I have a Sony VAIO laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit with a single 500 GB hard drive. A year ago, when the computer was new, I used a free partition manager program (Partition Wizard maybe?) to allocate about 60 GB for drive C: which holds Windows 7 and all of my software apps. I allocated the rest of the free space to D: for all of my data files. Sony also has a 13GB recovery partition and a 100 MB System Reserved partition which preceed C: and D: on the hard drive.
Three days ago, when I booted the computer for the day, drive D: was gone. Disk Management showed free, unallocated space equal to the size of my missing drive D:. Using Sony live chat support, the technician used Disk Management to allocate the 400 GB of free space to D: and formatted the partition. I then restored my missing data from a backup.
The next day I booted my computer and drive D: was gone again. Disk Management again shows free, unallocated space equal to the size of my missing drive D:.
I have no third-party disk management software installed. Recent changes to my system include:
1) SmartSync Software recently downloaded a new version of SmartSync Pro (version 4.0) to my hard drive.
2) I ran Disk Cleanup on drive C:
Do you know what would cause drive D: to repeatedly disappear on boot up and how to fix the problem?
The 100meg partition is by win 7 but its still very odd - I take it you have scanned the PC using anti virus software? Due to the nature of this I would be also tempted to scan for viruses using a boot CD/USB Flash Drive.
Thanks for your reply! I used the link you provided to download the AVG and Kaspersky virus scanners to a USB flash drive. After booting from the USB stick, I scanned drive C: which found no problems. I tried to also run Kaspersky but got errors. Apparently there is a problem with the image on my USB stick.
I also booted Windows and performed a full system scan using Norton Internet Security 2012 which also found nothing.
I'll create a drive D: again, restore all my files again, and hope for the best.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions. Thanks again!
I downloaded the .iso for Gparted Live 0.12.1-5 and burned a CD then booted from it. Gparted didn't recognize any partition table including my drive C: It reported all space on the physical hard drive as free and unallocated. I decided not to use Gparted because I was afraid it would destroy my C: partition since it couldn't recognize it.
On one of several reboots this evening, drive D: disappeared again with Disk Manager showing all its space as free and unallocated.
As another possible solution, I ran bootrec.exe /fixmbr from the Windows 7 install CD. Hopefully that will help. I then used Disk Manager to recreate the D: partition and restored all my files from backup. If the problem occurs again, I don't know what else to try.
In Disk Management, I right-clicked on the free, unallocated space and selected "Create Partition" and selected drive letter D:. Disk Management lists it as a Logical Drive partition with the NTFS file system.
Well I can't select an option of Create Partition I get an Option of New Simple Volume on Unallocated Space as well as a few other such as New Raid etc. So without being able to test it myself I am kind of fresh out of ideas.
However I did a little googling to see if anyone had got a solution and it appears this guy did - maybe worth a look: