I recently bought a Western Digital 320GB USB drive to use as a backup for my pictures, videos and games. Had been working pretty well until Monday; after restarting my PC, Windows Vista asked to insert a driver CD for my WD hard drive. Didn’t make any sense since this is a USB drive, tried it on my Macbook Pro, couldn’t read the drive. After doing some research online, found a forum on the western digital site with the perfect solution.

Cause:
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”.

Resolution:
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:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window by right clicking on Start and then clicking on Explore.
  2. In the address bar, type C:\windows\inf and press Enter.
  3. Find and then right click on the file named INFCACHE.1.
  4. Select Properties.
  5. Click on the Security tab.
  6. Click on Edit to edit the permissions of the file.
  7. Click on Add to add User Groups.
  8. Type Administrators in the User Groups field and click on OK.
  9. Set Administrators to Full Control and click on OK.
  10. Move or delete the file INFCACHE.1.
  11. Reinstall a device to force Windows to rebuild the INFCACHE.1 file
    (Important: 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- I used my iPod).

Please note: This detection issue can happen several times in a row, but repeat the steps 1-11 and try again until this works. Let me know if you have any question about the issue.