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Boot drive not listed in device manager but system boots

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 8, 2010 2:05:45 PM

Drive c: (my boot drive) is not listed either in device manager or in the storage management console of Windows 7. There are 4 unique hard drives in my system. Drives D: E: and F: are listed correctly. There is no entry anywhere in either device manager or the management console for the C: drive yet the system boots OK and the drive and its contents are properly shown in Windows explorer. Using the rescan command in device manager has no effect. The major problem is that programs that depend on these listings (such as Norton Ghost) cannot find the C: drive and do not work. I'm not quite sure when/how this problem first appeared but I know that it is relatively new (within the last month or two).
a b $ Windows 7
June 8, 2010 5:23:25 PM

wheen you look in your HDD(assuming you have Partitioned 1 into 4 drive, there is a 100MB System Reserved partition that does not have a letter, it is the boot drive, if you look under the drives you will see there is only one that is Active, that's the one, as for the problem that your C: drive has disappeared, open your Windows Explorer and click on Computer, in the right pane you should see all the drives in your computer there, is C: there, if it isn't, and you are SURE it was, download MalWareBytes and run mbam.exe and see what happensalso do a search of computer in Windows Explorer for Windows and see where it says the directory is
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June 9, 2010 12:09:50 AM

number13 said:
wheen you look in your HDD(assuming you have Partitioned 1 into 4 drive, there is a 100MB System Reserved partition that does not have a letter, it is the boot drive, if you look under the drives you will see there is only one that is Active, that's the one, as for the problem that your C: drive has disappeared, open your Windows Explorer and click on Computer, in the right pane you should see all the drives in your computer there, is C: there, if it isn't, and you are SURE it was, download MalWareBytes and run mbam.exe and see what happensalso do a search of computer in Windows Explorer for Windows and see where it says the directory is


My drive is not partitioned - I have 4 separate physical HDD's installed. ALL of them show up in Windows explorer when I view Computer. They are listed as Drives C: D: E: F: Only three of them are listed in Device Manager - the physical devices that are Drives D: E: and F: The Physical disk that is Drive C: is not listed in Device Manager. That is the problem
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a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2010 12:52:22 AM

Windows 7 renames the drive letters so that the Windows 7 system drive is always the C: drive, which can be confusing. The real C: drive will be named the D: drive. Does the missing drive appear in disk management? (diskmgmt.msc)There could be a problem with the name of the drive, if you can’t rename the drive under Windows 7 then try putting the drive in another computer and renaming it to something simple.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2010 7:32:45 AM

pjmelect, that is not a true statment, you can put 7 in any partition you want, norm1510, in windows explorer did you search for your windows directory, where is it located, when you looked in Adninistrative Tools/Storage/Disk Management did you find a Disk "0" this should have the 100MB System Reserved Partition, I know you can't see the C: drive in windows explorer, I'm trying to get to a different level to see what is happening, on the right side of the computer management box there is a More Action click it and Rescan Disks, I don't think it will help but do it anyway, I am aware now of you working with Multiple Physical disks, I have 2 in this computer and 3 more in a E-SATA config, 8 partitions, 2 DVD's, 4 drive letter assinged to my card reader, I do understand, but to boot, your computer must be able to find the System Reserved Partition, that is what I am hoping you can find
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a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2010 8:35:51 AM

Number13 what I said is true; perhaps I didn’t make myself clear in the way I wrote my statement. I agree that you can put Windows 7 on any drive that you want but that Windows 7 will make it the C: drive when looking at it with Explorer moving the real drive C: up one position.
Getting back to the original problem, most cases of missing hard drives in Windows7 although they appear in Vista and Windows XP is because of the drive name has an illegal name or invalid characters, Windows 7 is funny about drive names for some reason.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2010 9:26:03 AM

didn't know that about renaming drive's.
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June 9, 2010 3:59:02 PM

pjmelect said:
Number13 what I said is true; perhaps I didn’t make myself clear in the way I wrote my statement. I agree that you can put Windows 7 on any drive that you want but that Windows 7 will make it the C: drive when looking at it with Explorer moving the real drive C: up one position.
Getting back to the original problem, most cases of missing hard drives in Windows7 although they appear in Vista and Windows XP is because of the drive name has an illegal name or invalid characters, Windows 7 is funny about drive names for some reason.


not true at all

I have E,W,X,Y,Z drives in windows 7. E is my boot and OS drive. no where does it list as C drive.
I have all the machines in my house on E drive both on win7 32 and 64.
(they contain no C at all, dont ask me why I use E just ended up that way when I installed and copied that because im use to E for OS)
and never had it relabel it as a C drive over 6 machines.

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June 9, 2010 10:19:51 PM

The name of the c: drive is C:\Win7 and it shows up perfectly in Windows explorer under "Computer" (along with the D: E: and F: drives - each with their correct names). Device Manager lists 3 physical disk drives - the physical drive containing C: is not shown at all in either Device Manager or the Dsik Management Console. In addition the disk management console indicates that E: is the system disk. Drive E: contains only data files - it has no system files on it at all.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 9, 2010 10:37:57 PM

did you rename the drive when you had a chance or left all as windows named them, and so where is the 100MB System Reserved Partition at, correction which disk has it
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June 10, 2010 6:52:02 PM

number13 said:
did you rename the drive when you had a chance or left all as windows named them, and so where is the 100MB System Reserved Partition at, correction which disk has it


I renamed the drive to match the operating system on it. The system is dual boot and all of the drives have been renamed to reflect there contents. There is no reserved partition nor has there ever been one. Reserved partitions are set up for software recovery when you buy a preloaded computer and the manufacturer doesn't want to provide you with full software disks. When you build your own system, or just set up your own system, there is no need for a reserved partition. This system has been set up exactly this way for at least six months with no problem. Something happened to change something in the software to create this problem and I'm just not sure what it was that changed.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2010 10:27:33 AM

win 7 creates a System Reserved drive at installation, it's 100MB, they moved the OS out of Windows Explorer so user's wouldn't delete some thing important( we ever heard of that)when you renamed the drive did you use periods, commas, bracket, etc., you know any of the not allowed characters
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June 11, 2010 1:44:13 PM

number13 said:
win 7 creates a System Reserved drive at installation, it's 100MB, they moved the OS out of Windows Explorer so user's wouldn't delete some thing important( we ever heard of that)when you renamed the drive did you use periods, commas, bracket, etc., you know any of the not allowed characters


The name of the drive is "Win7" without the quotation marks. There are no other characters used. The drive is a Western Digital 1 TB drive. Windows explorer reports the capacity as 931 GB which is exactly correct for a drive WITH NO RESERVED PARTITION. The system has worked perfectly this way for months.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2010 2:00:38 PM

OK mine looks like this, it is the default setup when I installed Win 7, I have given the drive a letter so it gets along with my E-SATA storage device
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June 12, 2010 1:39:31 AM

number13 said:
OK mine looks like this, it is the default setup when I installed Win 7, I have given the drive a letter so it gets along with my E-SATA storage devicehttp://s246.photobucket.com/albums/gg106/oldmartian/Computer/?action=view¤t=Defaultinstallation.jpg


I believe the reason for your reserved partition is the fact that you have two primary partitions on the same hard drive. You are only allowed to have one active primary partition on a drive when the system is booted. The boot loader will select one of the two primaries to load and the other becomes invisible after booting completes (I assume you have a dual boot system here with two different operating systems - one on each primary). The boot loader and whatever software you are using to control it (there are several choices you may be using) resides in the reserved partition.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 12, 2010 1:23:14 PM

no dual boot, not on this computer, all I did at the time of installation was tell it to make a 100G Partition, I wanted the OS installed in the 100G Partition, only 1 HDD connected at the time, then after the istallation I went in thru Admin Toold and made the "D" driver and formatted it, never noticed the 2 primary partition tho, on my wifes computer, I didn't bother to partition the drive(250G) and it has a System Reserved partition as well, I dunno
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June 12, 2010 4:02:55 PM

number13 said:
no dual boot, not on this computer, all I did at the time of installation was tell it to make a 100G Partition, I wanted the OS installed in the 100G Partition, only 1 HDD connected at the time, then after the istallation I went in thru Admin Toold and made the "D" driver and formatted it, never noticed the 2 primary partition tho, on my wifes computer, I didn't bother to partition the drive(250G) and it has a System Reserved partition as well, I dunno


Normally for a single operating system you would partition the drive as follows:

One Primary partition containg the operating system
One Extended DOS Partition for everything else (don't let the use of the term DOS throw you. The PC design structure is fairly old. This applies to Windows also). Within the extended DOS Partition you can have as many Logical Partitions as you like to hold your data (although normally you would limit this because having too many gets unwieldy).

I don't know where your reserved partition came from. But I notice that it's marked as a System partition. That means that the system boots from this drive - it contains the Boot Manager. The boot manager sends the system to the Boot Drive - the drive containing the operating system to boot (Drive C: in your system). You apparently have a Dual boot system with only one operating system installed!
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a b $ Windows 7
June 12, 2010 5:05:26 PM

OK, I know about DOS and extended DOS, but at the time of install, all I did was tell it to make a 100G partition and install windows there, and on my wife's computer, I just let it install with no partitioning, when I upgraded my Laptop from Vista, the same thing, System Reserved, so I dunno
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June 21, 2010 2:17:42 PM

Norm1510 - Did you ever get an answer to your original question ?
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June 22, 2010 7:51:38 PM

gorlosky1 said:
Norm1510 - Did you ever get an answer to your original question ?


No. I'm still searching for an answer.
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June 24, 2010 12:23:03 AM




I looked at your post and the problem sure does have a familiar ring to it. I have been working with a Microsoft applications engineer who specializes in disk related issues to try and resolve my problem. I just sent him a copy of your post describing your problem in the hopes that it will provide him with some more clues. I'll let you know if we manage to find a solution that may work for both of us.

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June 24, 2010 12:19:29 PM

Great - I hope the Safe Mode (viewable) - Normal Mode (not viewable) gives them a clue. Is it the same for you ?
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June 24, 2010 3:23:57 PM

gorlosky1 said:
Great - I hope the Safe Mode (viewable) - Normal Mode (not viewable) gives them a clue. Is it the same for you ?


No. My boot drive in not visible in device manager in EITHER Safe mode or Normal mode. That's why I think that your situation may provide another clue to what could be happening.
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
June 28, 2010 7:08:53 PM

Norm1510 said:
No. My boot drive in not visible in device manager in EITHER Safe mode or Normal mode. That's why I think that your situation may provide another clue to what could be happening.


Norm, I have the same problem but running Windows XP service pack 3. In explorer, can you right click properties and then SHARE (I'm assuming Windows 7 is similar in this regard) and see if all your drives are shared as C$, D$, E$ etc. with unlimited users allowed. There are a number of computers in our office with the same setup and this is the major difference between mine and others. I never share harddrives, so this is something new and I cannot permanently change it. After reboot it comes up again.
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June 29, 2010 12:49:38 AM

I did a quick check with the C: and F: drives and there was no problem sharing these drives. I am on a home netwirk with only one other user (my wife) currently logged on. Since I normally don't leave my drives shared (my network is both wired and wireless) I disabled sharing again once my test was completed.
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November 22, 2010 2:09:33 AM

On another site on which I've been posting someone has identified the problem as a root kit:

This is caused by TDSS root kit and here is a Link to the one rookit cleaner that worked for me. http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/solutions?qid=2082.... After Running TDSSKiller.exe and removing the rootkit, the Harddrive was again listed in device manager and Disk management. I scanned the system again with several Scanners all came up clean.

This is the final answer. Problem has been solved.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 22, 2010 4:04:00 AM

1 - C: hidden because have virus Sensei.exe code name W32 mode
-2 edit in registry :
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Explorer.
it can make type NEW in Value Dworth rename to No drive in the value type one of HEXADECIMAL (4) example Drive C:
if want see C delete this registry which Nodrive
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December 24, 2010 3:50:36 AM

Win 7 installs to non partitioned space during install, so if you made a 100 GB partition during setup then win 7 would not of installed to it and installed in a new partition it made.

In explore it will not show you an empty drive by default. Go to tools menu and folder Options and then view and select the show empty hard drive in explorer.
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