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Internal hard drive appearing twice in My Computer

by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 12:05 AM PDT

System info:
Windows XP Home Edition SP2
Dell Dimension 4300
Old as dirt but still running!

This is very odd. I have two internal hard drives; first (C:) runs operating system and programs and second (E:) stores documents, photos, music, etc. Suddenly when accessing E: I can search the drive, see all the folders and files, but cannot open any folders. I cannot run Error Checking, Defrag, etc. I can open files from within programs.

Even stranger: when I look under My Computer, E: is listed twice. First listing is the one that's always been there: in proper order, correct drive label, drive icon, "Local Disk", properties show correct file system, free space, and total space. Second listing is at the bottom of the list, drive label that seems to have come from nowhere, file icon instead of drive icon but still labelled "Local Disk", properties show 0 bytes but "Details" shows same file system, free space, and total space, and when I open the file/drive(?) I see the same folders and files as I see under the original E: drive, but My Computer then locks up.

When the E: drive became unaccessable I copied my documents from my backup drive into "My Documents" on the C: drive so that I could access them there.

In short, I have messed something up in a big way.

Help, please!!!

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Read this recent discussion about MOUNTVOL
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 12:23 AM PDT
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Disks listed have the same, not different, drive letters ***
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 12:36 AM PDT

Bob,

I don't think that I have the same problem. Both listings for my hard drive have the SAME drive letter (E:), not different drive letters for the same drive. Do you think MOUNTVOL could still help?

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OOPS! SORRY!!

I didn't mean to include that offensive word in the subject line of my previous posting! I was trying to type "as". Getting old, what can I say?

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If you follow the other discussion...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 1:19 AM PDT
In reply to: OOPS! SORRY!!

I had to wait for the output of Mountvol to see the issue.

Sorry if it doesn't apply but we can work the issue or you can wait for someone that has the "right answer."

Bob

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mountvol output
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 4:09 AM PDT

Bob,

I ran mountvol /? at the command prompt. Results:

MOUNTVOL [drive:]path VolumeName
MOUNTVOL [drive:]path /D
MOUNTVOL [drive:]path /L

path Specifies the existing NTFS directory where the mount
point will reside.
VolumeName Specifies the volume name that is the target of the mount
point.
/D Removes the volume mount point from the specified directory.
/L Lists the mounted volume name for the specified directory.

Possible values for VolumeName along with current mount points are:

\\?\Volume{61a4a556-c383-11d7-8f18-806d6172696f}\
C:\

\\?\Volume{dd21b160-e255-11d8-9552-000476b941c0}\
E:\

\\?\Volume{8943f860-94dc-11da-9cf5-806d6172696f}\
D:\

\\?\Volume{3c456841-c384-11d7-9737-806d6172696f}\
A:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c30-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
F:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c31-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
G:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8a-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
H:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8b-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
I:\

No duplicate E: shown. This makes no sense to me. Thanks for any help you can give.

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Sorry, mountvol /? would give the help and not
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 4:20 AM PDT
In reply to: mountvol output

The results. Try /L next time.

Bob

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mountvol output part 2
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 4:39 AM PDT

Bob,

Basically the same output:

MOUNTVOL [drive:]path VolumeName
MOUNTVOL [drive:]path /D
MOUNTVOL [drive:]path /L

path Specifies the existing NTFS directory where the mount
point will reside.
VolumeName Specifies the volume name that is the target of the mount
point.
/D Removes the volume mount point from the specified directory.
/L Lists the mounted volume name for the specified directory.

Possible values for VolumeName along with current mount points are:

\\?\Volume{61a4a556-c383-11d7-8f18-806d6172696f}\
C:\

\\?\Volume{dd21b160-e255-11d8-9552-000476b941c0}\
E:\

\\?\Volume{8943f860-94dc-11da-9cf5-806d6172696f}\
D:\

\\?\Volume{3c456841-c384-11d7-9737-806d6172696f}\
A:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c30-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
F:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c31-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
G:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8a-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
H:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8b-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
I:\

E: still doesn't show up twice.

I think we're communicating on two forums at the same time. I'll stick to this one and see if anyone else responds to my other plea for help (in the "Computer help" forum).

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My bad. I was wrong.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 4:41 AM PDT
In reply to: mountvol output part 2

Just mountvol and no parameters. It still would be interesting to see mountvol C: /L

Bob

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mountvol and mountvol C:/L
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: My bad. I was wrong.

Here are the results of mountvol, no parameters. Basically the same again. No repeated E:.

Possible values for VolumeName along with current mount points are:

\\?\Volume{61a4a556-c383-11d7-8f18-806d6172696f}\
C:\

\\?\Volume{dd21b160-e255-11d8-9552-000476b941c0}\
E:\

\\?\Volume{8943f860-94dc-11da-9cf5-806d6172696f}\
D:\

\\?\Volume{3c456841-c384-11d7-9737-806d6172696f}\
A:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c30-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
F:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c31-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
G:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8a-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
H:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8b-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
I:\

And results for mountvol C:/L, basically the same -

Possible values for VolumeName along with current mount points are:

\\?\Volume{61a4a556-c383-11d7-8f18-806d6172696f}\
C:\

\\?\Volume{dd21b160-e255-11d8-9552-000476b941c0}\
E:\

\\?\Volume{8943f860-94dc-11da-9cf5-806d6172696f}\
D:\

\\?\Volume{3c456841-c384-11d7-9737-806d6172696f}\
A:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c30-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
F:\

\\?\Volume{908d2c31-d52e-11d8-952f-000476b941c0}\
G:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8a-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
H:\

\\?\Volume{648bdd8b-e25b-11d8-9554-000476b941c0}\
I:\

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Did you notice the oddity with H and I ?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 5:40 AM PDT

If this was my machine I'd use the /D on both unless you know what or why it did that.

Bob

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Oddity with H and I?
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 6:01 AM PDT

What oddity? You'll have to forgive me. I'm basically clueless where this stuff is involved. H: and I: are the two partitions of my external hard drive. I use it for backup.

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Update
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 6:13 AM PDT

Well, under My Computer I renamed the E: hard drives that were showing so that they have the same name. I can now access the files on the drive. But I still have that annoying second E: listing, even when I reboot. Will /D do any damage? Will the disk letters be reassigned automatically?

It has been a while since I've scanned for adware / malware. Maybe that is the explanation.

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Sorry for the addon thought.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 5:41 AM PDT

Are ANY CD clone or CD/DVD emulator software installed?

Bob

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CD clone software
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 5:57 AM PDT

No software of that type. What does /D do???

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While it's documented back at the beginning.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 6:00 AM PDT
In reply to: CD clone software

It deletes that mapping. This area is one of those dark recesses of XP (and Windows NT/2000) but I'm seeing this damage more often than I'd expect. My theory is some spyware or malware damage but that's a side discussion.

Any oddity is the mountvol output needs to be resolved from my experience.

Bob

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Ahh, H and I are...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 6:18 AM PDT

Something else. Let me explain that when we are troubleshooting we need to have as few parts as we can.

Try a scan with this malware online scanner. -> http://www.ewido.net/en/onlinescan/

-> Look closely at the mount points of H and I. It's an oddity for the values to match without reason. With your explanation I think that's fine.

On to other areas in a bit. Let me find that other discussion.

Bob

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The failure of chkdsk is troubling.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 6:25 AM PDT

But I would backup before repairs (done!)

In Device Manager, Click View - Tic/Check "Show Hidden Devices".
Expand the Hard Drives, if more than one instance of the
same device appears or one is shown grayed-out, uninstall the one
grayed out or both if neither is "Dimmed", Reboot and allow PNP
to re-detect the single unit.

I've also seen this happen on SATA drives. The cause is either a buggy or missing SATA motherboard support driver. I don't have any details to say that's it yet.

After the above I'd attempt chkdsk from the Safe Mode Command Prompt.

Bob

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Scanned and uninstalled
by statsinstructor / April 28, 2007 11:15 PM PDT

Okay, I scanned all drives with ewido. Lots of tracking cookies but not much else.

I went to Device Manager, the drive does not appear twice (even hidden) but I uninstalled it anyway. (I tried this once before.) I still have two listings of the E: drive and suddenly they're named differently again.

What is so strange about this is that the second listing of the E: drive seems to be acting more like a shortcut that a local drive. Its properties show 0 bytes. Its icon is a folder, not a drive.

This is driving me nuts.

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Now let's look under the hood of Explorer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 28, 2007 11:26 PM PDT

There are a few hidden files that tell Explorer how to display what it is we are looking at. These are the Desktop.ini and such.

Read http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/shellcc/platform/shell/programmersguide/shell_basics/shell_basics_extending/custom.asp

Now share the desktop.ini for the view you are using. Sorry but I didn't catch which view you were using.

We also want to find the Folder.htt files (read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/181689 ).

But without a clean pass from CHKDSK it could be that old damage file system issue. I take it that you can't remove the partition, create it and format this drive?

Bob

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Desktop.ini and Folder.htt
by statsinstructor / April 29, 2007 4:31 AM PDT

I finally managed to run "Error Checking" on the drive in question and it either didn't come up with any problems or it repaired them.

My Desktop.ini file seems terribly boring:

[.ShellClassInfo]
IconFile=folder.ico
IconIndex=0
ConfirmFileOp=0

I searched but could not find any folder.htt files.

This particular hard drive (E:) is not partitioned. I suppose I could format it; all it has on it is documents. I copied the documents to both my C: drive (C:\Documents and Settings\Cheryl Hawkins\My Documents) and to a partition on my external hard drive fairly recently. Would I be able to copy them back to the drive once it's formatted without having a mess on my hands?

One more thought - my computer name is "Mom". Could that have something to do with this mysterious "Mom's Documents" drive that seems to be linked to the E: drive?

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Just a small nit.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 29, 2007 4:42 AM PDT

If a drive doesn't have a partition, Windows can't use it. You may have meant it has "one" partition.

If this was mine I'd copy my stuff out, remove the partition, create it anew and then format it. Remember that formatting alone is unlikely to create this.

As to folder.htt files, it could be Explorer hiding them. If I open a command window and type DIR C:\folder.htt /s/a/p on my machine I find a few. The first one I found was in C:\Program Files. There are a few others. It's heady stuff so basically take a look at the dates of these and see if any were changed recently.

Bob

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Partition, formatting, etc.
by statsinstructor / April 29, 2007 5:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Just a small nit.

You are right. The drive has just one partition.

Searched from the command prompt and still found no folder.htt files.

Okay, I haven't done this in forever, so will you please tell me how to partition and then format the drive? Thanks.

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One more thing
by statsinstructor / April 29, 2007 5:31 AM PDT

Do you think that doing a system restore could possibly solve the problem? And what would that do to my data files - would they be taken back to the restore point too?

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About SR. No.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 29, 2007 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: One more thing

As to how, it's done in the Hard Disk Management console. Mostly "right click" on the drive in question...

Bob

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