Hard drive not listed in Device Manager nor Disk Management

I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 on an Acer Aspire M1640, with 1 hard drive with 2 partitions, and a DVD drive. All has worked fine for a year or so. Now I have the following problems, maybe they are linked:

1. The hard drive is not listed in device manager in normal mode but is in safe mode.

2. Drives C & D do not show in Disk Management in normal mode but do in safe mode.

3. Partition Manager Easues does show the partitions ok

4. The restore system is not creating restore points automatically, but I created a restore point manually ok. I've checked that the Volume Shaddow copy service is started. Event viewer says:
Shadow copy creation failed because of error reported by ASR Writer.  More info: The parameter is incorrect. (0x80070057).

5. Vista recovery disk doesn't offer any recovery options, it goes straight to selecting settings for a new install.

6. I've run sfc /scannow, it did not return any results.

7. All browsers crash about every 2hours (IE8, FF4, Safari5, Chrome10) and close. All add-ons are disabled.

8. I've used various anti-virus software and Stinger and nothing detected.

9. I had AVG Free installed and then replaced it with Avast.


Can anyone help please with any suggestions other than a reinstall?


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ncwAsked:
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cbmmConnect With a Mentor Commented:
try hitman pro
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cbmmCommented:
You may need to check your hard drive for failure. try running a chkdsk /F
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ncwAuthor Commented:
chkdsk /f has been run but not change. Strange it's ok in Safe mode, and the computer functions ok other than the things I mention.
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ncwAuthor Commented:
Just before FF4 crashes, the browsing area of FF turns black before the whole window disappears. Just wondering if it could be the RAM, but would that be consistent with being ok in Safe mode?
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cbmmCommented:
its possible, try downloading and running memtest.
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c_a_n_o_nCommented:
Since everything seems to run in safe mode not "normal mode", I suspect that it is either a device driver or something hosed in the registry. Consider creating a new user account, login with that one to see if your symptoms still exist.  If all is well copy what you need from the old account to the new one.  This would eliminate the user registry.

If still fails, stop unneeded services with msconfig.  Reboot.

If that fails, then consider rebuilding your computer.  Your hardware appears to be good.  The software (drivers/services/registry) may likely be the culprit.
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ncwAuthor Commented:
I created a new user account but FireFox still crashed. I then compared the processes running in safemode with the processes running under the new user account, the dirrences are listed below:

Additional process running in safemode: AWSC.exe

Additional processes running under the new user account:
nvvsvc.exe
audiodg.exe
SLsvc.exe
WTouchService.exe
AvastSvc.exe
spoolsv.exe
taskeng.exe
eEBSvc.exe
CLMSServer.exe
MemCheck.exe
eDSService.exe
LSSrvc.exe
LMIGuardianSvc.exe
sqlservr.exe
RichVideo.exe
sqlbrowser.exe
sqlwriter.exe
Pen_Tablet.exe
vmnat.exe
SearchIndexer.exe
WUDFHost.exe
eRecoveryService.exe
capuserv.exe
vmware-authd.exe
vmnetdhcp.exe
SDWinSec.exe
UI0Detect.exe
csrss.exe
nvvsvc.exe
taskeng.exe
dwm.exe
Pen_TabletUser.exe
Pen_Tablet.exe
WTouchUser.exe
RtHDVCpl.exe
SysMonitor.exe
eDSLoader.exe
nvraidservice.exe
FUFAXSTM.exe
EEventManager.exe
wmdSync.exe
AvastUI.exe
wuauclt.exe
rundll32.exe
Acer.Empowering.Framework
sidebar.exe
eRAgent.exe
sidebar.exe
InputPersonalization.exe
plugin-container.exe
taskmgr.exe
mmc.exe

I will try replacing the pen tablet with a mouse for the next test.
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ncwAuthor Commented:
Looks like I had the TDSS rootkit, TDSSKiller at http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/solutions?qid=208280684 detected and removed it. I can now see my hard drive partitions listed in Disk management. Still testing to see if the browser crash problem is fixed.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Does Windows Disk Management show the partitions drive letters?
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ncwAuthor Commented:
@noxcho: yes all is back to normal now.

@cbmm: actually tdsskiller solved the problem but thanks for the note about hitman pro, could be useful in the future.
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