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Windows 7: Windows 7 Win Explorer gets the jitters; drv letter flickers on/off

06 Feb 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Windows 7 Win Explorer gets the jitters; drv letter flickers on/off

My system: HP dv7 Pavilion laptop; W7 SP1 Ultimate; dual 750GB; 8GB DRAM

I use EasyBCD 2.2 to dual boot off of either HD (slim W7 and regular W7).
The partitions not involved in the system I am running (boot, recovery, os) I do not assign a drive letter to.

Here's what happens every now and then:

Windows Explorer will starting flickering drive H: on / off (as if trying to access one of the partitions that does not have a drive letter assigned). There is a lengthy error message on the screen which disappears, then it reappears, disappears, endless loop. Windows Explorer is essentially unusable when this happens with drive H: coming and going every second or two. Drive letter H: is the first free available one in my configuration so nothing special there.

If I can corral DiskMgmt and get it to load and then ASSIGN a drive letter to the problem partition the problem eventually goes away after a reboot or two. Windows Explorer is then stable.

It used to be only the Boot partition on the running Win 7 drive caused this problem.

Recently the RECOVERY partition started doing the same thing. That went away by itself. For now.

But now the boot partition on the non-booted copy of Windows - same thing (aka "SYSTEM" below).

My layout (attached as JPG)

Disk 0: SYSTEM (Y:) 199 MB NTFS; NG2_WIN_7 146.31 GB NTFS (not assigned); Local_Data_01 (F:) 276.07 GB; Local_Data_02 (G:) 276.07 GB

Disk 1: HP_Boot_Loader (W:) 199 MB NTFS; OLD_GORDON (C:); HP_TOOLS (unassigned) 15 GB NTFS (Logical Drive); Main_Data (E:) 318 GB NTFS (Logical Drive)

As you can see I need to now ASSIGN drive letters (Y: and W:) to prevent this annoyance wrt the boot partitions.

I also have 6 external drives (3 mount points) and 3 drive letters.

Has anybody seen this? Any clues?

Thanks in advance.

Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 Win Explorer gets the jitters; drv letter flickers on/off-jcn_disk_drive_layout.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


It looks like both drives are booted off of Y which should not have a drive letter to avoid anything writing to it. So W serves no purpose, should not be Active (pointing to the intended System partition) and may be interfering.

With separate hard drives the best way to boot them is to install with the other unplugged, then afterwards boot your choice via the BIOS Boot Priority menu and one-time BIOS Boot menu ESC key. You can still install Easy BCD to the Primary hard drive set to boot first to add the other to a Windows Dual Boot, keeping each independently bootable as well.

So you must have not done this and as a result W has been cut out as the System partition for Disk1, or else it would be marked System now that you are booted into Disk1 but the System flag is quite clearly on Disk0.

To correct this I would mark W Inactive so that it is not queried by the BIOS and possibly interfere. Remove drive letters from W and Y to test this.

We can also help you make W the System partition booting Disk1 again if you want, achieved by running Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times with all other drives unplugged. Then boot your choice via the BIOS, or reconfigure another Windows Dual Boot menu with EasyBCD from the Primary (first booting) drive, but this time one which will keep either drive independently bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 Win Explorer gets the jitters; drv letter flickers on/off

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