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Drive Letter of single hardrive changed

By CptOmlly ·
I have a rather peculiar issue with a Win2K Pro workstation on our domain. This workstation was not allowing users to log in. It would give a message box that "Your system has no paging file...". When you clicked OK, the system would return to the logon box. After a little research, I discovered that the hard drive letter had been changed from C: to E: (The system only has one hard drive with a single partition, but also has the standard A: floppy and CD-Rom). I did some searching on MS and found two KB articles that helped resolve the issue. In KB249321, step 3 allowed logon to the machine locally but errors were still generated from services that failed to load (presumably because they too were referenced by full path to C...), and I found an entries in HKLM\System\MountedDevices\DosDevices\C: and DosDevices\E:) After renaming Key DosDevices\E: to DosDevices\C: as per KB223188, the PC booted normally without any further errors logged.

My question is what would cause the drive letter to be changed? At the apparent "ground zero" of the issue, I see some peculiar events logged in the System event log. First, there are the standard 6009 and 6005 information events from EventLog indicative of a boot up. Then the weird ones start. I first see an error from Distributed Link Tracking with EventID 12507, description as follows:

The volume ID for C: has been reset, since it was a duplicate of that on E:. This volume ID is used by Distributed Link Tracking to automatically repair file links, such as Shell Shortcuts and OLE links, when for some reason those links become broken.

Then I see information event 12506 also from Distributed Link Tracking:

Ownership of the volume ID for E: has been successfully claimed. This volume ID is used by Distributed Link Tracking to automatically repair file links, such as Shell Shortcuts and OLE links, when for some reason those links become broken.

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by CptOmlly In reply to Drive Letter of single ha ...

Finally, another info event 12505 from DLT:

A new volume ID has been assigned for C:
{a21f29ce-067f-404d-b297-4a4c9bf6bc37}

This ID is used by Distributed Link Tracking to automatically repair file links, such as Shell Shortcuts and OLE links, when for some reason those links become broken. If there previously were links to files on this volume that are broken, they might not be automatically repairable.

After this I see 6006, 6009, and 6005 events indicating a reboot. Then multiple error events from Service Control Manager (eventID's 7000 and 7001):

The XXXXXXXX service failed to start due to the following error:
The system cannot find the path specified.

There are also some DCOM errors (10005) with similar failures "The system cannot find the path" descriptions. These errors continued after every reboot until i resolved the issue as described above.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm not sure if the Distributed Link Tracking errors are the cause or just another symptom. Please post with any futher information needed to help determine the root cause.

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by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Drive Letter of single ha ...

did u see this one. ?
http://tinyurl.com/3enpb

or I am thinking some one with admin rights changed the driver letter and another question is the harddisk still a basic disk ?

Leopold

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by CptOmlly In reply to

Thanks for the response.

I hadn't seen that article, and I thought you had found it. However I don't think it applies here, because it states that this is experienced when using SCSI drives. This workstation is using a plain old IDE Quantum Fireball.

As to the drive letter being changed (via Disk Management?), I don't believe you can change the drive letter of the system/root drive. You should get an error when you attempt to modify the drive letter/path.

Thanks again for the help. Feel free to post another answer if you like, or if you'd like any more details.

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by wcp In reply to Drive Letter of single ha ...

I had exactly the same problem some time ago and now I know the culprit was Norton Ghost.

I got exactly the same error message after each logon, ?Your system has no paging file, or the paging file is too small?.? and when I hit OK button I got the Windows logon box again so it was an endless loop. I did not know what was going on let alone what caused it.
Before clean installing Windows 2000 Pro as the last resort, I used ?Fdisk /mbr? and it worked.

I think what happened was the following
My system had a 10GB Primary HD (C:) and a CD-ROM (D:). I installed a 20GB HD (E:). This created a Registry Value ?DosDevice\E
Then I used Norton Ghost to ghost C: to E:, removed my 10GB HD, and made the 20GB HD as my Primary. As the Cause in MS KB 249321 indicates (?the original drive letter may not be re-assigned to the boot volume?), the 20GB HD was still E: not C: and since the original C: was removed, the Registry reflected that by removing the Value (i.e., no DosDevice\C:).


Instead of changing Registry Value, I used Fdisk. I did not know about the MS KB 249321 article at the time so I was lucky.
Now, whenever I use Norton Ghost, I make sure the destination HD is installed right before the ghosting.

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by wcp In reply to

?the Registry reflected that by removing the Value (i.e., no DosDevice\C:)? should have been ?the Windows is still looking for its original C.

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by CptOmlly In reply to

Thanks for your response.

While we do use Ghost in our enterprise to copy/load sysprep images, we have 500+ other machines that have not had an issue. These images are loaded from CD, not a second hard drive. There was not any activity on this machine that would lead me to believe this is the cause, as this machine has been in production for 6-9 months. There was never a second hard drive installed.

Thanks again for taking time to respond.

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by CptOmlly In reply to Drive Letter of single ha ...

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