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C drive has no drive letter in disk management

Posted on 2011-02-27
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi experts,

I am administering an SBS 2003 with SP2.

The boot drive is C: and is accessible through My Computer, Explorer etc.

The volume shows up in Disk Management, but has no drive letter.  If I try Change Drive Letter and Paths... from the context menu, it comes up with the error:

"The operation did not complete.  Check the System Event Log for more information on the error.  Close the Disk Management cnosole, then restart Disk Management before retrying the operation."

There don't seem to be any related events in the System log of eventvwr.  Restarting the disk management console has no effect.

Help?
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Question by:i-nex
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Expert Comment

by:mrcannon
ID: 34994407
So it sounds like Disk Manager alone is having trouble with the volume.  Is there RAID and if so what do you see in the RAID manager?  Any problems with array/disks?  Does storage controller need updated firmware?
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Author Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 34994517
It is a hardware RAID volume, and the drive is healthy.  The server boots ok from the drive (I restarted it this afternoon successfully).

I shouldn't think the controller needs updating, as the server has been running fine for some years.

I did find a few posts that indicate this type of problem can be the result of a rootkit infection on the machine which mucks up the mount points in registry, but the recommended program which has fixed the problem for others (McAfee Rootkit Detective) doesn't seem to do the trick (see this thread).
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Author Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 34994565
Further to the question about the RAID, I should probably mention that we recently did have a failed drive in the set (which is RAID 5).

The drive has been replaced, and there's a hot spare as well.  

cli shows the drives, raid set and volume set as healthy / status normal.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34995611
I know how to solve this problem but first need you to show me the screen shot of Windows Disk Management from this server. Can you take one and post it here?
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Author Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 35001998
Here's the screen shot.  As you can see the drives aren't listed in the details area, but you can see the volumes.  

Also, we have just noticed that shadow copies are not working, which also means our backups aren't workinng...  I'm having a look into that now.

 Disk Management screen shot.
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Accepted Solution

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noxcho earned 125 total points
ID: 35005797
Interesting, you even don't have file system detected. Did you backup data? If not do it now. Use simple - copy\paste option of Windows for this.
And yes, VSS needs drive letter to be assigned to volume so without it your backup would fail.

After data is cloned try these steps:

Start Windows - press Start - run - type regedit and press ok/enter.
Then find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Class\{4D36E967-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
There you will need to select Edit - New - Multi-String Value.
Rename it to UpperFilters. Then right click on this value and select Modify. Type PartMgr.
Quit and then restart Windows.
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Author Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 35014248
Already running the backup, and waiting for that to finish.

We'll give your solution a shot once it's complete.

What is the purpose of the registry value?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 35015062
Normally the drive letter and drive layout is controlled by PartMgr parameter in registry. And when it gets corrupt due to virus or Norton software usage you could have such problems.
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Author Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 35023443
noxcho, you deserve your Genius rank!

We were a bit dubious about your solution to be honest, so we completed our data / system state backups, then installed all available updates and restarted (successfully).

After restart, when we tried to manipulate the drive in Disk Manager it produced this error in the System log:

 Error event post restart
Research on the event lead to this KB:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939320

...and the manual fix instructions in there were to add the registry value per your instructions and restart.

Post restart the drive letters are finally visible again (whew!).  There are still issues with VSS, but I'll look into those separately.

Accepting your solution now - have a good one mate!  
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Author Closing Comment

by:i-nex
ID: 35023451
Inserting a link to the appropriate KB article would have been good, but the solution was spot on and did the trick.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 35024734
Hi i-nex, glad to hear it worked. Frankly speaking I found this solution in middle 2008 after much research done by myself in registry. And definitely there was no such article at MS KB at that time. I would not be surprised if they were forced to create one after one of my posts at various forums =)))))
That's why no link was posted.
ok it is done
Take care
Nox
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