If your USB flash drives aren’t showing up in MY COMPUTER, I may have the solution for you. I was having the same problem with my laptop (this solution applies to those of you running Windows Vista), I would plug my usb flash drives into my usb slots, but nothing would happen. I could not get them to show up in MY COMPUTER. The solution to this problem that worked for me is as follows:
Once you’ve plugged your USB flash drive into your computer or laptop click on the WINDOWS LOGO on your task bar. This will bring up the START MENU. In the START SEARCH field type in “manage” (without the quotes). From the results that display click on COMPUTER MANAGEMENT. When the “WINDOWS NEEDS YOUR PERMISSION TO CONTINUE” message appears, just click on CONTINUE. The Computer Management program will now appear.
From the left side items you want to click on DISK MANAGEMENT. Once you click on it the Middle Pane will display all drives attached to your system. Your USB flash drive should be listed here. In the bottom half of the pane it will be listed as REMOVABLE. What you want to do is click on the USB drive in the top section of the middle pane. Once it is selected go to the right pane and click on MORE ACTIONS, and then select ALL TASKS, and then CHANGE DRIVE LETTER AND PATHS. From here a new window will appear. It will say “ALLOW ACCESS TO THIS VOLUME BY USING THE FOLLOWING DRIVE LETTER AND PATHS:”, there should be nothing in the white area below this text, the reason for this is because your computer was not able to assign a drive letter to the USB drive, and thus it wasn’t able to appear in MY COMPUTER. What you want to do now is click the ADD button. You can now type in the drive letter that you want windows to assign to your USB drive. Anything from N and above would be a safe bet. Once you’ve put the drive letter in click on OK, and then OK again.
And that should be it. Your USB drive should be recognized in MY COMPUTER now, as well as any others that you plug in from this point forward.
Excerpt from M Jones