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Ghost hard drive remains after removing the external hardware

Last response: in Storage
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February 27, 2012 6:48:57 PM

I have a Western Digital 500gb hard drive that remains visible on the "Hard Disk Drives" list (Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit) after the external hardware is unplugged. The thing is the ghost hard drive is completely useable. I write and copy to it, delete from it, play the videos on it--all without the actual physical hard drive plugged in.
While there is only 135gb used on the external hd my internal C: drive of 375gb shows no loss of free space despite the ghost drive being there. I did a search of the C: drive but none of the files on the ghost hard drive have been copied to it.
How is this possible?
a c 119 G Storage
February 27, 2012 7:00:31 PM

So to be clear about what you had and what you have now , You had one external WD hdd of 500gb and one internal hdd of 375gb?
Now you have one internal hdd of 375gb? how much used space and how much free space?
The files that were on the Ghost Drive can they be acessed now that the drive is diconnected?
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February 27, 2012 7:15:27 PM

One external hd of 550gb with 135gb used.
One internal hd of 372gb with 57gb used.
Now I have one internal hd with still only 57gb used and one ghost hd.
The files on the ghost hard drive all seem to be there. I've checked a representative random selection of .html, .mp3, .pdf., .rtf files to make sure it wasn't perhaps a media player copying the mp3s to its playlist, but all the various file types are there. I've tried deleting files from, copying files to, saving files on, and playing media off the ghost hard drive and it's all live action despite the fact the hard drive has been unplugged.
I'm stumped.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 27, 2012 7:27:22 PM

Obviously there is no magic connection here so the files have to be on the internal hdd somewhere.
Try going into disk management and see what it shows for hdd's , to get there you right click on computer and select manage then from the window select dick management , you will see a window come up and it will list all of the drives connected to your computer.
What drive letter is assigned to the ghost drive?
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February 27, 2012 7:50:19 PM

I wouldn't agree it's obvious there's no magic connection but I'd rather rule out all ordinary solutions before entertaining the extraordinary.
With the external hdd unplugged the device manager shows what I expect it to show: only the internal disk in the "Disk drives" list. Disk Management however lists under "Disk 0" the C: drive with 372gb and healthy, the ghost drive is D: with 550gb and healthy. Disk 0 therefore is listed as being "Basic 931gb Online".
I've done a search using filenames on the ghost drive but Microsoft Search only shows those files as residing on the ghost drive and nowhere else. I don't see where else they could be hidden. I've perused the C drive and see nothing there. Unfortunately this has happened on a friend's computer so I don't have a familiarity with it that I would have with my own.
I'm not ready to call a paranormal investigating team yet but it's odd to say the least. Even an ordinary explanation is going to have to be a little more than merely ordinary.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 27, 2012 8:08:10 PM

I'm wondering if there could be some sort of online storage set up that is available to be used as a seperate drive. If the internet connection was disconnected you could see if the ghost drive is still there.
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February 27, 2012 8:36:56 PM

Good idea about the online storage...but no, I disconnected from the Internet and the ghost drive with all its contents is still there. The computer has one dvd drive which I checked to make sure there was no disc inside. My friend is not computer literate and I doubt she made any modifications on the computer since she bought it at BestBuy. I know what she purchased, it had one hard drive with one partition, one disc drive. I was with her at the time. An Asus intel i5-650 3.20ghz, 8gb ram. I doubt there could be some hidden partition or any modification since then, she'd have no idea how to do that and wouldn't even try. (But she's on vacation so I can't consult with her.)

I was expecting you to ask what happened right before the ghost appeared. I don't want it to look as if I simply out of the blue plugged in a hdd and then unplugged it and got a ghost. But the road leading up isn't a straight line. I'll give the details in my next post if you think it would be useful.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 27, 2012 9:01:47 PM

At this point with no explanation in sight ant info would be helpful. I have heard of Norton having some sort of Ghost drive or something , does she have Norton on the computer? I am thinking that there is some sort of hdd hidden on the computer someplace. Have you looked at the sata ports to see if there is only one sata cable connected there?
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Best solution

a c 119 G Storage
February 27, 2012 9:06:25 PM

In your next post if you could give the model number of the computer and hdd brand and model. I'm not sure I have ever heard of a 372gb hdd and the more I think about it the more I think that the hdd inside your computer is a 1tb hdd that is in two partitions.
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February 27, 2012 9:19:12 PM

You're spot on. It's an Asus Essentio CG5275 and it should have 1tb for a hard drive. I overlooked the obvious. So where is the missing hard drive space, and how could a whole external hdd get written to it?
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February 27, 2012 9:38:59 PM

Best answer selected by rockaby.
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February 27, 2012 9:54:38 PM

And why is it showing up just as if it was a plugged-in hdd of 550gb rather than as a partitioned internal drive? But you know, it's listed with C: drive as "Disk 0", shouldn't it be listed instead on its own as "Disk 1"? In that case it's being listed just as if it was a second partition. So you'd be correct that it has two partitions. I didn't think commercial non-whitebox pc's came with partitioned hard drives other than maybe a small 2nd system one.
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February 27, 2012 10:05:40 PM

You should've caught that one too, so I'm only giving you a half-best answer :non:  . Thanks.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 28, 2012 12:31:36 AM

If this was a home built Pc then it would have been different but by being a prebuilt it was set up with a different look. The key was when I added up the capacity and saw that it looked like 1tb of space.
It is sometimes hard to figure out what is going on by what is posted and it would have been much easier with hands on or even on the phone but it was eventually solved and now we have to look for magic someplace else.
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