Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

My USB drive is not recognized by LabQuest. What can I do?

There are a few possible causes for a USB drive to not be recognized by LabQuest:

1. If the USB flash drive doesn't appear to work, cancel the Save or Open, and try again. You need to allow about 10 seconds for the drive to initialize after it is connected to LabQuest.
2. Rebooting the LabQuest may help. Tap Home, then choose Control Panel (original LabQuest) or System (LabQuest 2) and then Reboot.
3. Make sure that no automatic update files (files with an LQA extension) are on the drive unless you are using the file to update that unit. In particular, a drive with a LabQuest 2 update on it will result in the original LabQuest not seeing the drive at all (it actually purposefully ignores it.) Likewise, multiple LQA files on the drive may result in unexpected behavior.
4. "Short" USB flash drives do not work. The USB "A" connector (the silver part) must be at least 12 mm in length from the base to the tip. There are some USB drives that are shorter and have problems connecting to many computers and other devices. Additionally, some USB drives are too wide and can be obstructed from complete insertion by the casing of the LabQuest unit.
5. The drive may have a capacity that is too high. More recent versions of LabQuest and LabQuest 2 software can read drives up to 64 GB, but if you are are updating from an older version (pre-1.5) of the original LabQuest, the drive has to be 4 GB or smaller.
6. The drive may be in a format that LabQuest cannot read. LabQuest supports the following formats: FAT and FAT32. Note that this list does not include Mac OS Extended, the usual macOS format, and it does not include exFAT, which is Microsoft's format especially for USB flash drives. To check and repair the formatting of the drive, follow these steps:

     a. Right-click the drive icon and choose Properties.
     b. Verify that the "File System" is listed as "FAT" or "FAT32" (but not exFAT).
     c. Click the tools tab and select "check now".
     d. Check both boxes, "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan and attempt recovery of bad sectors".
     e. Click Start.

     Mac OS X
     a. Go to the folder: Applications\Utilities and launch Disk Utility.
     b. Select the USB drive in the left column (with a white icon).
     c. Choose the Erase tab and ensure that the format is "MS-DOS (FAT)".
     d. If the format is not "MS-DOS (FAT)," you will need to choose the Erase option. This will reformat the drive in the MS-DOS (FAT) format, erasing any existing data on the drive.
     e. If the format is already MS-DOS (FAT), go to the First Aid tab and select Repair Disk.

See also:
TIL 2263: LabQuest does not connect to computer or see a USB thumb drive.
TIL 2525: LabQuest does not see the update file on USB drive.
TIL 3338: LabQuest Sensor Setup doesn't list any channels

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