My Local Disk (C:) has a red X on it and I can't get rid of it

By Aaron20b ยท 10 replies
Nov 14, 2008
  1. I can't even format it because I keep getting an error saying I can't format it.....

    so yeah please help me out here, I want to fix this and I am NOT good with computers at all so please explain as simple as you can to tell me what I need to do. Thanks
  2. gamerex

    gamerex TS Enthusiast Posts: 151

    Maybe in your BIOS, Hard Disk Write protect is enabled. I'm not sure about it, but I did see the option to Write Protect your Hard Disk in my BIOS, but I'm not sure about it.
  3. Aaron20b

    Aaron20b TS Rookie Topic Starter

    how do I go to my Bios?
  4. gamerex

    gamerex TS Enthusiast Posts: 151

    When your computer starts up, it should say something like "press <DELETE> or <ESC> to enter BIOS. By start up, I mean like when you see a black screen with a jumble of incomprehensible white letters. Or, at least it's incomprehensible to the uneducated eye.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    I don't know if getting into the BIOS is the solution, but here's how to get in:

    Boot the computer> right after the logo loads-before Windows would begin loading, hit and keep tapping either f2, DEL or the particular key for you make> the system will boot to the BIOS. I have never made the change referred to about write protect but on in:
    Using arrow keys> skip along the top until you get the Boot Option> Then change boot order to CD first, Hard drive second.
    Exit ans save.
    'Press any key' as you insert the Windows OS CD and boot form the setup on the disc.
  6. Aaron20b

    Aaron20b TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If you know that is not the solution then WHAT IS???

    wow I love a forum where you get no help whatsoever.
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Sorry to say this, but the answers you get are = to the information you give. No one wants to touch this thread because you have a strange problem and very little information (Windows XP? Vista? Do you have other hard drives? Is Windows installed on that hard drive? What do the other drive icons look like? About when did the problem start? Have you had any other problems? etc etc etc...). The key is providing as much information as possible.

    Just so you know, the red x doesn't mean anything because Windows doesn't use a red x icon for your hard drives. I think this is one of the reasons no one has helped -- it doesn't make sense. I'm going to take a stab at it though...

    Since Windows does not use a 'red x' icon for your hard drive under any circumstances, what has probably happened is your drive icon has been changed. Why? Well, I think you have a virus. Who knows though, maybe it was a prank... maybe this is some coincidental registry or shell icon corruption... But I think you should scan your system for viruses.

    Also, I know you don't know much about computers, but formatting your drive would have been a really 'stupid' thing to do. It deletes EVERYTHING including your files, programs and even Windows itself from your hard drive rendering it unbootable. Lucky for you though, Windows can't delete itself so it won't allow you to format the drive it is installed on... So in the future, make some effort to look online before you use something that you have no clue about. You must be more cautious! :)

    As for a fix, a virus scan is a must. But the settings for the icons are located in Start > Run and type regedit.exe then press the enter key. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows/ Explorer / DriveIcons

    There is probably a custom entry of "C", which will appear as a folder to you in regedit. Click on the folder and it will reveal the icon details. Chances are there will be one or more values over in the right window pane. These values tell Windows to replace the default icon with a custom one. This entry is was probably added by a virus/malware program to annoy you.
  8. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Thanks Rick, for putting things in perspective and making it clear that we can only work with the information we're given.

    For instance"
    1. What is the exact error message?
    2. What OS are you using?
    3. Why are you reformatting? What problem(s) led you to wanting/needing to do this?
    Where are you seeing this red x? In Windows Explorer?
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    removed text unrelated to thread

    Try this

    Download my purpose made VBS Script => Remove Red Icon or in Zip form here => View attachment
    Ideally save it to Desktop
    Double click on Red-Icon.Vbs
    Open the Read_Me text file


    Or directly here
    I always try to provide direct links ;)

    Once installed, on the left hand side you will see "Repair" (down the bottom)
    Click on that, then click on "Repair Now"


    Missing Drives in My Computer and Windows Explorer

    Please let me know how it all went :)
  10. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    Kimsland, why post a VBS that creates a VERY simple reg file and a text file telling the user to merge it? Why not post the reg file and type instructions on how to merge it? Or give instructions how to delete the keys in question?

    Further, the icons that you are deleting are just that, icons. They do not change the status that prevents the user from formatting the C drive. (Although I wonder why we would want to format the C: drive which likely is the system/OS drive?? That is never a good idea! To format it, you should be running in a mode which WOULDN'T have a red X) The only thing this will address is the potential return of the default icons.

    Further, your mentions of TweakUI are irrelevant because the drive obviously isn't hidden if it has a Red X next to it. If you think this still has relevance, you need to provide proof that this behavior of the red icon would be connected to a separate drive being hidden.

    @Rick: Perhaps he means the disconnected network drive icon? That has a red X. If it's just the default Windows Red X icon, then yes, someone has changed the default icon (malware maybe even).

    @Aaron20b, you need to provide much more information about the environment you are running in, what your are trying to do, and maybe even a little bit of why, in order for us to provide proper advice. If you are truly trying to reformat the system drive, and reinstall windows, you need to take a much different approach. if this is not a system drive, we'd need to know more about your conifguration. When you say a red icon, can you use a google image search to provide us an example of what you mean? And so forth.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Well the original reason was because I knew reg files (not zipped up) were not allowed as an attachment
    And I was sure VBS was (at the time) So I went out and created one, then tried to attach it. And guess what ? VBS is not allowed of course!
    So I though oh well, may as well just zip that up then

    The last reply by the original thread starter was: "wow I love a forum where you get no help whatsoever."
    I wonder if he could now reply with:
    1. More information (as requested by support members here)
    2. The results of possible solutions offered (without knowing all information)
    3. To conclude this thread! (hopefully)
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