Phantom drive on my computer

  Pineman100 15:52 08 Jul 2007

My computer (Win XP SP2 Home) appears to think it has a drive that doesn't exist!

The drive is listed as Removable Disk (E:). I have looked at its Properties, and on the General tab it is shown as Used Space 0MB, Free Space 0MB, Capacity 0MB. On the Hardware tab it is listed as ST3250823A. If I click on the drive, I am asked to insert a disk into it.

I have checked that it's not my CD/DVD drive, my card reader drive(s), or my USB pen drive. I have a USB external HDD - I recently installed a new, larger hard drive into the caddy, and renamed it drive X: Could this be anything to do with the problem?

I've been trying to run the network setup wizard, and whenever it reaches the point where it offers me the possibility of creating a network setup disk, it defaults to asking for this disk to be created in drive E: (the "phantom" drive). There is no option to change drives, so I can't create the disk!

Please can anyone explain how I can (a) find out what this drive is, and (b) if really doesn't exist, get rid of it?

Many thanks for any advice.

  jimv7 15:59 08 Jul 2007

Have you a printer with a built in card reader?

  Pineman100 16:08 08 Jul 2007

Yes, jimv7 - I have. Good thinking!

I have been looking in Disk Management, under Computer Management, and the phantom drive is definitely shown as an independent drive - not a partition on another drive.

So presumably you reckon that it's my printer card reader?

If so, do you know how I can get the Windows network setup wizard to default to my D: drive (ie: CD/DVD) rather than this card reader?

Thanks very much for your response.

  Diemmess 16:30 08 Jul 2007

I just switched on my ext USB drive and then plugged in a pen drive as well.

In My Computer they each took the next available drive letter according to the order in they were switched on, though the pen (not the EXT HD) was classed as removable.
My computer thinks the USB is a fixed drive!

  Starfox 17:05 08 Jul 2007

Your answer to Pineman100's question has given the solution to something that has been puzzling me for ages as I have the same phantom drive problem and I just could not figure out what it was that was creating the extra hard drive. So thank you ever so much Jimv7.

What I have now done is to right click on the extra drive in my computer and rename it as *Printer* so I now know what it is.

  Pineman100 17:13 08 Jul 2007

Thanks for the idea, Starfox, which I shall definitely do.

But do you know how I can dissuade Windows network setup wizard from thinking that it's my optical drive?

  rabadubdub 17:24 08 Jul 2007

..reveals ST3250823A as a Seagate Barracouda 250GB Hard Drive.
Would that be the one you have as a USB external?


  Starfox 17:29 08 Jul 2007

I don't think you can, it's always going to recognize the card reader as a removable drive.

Unless someone knows better of course.:o)

  Pineman100 17:59 08 Jul 2007

>>Google reveals ST3250823A as a Seagate Barracouda 250GB Hard Drive.
Would that be the one you have as a USB external?<<

Interesting point rabadubdub... my USB drive IS a 250GB, but it's not a Seagate Barracuda, it's a Hitachi.

Unless it's been rebadged, of course.

If this phantom drive is a remnant of my USB external, before I re-assigned its drive letter, do you think it's safe for me just to uninstall it, in Device Manager? It's listed under Disk Drives. My printer is also listed under Disk Drives, separately from this phantom drive, so that seems to suggest that Starfox's idea is probably not correct*. What do you think?

* No insult intended, Starfox!

  rabadubdub 18:18 08 Jul 2007

It's possible the Hitachi is the 'rebadged' Seagate, but worth physically checking the labelling for the model number before you leap in there.
If there isn't a OS on it you may be able just to remove it in device manager and let windows find it again if it exists.
Did you "Automatically Detect" Disks in BIOS?
It may be advisable to try that if you've changed any IDE drives.
I'm no expert on changing drive letters of fixed/removable drives so I couldn't give a definitive answer, sorry.


  Starfox 18:22 08 Jul 2007

Getting a bit technical for me now but, if I switch off my printer the listing in *My computer* disappears thereby proving what the phantom drive refers to.

Does yours not do that?

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