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A drive letter showed up and I don't know where it came from

Posted on 2007-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I put in a cd that I was trying to determine what was on this cd into my Vista machine.  It displayed like a blacnk cd.  I then noticed that I had an extra drive letter.  C and D are my hard drives.  E is an external hard drive.  F and G were my dvd drives.  This ghost drive is not my F.  regardless of what I have in any drive, when I click on the F:\, it says Please insert a disk.  All of my real drives work.  My DVD drives are just pushed back by a letter.  Then, I put the CD in an XP Pro machine and it did the exact same thing.  In my laptop, I now show a D drive as my DVD drive and an E drive.  When you click onto it, it says please insert a disk.  I would like to remove the ghost drive.  I'd think it would be a registry entry but I do not know where to look at.  Please help
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Question by:PCNS_Tech
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Alan Henderson earned 150 total points
ID: 20306689
Do you have flash card slots on this laptop?
It could be that. It won't reveal anything until you plug in a card.
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by:PCNS_Tech
ID: 20306698
I have a flash card slot in the laptop just as I do in the PC.  But the extra drive was never there before.  In either machine
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by:Jaime Olivares
Jaime Olivares earned 100 total points
ID: 20306713
maybe some virtual drive created by some application in the CD.
A rescue CD maybe?
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by:nobus
ID: 20307261
a system restore to a previous date can help you out quickly
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by:svs
ID: 20307320
A virtual CD/DVD, perhaps?  Check Device Manager, Logical Disk Manager etc etc
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by:rid
ID: 20307523
Is the "phantom drive" present in safe mode as well? If not, check if any sort of CD/DVD writing software has some autostarting module on your systems and, if so, disable.

It would of course be interesting to know what is on this disc. Perhaps you can put it into a Linux machine of some sort and browse it... seems windows can't handle it properly
/RID
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Author Comment

by:PCNS_Tech
ID: 20307998
The Phantom drive is not there for either computer in safe mode.  I could not find any settings that have recently changed that would cause this.  This only happened when I inserted a apparent empty cd.  The cd is not blank as in new and unused, it just apparently does not have anything on it.  I am afraid to put it in another computer for fear of the same issue.  Thus far, I only have the Phantom drive letter and no real damage or problems.  I just do not want to have all the extra drive letters.  Any other suggestions?  I would like to get rid of the phantom drive letter.
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by:nobus
ID: 20308157
if you have a pc with 2 cd drives, boot from a live cd in one, and put the empty cd in the other, and try to read it then - i suggest knoppix : ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.1.0CD-2006-12-30-EN.iso
then you know what is on the cd
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by:Alan Henderson
ID: 20308339
We haven't asked the obvious question: Have you tried deleting this partition/drive in Disk Management?
Control Panel » Performance and Maintenance » Administrative Tools » Computer Management » Storage » Disk Management.
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Author Comment

by:PCNS_Tech
ID: 20309482
Yes, I have tried that.  It does not show up in device management or the device manager.  I read on some other tech site to uninstall the all of the drives from device manager including the controllers.  Then let windows find the drives again but that did not work.  I would think there is some regitry key that allows you to remove hardware that is not actually installed.  The drive is not left over from a hardware failure, it is the result of some unknown cd.  I am still actively looking for the resolution for this.  Point increase to 300.
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by:nobus
ID: 20310727
when you right click it and select properties, what shows?
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Assisted Solution

by:YGregersen
YGregersen earned 50 total points
ID: 20329176
If it is a Virtual Drive then its a driver or services issues. Try using Autoruns (used to be sysinternals but bought by microsoft). This program is FREE and shows all of the places and things that are 'autorunning'

You are going to have to look down through the list (under the all section) and see if you recognize everything.
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Author Comment

by:PCNS_Tech
ID: 20342659
Thank you for all of your help.  Based on several responses, I discovered what the problem was.  I am embarassed to say, it was a virtual drive.  I did not realize this.  I installed the PowerISO software on my desktop and notebook.  I did not know it created a virtual drive.  So I put in that unknown cd into one computer and the notebook and that is when I noticed the "phantom drive".  In reality the drives showed up after installing the software and I did not notice it.  Problem resolved.
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Author Closing Comment

by:PCNS_Tech
ID: 31409770
The resolution was suggested ("maybe some type of virtual software") but it did not ring a bell at that time.  If a few software titles were suggested to "ring a bell", PowerISO, MagicISO, etc...this would have been resolved sooner.  Thanks for all of the help.
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