in the method of command prompt after givng the command LIST DISK it doesnot show my usb in the list

    and the diskrecovery tool giving me the message:

    please solve it…. please

  17. Melanie said on March 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you! I had a friend who jerked out her flash drive from a computer when visiting friends (not knowing how to safely remove it from a pc). She got home and the drive would not mount on her mac but her pc laptop gave her the error Please insert disk….
    She sent the drive to me. I was about to give up and found your article. The RecoveryISP tool took literally seconds to get the drive back along with all her files.

  18. Anonymous said on November 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    thank u! i had 16GB twinmos flash drive with the insert disk error. SuperStickRecoveryToolV1-0-2-19 fixed it!

  19. io said on July 22, 2011 at 3:42 am

    nothing for me, i tryed many solution and nothing worked so far(many tools tryed – arround 12, many command and other and still nothing)

  20. MADHU said on June 3, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Thank QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ….SuperStickRecovery Tool is befit and save my USB drive…………

  21. sir lew said on May 3, 2011 at 8:26 am

    thanks thanks thanks a lot men.. a million thanks sir.. the software recovery helps my problem.. keep the good work men..

  22. Awais said on March 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    i am using Windows xp and when i on my pc it go to welcome screen and there a warning window open which say to put in the Drive A . its not plugged . i don’t know what to do

  23. grey147258 said on December 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    i mean the “please insert a DISK into DRIVE” problem

  24. grey147258 said on December 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    i had a “please insert drive into disk” 4G transcend… it was fixed using that TRANSCEND ONLINE RECOVERY… thanks!… really really helpful!

  25. Awadhesh Kumar said on November 28, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Hi Dear, Thanks a lot for this information. It’s really works and particular u mention that web link in your web page. I really appreciate your work. thanks a lot. i need this help full information in future also.

    I Heartily thanks you.

    Have a great life.

  26. OAlexander said on November 3, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I have a couple of 8GB HP V125W sticks. Invariably I get an “Access denied” message, or the system (XP-SP3) demands I shall insert a disk. In the beginning they worked fine, as they do on any other computer. Above recommended tools return “insert device”. Sometimes, they work. Now I have set the device to “Share on network” – and it works! But I still get “insert device” message. I have played around with this issue for many hours to no real avail, fiddled with registry keys, wholesale deleted some, un- and reinstalled USB …

    I wish everybody plagued with this problem good luck!

  27. jasray said on November 3, 2010 at 2:49 am

    I think it is usually the drive letter that needs to be changed. One may have to rename drives using C:\ for the removable disk and something else for the HD on the machine.

  28. Vanillaman said on November 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    This seems to be a common that I’d bet most of us encounter. However, in my particular case I get it after I’ve run a reg clean, and it appears when I try to run pre-installed programs, such as MS Office or iTunes. Haven’t tried these steps yet, but its worth a try.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.