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You didn't mention the manufacturer on your 16GB stick, but that should not be a problem using it. The price on 16GB USB drives has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, so you will see more of them in use.
If you plug the USB drive into one of your computer's free USB ports, it should be recognized by your computer and assigned a drive letter in Windows. This means if you view the contents of your hard drive using Windows File Explorer, you should see another drive representing the 16GB USB thumb drive in the list of disks.
If you click on that drive you will see its contents (if any). Some drives come with software pre-loaded on them which you may be able to use to encrypt the contents of the thumb drive.
In all other respects, the USB drive will function like any other disk drive, allowing you to move or copy files back and forth between your main hard drive and the USB drive.
Be careful to 'unmount' the USB drive before you remove it from the USB port. Often there will be a flashing LED light on the drive which indicates that data is being written to the USB drive. If you remove the drive while the light is blinking, you may damage the file system on the USB drive and make reading its data impossible.
To eject the drive properly using Windows File Explorer, click on your main hard drive (usually C:) to select it, then RIGHT-CLICK on the drive you want to eject. A menu will come up, and you should click 'Eject' to close out the USB drive. You will get a confirmation message window that it is safe to remove the drive.
Flash drives are used like floppy discs. Take off the cover, plug in the drive to a USB port and wait for the computer to acknowledge it. Usually it will get a drive letter assignment of E: unless you have multiple optical drives or a card reader that may have that drive letter in use. Transfer files by copying them in the file explorer. I like to have two windows open (one with the folder the file is starting in and the other the window for the contents of the flash drive).
Alternatively, open the file in the appropriate program and (for most OS versions) File > Save As and browse to the flash drive. Check the file name and click OK.
To use a file on any computer, open the file explorer and browse to the flash drive. Double click on the file and the associated program (or another that handles that file type) will open if it is on that computer. Then you can edit the file. If you are using a different computer, when you return to your main computer. Transfer the file back to the Documents (My Documents) or other folder in the File Explorer.
Make sure the USB port is active (try another if the flash drive doesn't work). Some USB ports can be disabled for power savings or security. On Windows the first is an Advanced Setting from the screen saver. The second is found in the device manager (Control Panel > System and Security > System for Win7).
Try any other computer but not open drive only see if they can read it. Also change USB port, sometimes some ports dont accept devices. Also check for latest antivirus software last such case viruses dont let me read any of my USB drives. If driver works to oter PC then you have virus.
do you hear the USB hardware installation tones from windows when you plug in the the drive? If so then you are know the USB port is working. If you do not..try other USB ports. If you hear the noise...Right click on My Computer and click on Manage. Click on Storage and then Disk Management...see if you are having a conflict of drive mappings (i.e. F:/ or E:/)..you can relable the drive letters by right clicking on the drive in the right pane and selecting Change Drive Letter.
More then likely you have a defective thumbdrive,buy a new one and see if you still have the problem, you can all ways take it back if you still have the problem, Remember new ones can also be defective.
It is possible that windows is trying to assign a drive letter to the thumb drive that is already assigned to another drive. You will need to go to Disk Management to see if the thumbdrive is showing up there and then try to assign it a drive letter.