My girlfriend’s aged laptop, while still running fine, has a hard drive that is almost full, mainly due to her vast collection of digital photos. The hard drive is 33GB and there is currently about 4MB (sic) left. I am aware that this is not good for the computer, so I bought a 16GB flash drive from play.com to use as a storage device for about half the photos.
Unfortunately, on plugging the flash drive into the USB port, the computer opens the “Found New Hardware Wizard”, but this fails to find the required software, so the drive is currently useless.
I tried googling “troubleshoot flash drive” (without the quotes) and from a brief look through the first few results, it appears that it is most likely a driver problem, and I may need to install SP1/SP1a (the computer is running Windows XP). I found a free download of this from www.softwarepatch.com, but it is 133MB, and as I said, I only have 4MB left. I’m sure I can free up enough space to download this if necessary, but I feel I’m already out of my depth here - plus, I’d like to check first that I don’t have it already, and I don’t know how to do this easily.
The exact error message from the wizard is: "There was a problem installing this hardware:
USB Flash Memory
An error occured during the installation of this device
The data is invalid."
Do any of you clever-with-computers dopers have any helpful suggestions? Ideally, I don’t plan to replace the laptop for another year or so, so I’d like to get this flash drive to work if possible, but any alternative suggestions for storing the extra data are welcome. TIA.
On preview, I forgot to mention: the computer should be compatible with USB 2.0 (I have checked this) and so hopefully this is not the problem.