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Windows 7: Drive G: intermittently disappears

05 Apr 2014   #11
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

The ACTIVE flag identifies a partition as having an operating system on it that the system can boot at the BIOS level.

Now if you had multiple operating systems installed on different partitions/hard drives then when you started up your PC you would get the Boot Manager where you would be asked which operating system you would like to boot.

If you do not have multiple operating systems installed then the system does not know what to do with the ACTIVE partitions and in most cases these will be ignored by Windows when it starts up. This seems to be the case when there are 2 versions of Windows 7 installed. The system will pick one and ignore the other. The ignored partitions are usually the ones that do not get drive letters.

Now why drive G (with no Active Flag) is being ignored is a mystery to me. But it could very well be that the Active flag confusion is to blame.

Your 250GB SSD is Disk 6 above and it looks like it contains your Windows 7 installation and is Active. So it looks safe to assume that you correctly installed Windows on this drive with all the other drives disconnected. You want to test this by disconnecting all other hard drives, so only the SSD is installed, and see if you can boot into Windows. Report back if you cant.

Disk 3 is a 1TB WD drive that used to contain Windows (7?). It has a System Reserved partition (100MB). It is possible, if you installed Windows on the SSD while this drive was still connected, that the needed boot files are on this drive. If you removed the Active flag from this partition in that case then the system would not boot. That is why you need to do the test above.

If the SSD boots fine alone, and you have not deliberately installed multiple operating systems, then you do want to remove all of the ACTIVE flags except for the one on the SSD as Jumanji instructed.

Here is a graphical SevenForums tutorial to help with that chore:
Partition - Mark as Inactive

Also note that changing the Active flag will not affect the data on the drive(s).


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Apr 2014   #12
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Drive U needs to be marked Inactive, only the C drive should be active.

Drive U and C should be swapped on their SATA connectors so C shows as Disk 0.

The drive you will have you Docs and personal data on should be placed in the Disk 1 position.

You can use this tut, under Tips, to include the data on the old OS drive to be recognized by the new install.
User Folders - Change Default Location
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #13
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Taking the inputs from TVeblen and Britton30 above, I would think we need to check and restore some order in the way the internal drives get their drive letter and drive number.

1. As suggested by TVeblen, it should be ensured that his SSD and SSD alone is booting. To this end the OP should disconnect all other drives and confirm he is able to boot.

OK once this is established:

OP's internal drives ( He seems to have as many as seven internal HDDs -apart from the SSD. Am I right?) are getting drive letters haphazardly and I would think some order has to be restored. This can be set right only if he does a drive clean up removing all non-present devices and drive letters associated with them.

With all other drives - except the System drive SSD - disconnected, he should perform a drive clean up.

Download v 0.8.1 of the drivecleanup.zip from Drive Tools for Windows.

Unzip it to a folder, say drivecleanup.

You will have two folders Win32 and x64 each containing DriveCleanup.exe for 32 bit and 64 bit respectively.

Remove all USB storage devices from your system (except your Keyboard and mouse) and reboot.

Right click on the DriveCleanup.exe and run as administrator. (Use the *.exe file appropriate for your bit version of Windows.).

After the clean up act, reboot.

This will release all drive letters and make them available sequentially when he reconnects the internal drives like D, E, F, G, H etc., in that order and leave the higher alphabets to the numerous external drives which the Op seems to be connecting and disconnecting considering that he may have as many as eight USB ports on his comp.

As regards what Disk no. should disks , his SSD and the other internal drives, should get and how to organise it, I do remember that Britton30 brought out this problem how to get C drive to take on as Disk 0 in an old thread and so I would leave it to him. I forget in what way it was resolved. I read that thread just about 10 days back.

I know we are straying away from the main problem but would think we will be better equipped to deal with it when things get organised as above.

In particular I would like the OP to have only the system drive plus the problem drive only connected as an internal drive and tell us whether it still disappears on and off.

Perhaps this organisation itself may resolve the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Apr 2014   #14
Sxcd1

Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
 
 

Wow this is great information.
First off I disconnected all the drives other that the C: SSD drive including the card reader from the USB header. The system booted up fine so I ran drivecleanup. So far so good. After shutdown I installed drive D, shutdown and then drive E: and go this weird Disk Manager. I then swapped out the sata cables from drive d and c so c would again be drive 0. I'm not sure if that matters as when I repeated the process of drivecleanup and added a 2nd HDD, Drive C went back to Drive 1.


Attached Thumbnails
Drive G: intermittently disappears-dm-c-only.jpg   Drive G: intermittently disappears-dm-error-cde.jpg   Drive G: intermittently disappears-explorer-error.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #15
Sxcd1

Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
 
 

I decided to start over and removed all drives but C: the SSD. Ran Drivecleanup in admin mode. After a reboot I went into disk manager and change drive letter to see if all the letters were available. It turns out D is missing, so I ran diskcleanup again without success. Any ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #16
Sxcd1

Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
 
 

Cant seem to get rid of this entry in Drivecleanup. I'm running it as administrator.


Attached Thumbnails
Drive G: intermittently disappears-drivecleanup-persistant-entry.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #17
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

By default Windows will make the optical drive Drive D. So if the optical drive is hooked up then change it's drive letter to something further up the alphabet. I always make mine X.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #18
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Yep, optical drives will take drive letters after C.

The OP after doing the drive cleanup will see his optical drive as D.

He can get into Disk Management change the drive letter to Z. That will make D available for his internal HDDs. Then he can manually assign drive letters to the internal drives as he may wish them to appear. Once this is done these will always stick with drive cleanup removing only the locked up drive letters associated with the now not-present devices.

(My virtual CDROM drive and two optical drives are assigned X,Y, Z and those always remain as X,Y,Z leaving the lower alphabets to the Internal and external HDDs.( Drive cleanup will only remove drive letters,and registry entries associated with non-present devices left over by those devices and release them) Drive letters assigned to the internal drives will always stick leaving the other alphabets available to the external drives.

Just to show how neatly they appear ( When I run drive cleanup under this condition drive letters I to W will be released if these are locked up in the registry and pointing to now not-present devices. )

Drive G: intermittently disappears-06-04-2014-07-51-47.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #19
Sxcd1

Windows 7 Pro 64Bit
 
 

I had to plug my drives back in with the exception of D: because I can't get the drive letter D to be available. Drivecleanup says it removed an entry from the registry but when you reboot it's still there. There is no CDRom on drive D. I only have 2 optical drives in my system J and K. I also can't get the boot drive to be Disk 0


Attached Thumbnails
Drive G: intermittently disappears-dm-no-d.jpg   Drive G: intermittently disappears-explorer-d-error.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #20
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

OK, I have noted.

Do you have any programs like Daemon Tools, Alcohol and the like which create a virtual CD rom drive?

If so get into the settings and disable creation of virtual CDROM drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Drive G: intermittently disappears




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