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Weird XP problem

By daddydold52 ·
I recently worked on a PC for a guy I know at work that has a very unusual problem. He has an external 120GB hard drive connected to his PC. When he boots up, if he turns off the external drive, all but about 5 standard Windows icon dissapear from the desktop. when he turns it back on, all the icons appear. Somehow, XP needs this external drive to load the desktop. Any suggestions?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Weird XP problem

It sounds as if there have been programs installed to the External Drive and this is causing the current problem nothing available when the drive isn't turned on.

If this is the case it's not a good idea to use an external HDD as a Data Drive for the computer as they never run cool enough to allow the HDD to last as long as they should.

The other option is that some integral Data has been shifted to the external HDD instead of making a copy the entire folder C:Documents & Settings\User Name with all the Desktop Icons have been moved to the external drive. This can be done in Explorer by choosing Move instead of Copy.

That would be my first guess of what has happened here.


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by mjd420nova In reply to Weird XP problem

Some times the OS will load short cuts and other
little tags on the external drive, even when
the program is not installed on that drive.
In the future, programs should be installed
only when the external drive IS NOT connected.

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by DuncanF In reply to Weird XP problem

I have seen a similar problem with offline files / roaming profiles on a corporate laptop. Is this enabled? When disconnected from the network the desktop icons would not always appear (even when right clicking the desktop and selecting refresh)

On a home desktop I have also seen very slow icon updates and file enumeration of the desktop folder when one of the internet shortcuts has a target of ftp://xxx.yyy.zzz. The problem did not occur with the more common httt://xxx.yyy.zzz URLs

Overall this behaviour suggests that you need to check the location of both the shortcuts and their ultimate target to ensure that none of them depend on the external 120GB drive.

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by hayden854 In reply to Weird XP problem

chech the bios for having boot from usb device enabled. also the programs may be installed on the external drive and need to be re installed on the system fixed drives. I use this option to run many different programs that i do not have the disk space for on my system drive as i am a poor man who does not have a large system drive capacity.

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by rkuhn In reply to Weird XP problem

Just sounds like that profile has been moved to the external drive.

For example, C:\Documents and Settings\rickk, is now on the external drive instead of the boot drive.

Move it back and all should be good.

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by sHuskyaEskimo In reply to Weird XP problem

You may have already done this... Make sure to check that when the computer boots, it does not boot to a removable drive first. To bypass our lockdown policy, I had a user (yes, he actually fessed up to the fact) that set the computer to boot to a removable drive and installed his own OS on the removable drive. It worked for some time before the original OS finally became corrupt and we had to rebuild it.

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