Hidden partition becoming "visible" and assigned drive letter by Windows XP

By luke123 ยท 5 replies
Jul 26, 2010
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  1. Hi

    I've a Dell pc with a small, hidden diagnostic FAT16 EISA partition.

    Starting a few days ago, this formerly hidden partition appears to have become visible to Windows XP which assigns it a drive letter.

    I used the command "mountvol /d" to remove such newly created drive letter, but it reappears everytime Windows boots or restarts, even in Safe Mode.

    Has anyone experienced anything similar? Is it possible that a certain registry setting relating to the (formerly) hidden partition has somehow been altered? If so, how can this be reversed so that no drive letter is assigned automatically to the (formerly) hidden partition?

    An interesting observation is that, in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices, there is no \DosDevices\{x} (where {x} is the drive letter) which corresponds to the drive letter now assigned to the (formerly) hidden partition.

    I cannot use the Disk Management MMC Snap-in to remove the drive letter assignment, since selecting the partition and right-clicking only brings up a single "Help" line in the context menu, without any of the usual options (like "Change Drive Letter and Paths...").

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions and feedback!

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I believe you only need to mark that partition INACTIVE in the Disk Manager - -
    check this before you act :wave:
  3. luke123

    luke123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Can you possibly explain how to accomplish this when the usual Disk Managment options aren't available?

  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Very strange problem indeed! Not sure the solution but a couple thoughts

    After you start Disk Management, double check both of your logical volume services are running (i.e. their Status should = Started).
    Click Start->Run, enter services.msc. Scroll down to check on
    > Logical Disk Manager
    > Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service

    Try this might reveal more info to figure out what's going on. Click Start->Run, enter msinfo32. Click Components->Storage. Then click on both Drives and Disks and copy/paste the info that appears into your next post
  5. luke123

    luke123 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The culprit turns out to be Ext2 IFS for Windows which I installed about two weeks ago. After I uninstalled it, the FAT16 partition becomes hidden again.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Thanks for the update. I learned something new as well :)

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