During the initial installation of a USB device (most often external drives, although not always), Windows Vista does not locate or install drivers for the device.
Windows Vista might report that there is “no driver found for you device” and/or will not display the pre-installed Vista OEM drivers. Even by manually selecting the driver, you will still get the “no driver found…” error. This is most likely caused by a corrupted INFCACHE.1 file. This file stores the location of drivers and their INF files. This file is hidden, has restricted access, and can be found in “c:\windows\inf”.
Delete the INFCACHE.1 file and it will force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file the next time Windows searches for drivers. To delete this file, you have to set the security permissions of it to allow Full Control for the User Group Administrators or full control for your user account. Please follow the directions below:
- Open a Windows Explorer window by right clicking on Start and then clicking on Explore.
- In the address bar, type C:\windows\inf and press Enter.
- Find and then right click on the file named INFCACHE.1.
- Select Properties.
- Click on the Security tab.
- Click on Edit to edit the permissions of the file.
- Click on Add to add User Groups.
- Type Administrators in the User Groups field and click on OK.
- Set Administrators to Full Control and click on OK.
- Move or delete the file INFCACHE.1.
- Reinstall a device to force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file (DO NOT reinstall the same external hard drive that you were having issues detecting before. Please connect another USB device other than the one that Vista had an issue detecting).
This detection issue can happen several times in a row, but repeat the steps 1-11 and try again until this works.
UPDATE: To clarify a couple emails I received, this *only* applies to Vista (all editions, x86 and x64) but not to XP, or any other version of Windows.