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Why is my external HDD recognized on my netbook and not on my laptop?

Posted on 2010-04-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Why is my external HDD recognized on my netbook and not on my laptop?

It happened today, after running ComboFix on my laptop (HP Compaq nx7300 Windows XP Pro SP3). There's a sound when I plug the external HDD in, and in the Window for Safely remove hardware, my external HDD is recognized. But it doesn't get displayed in My Computer menu, so there is no way to access it now. Properties (Safely remove hardware): "This device is working properly."
 
However, on my netbook it is displayed in My Computer.

Is there any way to access my external HDD on my laptop, other than through My Computer?
It is urgent that I can access it on my laptop and not only on my netbook
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Question by:hermesalpha
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28 Comments
 
LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:MagicFarmer
MagicFarmer earned 120 total points
ID: 30311401
Richt ciick on the My Computer icon in your start tree and choose the manage option. In the left hand pane choose inflate the storage container. Highlight the disk management option.  In the right hand pane you will see the different discs on your system.  Most likely your laptop has confused the dirve letter deisnations.  Highlight your HDD, right click and choose assign drive letter and path.  Choose a drive letter and your HDD should now be mapped properly.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:mmarx82
mmarx82 earned 200 total points
ID: 30311427
Sounds like you might need to assign it a drive letter, you should only have to do this once.
1. Right Click on My Computer
2. Click on Manage
3. On the left side under Storage, Click on Disk Management
4. In the center screen at the top you will see all your system drives. At the bottom of the center look for a drive that is either sharing the same drive letter as another drive or one that hasn't been assigned a drive letter.
5. Right Click to on the right side of Disk X, where X matches the drive in step 4. (Will be the area that says whether or not the drive is Healthy
6. Click on "Change Drive Letter and Paths"
7. Click Change
8. In the drop down box give it a Drive letter your computer is not using.
9. Click OK
10. Click OK again
 Your drive should now be visible. This happens sometimes in the corporate world as well if you have Mapped Drives.
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Expert Comment

by:andeslau
ID: 30311911
another possible reason is you have network drive map e.g. e: or f:

e.g. if the disk management assigned your ext. HDD as F: but you have network drive F: mapped, you may need to disconnect the network drive first.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ydsonline
ID: 30313061
I'd also suggest to try the following:
1. Plug the drive back into your netbook and click the "Safely Remove Hardware" and disconnect the drive.
2. Plug the drive into your Laptop.
3. Restart you Laptop and see if it will show up now.

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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ydsonline
ID: 30313537
Also you may want to have a look at this article: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic189726.html

You're not the only one that have problems when running combofix.
Perhaps if none of the above suggestions work, do a system restore a day before running combofix. Combofix disabling autoplay should not have made a difference, but there might be other setting that may have caused an issue with your USB drive letter recognition.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30350641
I changed drive letters for internal HDD to C: and D: and for DVD-drive to E: (before, DVD-drive had D: and internal HDD had E:). But there was nothing displayed about removable media, so in right-click My Computer/Managage my external HDD was not recognized.

But it is recognized in menu for Safely Remove Hardware, I can choose to remove it there.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30350830
ydsonline,

It doesn't work with what you suggested, because earlier (before ComboFix) the main problem I already had with this external HDD was that immediately after booting up, I had to unplug and plug in again my external HDD and first after doing so it was recognized in My Computer.

But now, after ComboFix, it doesn't even work with unplug and plug in again, it does not get recognized in My Computer.

0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:optoma
ID: 30375299
Strange
This is a long shot!
Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services:
http://support.microsoft.com/mats/?DiagID=100001&EulaAccept=Yes
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:webbster20
ID: 30407150
What format is the drive?

Did you go into disk management when you went into manager?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:mmarx82
ID: 30417445
Did you make a backup of your registry before using combofix, I'm thinking it deleted some registry entries. If so restore your registry, don't use combofix but use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (currently version 1.45) after the registry restore to remove the bad entries.
If not your looking at a doing a system restore or a fresh re-install of your computers OS.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30466942
Device Manager/Universal Serial Bus Controllers: My external HDD is recognized here, and reports that it functions properly.

I've rid of a rootkit now and several malwares, and the laptop works fine (except for this last thing with the external HDD).

I've already used Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and some other tools to remove the malware and rootkit  on my laptop.

My laptop is not connected to any network, but it's a personal laptop so the drive letters assigned should be alright now.

optoma, I'll try your link for Automated Troubleshoot Service now. I did the manual Troubleshooting, but couldn't resolve it that way.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30467358
optoma,

When I tried to run the Automated Troubleshooting Service, I received this message:

"C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\My Documents\Mats_Run.dvd.exe is not a valid Win32 application."
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30467963
I disabled Eset Smart Security and Firewall but still get the message it's not a valid Win32 application
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30488415
http://www.sevenforums.com/performance-maintenance/7207-messed-up-external-hard-drive-icon.html

Do anyone of you think that if I delete the desktop.ini file from C:\WINDOWS\System32, this would resolve the problem (see the above link)?
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:optoma
optoma earned 80 total points
ID: 30493387
Run Atf cleaner to clear temp files http://www.atribune.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=25

Run this removal tool
ftp://ftp.f-secure.com/anti-virus/tools/f-bagle.exe

>No harm in trying what you linked above
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30504546
It actually worked fine after I deleted the desktop.ini file from C:\WINDOWS\System32, now my external HDD is accessible again in My Computer window (although the icon is the wrong icon like before: a white sheet of paper with a folded upper-right corner and inside/on this "sheet" is an icon). Shouldn't I be able to change this icon somewhere in Device Manager?

Although everything seems fine now (except for the odd icon for external HDD), can this desktop.ini file affect other applications in any negative way? Or is it totally safe to completely and permanently remove the desktop.ini file from System32?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ydsonline
ID: 30504795
You could try this:

Open regedit and goto:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer

2. Under this key, you'll see a key "DriveIcons". Delete it and log off or restart your Windows.

3. It'll solve the problem and you'll get back default drive icons in My Computer.

resource from: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-fix-corrupt-drive-icons-in-my-computer/
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
ydsonline earned 1600 total points
ID: 30505610
If the above doesn't work, you can also look if an autorun file exist in the root of your external drive. Remove it temporarily if it does exist and see if that solves. If it does solve it then have a look a the entries inside the autorun file.
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30518255
ydsonline,

in the key 'explorer' in regedit, I have these sub-keys:

(Default)
IconUnderline
Max Cached Icons

But there's no DriveIcons there. Should it have been?
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30518352
And there's no autorun-file in root-folder on my external HDD either
0
 
LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:mmarx82
mmarx82 earned 200 total points
ID: 30519398
There is the autorun approch if you have an ico file: http://www.nirmaltv.com/2007/07/12/how-to-change-the-default-icon-for-removable-drives-2/
 
You can also try this, in the registry:
Navigate to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell

And set the default value to "none."  
You may have to reboot afterword.

Capture2.JPG
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Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30565995
The shell in folder Drive was already set to 'none'.

I'll try later, when I find an icon, to use the autorun approach
0
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:ydsonline
ydsonline earned 1600 total points
ID: 30569501
If the usb drive has an autorun.inf file, it's most likely hidden.
Go to Folder options under control panel, then the View Tab and tick "Show Hidden files and folders"
Also uncheck "hide unprotected operating system files"
Let us know...
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30589283
ydsonline,

I did as you instructed and checked 'Show hidden files and folders' and unchecked 'Hide unprotected operating system files'.

Then, on my external HDD, there was this autorun:

Autorun.inf (90 bytes)

Should I remove it temporarily?

0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:mmarx82
ID: 30614142
Just rename it, remove your device and reconnect it. Alternitively you can open it and see if there is a line the specifies the ICON file that it is supposed to use.
0
 

Author Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 30835624
I run ComboFix a second time, and finally: my external HDD is both recognized and the icon is back at last!

It was the Autorun.inf file that was the one to blame: ComboFix deleted it on my external HDD, and then everything was back to normal
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:optoma
ID: 30857654
Good!
Hows all behaving now?
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:hermesalpha
ID: 32391016
Deleting the Autorun-file from external HDD solved the problem
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