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No drives in disk management

Posted on 2009-05-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I plug in a flash disk into USB port and nothing happens.  So I went into Disk Management (Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management) and it showed no disks at all - just "CD-ROM 0  -  DVD  -  No Media".  There is not a single hard disk such as Disk 0 - but obviously that exists as I booted from it.

The system is a Compaq Presario 2200 running XP SP2.

I am pretty sure this is not a hardware problem as it happens with several USB drives in both USB slots.  Also a USB mouse in the same slots works fine.   Also if I boot from UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) disk I *can* see USB drives.

It appears that there is some corruption in XP and it is not finding or reporting drives correctly.

I have checked that no system files are corrupt (dmserver.dll etc) and scanned for viruses etc.  The system did have Alureon.BF and Aluroen.gen!C spyware which I have removed.  I suspect there were other viruses on it at some time (not my computer) but it does have Avira anti-virus (and AVG).

I have tried adjusting the registry settings associated with dmserver.dll to no avail.  I suspect the problem is from lower-level software in XP that keeps track of physical hard disks (as opposed to other types of devices like optical disks), but I have no idea what that is or how to fix it.

Any ideas?
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Question by:aphillips
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Expert Comment

by:Kechka
ID: 24292784
The fact disk management shows blank might be:
1) A problem with your Windows services or
2) A virus/malware infection

To check your services take a look at:
http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic125357.html

Also try to check your computer with Antimalware malwarebytes.org download free trial, install update and try to clean in safe mode.
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Wayne Barron earned 500 total points
ID: 24292785
I have done some checking and I cannot find any solid information on this issue.
There is nothing in the Microsoft KB. I did how-ever find a few forums that had
Some post about it, but the people were running around in circles as to what it was
And getting the user to do the normal things.
(Scroll (or) Refresh)
And none of course worked.

So, I agree with what you posted here:
> It appears that there is some corruption in XP

It does seem that something has happened, and I suggest (Up to you)
Backup all your data and deploy a reinstall of the system.
As it is only a matter of time before something else go bad on the system, that may
Not allow you to do a backup.

If you have any Recovery Dates within the last 2 weeks, then you can try this as well.
But I strongly urge you to backup and reinstall, as if there is corruption on the system.
It was something that was there before, and it will show it's ugly head again if you do a Recovery.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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Expert Comment

by:geewilly
ID: 24292869
Do you have any network drives mapped?  If so disconnect them and then try.
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Expert Comment

by:geewilly
ID: 24292874
I would also uninstall then reinstall any AVG software you have.
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by:nobus
ID: 24292998
some things to try :
first, you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs

start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc

In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...

Also, in the device manager, under Universal Serial Bus>right click each root hub, and select Properties>Power Management, and uncheck "Allow Windows to turn off this device to save power".

In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install
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Author Comment

by:aphillips
ID: 24293052
I tried a System Recovery but after I select the date on the next page when I click the "Next" button to start the recovery operation nothing happens.  The mouse cursor changes very momentarily when (the first time) I click the button but nothing further happens and it stays on that wizard page.  The "Previous" button works fine and the "Next" button is not disabled and changes in appearance when hovered and clicked (or activated using the keyboard) but nothing happens.  I have tried this with several recovery dates from a few days ago to a few months ago.

The only explanation I can think of for this is some sort of malware which is trying to prevent itself from being removed using a system restore.

It seems a reinstall of XP is the only option.  My first step was to make a backup using "Files & Settings Transfer Wizard" but when I run that the machine crashes.  A blue screen briefly pops up before it reboots.
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Author Comment

by:aphillips
ID: 24293095
Geewilly, there are no network drives mapped.  In my experience mapped drives do not appear in disk management, only local physical drives/partitions (even if not mounted on a drive letter), and optical drives.
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Author Comment

by:aphillips
ID: 24293265
Nobus, thanks for the ideas.

1. Ran diskmgmt.msc directly - same result.

2. Ran services.msc - the "Removable Storage Service" was not running (manual), so I started it and set it to run automatically.

Unfortunately, this caused no change.

[I also forgot to mention that I also did the same for the "Logical Disk Manager" service (but not "Logical Disk Manager administrator" of course) as it had also been set to manual.]

3. I unchecked "Allow Windows to turn off this device to save power" for all 4 root hubs in device manager.

Also no change.

4. I installed the usbstor.inf in the C:\Windows\INF (hidden+system) directory.

No change.

5. I rebooted just in case any of the above required that and tried again.

Still no improvement.

It looks like a reinstall of XP is the only option.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24293271
did you reinstall the chipset, or update it? seems to be missing..
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