Phantom Removal USB Drive

Having problems of late with a Windows XP, SP2 machine that *always* displays a Removalable Drive (D) in "My Computer" even if there are no USB storage/flash drives attached. How do I get rid of that?

A second problem (possibly related?) is that I am having difficulty in the same Windows XP machine getting it to register some of the USB flash drives in the office; I attach them, the USB Unplug/Eject icon appears and it has been registered with the computer- but when I click on "My Computer" nothing shows. I have tried uninstalling rebooting and re-installing them and nothing changes.

Any solutions/ideas?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Check the device manager and make sure you don't have an exclamation point or red "X" on any devices. If you do have an exclamation point, remove it and scan for items again. A driver might have gotten corrupted. Right click on the red "X" one and enable them (unless you have them disabled for a specific reason).

Aww, I was looking forward to reading about the removable storage available on my favorite new console.

My last gaming rig started doing the second thing you mention, I solved it by upgrading.

Seriously though I tried every USB port on the PC with a ramdrive and digicam that worked previously and all that would happen is the power light would come on the ramdrive for about 1/10th of a second and then go out and XP would see the drive and then not see it. I suspected that somehow my USB subsystem got fried. The wierd thing was that my USB headset (which I use for the MIC) and my webcam both worked fine. I also used an extension cable for the ram drive and digicam so it wasn't like I was messing with the ports that they use on a constant basis to damage them. It's like one day the PC just decided to stop seeing USB storage devices.

Eezy, that is just what is happening on this system; the system recognizes the USB device but won't allow access. I've even tried the other USB porst (different connectors) on the rear of the machine- still no success.

Baggachipz: Sorry to get your hopes up Hee!

Well depending on the other apps you could try a reinstall. If you're uber, you can image the machine now as it is, then reinstall and if that doesn't work then just bring back down the image and save yourself some work....

Because that old rig is now my test lab pc and it can now see the ramdrive and digicam fine.

I don't know how much time you have to invest but it's really sounding like a driver issue or something now that I'm thinking about it. Maybe run a chkdsk c: /r on the volume to see if a sector where the driver is got corrupted. I never did that on my machine before I reinstalled.

Do you have any mapped network drives? I've seen, and been able to reliably reproduce, removable media not get mounted properly if there is no gap between your physical drive letters and your mapped drive letters.

Go into Disk Management and see if you can manually assign a drive letter.

Not sure about that lingering D drive though. Open your device manager and check Show Hidden Devices to see if you see anything wonky under Disk Drives.

LiquidMantis wrote:

Do you have any mapped network drives? I've seen, and been able to reliably reproduce, removable media not get mounted properly if there is no gap between your physical drive letters and your mapped drive letters.

I've seen this too but it usually rears it's head if you've attached a removable drive and it gets the next letter in line (say E:) then when it's disconned and later on you decide to map E: to another PC on the network and then when you attach the removable drive it doesn't appear but if you go into disk management it is there it just has the same drive letter and you have to change it to another letter. This also happens if you have multiple removable drives (say a ramdrive and digicam) and if you first use them on a PC not at the same time they'll most likely use the same drive letter (E: again for reference sake) and then the first time sometime later you happen to have both drives in at the same time you'll only see one but not the other and again disk management to the rescue. If the first time you put them in the PC though and it's at the same time one will get E: the other F: and then you'll be fine from there on out because XP seems to do a good job of remembering what letter you want a device to use. So yes, make sure any mapped drives you have are like 3 or so letters away from your last internal drive letter.

In my case on the old gaming rig (and currently) the only drives I mapped were H and S, it looked more like a hardware problem when I first encountered it and thought that the USB system just gave up the ghost. I reinstalled when I got my new rig and made the troubled PC my test lab rig (using virtualpc) and tested the USB this morning that it does indeed see the same ram drive and camera it had problems w/ before the reinstall.

Not to derail your thread, but while we're talking about the removable device menu...

Why in god's name does my system drive show up as a removable device but my secondary drive I just store files on not?

I've been over settings for the drives bunches of times since I built the rig and never did come up with anything.

I'm probably missing something extremely obvious. If so, feel free to point it out.

baggachipz wrote:

Aww, I was looking forward to reading about the removable storage available on my favorite new console.

Yeah, I miss that Craig (?) dude. He would have loved this title.

I heard he got et by a bear.

Thin_J wrote:

Not to derail your thread, but while we're talking about the removable device menu...

Why in god's name does my system drive show up as a removable device but my secondary drive I just store files on not?

I've been over settings for the drives bunches of times since I built the rig and never did come up with anything.

I'm probably missing something extremely obvious. If so, feel free to point it out.

What motherboard? Is the primary SATA and the storage a regular PATA? I've seen it a couple of times in-house but didn't spend any time on it. I think the Silicon Image chip on motherboards supports hot-swapping HDDs. Not something you want to experiment with for your system drive though...

LiquidMantis wrote:

What motherboard? Is the primary SATA and the storage a regular PATA? I've seen it a couple of times in-house but didn't spend any time on it. I think the Silicon Image chip on motherboards supports hot-swapping HDDs. Not something you want to experiment with for your system drive though...

Motherboard is a DFI Lanparty Nforce4 SLI-DR. The original non-expert version.

They're both SATA drives, which was where most of my confusion came from at the time.

I'm pretty sure only the system drive was showing up in the menu the last time I looked though. I'd check it again now, it's been a while, but I'm at work

Are you using daemon tools or power iso?

Why in god's name does my system drive show up as a removable device but my secondary drive I just store files on not?

Thin_J, my system does the exact same thing; SATA main system drive shows up as removable, backup drive does not.

I also have a board with an nforce4 SLI chipset (MSI) .. hmmm...
I just put the system together yesterday with a fresh format install of XP Home.

fangblackbone wrote:

Are you using daemon tools or power iso?

I don't even know what those are.

I know it's been a while, but I did actually check this. As it turns out, both my hard drives appear in the removable devices thing.

cewargamer wrote:

Having problems of late with a Windows XP, SP2 machine that *always* displays a Removalable Drive (D) in "My Computer" even if there are no USB storage/flash drives attached. How do I get rid of that?

Thin_J wrote:

Why in god's name does my system drive show up as a removable device but my secondary drive I just store files on not?

This is normal because SATA (just like USB) is hot swappable. The only dumb thing about it is most motherboards don't have external SATA connectors so you have to open your case to swap drives. As for disabling the icon, I think there's a way, but it would disable it permanently. You wouldn't get it when you plug in other USB devices. Another possibility, but I'm not at my home PC to check, is there might be a setting under the properties of either the drive itself or the SATA Controller. Perhaps a checkbox to disable the hot swap capability? (Right click on "My Computer" -> Properties, select the "Hardware" tab, and click "Device Manager" to check.)

As for the USB flash drive problem, my guess would be one of two things. 1.) As Liquid mentioned up above, if there's no gap in drive letters between physical drives and mapped network drives, it may fail to get a drive letter (even if there's other available drive letters after the network drives). I've had this happen several times and had to disconnect a network drive in order to get a USB drive assigned a drive letter. 2.) With the USB drive disconnected check in your Device Manager under the "Disk Drives" section to see if your USB device is already listed. If it is, delete it. It should only be listed while it's plugged in. And while you're in there see if there's any entries with red X's or ? marks on them that seem related to your USB Controller or the USB drive. If there are, delete those also and reboot so they reinstall (hopefully correctly). If they're back after a reboot and still have red X's or ? marks then you've got a problem either with no drivers, corrupt drivers, or mismatched drivers.

You could just always hide the icon.

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