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CDROM thinks it's a Removable Drive

Posted on 1998-12-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
After messing around with a software program called Virtual Drive my CD-ROM is now reported by My Computer and Explorer as a removable drive with its own special icon. Any attempt to use a CD now generates a "Disk not formatted error". However, Control Panel\System reports my normal CDROM driver running without problems.

I've tried: changing drive letters, removing driver in System and reinstalling. Editing all references to CDROM out of Registry and reinstalling. Reinstalling Windows over top of existing set up. Removing CDROM physically, removing it from BIOS and System and reinstalling.

Any help appreciated.  
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Question by:melcrit
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25 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:VNSGNE0
ID: 1760166
You must (for the beginning) try to use the CDROM by dos stopping Window 95 starting by put BootGuy=0 in Msdos.sys Hyde file in the root.
Obvious your Config.sys must have the CDROM driver file carged as device, and your Autoexec.bat must have the MSCDEX.EXE active (without REM) This line is usualy present and REMed by Windows.
You can just try to read a CD in order to check if the device is properly operative...
If is so it means is only a Softhware problem...

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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:xema
ID: 1760167
Remove the virtual drive, if it is the program I think it should have it's own uninstall.
Most probably this program took the leter of your CD and thats why you get an error.

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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1760168
Try this:
Rename the autoexec.bat & config.sys files so they won't load at startup. (You can restore them easily, if needed later)
Boot the computer in safe mode.
Delete all listings under CD-ROM.
Shutdown & re-start computer normally.
Windows should then redetect & install the CD-ROM correctly as it loads normally.
Let me know if it helps.
Regards,
Ralph
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760169
If this is a SCSI device, there is often an option in the SCSI card BIOS setup for some controllers to make a drive be treated as removable.  If you are using SCSI for this CD-R, what model are you using, etc.  We can check this out.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:cheekycj
ID: 1760170
Do you have a removable HD or Zip Drive?
When I encountered this problem for my PC it was because I had my CD-Rom
master/slave configuration had to be switched around with my removable drive
and after that it was fine.

CJ

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Author Comment

by:melcrit
ID: 1760171
OK - here's some feedback. Firstly, my CDROM is not SCSI, I've already removed Virtual Drive from my machine and I have no other removable or ZIP drive on my PC.

I tried putting CDROM drivers into Autoexec.bat and config.sys and boot with BOOTGUI=0. The system booted to the CLI and CDROM drive worked normally.

I tried removing above drivers and booting in safemode. I was surprised to find a Virtual Drive driver still on the system as well as two copies of the usual NEC driver. I removed them all rebooted, the system went through the 'find new hardware' routine and correctly installed the NEC driver. BUT the removable drive is still there. and I can't use my cdrom drive.

I tried just booting windows with the DOS drivers installed and get the following:
1) Normal CDROM icon at E: but explorer finds nothing in the drive (RHS of explorer windows just remains blank when I click on E:
2) Removable drive icon moves to G: drive (one of my network drives) and masks the drive mapping. The G: drive is then unusable and is not available for remapping etc.

One puzzle: Why G: and not F: ??(my first networked drive)

Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and format and reinstall...
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760172
Don't format and resinstall until you have first tried just installing windows over the existing setup.  That is likely to solve your problem w  Thiithout changing your desktop settings or disturbing your program base.  This has a high liklihood of solving your problem.

Also, this might be a good time to consider upgrading to windows 98 since it has a lot more tools you can use for troubleshooting.
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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760173
Ah, sorry I see you already tried resinstalling over the existing setup.  Still, here is something you can try.  Delete all inf files from your system and the c:\windows\system directory.  Uninstall all the windows componetns  on your system shown in add/remove software.   Then delete all devices from the device manager tab.  Rename config.sys and autoexec.bat.  Then reinstall or upgrade.
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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760174
I also think that windows 98 does a more complete job of rebuilding your system.  If you want to try windows 98 borrow it or buy it at a place that allows returns (price costco for example).  If it doesn't solve your problem, you can uninstall it and return the software.
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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760175
One more thougth, upgrading to windows 98 would also give you broad spectrum driver updates if you have not been keeping up on these.  
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1760176
Rosefire,
You spend a lot of time saying that in almost every thread you enter......
Win98 is not a repair utility.  I have yet to see fix anything!

melcrit,
From an Explorer window, check your \Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folder for any programs that may be running when Windows loads.  Delete, rename or move anything there that may refer to your virtual drive problem.
Next, check win.ini & system.ini files for anything listed after a load= or run= statement.
Simply add a semi-colon to the beginning of the line to disable i
t temporarily.
Let me know what you find.
Ralph
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760177
Melcrit, I am sorry for using your thread to say this, but I think it needs saying.

Ralph, I have used reinstallation many times to fix things that are difficult to solve.  You have your way of approaching problems, and I have mine.  I usually suggest this only as a last resort or when other obvious remedies are either too complex or more difficult than a simple reinstall. Yes, I suggest it often, but certainly not as a first line of attack on a problem and not indescriminantly.  Reinstallation and upgrading work.  There are logical reasons for this.

1. It updates drivers for people who are using older ones - all at once.
2. It replaces or rebuilds corrupted system files.
3. It reinstalls the driver base with basic ones that are known to work together.
4. It undoes system level customizations that cause performance problems, hangs, etc.
5. It provides a set of tools for troubleshooting that are not available in windows 95.
6. It is pretty painless and if it does nothing it can be uninstalled (I always suggest not buying).
7. It is simple and requires little effort and/or technical expertise, unlike manually editing system .ini files, the registry, or making changes to system settings that may cause other problems.
8. If it doesn't work the sysem is left in a known initialized state and a large number of causes can be dismissed.
9. In all the times I have suggested it, never has it left the questioner worse off than when they started.
10. It beats the hell out of formatting and starting over which is sometimes the only other alternative left when many other suggestions have been tried.
11. Often people have been thinking of upgrading anyway.

If you will refrain from being critical of my suggestions, I will continue to do the same for yours. Iif you have not noticed, I often go out of my way to urge people to try *your* suggestions before trying mine.  I don't see the need for you to be attacking the suggestions of the other experts at EE.  It is unprofessional and your attacks and competition for control of threads often leave the questioner confused and unsure how to continue.  This has happened on three threads now and I think it should stop. You may be the most skilled expert on the planet, but comments like the one you made above do nothing to solve a problem and that is why we are here.

Bottom line, lets try to work together.  I have been trying to do my part to achieve this.  There are plenty of questions to go around and the atmosphere here should not be bogged down in personal conflicts or competition.

You will probably get mad about this post, and feel the need to rebut.  If so, I suggest you take it off-line and write me directly at rosefire@flash.net.  This needs to stop now.



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Do your end users still have the wrong email signature? Do email signature updates bore you or fill you with a sense of dread? You can make this a whole lot easier on yourself by trusting an Exclaimer email signature management solution. Over 50 million users do...so should you!

 

Author Comment

by:melcrit
ID: 1760178
Well, I seem to been caught in the centre of a skirmish - but then a healthy disagreement never did any harm and I'm sure you gentlemen can agree to differ.

In response to your advice:

Rosefire: deleting all my ini files and reinstalling Win 95 (or 98) would be as painful as formatting and starting again since I would have to reinstall all my programs, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place. As to upgrading to Win 98 well unfortunately I'm not in a position to be able to do that. I'm in an office environment that quite rightly does not allow individuals to unilaterally change their OS.

Ralph: No luck on the system and win ini files.

I think it is time to cut my losses and do a clean installation - it niggles me that such a tiny thing should require such drastic measures but on the other hand, time is what is precious to me and I can't really afford to spend any more trying to get to the bottom of this.

In any case, thanks for all your advice. Finding experts exchange was probably reward enough in itself for the trouble this problem has caused me. I've no doubt I'll be back.
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Expert Comment

by:dumbscotty
ID: 1760179
Hi

I noticed from an earlier posting that you had removed all reference to the CD-ROM drive from the registry,  but it sounds to me like you still have something from Virtual Drive lurking in it. Can you confirm that it has been completely removed from your registry?  

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Expert Comment

by:rosefire
ID: 1760180
No, you would not have to reistall all your programs. That is exactly why it is a far better solution than reformtting. Overall time spent at the tube less than 10 minutes with an elapsed time of about 45 minutes, depending on how complex and fast your system is. The files to be deleted are ***.INF****not INI.  
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1760181
Here are a couple of suggestions to try before doing the re-install.
You might want to check the following article for info about what happens when Windows starts.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q174/0/18.asp

It might also pay to spend a moment going over your bootlog.txt file to see what may be loading at start-up........

Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:cheekycj
ID: 1760182
Have you checked your bios for settings on removable drives?  Is your cd-rom
Atapi?  does your bios detect it at all?

CJ
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Expert Comment

by:althazzar
ID: 1760183
why not reinstall w95, it saves you a lot of time....

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1760184
melcrit,
Any progress with this yet?
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:sureshmovva
ID: 1760185
Format Ur harddisk and install everything afresh , He..He..He..
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 1760186
If your still there Melcrit, tell me where i can find this "Virtual Drive".
I have a fair idea what it has done, Its changed drive information that Win95 uses to access the system but the problem is, the program is designed to fool the system.

You won't fix it unless you get a look at what it did.

If you post the URL, i'll have a look at its install files and post a recomendation.

Here's a final shot in the dark to fix the problem.

Remove the hardrive controller in system/devices and reboot and search for devices.

Netmage
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Accepted Solution

by:
istal112898 earned 200 total points
ID: 1760187
Virtual Driver 2.0 is at www.azza.com.TW , yes it does rename your letter to another one. and it takes your CD-ROM letter to the Virtual driver. I have the CD with the program and I installed it and then uninstalled it under WIN98 ( I DO NOT USE WIN95 which might be different) and I did not have the problem you have. what I will suggest you is to go to start,run,regedit,and go to this key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
make sure to delete the virtual driver key that is loading when you reboot. that's why you still having problem it is being loaded in the back and you do not see it. sometimes it doesnt appear in CTRL-ALT-DEL. so delete that, when you are there check runservices and runonce folder and check it there to. delete the instance and reboot. if does not solve it. try installing it back with a uninstaller program in your PC already and then uninstall it with the Uninstaller program. so you will need to get a uninstaller first and then install the application back and uninstall it with the uninstaller such as Cleansweep or Norton uninstallers or any other. if you still having problem after all this go to dos, remove the *PCI BUS*, the CD-ROM and IDE controllers. and reboot. I would give a 90% to this matter to solve it.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1760188
> if you still having problem after all this go to dos< in my answer I put this by mistake. I  meant go to safe MODE. sorry if confuse anybody.
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Author Comment

by:melcrit
ID: 1760189
I'm sorry everyone but I reinstalled win95 over the weekend - I've just managed to find time to get myself back on line.

 I don't know what the procedure is in such circumstances - I can't really grade istal's answer because the problem is now solved. I DID remove all references to virtual drive from the registry and try installing and deinstalling before I gave up but apart from that I really can't judge.

I would like to just say thanks to everyone - especially Ralph and Rosefire for all the help I received. I won't hesitate to come back here the next time I have a problem.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1760190
just reject the proposed answer, and get to customer service and post a 0 point question asking to remove it. since you already solved it.
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