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Windows 7: Empty Card Reader appears as four drives?

26 Dec 2013   #1
garuda

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Empty Card Reader appears as four drives?

My 4-slot card reader displays as four drives whether populated or empty. This once seemed as too minor an issue to post on this forum, until the Disk Mgmt showed only three available drive letters for new drive assignments.

When external spin backups are powered-down, the Mgr still considers those spin drive letters as assigned; leaving only a few drive letters available.

How can I remove these card reader slots (as drives) from DiskMgmt & DeviceMgr when card reader slots are empty? I have two readers, but keep one disconnected for this reason.




Attached Thumbnails
Empty Card Reader appears as four drives?-card-reader-issue.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Dec 2013   #2
HoneycombAG

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

By default, Windows does not show these drives in Explorer until you insert the memory card. To display these drives anyway, go to the Folder options, and in the view tab under Hidden Files, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

It is recommended that you leave the Hidden Files setting alone, unless you work around with hidden files, or at least until someone else says so when troubleshooting issues with BSODs or malware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2013   #3
garuda

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HoneycombAG View Post
..... To display these drives anyway, go to the Folder options......
Thanks for reply, but I may have confused you with my poor description. Sorry. Actually I want to get the O/S to ignore or not recognize these four empty reader slots until I place a drive in them.

In other words, I don't want these empty card slots to be assigned a drive letter in the system unless there is an SD in them; I want to eliminate them being assigned a letter in O/S, Device Mgr and Disk Mgr, etc. I'm running short on available drive letters..... A,B,C,D.......etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Dec 2013   #4
HoneycombAG

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Actually, to be honest, there's no way. The OS assigns a drive letter to those empty drives, whether there's a memory card or disk in them or not. And, what do you mean by running out of drive letters?

Have you tried disconnecting other drives from the system and then reset the drive letters for everything you MIGHT need (e.g. DVD-RW drives, external HDD/SDDs, etc.)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2013   #5
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I'm fairly sure they will need a drive letter to function when you do need them. Here's how to change it though: Drives - Hide or Show Empty Drives in Computer Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2013   #6
garuda

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
I'm fairly sure they will need a drive letter to function when you do need them……
I checked the “folder option > hide empty” – the box was already checked. You are correct…. The drive must need the letter assignment to be ready to function instantaneously.
I’ll just unplug the card reader when not using it. That’s the simplest. But thanks for your efforts!


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HoneycombAG View Post
Actually, to be honest, there's no way. The OS assigns a drive letter to those empty drives, whether there's a memory card or disk in them or not.
Seems you are correct, thanks!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HoneycombAG View Post
Have you tried disconnecting other drives from the system and then reset the drive letters for everything you MIGHT need (e.g. DVD-RW drives, external HDD/SDDs, etc.)?
Yes, I’ve tried that.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HoneycombAG View Post
.... And, what do you mean by running out of drive letters? ...
See pic below. Whenever I want to add or change letter/path (in Disk Mgmt) – the drop-down tab options display only 2, 3, or 4 drive letters available….. I KNOW!! IT SPOOKED ME OUT TOO! How can you possibly use up 26 letters.

.


Attached Thumbnails
Empty Card Reader appears as four drives?-disk-mgr-photo.jpg  
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31 Dec 2013   #7
HoneycombAG

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Well for starters, how many partitions do you have on one drive? Can't you go back and... mount some of those as a mount point?

And what about RAID 0/1/5? There are at least one or more disks with the same capacity in your computer, that you can try to make those "simple disks" as dynamic disks instead. The only issue of going this route is that you may have to format those devices during the setup, meaning that you might want to back up your data.
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31 Dec 2013   #8
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Do you actually have 23 disks/partitions?
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31 Dec 2013   #9
garuda

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Perhaps the best solution here is simply unplugging the CardReader. When I get too lazy to unplug reader, I’ll know it’s time for the rest home. But I do want to response to your questions briefly.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HoneycombAG View Post
Well for starters, how many partitions do you have on one drive? Can't you go back and... mount some of those as a mount point?

And what about RAID 0/1/5? There are at least one or more disks with the same capacity in your computer, that you can try to make those "simple disks" as dynamic disks instead. The only issue of going this route is that you may have to format those devices during the setup, meaning that you might want to back up your data.
Honeycomb, you raise valid points. Though RAID would be more expedient, I prefer keeping different media or subject matter on separate drives, each with a planned growth capacity. For example, I confine vid projects to one SSD with enough headroom to never out-grow the capacity of that drive. Whereas, placed on a RAID with other unrelated-subject folders, when those over-grow that drive capacity, then the overgrowth must be moved to another drive, splitting up the subject matter.

Perhaps for irrational reasons, I don’t like RAID configs; perhaps a carryover from my Win2000 (O/S) days when I lost one failed HDD in a RAID config and didn’t know how to recover the data after crash (and too ignorant and frugal back then to do backups). I don’t trust RAIDs --- naïve thinking, I know. Though SSDs are much safer now, I still don’t like RAID and don’t use them, as foolish as that may sound. I try to learn from past mistakes. Whenever I’m killed by an oncoming freight train because of a failed railroad crossing signal, I tend to distrust railroad warning signals thereafter.

I do appreciate your feedback, but unplugging CardReader seems like the simplest solution. I thought maybe the forum knew of a quick fix, so I posted.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
Do you actually have 23 disks/partitions?
Yes, but they are not always powered-on. I have a dozen or so SSDs in cabinet. I have dozens of 1, 2 and 4TB spinners (accumulated over time) mostly externally connected thru several USB3 hubs --- mostly used for recorded movies/TV, large media files, archives, and backups.


But when external HDDs are powered-on for backup, archiving, or are being used to get source media for Adobe programs, then yes there can be nearly26 single-partitioned SSDs/HDDs online at one time. And since backups are boring and run in the background, I also use the other drives (SSDs) for other work simultaneously w/ backups and archiving. Sometimes there are many drives online during a 5-10 hours backup.

Some VIP/critical files get backed up on two different drives for safety; so there are lots of backups going on frequently. (I notice that Honeycomb is shaking his head in frustration and thinking, “Why not simply mirror these files/vols on RAID). When external Adobe media HDDs are updated, they too must be backed up. And as we know, HDD to HDD xfers take more time and must stay powered-on longer. Basically, I confine important, critical, and frequently used files to SSDs for safety and speed. Once the rendering, transcoding, etc files are done running on the SSDs, some get xfer’d to slower external spinners. The really fast stuff is done in the RAMDisk drive, then sent to either SSDs or HDDs. Multiple RAM drives also take a separate drive letter.

I admit that my procedures and strategies may not be the most preferred or rational, but they seem the most easy and safest for me. Maybe it’s the "old dog, new tricks" thing. At least I’ve given up my abacus.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2014   #10
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Jeez o'criminy that's a load of drive to keep track of and cataloged.

That would explain where all the drive letter assignments went.
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 Empty Card Reader appears as four drives?




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