Solved: Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find A USB Flash Drive

This article gives you 5 ways to fix the "Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB flash drive" error. You can also learn about easier and faster ways to back up and restore Windows 10 from this article.


by Yuka Updated on November 1, 2022

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User Case


Windows 10 Creation Tool Can’t Find USB

"Hi there, I am trying to get Windows 10 on a USB for my new computer, so I purchased an 8GB USB, then when I tried downloading it to the USB it could not find the USB, yet I could navigate through it and move/delete files from it. It’s a brand new USB and has nothing on it. The format is FAT32."

- Question from Tom’s Hardware

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find A USB Flash Drive

Possible Reasons for Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Can’t Find USB

As we all know, Microsoft provided Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to help you prepare installations of the latest version either to upgrade your current PC or build a USB flash drive to perform a clean install of Windows 10. According to some users, they are prone to encounter some problems when using this tool, such as the error message in the Windows 10 Setup window - "We can’t find a USB flash drive".

No matter how many times they hit Refresh drive list, this error message still pops up. Oddly enough, the USB is visible in File Explorer or Disk Management. Before we start exploring solutions to this problem, let's take a look at what might be causing this error.

◑ The USB device is corrupted, damaged, or infected with malware.
◑ The USB port is faulty or broken.
◑ The USB drivers are outdated or corrupted.
◑ The USB storage is not enough.
◑ The USB device has an unsupported format.

Based on these possible reasons, we explored corresponding solutions. Let's see how to fix Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can't find a USB flash drive issue.

How to Solve ‘We Can’t Find A USB Flash Drive’ Issue in Windows 10

Here, we summarize 6 effective troubleshooting methods that you can try one by one until the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find USB issue is resolved. The solutions to this problem are generally divided into two types, one is to solve the problem directly, and the other is to solve the problem more efficiently with an alternative method.

Method 1. Use Another USB Port or USB Drive

When you encounter the Windows 10 media creation tool can’t find a USB flash drive problem, you can first try to change a USB port of the computer to connect the flash drive. If you still get this error message, you can simply use a different USB drive instead of the one which gave an error.

Method 2. Clean the USB Drive and Change the Format to FAT32

Diskpart is a Windows OS built-in tool that helps users manage the disks and partitions installed on it. It can help you manage, rename or format the drivers connected to your computer. The installer formats the USB before creating a bootable USB drive. It can also cause “We can't find a USB flash drive” problem if the formatting goes wrong. In this case, try to reformat the USB using Diskpart and change the USB format to FAT32.

✩ Note: The following troubleshooting procedures will erase all data from the USB drive. So make sure you have created backups of your USB flash drive before starting these steps.

  1. Type cmd at the Start menu, right-click on the Command Prompt from the result and select Run as administrator.
  2. At the Command Prompt window, type in diskpart in a new line and click the Enter key to launch the DISKPART tool.
  3. Now, type in below diskpart commands one at a time in the Command Prompt window and click Enter key after each.
  •  list volume (to show all volumes)
  • select volume g (to select the USB drive, replace g with your USB flash drive letter)
  • clean (to clean USB device volume)
  • exit (to close the Command Prompt)

Diskpart Clean USB Drive

  1. Then open This PC from the Desktop and right-click on your removable USB drive and select Format.

Format USB Drive

  1. In the format window, select FAT32 under File system and click the Start button.


Wait for the formatting process to get complete and run the Windows ISO setup again.

Method 3. Update or Reinstall Your USB Drivers

When Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB flash drive when you want to perform Windows ISO setup, there may be a problem with your USB drivers. This error can be caused by outdated or corrupted USB drivers. So you can update or reinstall the driver to see if that solves the problem.

  1. Press Win + X and select Device Manager from the menu.
  2. Expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers, right-click on your USB device, and choose Update driver option.

Update the USB Driver

  1. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software” option and wait for Windows to search and install the latest driver software.

Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software

❀ Tip: If Windows doesn’t find the latest driver, you can download it from the manufacturer’s website and install it manually using the “Browse my computer for driver software” option.

  1. If this doesn’t resolve the problem. You can try reinstalling the USB drivers. Expand the USB adapters as per the previous steps. Right-click your USB device and select Uninstall device.

Uninstall the USB Device

  1. Next, navigate to the Action tab and select Scan for hardware changes to reinstall the removed drivers.

Method 4. Disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting

In Windows OS, the Selective Suspend feature allows the system to save power by putting certain USB ports into a suspended mode. When enabled, you may encounter the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB error. To solve this problem, you might consider temporarily disabling the USB Selective Suspend Setting.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. Type control panel and press OK.
  2. Tap Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings. In the next window, click Change advanced power settings.

Change Advanced Power Settings

  1. Locate and expand the USB settings option. Expand the USB selective suspend setting and disable the On battery and Plugged in options.

Disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting

  1. Then click Apply and OK. Finally, restart your PC to apply these changes.

Method 5. Use the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

When you find that Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB flash drive, you can use the Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve this error. This built-in Windows tool helps you quickly search for and fix various system problems.

  1. Type troubleshooting in the Windows search box and click on Troubleshooting to open it.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound > Hardware and Devices. Then click Next in the pop-up window. Windows will start detecting problems and fix the problems it finds automatically.

Hardware and Devices Troubleshoot

  1. Close Troubleshooter and check if the you can perform Windows 10 ISO file setup now.

Backup and Restore Your Windows System Faster and Easier

As we mentioned earlier, most people use Windows Media Creation Tool mainly because they want to upgrade their PC or want to perform a clean install. However, when using this tool, many users report that they will encounter different problems. “Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB” is one of them.

Fortunately, you have another option that can help you with a clean install or an upgrade of Windows. Here I will introduce you to a FREE backup and restore softwareAOMEI Backupper Standard, which is designed for all Windows. It enables you to backup system, files, disk, partitions and then restore them with just a few clicks. Also, you are allowed to create bootable media in case of system failure or hard crashes.

It has many useful features to make backup and restore tasks simple and efficient. Now, let us take a closer look at the given features of this software.

✩ Schedule Backup: With its help, you can set backup tasks to be executed daily/weekly/monthly. These features can help you automatically create backups to avoid data loss and system crashes.
✩ Backup Scheme: It provides you with Full Backup, Incremental Backup and Differential Backup. The last two backup methods can help you save space on the destination disk because they only back up changed files (The scheduled differential backup is only available on AOMEI Backupper Professional or advance version).
✩ Backup or Restore to Multiple Devices: It supports backing up to or restoring from different storage devices, such as external hard drive, internal hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS, network location, etc.

Using AOMEI Backupper Standard to backup and restore Windows system would be easier compared with Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Here are the specific steps to backup and restore your system using a USB flash drive:

Steps to Backup and Restore Windows 10 System with AOMEI Backupper

Before you begin, click the download button below to install this free software on your computer:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. After the installation of AOMEI Backupper, launch it. Click Backup -> System Backup.

Select System Backup

  1. It will select the Windows 10 system partition and the relevant partitions that are required to start Windows by default. Click the box under the arrow and select your USB device as backup destination.

Select Backup Destination

Tips: You can customize your backup to suit your needs by clicking “Options”, “Schedule”, “Scheme” at the bottom left of the program.
◑ Options: With this feature, you can write a note for your task to help you distinguish it from other backup tasks. In addition, you can enable encryption and email notification for this task.


  1. Confirm the operation and click Start Backup to back up your Windows 10.

Start System Backup

  1. Then you can go Restore > Select Task or Select Image File to choose the system backup you create previously.

Select Task

Extra Tip: OneKey System Backup and Recovery Solution for Windows 10

There is another method that can help you perform Windows 10 system backup and restore easily. AOMEI OneKey Recovery enables you to save system image to AOMEI OneKey recovery partition or other storage. Such as local disks, external hard disks, solid state drives, USB flash drives, etc. It allows you to restore your computer to a previous backed up state by pressing "F11" (default) or "A" key during computer startup.

To backup Windows 10, choose "OneKey System Backup" after launching AOMEI OneKey Recovery.

OneKey System Backup

 ▶ To restore Windows 10 when your computer boots normally, open the program and choose "OneKey System Recovery". If your computer fails to boot, press F11 or A during startup (Legacy boot) or choose "AOMEI OneKey Recovery" in boot menu (UEFI boot) to launch the program and then perform system restore from Windows PE.

OneKey System Recovery

To Sum Up

Most users encounter the issue of Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can’t find a USB flash drive when they want to use this tool to create installation media to help them with a clean install of Windows. This article provides you with 5 solutions of this issue and provides you with an easier way to reset your Windows system.

AOMEI Backupper allows you to back up your Windows 10 system to a USB flash drive with just a few clicks. You can use this system backup to restore your computer at any time. If you want to upgrade your Windows 10 system, this software can also help you.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.