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Windows 7: Phantom SATA drive

21 Apr 2010   #1
jeh

 
 
Phantom SATA drive

My Win 7 64-bit system has started reporting that it has a non-existent external device ST31000528ASASA attached. "Devices and Printers" displays the icon for an external HDD. The "device" reports that it's in use and cannot be ejected.

This occurred after my iPhone failed to find a driver when it was first connected to this PC. Reconnection of the iPhone found the correct driver and I've since performed a correct sync. The "device" survives a complete shutdown and subsequent restart. It would be nice to get rid of it. Any ideas anyone? John


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Apr 2010   #2
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Exactly where is Windows "reporting" this phantom HDD? Device Manager? If so, try uninstalling it from there and see what happens.

The drive model you posted should be a SeaGate HDD, but that model doesn't exist according to a search querie.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #3
jeh

 
 

Thanks MadMaxData. First, I'd mistype thedevice id. It should have been ST31000528ASATA, a 1TB Seagate drive. Device Manager says that's my main HDD, and asks if I want to unistall it. No Way!

The drive is showing up as an ejectable device when I click "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" , one of the normally hidden icons in the Notification Area (aka System Tray). I'm wondering whether something has got mis-set in the registry. I'm reluctant to do a System Restore simply because I've just been through shifting my iPhone sync, via iTunes, from the old computer to this one. Howeevr, Restore may be the only option. I use "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media: every day for USB sticks and an external HDD, so having the bad entry there is a pest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Apr 2010   #4
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

The removability (if there is such a word) of your harddisk is caused by a storage controller driver update. I can remove every harddisk in my computer if need be, all because I update to the latest NVIDIA storage controller driver... To me, it's not a "pest", but a minor convenience, if I suddenly ejected a system disk, then there would be trouble... But so far so good...

zzz2496

P.s: In Nvidia, it's called "Media Shield" or something....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #5
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jeh View Post
Thanks MadMaxData. First, I'd mistype thedevice id. It should have been ST31000528ASATA, a 1TB Seagate drive. Device Manager says that's my main HDD, and asks if I want to unistall it. No Way!

The drive is showing up as an ejectable device when I click "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" , one of the normally hidden icons in the Notification Area (aka System Tray). I'm wondering whether something has got mis-set in the registry. I'm reluctant to do a System Restore simply because I've just been through shifting my iPhone sync, via iTunes, from the old computer to this one. Howeevr, Restore may be the only option. I use "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media: every day for USB sticks and an external HDD, so having the bad entry there is a pest.
Okay, well, I'm going to need some more information from you before we preceed any further. You haven't filled out your system specs, so I'm working blind here. Please list all the HDD's you have installed on this machine, and any removeable media you have installed. Is the ST31000528ASATA SeaGate drive an external drive, or an internal drive, and what is the interface type [SATA, or USB]. Is it your main operating system drive [C:\] or a storage drive? Do you see where I'm going with this? I need to know everything you can tell me about your hardware environment. Perhaps you can provide a screenshot of Device Manager with all the dropdowns expanded? And if you could add a screenshot of the Disk Management section of Computer Management, it sure would be helpful.

You were smart not to mess with anything if Device Manager is telling you it's your main operating system drive. Please give me as much info as you can, and we'll get this figured out no problem, Bro.


*EDIT*
Found that drive model, but the last three letters [ATA] shouldn't be there in Device Manager [unless there's a space between the last three letters]. This sounds like a driver issue at first glance, but I still need the info I asked for. Make sure ALL connections on the HDD are nice and tight first [check with machine powered off].

Max
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2010   #6
jeh

 
 

Thanks MadMaxData. Apologies for the slow reply - time zone, plus being out last night and this morning.

My computer is a little over 3 months old. Win 7 Pro installed by the supplier. A single internal 1 TB HDD, which Device Manager lists as ST31000528AS ATA (you're right about the space). It hosts the C: drive.
There's also the usual internal CD-DVD drive. No floppies. Two front USB ports, which I use for an external IOMEGA drive (several years old), USB sticks and to sync my iPhone. (Obviously, only two of these at any one time). All three of these devices have been used in the past three days. None of the devices are attached at present.

I'm attaching a screen shot of Device Manager, with all boxes expanded except system devices (do you need those too?) and of the Disk Management section of Computer Management (which doesn't seem to tell me much)
Cheers John


Attached Thumbnails
Phantom SATA drive-ss2.jpg  
Attached Images
Phantom SATA drive-ss1.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2010   #7
MadMaxData

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Everything looks fine in the screenshots. You said in the opening post...

Quote:
My Win 7 64-bit system has started reporting that it has a non-existent external device ST31000528ASASA attached. "Devices and Printers" displays the icon for an external HDD. The "device" reports that it's in use and cannot be ejected.
It appears that your system has recognized your internal HDD with a different model number than it actually should have [ST31000528AS ASA instead of ST31000528AS ATA]. Many times this is caused by a bad connection with the IDE cable. Did you power down the machine and try to reseat the cable like I asked you to? If that doesn't fix it, then go into "Devices and Printers" and remove the device. It will be safe to do so, and won't mess with your main OS drive at all.

Let me know if these steps work, and if not, we'll go from there. This problem doesn't appear to be serious, so don't sweat it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2010   #8
jeh

 
 

Thanks again. I've done as you suggested; completely powered down the computer and then unplugged both cables from the internal HDD. Plugged the cables back in, powered the computer back up - no change.
For your second suggestion, "Devices and Printers" (under Control Panel) offers to Eject (not Remove) the device, but then says that the device is in use and cannot be ejected. Did you mean the entry under "Device Manager > Disk Drives"? That offers me the option to Uninstall (not remove). That sounds very unsafe and I've not done so, pending further advice.
As you say, it's not a serious problem - just an annoying one.
John
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Phantom SATA drive




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