Question

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Hard drives disconnected at startup

By dekaliber ·
Ever since a runin with some malware I've experienced an unusual phenomenon when I start my computer: only my C: drive is active, and my 3 other hard drives all appear as "offline" in Administrative Tools/Computer Management.

Reactivating one drive reactivates all of them and everything appears fine. All of my data is intact and everything.

Anyone have a clue about what might be happening??

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One idea

by BFilmFan In reply to Hard drives disconnected ...

Try running this command on each HD

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/122221

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no fdisk?

by dekaliber In reply to One idea

When I open a cmd window, it tells me "'fdisk' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."

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Windows may be having problems allocating drive letters

by Jacky Howe In reply to Hard drives disconnected ...

Change the drive letter of the drives and lable the Volumes. Right-click on the drive in the list, and from the resulting menu select "Change Drive Letters and Paths"
<br>
Click on Change so you can change the drive letter. Click Change.
<br>
Select a new drive letter from the drop down list, preferably the one that is not normally used for this drive. EG: U:, T: Then go back and try and get them uniform.
<br>
Click Yes on the confirmation screen
<br><br>
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why would this be?

by dekaliber In reply to Windows may be having pro ...

Thanks for your suggestion -- my other drives are already pretty far down on the alphabetical sequence: M, N, and P, so it doesn't seem like they would conflict with anything... Nonetheless I will try to change one of them and restarting.

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It would depend

by Jacky Howe In reply to why would this be?

on how the drives were originally setup. Was the OS used to setup the drives as they were added and Partitioned or are they just added from another PC. By the way what is the OS.
<br><br>
It looks like you are only using the 3 drives and they are not Multi-Partitioned and the OS is only allocating 3 extra drive letters M, N and P with a CD/DVD drive. I like to have my hard drives detected and allocated lower drive letters prior to allocating for USB. I use the higher drive letters for mapping network drives. If the drives were added after the CD/DVD move the drive letters to E, F and G. If you want to go a step further and change them to D, E and F it would be wise to change the Location of Windows Installation Files to reflect the new CD/DVD drive. Example:
<br><br>
Registry Settings <br>
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup]<br>
Value Name: SourcePath<br>
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)<br>
Value Data: H:\WIN95
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I would also clean the Registry:
<br><br>
Download and install CCleaner to tidy up your Registry. Backup the Registry as you go along, rescan again and again saving as you go until there are no errors left.
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Cleaner: Windows
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When you first open Ccleaner you will have an option to Analyze or Run Cleaner, after checking the left Pane and making your choices. Delete all Temp Files. If you scroll down you will see a greyed out box that has Advanced next to it. Left click on it and keep pressing OK to all of the responses. I normally Untick Windows Log Files and Memory Dumps as they may come in handy.
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You don't have to install all of the add ons or shortcuts just the one to the Desktop.
<br><br>
http://www.ccleaner.com/download

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No effect, it seems...

by dekaliber In reply to Windows may be having pro ...

Hmm, well, I ran CCleaner and changed one of my drive letters to test, but it looks like the same thing is still happening. All 3 drives show up as "offline" upon boot, and all 3 come back with their original drive letters if any one of them is "reactivated". So strange.

I don't quite get it...I don't have anything else that should be competing for drive letters.

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Try changing

by Jacky Howe In reply to No effect, it seems...

them all as I suggested. How did they get so far along in the drive letter allocations.
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You can use the Hard Drive Makers Testing Utility to Test the Drives.
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Hitachi / IBM - DFT "Drive Fitness Test"
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http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
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Works with all manufacturers
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Western Digital "Data Lifeguard"
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http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp#dlgtools
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Works with WD drives only
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Fujitsu "FJDT"
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http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1
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Works with fujitsu models only
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Samsung "hutil"
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http://www.samsung.com/Products/Hard...ties/hutil.htm
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Compatability unknown...
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Seagate "Seatools"
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http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools
<br>
Works with Seagate drives only
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
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If the above doesn't work try this

by Jacky Howe In reply to Try changing

Turn off System Restore
<br><br>
Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
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http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/malwarebytes/mbam-setup.exe
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* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.<br>
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.<br>
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.<br>
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan.<br>
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.<br>
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.<br>
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I would keep scanning with it until it is clean by closing out and rebooting.
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Remember to turn on System Restore when you have finished cleaning.
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Insert your XP CD and when you see ?Press any key to boot from CD? press a key. Now wait for the XP installer to finish loading up and you will be presented with the option to press R to Repair.
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Press R.
The next screen will ask you which Windows? installation you would like to log on to. Normally the following will be listed:
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1: C:\WINDOWS
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Press 1, then Enter to continue.
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You may now be asked for the Administrator password. If you know this type it and press Enter. If you don't know the Administrators password it may be blank. Just press Enter or type your username and password.
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At the command prompt type:
<br><br>
fixmbr and press Enter
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Wait until you are returned to the Recovery Console.
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Once you are back to the Recovery Console remove the XP CD and restart your PC.
<br><br>
<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>
<br><br>
<i>If you think that any of the posts that have been made by all TR Members, have solved or contributed to solving the problem, please Mark them as <b>Helpful</b> so that others may benefit from the outcome.
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