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No hard drives detected in Disk Management but C drive is in My Computer. ?


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#1 shaundh

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 12:54 PM

Hello all. I've used this forums many times before and decided to join. The information is very good here.

Anyway, I'm working on a friends computer (Dell Optiplex GX520 with Windows XP SP3) who had some spyware on it. I think I have it all removed but I have this one strange issue I've not come across before. I discovered it when trying to run the disk defragmenter and I kept getting an error message that said it was unable to start. The C drive is present there and other USB drives that I connect as well. But when I go into disk management, the only thing listed are the USB drives and the CDROM drive, NO C drive or any other volumes. Also, when I tried to run chkdsk on reboot, I get a message saying that it could not check the disk for some reason (flashes by too quickly). Can someone shed some light on possible conditions that would cause Disk Management to not be able to see the main Volume?

BTW. I removed some trogans and installed MS Security Essentials. Computer seems to be working fine except this issue. I don't have much history on the computer. Hard drive is reported in Device assignments as ST3808110AS, I'm currently running sfc /scannow to check Windows files.

System File Check just finished. I need an XP Pro disk to repair Windows and I don't have one. Oh well. Please let me know if there's a way around this.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:12 PM

Can you post a screenshot from Disk Managment?

Logically...any connected drive should always appear in two places...the BIOS and Disk Management.

The only possible reason that I can think where this might not happen...is if two drives are assigned the same letter by Windows, only one can be reflected.

As for C: being reflected in Windows/My Compter...any version booted into appears as the C: drive, as any person who does multiboots will tell you. The C: drive is nothing but a designation for the O/S partition/drive booted into.

As for your XP Pro situation...there is no way around the requirement for the system files for the applicable O/S installed. XP Home is not Pro and vice versa.

Louis

#3 Required Field

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:24 PM

Older Dell computers were always shipped with an operating system disk (along with other disks, drivers and apps, etc). Does your friend not have these disks anymore? Have him dig through his/her stuff and look- it won't look like a retail XP disk, it will say Dell, but it will also say "Operating System reinstallation disk" and the version of Windows. If they still can't find it, you might be able to get another disk from Dell. That's my only advice, since it sounds as though you don't have access to another copy.
"Most quotes attributed to famous people on the internet are fake." -Abraham Lincoln

#4 shaundh

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 11:09 PM

Hello again. Just wanted to post back to let you know what happened. I was finallly able to fix the OS by using a tool called Combo-Fix. I found it on these forums. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
The malware that I removed had severely damaged Windows and needed to have components reinstalled. ComboFix was able to further removed damanged components and identify stuff that was missing. Then it connected to MS and downloaded what was needed. The problem with the drives not showing up was because Recovery Environment was either damaged or removed - it wasn't there. So no drives in Disk Management, Defrag would not work, and System Restore wasn't working either. After Combo-Fix did it's thing, I ran updates again and rebooted a few times. Now the PC is golden again. Drives show up in Disk management, Restore points able to be created, ect. All working now. What an awesome tool!

#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 02:03 AM

The only possible reason that I can think where this might not happen...

Louis

Next time you come across a normally functioning computer .... except that the hard drive on which the Windows system resides is not showing in Disk Management (& commonly neither in Device Manager), remember this little note to yourself: Self .... alarm (ROOTKIT!!!) bells and send off to the malware removal forum pronto!

Regards.
AustrAlien
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#6 hamluis

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:05 AM

Noted, AA, thanks :).

Since this is the XP forum and I have no background/training in malware...it's normal for me to examine posts made in this forum from that perspective first.

I will remember :).

Louis




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