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strange drives

Posted on 2014-09-14
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Last Modified: 2014-09-29
My PC is showing up drives f,g,h,i which don't seem to map to anything.
I assumed that these were the usb ports on the front of my pc (4 of them) and didn't take much notice of them until now...
As the picture shows, windows is confused as to how to identify them and has given them a monitor icon!
The main problem is now that the first 3 usb ports no longer work properly. Only the 4th will be recognised when I put a memory stick in, at this point windows open it up as either K or L drive!
When I say "no longer properly" I mean that either nothing will happen when I put a memory stick in or a new window will open up "k drive" and as soon as it opens windows says it can't recognise K drive and it closes... then opens and closes over and over till I remove the stick.
Any ideas?
I have rebooted, I have gone into properties to try to update driver (nothing found), I have right clicked the icons and chose eject.
Also and I don't know if this is related but when looking in system devices I see the "!" under "multimedia controller"
This pc has worked fine (and the usb ports) for ages until now. Hardware issue? Windows update? other?

drives
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Question by:QPR
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322208
If you have USB drives not working for any given USB key, try running System File Checker.

Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete and run a second time. Close out, restart and test.

If that does not work, we might try DISM to restore the system health.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322211
If you need to, close all applications, open an admin command prompt and run:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth  (takes 15 or 20 minutes) and then
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth (takes 15 or 20 minutes).

Restart after this and test.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322237
ok I ran SFC and it said a system repair was pending and I should restart and run again.
I did and some updates installed and configed.
I ran SFC again and it said this
SFC output
I looked in the log file and it looks like there has been some logging happening since the 12th of this month (unless they get auto-cleared periodically and these are just the most recent). They are huge!
logs.PNG
I opened the top log and searched for "error" and saw lots of entries such as
[DIRSD OWNER WARNING] Directory [ml:520{260},l:80{40}]"\??\C:\WINDOWS\diagnostics\system\Device" is not owned but specifies SDDL in component Microsoft-Windows-DeviceDiagnostic, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_AMD64 (9), Culture neutral, VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral

The log is full of entries like that above and others saying: Ignoring duplicate ownership for directory
And
Info                  CSI    000008c7 [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:36{18}]"Amd64\CNBJ2530.DPB" of prncacla.inf, Version = 6.3.9600.16384, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_AMD64 (9), Culture neutral, VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type = [l:24{12}]"driverUpdate", TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2014-09-15 11:44:06, Info                  CSI    000008c8 Hashes for file member \SystemRoot\WinSxS\amd64_prncacla.inf_31bf3856ad364e35_6.3.9600.16384_none_9590ba64d5b91f79\Amd64\CNBJ2530.DPB do not match actual file [l:36{18}]"Amd64\CNBJ2530.DPB" :
  Found: {l:32 b:oFSuZuv5N3vIfcRQ2vAeo/JVemuB6a/RMpVFicJhlM0=} Expected: {l:32 b:n520k714Uu3utHa5JGQ6HQYbZphKhlMWq5pEmfnCDuw=}

I have no idea what any of the above means or what to be specifically looking for in the log
I will send this, reboot and then run SFC again and report back
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322240
Let us know if the USB problem goes away after the second SFC run and Restart. Do not forget to run Windows Update after this as well.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322245
I rebooted and windows update offered me this new update
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2975719
There is specific mention of usb drive "stuff" under the fixes section.
I am installing this update now.
No doubt a reboot will be required.
Will report back on progress
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322248
KB2975719 is a replacement for the botched KB2975719 that came out August 12. The revised update fixed a number of things some of which were not published. Hopefully it will help here.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322253
Well I'm down to 1 misbehaving (open/closing window) now not 3 so that's an improvement.
Any idea what the f,g,h,I,j drives signify?
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by:QPR
ID: 40322256
PS SFC running for the second time now
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322257
Any idea what the f,g,h,I,j drives signify?  They are all removable drives (USB keys likely) so there may be a persistent drive.
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by:Maclean
ID: 40322259
In case the above does not suffice.

Try to establish what the drives are mounted to perhaps via Start>>Run>>diskmgmt.msc
Your drive mappings should be pointing to a hardware device.

Once you established the device, check under device management if there is a particular issue on that device, such as Code 10 or other. You can generally copy the device ID from the device management when clicking on its properties, browsing to Details tab, and selecting the Device Instance Path property.

Copy the Value, and chuck it into google to figure out what device this is, in order to obtain the latest drivers for that, or check physically after shutting down PC whether the device is properly connected if there is an error code.
Specifying error code here would help analyzing the problem too of course for other.

Looks like a card reader to me. Normal USB hubs generally do not generate drive letters unless a device is actually active on that HUB.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322263
USB hubs generally do not generate drive letters  But it could be a removable USB drive.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322271
I have a USB KEY in my Windows 8.1 machine now and it registers a drive letter. If I plug in my USB Drive, it will also register a letter. So I think these are persistent keys left over from not ejecting them.

@QPR  - see if you can remember where you inserted the key, insert it and then eject it. If it works, do not use that USB port again until you have cleared all the ports.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40322273
Do you have a card reader device on this PC? For SD and MicroSD cards for example.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322275
ok ran SFC a second time - exactly the same output as above.

In disk management the drives are all listed as Removable no media
F = Compact flash usb device
G = SM/xD picture USB device
H = MMC USB device
I = MS/MS-Pro/HG USB device
J = SD/MMC/MS/MSPro USB device

This PC has 4 front usb slots and 2 back ones.
The back ones have the monitor and a wireless keyboard receiver

The 4 front ones are normally empty but are used for memory sticks and once in a while iPhone charger or digital camera for picture removal

When I put a stick in the usb slot I get this message
bad slot
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by:QPR
ID: 40322278
No never owned a card reader
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by:QPR
ID: 40322282
John, I put the stick in the 1st usb slot and got the above error, the icon to "safely remove" appears/disappears repeatedly from the system tray so it really is a matter of timing to right click and select eject before it disappears again!
I managed it on slot 1 but not slot 2 or 3. Slot 4 I could because this seems fine.
The first 3 are not but may randomly be ok when the key is inserted.
I am very bad at ejecting before taking the stick out but always make sure explorer is shut before doing so
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322283
When I put a stick in the usb slot I get this message

Do the other slots now work?  I think they do based on the above. If you put a USB key in another slot, be SURE to eject it (not just pull it out).

Look in Device Manager under USB Controllers. Is there a device with a problem?
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by:QPR
ID: 40322286
The PC has a built in card reader but I have never put anything in it
As shown here
http://zapp4.staticworld.net/reviews/graphics/products/uploaded/567635_g3.jpg
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by:QPR
ID: 40322289
Can't see a problem with the usb controllers, only the MM controller as shown here
device
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322291
I am very bad at ejecting before taking the stick out

Look in the UP arrow on the right side and see if the eject icon is hidden. Mine tends to be hidden but I look there.

Also, I found keys go bad, so I have zero emotional attachment to keys. If they give me trouble I throw them away and get new keys.

Try a couple of brand new keys.  

Find the Eject icon and always use it. This could be the root source of your difficulty.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40322294
only the MM controller as shown here

Right click on it and see if you can add hardware. Also update all the device drivers in your computer including Chipset.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322295
Nothing there now but nothing plugged in, as I said when I insert into the faulty usb slot(s) the icon goes on and off repeatedly with each "ding" and windows message telling me the drive is inaccessible
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40322300
Nothing there now but nothing plugged in,  Try a brand new key. Not ejecting can damage a key.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322301
I right clicked on the PC name name and chose add legacy hardware with the recommended choice of letting it look.
Found nothing. Have tried to update driver and have it look for me but always says nothing found.
Will do the same with other devices and, if need be, go to acer to look manually
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by:Maclean
ID: 40322309
Another simple test is to plug the potentially problematic USB device into another system and see if it is unable to connect.
Alternatively if you wish to test the hardware on your own machine, you could download an burn a Linux Mint Live (Or any distribution) to a DVD, boot from it (Do not install it of course) and see if the USB ports respond when running the live session.

This would narrow down the problem to Hardware or Software.

Other bits and pieces is to look for updated chipset drivers on the acer website for you PC model.
Perhaps there is an issue at that front.
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by:QPR
ID: 40322312
I have a new-ish key to hand (working fine in tablet and TV).
when plugged into slot 1 or 2 windows does nothing, no error, no sound and nothing added in explorer!
When plugged into slots 3 and 4 it is perfect... I plugged it into both and then ejected both times
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by:QPR
ID: 40322315
Been to Acer support and no new drivers since 2010/11
Windows 8 is not even an option in the OS dropdown!
This PC has been running Windows 8/8.1 for over a year with no issue
Drivers were downloaded and installed after the upgrade from Win7
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 40322317
Although I would not necessarily point to hardware first thing, if two slots are working and 2 are not, the USB slots could have gone defective. Reboot and use only slots 3 and 4. Is all well there?
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by:QPR
ID: 40322325
Will try that (currently downloaded chipset drivers from acer as last resort)
Just went into device manager and right clicked each "usb root hub listed" and selected uninstall, as I did that each of the f,g,h,i,j drives vanished (as did my ability use my wireless keyboard :-)
When all had gone I did a scan for hardware and all the drive letters came back - as did the problem :(
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by:Maclean
ID: 40322332
If the Acer chipset drivers are not for Windows 8, than ignore that bit.
If you know who the chipset manufacturer is (e.g. Intel) perhaps run a autodetect from their support website, and see if newer drivers are available.

But again, if it used to work, and now it does not, there is a chance that the hardware has gone defective, henceforth it would be nice to rule that out via a live Linux DVD. It might not be Hardware indeed, but download burn, boot & test from a live DVD might potentially save you a lot of time trying all kinds of other bits and pieces. Will leave you and John with it for now however, as John is already providing you with some good input. Might check back tomorrow if problem persisted, but for now, good luck, hope you find the issue :)
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40322557
for your drivers, try slimdrivers -  fast and free : https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40322615
As mentioned above, cardreaders often cause this. Even if your PC doesn't have a cardreader, your All-in-one printer may have one, those often go forgotten. Other candidates can be cell phones which also often have card slots, and when connected to the PC may appear as cardreaders.

Since your first sfc scannow said something about corrupt files, I'd additionally run a chkdsk c: /f /r and chkdsk d: /f /r (from an elevated cmd prompt) to fix any file-system corruptions.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40322641
QPR your problem is seemngly in the card reader. The empty slots from this card reader are considered to be empty Drives like CD-ROM devices. Open the case and disconnect the card reader defice physically from mainboard. PC must be off when you do this.
Then start the PC and check if the fake drives disappeared.
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by:nobus
ID: 40322848
in explorer, select organise >folder settings> display settigns>and check hide empty stations in the PC
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by:noxcho
ID: 40349388
What was the solution?
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by:QPR
ID: 40349414
There was no solution, after everything else was exhausted the conclusion is that the 2 USB slots are dead
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by:noxcho
ID: 40349492
You can see if they are dead or not if you install the Windows 7 new. Get a test HDD - connect it to the PC instead of your system drive and perform clean Windows installation. If the USB slots won't work - then your assumption is correct.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40349625
@QPR  - Thanks for the update regarding the USB slots.
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