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  1. #1
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    Hello all. I have a strange problem with my win 7 HP 64 bit. I have two hard drives connected to docking stations, one using esata and one USB. When i turn off the docking station or remove the HDD windows does not remove the drive icon in my computer unless I reboot. This means if I connect the Hard drive again windows assigns a different letter for it but original is still there, and does this every time I disconnect and reconnect the HDD each time assigning yet another new letter but leaving the old ones there. I would like windows to do what it used to and clear the drive icon and letter when removed.
    Anyone know of what could have happened to cause this.
    Also even though I can't be sure this seems to have developed after running Linux Mint from live CD with out installing.
    But can't believe this would have changed windows behavior as windows was not running during this Linux Test.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Have you been using the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media to unload the hd before remove it? Even though you can hot plug, unplug usb hardware, in many cases it is necessary to unload it using Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media before unplugging it. This should be present on the right side of your taskbar whenever a usb device is plugged in.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Have you been using the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media to unload the hd before remove it? Even though you can hot plug, unplug usb hardware, in many cases it is necessary to unload it using Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media before unplugging it. This should be present on the right side of your taskbar whenever a usb device is plugged in.
    Thanks for your reply.
    On these Hard drives the policies are set for 'Quick Removal' which means there is no need to use safe remove icon. Plus if I do try it just says drive is in use and will not eject.
    Also the same problem occurs on the Esata connected hard drive that does not show in the safe remove icon. They used to work properly before but some thing has stopped windows registering that a drive is no longer connected and closing the Icons and drive letters.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  4. #4
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    At the moment I am unsure how to assist with your issue of the drive letter not be unassigned to a removable device but this software may help on the reconnection.

    USB Drive Letter Manager (USBDLM)

    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

    It runs as a windows service and when configured will handle your removable devices in way you can assign what devices will be assigned to a drive letter each and every time. It is extremely configurable in the way you wish to identify a device such as volume name / hardware ID etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh B View Post
    At the moment I am unsure how to assist with your issue of the drive letter not be unassigned to a removable device but this software may help on the reconnection.

    USB Drive Letter Manager (USBDLM)

    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

    It runs as a windows service and when configured will handle your removable devices in way you can assign what devices will be assigned to a drive letter each and every time. It is extremely configurable in the way you wish to identify a device such as volume name / hardware ID etc.
    Thanks for the tip. But it is a paid for service to resolve a win7 issue so not what I am looking for. Drive letters used to clear when drive removed before so something has interfered with it but I cannot find what. Memory flash drives work fine even if I do not use the safe remove options, icon clears when removed and comes back with same letter when reinserted, only the external hard drives have this problem (can't be sure if internal 'C' drive also has problem but as never removed as is OS disc will never know).. Even restoring to a previous image backup does not resolve the problem which is another strange thing, unless the problem existed on the backed up image without me noticing, highly possible. At the moment the only solution I can see is to do a complete new install from Retail disc which means reinstalling everything.

    Thanks again for your efforts.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Can the empty drives be deleted from the Windows 7 "Disk Manager" as in "delete volume" ?

    would like windows to do what it used to and clear the drive icon and letter when removed.
    Anyone know of what could have happened to cause this.
    Also even though I can't be sure this seems to have developed after running Linux Mint from live CD with out installing.
    But can't believe this would have changed windows behavior as windows was not running during this Linux Test.
    Something has obviously changed, does the Linux Mint have the ability to write to the drive(s)?
    And what exactly is the nature of the "Linux Test"?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Can the empty drives be deleted from the Windows 7 "Disk Manager" as in "delete volume" ?



    Something has obviously changed, does the Linux Mint have the ability to write to the drive(s)?
    And what exactly is the nature of the "Linux Test"?
    The empty drives are not shown in "disk management", so cannot be deleted. They only show in "My Computer". Logging out and back in clears the empty drives.

    I do not know if Linux has the ability to write to the drives or not. But by Linux test I meant I was trying out Linux to test if I would like it or not hence only running it direct from the live CD.
    But it may well be nothing to do with linux only seems strange that problem only noticed after running Linux.
    Even e restore from an image made before trying linux did not resolve the problem. so it is still a strange issue.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    In "My Computer", do you mean as in explorer view; ([%windir%\explorer.exe /e,] explorer properties).
    Does a soft or hard system boot resolve the problem only temporarily too?
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    In "My Computer", do you mean as in explorer view; ([%windir%\explorer.exe /e,] explorer properties).
    Does a soft or hard system boot resolve the problem only temporarily too?
    I mean when I open the folder called "My Computer" which shows all the drives. Logging off or rebooting clears the empty disc numbers and then correct drive number shows when the drive is re-connected.
    The problem is the fact the drive icons do not clear leaving the drive letter active so when reconnect the drive windows allocates a new drive number is is supposed to do if number already in use.
    Unable to see how it keeping the drive letters open when nothing connected unless it is somehow creating virtual drives.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If your not experiencing any system instability or performance issues I'd logoff and logon again after disconnecting
    a drive(s) until you can figure out why Windows is not releasing those drive letters for use.

    I doubt it's creating virtual drives.

    Check through some of your settings; [any software or process that is trying to read to those drives]

    I have a feeling the answer is on your computer somewhere, otherwise I would have found some reference to it in a search.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    If your not experiencing any system instability or performance issues I'd logoff and logon again after disconnecting
    a drive(s) until you can figure out why Windows is not releasing those drive letters for use.

    I doubt it's creating virtual drives.

    Check through some of your settings; [any software or process that is trying to read to those drives]

    I have a feeling the answer is on your computer somewhere, otherwise I would have found some reference to it in a search.
    I already have to Log off/on.
    It is extremely likely to be something on my computer causing this but have no idea where to start looking as I do not have anything installed that hasn't been running for some time without this issue. Except changing antivirus from AVG to MSE. But when this issue showed I uninstalled MSE and put AVG back but did not resolve issue.
    Have not much idea what next to try.
    Things I have tried:
    1. Uninstalled each USB device in device manager one at a time.and let windows re-install them on each reboot. This did make some improvement as icons now disappear when disconnected, but the drive letters are not released when drive turned off, so when turn back on windows assigns a new drive letter every time.
    2. Plugged in a different external drive using a different caddy to see if it might have been the docking stations but that also does the same.
    3. Tried my hard drives in another computer and work with no problems with drive letters.
    4. Ran my machine in safe mode and found that this issue does not occur in safe mode, can turn off/on drives without losing original drive letter.

    Am beginning to suspect something in registry has been altered or corrupted. Have used both CCleaner and Advanced system care Pro but neither find any problems with registry that resolves the issues. I do not have enough knowledge or bravery to muck about in registry so need help.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    4. Ran my machine in safe mode and found that this issue does not occur in safe mode, can turn off/on drives without losing original drive letter.
    Am beginning to suspect something in registry has been altered or corrupted. Have used both CCleaner and Advanced system care Pro but neither find any problems with registry that resolves the issues. I do not have enough knowledge or bravery to muck about in registry so need help.
    Sounds like something got messed up and is in need of being reinstalled, could either be software or a driver.
    The fact that everything appears to be OK in safemode points to a potential solution over the horizon. It looks like you'll
    have your work cut out for you. Sorry I can't be of more help.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
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    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Also the fact that when you try to unmount the drive it says it is in use.

    Isn't there a Sysinternals utility that can show all files in use/handles in use? That should narrow things down.

    Sorry I can't help any more but adding the above in case it triggers a response from somebody else.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B Brown View Post
    Isn't there a Sysinternals utility that can show all files in use/handles in use? That should narrow things down.
    Indeed there are: Process Explorer and Process Monitor are your friend

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896645.aspx

  15. #15
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    Seems like I am stuck with having to do a complete clean re-install of win 7 to resolve problem.

    Thanks all for your help. Was appreciated.

    Clive
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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