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Phantom HDD

Last response: in Windows XP
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July 17, 2010 7:37:24 AM

Hi, I had a slave hard drive. Now my computer thinks it's still there. At one point it would change drive letters when I turned on my computer. Now it has the same wrong drive letter. By the way I'm running XP on an old tower. Also, today I tried to swap the slave for a different HDD, and it showed up as the same drive. It had the same programs and files as did the previous slave. Now I have the computer running with only the master and the computer still shows the same slave drive. What created this Phantom Drive? Also how do I make it to where the computer will read other slaves?

Louis :) 

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July 18, 2010 8:21:07 PM

I have no formal training i just kinda try things and learn stuff through trial and error. If I was experiencing a problem like you described above, I would enter my BIOS screen and try messing around in there with the primary slave selection on the main page.. Try setting it to auto or none possibly, but I am not sure.. I just noticed no one had answered your thread yet.. What have you tried so far to do about the problem? Are these IDE hard drives or SATA drives?
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July 19, 2010 3:32:32 AM

CantankerousV said:
I have no formal training i just kinda try things and learn stuff through trial and error. If I was experiencing a problem like you described above, I would enter my BIOS screen and try messing around in there with the primary slave selection on the main page.. Try setting it to auto or none possibly, but I am not sure.. I just noticed no one had answered your thread yet.. What have you tried so far to do about the problem? Are these IDE hard drives or SATA drives?


No "formal" training? You're a natural, and you have questions, so you seek answers.
Keep up the good work. BTW, this is a very good place to look. Seeing if the BIOS identifies drives for what they are is pretty important! as this is what gets handed to Windows as storage resources.

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July 20, 2010 3:58:16 AM

Thank y'all for your interest. Do you know how to get to the Bios? If I understand things correctly, usually on Boot up you'll get the option to go into set up, etc. Unfortunately my two old towers aren't giving me this option. Is there a way to fix that or get to the bios from the principle user account? Example; F12, F2, etc aren't popping up at boot up.
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July 20, 2010 4:18:22 AM

mordro said:
Thank y'all for your interest. Do you know how to get to the Bios? If I understand things correctly, usually on Boot up you'll get the option to go into set up, etc. Unfortunately my two old towers aren't giving me this option. Is there a way to fix that or get to the bios from the principle user account? Example; F12, F2, etc aren't popping up at boot up.


BIOS is usually accessible only at initial computer start up. There are different possibilities of which key needs to be pressed. It varies among the manufacturers.

The older machines commonly used the Delete key. It could be the Escape key.. The various Function keys are widely used today. When you first turn on your machine, peck at the Delete key for starters. If windows starts, shut down normally, try a different key. I've never seen any letter key used, but that's not impossible. Try all Function keys one at at time until you find it... It's there somewhere. Peck (don't hold down any key or error will result)
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July 30, 2010 1:01:10 AM

Hi Thanks y'all. I looked into the Bios. It was on Auto. I don't know enough to start messing with it further. Do y'all know what to look into, in the Bios or other places?
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August 1, 2010 4:21:14 AM

I found out that the phantom drive is a partition on the C drive. Since it exists, am I able to add another Hard drive? Is there a way to merge it in to the usual C drive partition? That is with out wiping and reinstalling.
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August 1, 2010 6:54:44 AM

its probably a utility partition so i would just leave it alone, and yeahh of course you can add another hard drive.
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August 2, 2010 7:01:19 PM

The original problem is a phantom drive. The phantom drive still exists. The computer thinks the partition is a that drive. That being the case, when I plug in a new slave drive [hardware], it doesn't acknowledge that it exists. Also it would seem that it never acknowledged the original slave drive [hardware]. How do I get rid of the partition? Also how do I make the computer realize there is a HDD? Bios is on Auto.
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August 2, 2010 7:06:01 PM

are all the SATA ports turned on?
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August 3, 2010 4:21:49 AM

What are ATA and SATA? Are they the usual 40 pin hard drives?
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August 10, 2010 3:43:07 AM

Best answer selected by mordro.
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