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Phantom Hard Disk Drive

beaker69 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I have recently replaced my 2 small hard disk drives with a 3.2G IBM brand drive. The changeover did not present any problems and all seemed OK. The new drive is split into a 2.1 G "C" drive and a 1.1G "D" drive. I have a CDROM that is my "E" drive

I have noticed a problem with a phantom drive that appears in windows explorer. It is an exact mirror of my "C" drive and is labeled "F" drive. If I delete any information from the "F" drive the corresponding data is removed from "C" drive. This problem does not always occur and when it does a reset of the PC seems to clear it for a while and then it comes back. I did not suffer this problem with my previous drives.

Also if I run Scandisk with the problem present scandisk finds thousands of errors. It Scandisk is run when the problem is not present all is OK.

I have reformatted the drive a number of times and also installed windows a number of times. The problem still occurs even when windows 95 is the only program on the PC.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Edited text of question

Since you have reformatted and reinstalled serveral times sounds like it may be a hardware issue.  Just out of curiosity, when you reformated, did you FDISK the drive?  If not give it a try.  Also you are not running this PC on a network correct?


Look for a file called IOS.LOG in the Windows directory and report it back.

Beaker: The problem you describe is called shadowing and usually is caused by several issues, either singularly or collectively.
1. If you have a motherboard that supports LBA mode and/or  bus mastering and you have an outdated bus mastering driver, and/or
2. Your motherboard BIOS has SMART drive enabled but the drive is not SMART capable, and/or
3. You have used an early version of Powerquest's Partition Magic to set up your partitions, and/or
4. You have Norton Utilities Version 2.0 without the recent patches installed, and/or
5. You have Windows 95 retail version 950 and have not added the bus master drivers correctly and/or the IDE drivers update and/or service pack 1.
To fix it!
This presumes that A. You have the retail version of win95; B. You have verified whether or not your hard drive is SMART capable and have enabled or disabled that feature on your mother board (if available); C. You have enabled LBA on your mother board; D. That you have used the setup feature in your mother boards BIOS to identify the new hard drive and set the interface to auto (do not use user settings); E. There are no other hard drives installed.
Using msdos 6.22:
1. Fdisk your new drive, taking out all of the partitions.
2. Using Fdisk again, set both of the partitions you want, making your first partition active.
3. Install 6.22
4. Using either edit or a word processor on another machine (such as word pad in windows) create an empty file and save it as win.cn_ and transfer that to the root directory of your active partition on your new drive.
5. Now run memmaker on the active partition, it will locate the win.cn_ file and think you have a version of windows present and automatically configure memory options for windows. Saves a few steps.
6. If you have your CD-Rom drive on the secondary bus and not on a card such as a sound card, change the pins on the CD-Rom to make it a slave.
7. Setup your CD-Rom drivers to load your CD-Rom drive and reboot your system and verify that you can see your active partition, the second partition as well as the cd-rom drive.
8. Install windows 95 using the custom option, choosing the components you want to load.
9. Check your hard drive controllers in windows device manager and make sure they have loaded correctly. If your using the intel 82371 fb or sb chipset, you will need to install the bus mastering device driver as this is not included with the retail version. This can be found at Intel site Bmide_95.exe.
10. If you do not already have Service Pack 1 for the retail version, down load it and install it. When doing so, go to the close programs dialog box "ctrl" - "alt" & "del" keys and close all programs EXCEPT systray and explorer. Then load the service pack.
11. Download the "Disk Type Specific Driver Update for Windows 95" from the free software download site, the file is known as "dsktsupd.exe". Install it using the same procedure as used when installing the service pack.
This should resolve your problem unless there are mother board and/or BIOS issues that need ot be addressed.
Best regards,

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Please for your sake stay away from bmide bus mastering. It will cause you grief.
This is from the last person that had your problem:Q@A
I am running Win95 on a P200 with a 3.2G HD running 32 bit. When I bought it, it was installed as a single C: drive with no partitions. I also have a CD ROM which was labeled D: A little while after I bought the machine it suddenly started making an identical copy of the C Drive and assigning that Phantom drive a k\letter D. That pushed my CD-ROM drive D: to E: which I now can't access. What's going on? How do I fix it?
I used the info below to duplicate the problem on a machine that was prone to it.  If I restarted windows without rebooting the machine it would start with C: duplicated twice and all the other drives pushed down as far as H:
or I:.  I have seen this on two machines so far (one with the VX chipset and Award Bios and one with a TX chipset & an AMI Bios).

After running DSKTSUPD.EXE the problem went away.
Start at http://www.microsoft.com/windowssupport/default-sl.htm.
Click on "Miscellaneous File and Utilities". Scroll down the page that appears a little bit, and you will find a "Disk Type Specific Driver Update for Windows 95". There's a paragraph describing it and a link

Smeebud: Your comment, at least from the aspect of an expert or a professional, suprises me! I would have recommended that Beaker69 use Triones Bus Mastering drivers if he were able to get them for nothing, however that is not the case. Additionally, I wouls also have recommended that he use the drivers that came with his motherboard, however there were no mention of any bus master drivers. Finally, Bmide_p5 works very well IF you follow directions and above all verify the type of chipset you have. Now, had you read the response above, you would have noted that the response required Beaker69 to verify that he had either the Intel 82371FB or SB chipset. If he does not, than he will have to examine of a multitude of other possibilities including finding a copy of OSR-2. The bios, whether from AMI or Award has nothing whatsoever to do with the Intel 82371 Triton chipset. Furthermore their are FX/GX/HX/TX/VX boards that utilize the 82371 chipset as well as boards with the same designations that do not employ the 82371. The problem deals with the shadowing that occurs at Int13 and has nothing to do with anything that is patched with DSKTUPD.EXE.

Beaker69: As an addition to my above comments and to sooth any possible apprehension, you can get Triton drivers at the following site:


Best regards,

Beaker69: Use the drivers that are at Kevin's site. BTW here is the commentary directly from Intel:
Intel Motherboards Using 82371SB PIIX3 or 82371AB PIIX4 Component

Updated: Thursday, June 26, 1997
Some versions of Microsoft Windows* 95 may not recognize the IDE controller on Intel motherboards using the 82371SB PIIX3 or 82371AB PIIX4 component. This can cause the BIOS to disable the secondary IDE channel, resulting in IDE devices (such as CD-ROM drives) not being detected or disappearing after the system is rebooted.
Root Cause
The PIIX3 and PIIX4 components are not included in the list of IDE controllers in the MSHDC.INF file shipped with some versions of Windows 95. During installation, these versions of Windows 95 see the IDE functionality but can't identify the exact controller type. Windows 95 enables the primary IDE channel of the 82371SB or 82371AB, but assumes that the secondary IDE channel belongs to a non-plug and play ISA IDE controller. Windows 95 then adds this information to the plug and play configuration area. When the system is rebooted, the motherboard BIOS interprets this information as indicating an ISA IDE expansion card has been installed, and disables the onboard secondary IDE channel -- rendering any devices on this channel inaccessible. The most common symptom is that the CD-ROM drive will not be recognized by Windows 95 after rebooting the system.

Affected Products
This issue affects all Intel motherboard products with the 82371SB PIIX3 or 82371AB PIIX4 component.

Workaround / Action
To determine how the system has been configured, look in the Windows 95 Device Manager (click Start, Settings, Control Panel, double click on the System icon, then click on the Device Manager tab). Double click on Hard Disk Controllers. If you see the following drivers listed, the system has NOT been configured correctly:
      Hard Disk Controllers
            -Primary IDE Controller (single FIFO)
            -Standard Dual PCI IDE Controller
            -Standard IDE/ESDI Hard Disk Controller

An Install Wizard has been developed that adds an entry for the PIIX3 or PIIX4 IDE controller (as appropriate for your motherboard) into the MSHDC.INF file. Download this utility and follow the instructions to update the hard drive configuration file.
========Please note that this utility has been tested only on motherboards manufactured by Intel and may not perform identically on other products.

Point taken Dew. We get a lot of new computer people here and you offer some very technical solutions. In fact I'm quite impressed by them. The only reason I warned beaker69 of the bmide drivers is because of the fact that we do not no his level of computering. Please don't take it personal. As you know install bmide is one think, getting rid of it is a whole other bag of trouble if you do not follow proceedure to the letter.
"Shadowing". Thanks for the word. I've been looking forthe proper term.

Smeebud: Thanks for the comment. If you would like a copy of Technet, e-mail me at dew_associates@msn.com and I'll work something out with you. (if you don't have it).

Beaker69: Please give us an update and let us know regarding the drivers, if any, that you have downloaded. Thanks


Thanks for the great help. This problem has had me confused for a while. After following the instructions given I have not seen the shadow disks occur on my system. Hope it will remain that way.

Duncan: I'm glad your problem has been resolved. However let the system run for a few days and keep an eye on it to verify that it is, indeed, fixed. We have also noticed that Norton Utilities for Windows 95 versions 1.0 and 2.0 sometimes causes the same problem to occur in the event windows 95 OSR-2 immediately doesn't find the Fat. When people reboot the get a question about not seeing the Fat and Norton asks if they want it to be repaired, people answer yes and after that there's either 2 drive C's or C and D.
Best regards,
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