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USB Hard Drives keep disappearing from My Computer after connection

I have several clients that are using USB HD's to backup their servers. They each use two drives that they rotate daily. We use the program Second Copy to perfom the backup.

Recently all three clients that use this system have started having failures during their backup. Each day the log says that the drive could not be found. What we have started doing is each morning, they remove the previous drive, insert the new drive, open My Computer and double click the newly refreshed USB drive. Then after a couple of seconds the USB drive window disappears and when you look in My computer it is no longer there. Wait a couple of seconds and after My Computer refreshes there the is drive and the backup works fine that night.

These are very different environments.
USB HD's.
One uses two Simpletech 250GB drives.
Two use two Western Digital 250GB passport drives.

Second Copy
One uses Second Copy 2000 - Purchased version
One uses Second Copy 7 - Purchased version
One uses Second Copy 7 - Trial version (expired, but it still runs the backups you just can't add new backups).

Servers
Two are the same model IBM xSeries servers
The other is a xSeries server as well but just a different model.

Can someone fill me in on what I'm doing wrong?  Thanks in advance.
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RWB_Support
Asked:
RWB_Support
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1 Solution
 
ChiefITCommented:
A while back, (believe it or not), Roxio CD burning software (the older versions), caused USB drives to disappear from "My Computer".  Let me see if I can dig up that old Archive>

Well, there is a lot of data to sift through to find the right answer. (google search "Roxio drives disappear") If you have EVER had roxio on the problem children computers.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My first thought is you have a driver conflict, since you are interchanging USB drives. Go into device manager>>Hardware>>>select the "View" drop down menu>>and select "show hidden devices"

If you have a driver with a yellow exclamation point on it, that is a faulty or conflicting driver. Delete it, reboot, and try again.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Thanks ChiefIT but no unfortunately Roxio has never been installed on any of the three machines. Also I checked the Device Manager and although I have a couple of PS2 keyboards and mice that seem to be complaining, nothing USB. This was only on the one machine I currently have available. I'll check the others later. But so far no dice, but thanks for the suggestion anyway.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Do these External HDs have there own power supply or are they getting their power over USB? I have had issues with USB drives that get their power over USB so I had to add a USB Hub.
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ChiefITCommented:
AS PER:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/archive/usbfaq.mspx

Q: I want to embed a storage device inside a laptop, but still want to conserve power. What should I consider in this design?
Windows XP supports selective suspension of USB devices, as described in "Selective Suspension of USB Devices" in the "USB Design Guide" section of the current Windows DDK. The Selective Suspend feature allows a driver to turn off the USB device it controls when the device becomes idle, even while the system itself remains in a fully operational power state (S0). This feature is primarily intended to conserve battery power in laptops.

The Selective Suspend feature allows drivers to idle the host controller, any empty USB hubs including the Root Hub, and the full range of USB devices supported by the operating system. Windows XP does not natively support Selective Suspend in usbstor.sys. This is being investigated for future operating system releases and will require changes in:

" The USB Mass Storage Class Specification
 
" The USB storage hardware (to support remote wake functionality)
 
" The USB storage driver in Windows
 

Alternatively, if you design your storage solution as a compound device and place the bridge chip behind a USB hub, you can then emulate device removal upon media removal. Windows XP will interpret the emulation to understand that the storage device has been removed from the USB hub. An empty hub will then be selectively suspended by the Windows XP USB stack.

For your implementation of this solution to work properly, the compound devices hub must not be more than one hub away from the root hub. Although this solution might reduce power consumption, it will also make the USB storage device disappear from Device Manager and My Computer.

Operating system support for selective suspension of USB storage devices (rather than only compound devices) is planned for a future release of the Windows operating system.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Darius G, they are different. The Passports are USB powered, the Simpletech has its own power.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
ChiefIT, that's some great information but I don't think that is what I am experiencing with my clients. I tried to find it on the systems and I don't think it is operational for one, but secondly once the drive disappears and refreshes right after plugging it in it doesn't disappear again until the drive is removed and exchanged for the other drive. Then you start the process all over again.
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ChiefITCommented:
It sounds like a driver conflict, then.
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ChiefITCommented:
I know there is a registry key deletion for some driver conflicts.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
I would have to agree with Chief.
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ChiefITCommented:
I think this might be the registry key:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/restore_missing_cd_or_dvd_drive.htm

I had a similar problem, (once before) about 3 years ago. It happened when there were older versions of Roxio CD player on the system. Even while uninstalled, it left enough metadata in registry to cause my drives to intermittently disappear. In your case, you are uninstalling one drive, and then installing another. At that time, they are having problems negotiating the driver, and you loose your drives.

Without going through your ritual, I think we should try to figure out what the driver conflict is and if the metadata can be removed.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, and Happy New Year.

Okay ChiefIT, I'm game for any suggestions you can make. I have taken remote control of two of the three clients and checked their hidden devices in the Device Manager. Only one has anything listed with a exclamation point, and that is under Keyboard the issue is with "Standard 101/102-key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard" and under Mice and other pointing devices it is "PS/2 compatable mouse".

I recently removed the the PS2 Keyboard and Mouse and replaced it with a Microsoft Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo via a USB KVM at this location. The issue in question has been occurring at this client before that change occurred.

The other location I can remote into has nothing listed with an exclamation mark. Where do you think I should look from there? I checked the location you listed in the supplied link in the registry and I found around a dozen instances each pointing to a different device. Which device should I clear of data?

Again thank-you for your continued help.
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ChiefITCommented:
Is there a key or filter with the CLSID of:

4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Yes there is a key. I'm sorry last night when I checked I didn't notice that a single number was different in the dozen entries, making each unique. So when I find the 4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 key in the registry under the location listed in the link you provided it takes me to an area with a "Class" of CD-ROM.

What do I delete? I'm not sure what a "Value Data" or "UpperFilter" or "LowerFilter" is.
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ChiefITCommented:
You have to enter the registry key, as if you were editing the value of the key itself. There should be an upper and lower filter for that key. That's what you want to remove, but leave the key there.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Okay sorry for the delay, I have been working on another project as well. I deleted all the entries but kept the key. That doesn't seem to have resolved it. We still ahve to plug in the new drive, open My Computer and then open the USB HD. It disappears after a couple of seconds. Open My Computer again. Wait for a few seconds. It refreshes and the USB drive is back and it works fine from there.

This one really has me beat guys, I'm at a complete loss.
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ChiefITCommented:
it's got me too. I am stumped.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
I am leaving this issue open for now as although I have gotten some excellent advice it hasn't helped me resolve this issue.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
Okay I have to increase this to a 500 point question. I have a client who is having kittens about the backups not working and I need a solution fast.

I have read online that I am not the only person with this issue but no one seems to have an answer. I really need some help here guys, I'm pulling my hair out. Thanks in advance.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
New Information

I prepared the clients USB HD backup yesterday (Friday). I double clicked the drive in My Computer, it dissappeared and after a couple of seconds reappeared. Went into the folder that holds the Friday backup and manually cleared the contents.I then manually ran the backup last night, as well as left the scheduled 11:00 backup waiting.

I checked back this morning and the backup was successful. I decided to prep the SAME drive (No one is in the building today to change the drive and the drive label indicates it is indeed the same device) for tonight. When I double clicked on the drive in My Computer it dissappeared and reappeared again! I was under the belief that this only happened once, and after you established a good connection the drive stayed available. But that seems to be false. It ran great last night but this morning it once again had to be refreshed. This is really weird. Any help would be greatly apreciated.

As of now my next step is to move the drive from the server to a workstation with full rights to see how that works, but this client is irritated enough this might not go over well.
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ChiefITCommented:
do a file search for sptd.sys.

It should reside in the system32 or system32/drivers folder.

Rename it to sptd.old

reboot.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
The sptd.sys doesn't exist on the server. I did some research as to why and I think its a Windows XP file. Now Server 2003 (which is what we are using) is built on XP archatecture so I'm not sure why this file would be missing but I did a manual search. a windows file search and a windows file search set to serach hidden and system folders and nothing came up.
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ChiefITCommented:
Well, that's probably the root of your problem.

http://www.computing.net/answers/windows-xp/what-is-sptdsys-/156322.html

"SPTD.SYS is part of daemon tools, a cd/dvd emulation tool, that allows you to mount iso images as virtual drives."

Hmm, can't seem to find out where to download it.

If you have your original installer OS cd/DVD. Go to the command prompt and type:
SFC /scannow

This is a system32 file and should be a part of the system file checker utilities file to check.
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RWB_SupportAuthor Commented:
I tried to find the SPTD.sys file but I can't seem to track it down. At this point in time all I can do go through a series of steps each day to engage the drive such as Open My Computer, Open Drive, Open folder. Then everything disappears and when we go back into My Computer it refreshes, shows the drive again and its ready for the evening. As of now that is all that is working and should this continue to be a problem I am going to just move the drive to a XP workstation with admin rights to do the backups from there instead.

Thanks for all your help.
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