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Phantom F Drive?

I have a Dell 8400, P4, 2GB RAM, 250GB C-Drive, Windows XP-Home. On start-up, the internal DVD-RW comes up as the D-Drive and the internal DVD-ROM as the E-Drive.

I used to have a Western Digital external hard drive plugged into a USB port which would come up as the F-Drive. The Western Digital external hard drive quit working - it's now gone - not plugged in ... however, everytime I boot-up, Windows XP thinks it's still there as the F-Drive.

Each time I start up, I use the ''Unplug or Eject Hardware'' icon on the Taskbar to ''safely remove'' the external hard drive (even though it's not there). The F-Drive does, in fact, then go away. I've uninstalled the F-Drive Driver, but Windows "finds new hardware" on the next start-up - even though there's nothing there???

How do I get Windows XP to stop thinking the old external hard drive is still plugged in?

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