View Full Version : unused drives shown in 'MY COMPUTER'

22nd Aug 2010, 11:57
How do I get rid of unused drives shown on 'My Computer' ? Over the past year I've had a number of flash drives plugged in at the same time shown as Drive D, Drive E, Drive F etc. None are there now but the icons still are on screen and right clicking doesn't bring up a 'delete' option.....


22nd Aug 2010, 12:24
Maybe try clicking in the page and then press CTRL+F5. Not sure if it will work, but it cant hurt. Should do a total refresh

22nd Aug 2010, 12:38
Tried it.
Didn't !

22nd Aug 2010, 14:21
Left click to highlight and then press Delete?

Probably tried it.....

A A Gruntpuddock
22nd Aug 2010, 14:42
I have an icon in the taskbar titled " Safely remove hardware" which is related to removeable drives. Might be worth a try.

Alternatively, in the Start, Control Panel, System, System Properties, Device Manager there is a list of installed hardware. Should be able to disable them there.

22nd Aug 2010, 14:51
Thanks AAG, problem is I still use the USB drives now and then so don't want to remove the drivers, do want to remove the icons however, all four of them. Or maybe leave just one..... WIN thinks otherwise.

I've said it once and I'll say it again: next time Linux !

22nd Aug 2010, 15:29
Is this Win 7?
If so, similar question was asked by a Micro Mart reader this week, but the request was 'how do I show empty drives'.

Answer was,

Open Explorer, click 'Organize', 'Folder and search options', on the tab view, tick or untick 'Hide empty drives in Computer folder'

Hope this helps, I cant confirm if it works as I don't use Windoze any more.


Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Aug 2010, 15:43
next time Linux !
Oh, has Linux been fixed then, so as not to need you to

- log in as root
- type a mount command being a couple of hundred characters of gobbledegook

before you can see a removable file system? I can tell you that discovering that you had to do this every time you swapped floppy disks in a Linux system did put me off ever so slightly.

22nd Aug 2010, 16:03
Thats way gone now Wombat.

The OS looks after all that. On my distro Fedora you plug in it makes a noise when its mounted and away you go.

Its worked with cameras, phones,USB sticks, GPS units haven't had a problem yet with anything which has flash memory and a USB connector.

It also spots and talks to all other devices I have connected it to be it GSM modem sticks, USB speakers and even a TCAS unit from the aircraft (which i was gobsmacked at when it worked), Bluethooth dongles etc

When you want to disconnect you click on the usb symbol on you desktop like you would in windows choose the device you want to disconnect and it makes another noise and it removes it. Blue tooth devices are similar.

You can go into the inards if you like though still and turn the auto mount off. But you have to confirm you are wearing cords and saddles before it will let you do that.

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Aug 2010, 16:43
Ah, right.

Actually someone did give me a Linux box a few months ago, but nobody could make it work. I switched it on, found some widget in the GUI (after a bit of searching, but fair enough given that I was new to it) to set the screen resolution to match my monitor.

Next day when I switched the box back on it had forgotten the screen resolution. A few days of assistance by IT bods, including the traditional logging in as root and hand editing several configuration files full of gobbledegook, didn't make any difference.

So I asked for another Windows box instead, so that I could actually do some work, and the Linux box remains disconnected and switched off under my desk. The Windows box just worked.

So, not every example of someone pasting something over the cracks of Linux to give you a better user experience than editing vast reams of gobbledegook actually works. Nice to hear that "automount" works better than the example I came across.

22nd Aug 2010, 17:03
well that was your first mistake turning off a linux/unix box.

Always leave them turned on if on a desk.

Tis a problem with windows admins playing at being sys admins. I don't suppose you want to turn it on again but if you do. Let us know what flavour of linux it is and I suspect we should be able to get you fixed in a couple of hours.

22nd Aug 2010, 17:37
This forum is indeed in some ways a microcosm of R&N in that an innocuous question there on some aviation topic rapidly turns into a Boeing/Airbus flamer.:*

Mac the Knife
22nd Aug 2010, 18:05
"Oh, has Linux been fixed then, so as not to need you to
- log in as root
- type a mount command being a couple of hundred characters of gobbledegook before you can see a removable file system?"

My stars! Haven't needed to do that for many years.

And even if one did, at least it it doable - which is more than I can say for fixing my mate's Windows box with a totally corrupted Registry!

Most modern Linuxes "just work" these days - I did my share of editing .conf files in the old days but have never had to edit any configuration files in Mepis or Mint.


22nd Aug 2010, 18:28

If my memory serves me right you can edit the devices in Control Panel -> System & Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management. There you will find a Logical Disk Manager that lets you work with the mapped drives.

I recall its in XP, it's certainly in Vista and Win 7. I used it the other day as I have an external disc drive with my MP3s on it, and Win 7 decided to change the mapping which messed up media player. I went there & was able to change the drive mappings, get rid of a mapping from an old USB stick etc

MTK - agree with you on the desktop Linux front. Just migrated my PC from Linux Mint 8 Gnome to Linux Mint 9 KDE edition. Devices just plug in & work now, same for networking & sharing with Windows machines.

22nd Aug 2010, 18:35
BOAC I hope you havn't taken my comment on Windows admins and sys admins as a which is the best OS flamer.

In my day I was both.

Windows support staff will without fail either take control of your machine using software and do the changes with you watching or pay you a visit. They can't help themselves and the OS doesn't lend itself to being fixed any otherway.

Any unix sys admin would never leave there seat in thier office, they would just telnet into the machine and edit any of the required files. There are many different ways you can change the resolution.

1. Config file in your X11 xorg.conf if you using X11 drivers
2. Change the users .login file to use the xrandr (don't muck around with this one if you don't know what your doing it can shag your monitor)
3. Or if the user wants to try a few different ones press crt-alt and either plus or minus to flick between supported modes.
4. Use a GUI as has been mentioned

There are a load of otherways as well depending on the flavour of linux/unix.

The problem is when the windows first/second line support think they can also fix unix issues. 9 times out of 10 they turn a 2 min telnet job into a "sod it, it would be quicker reblowing the OS onto this thing than going through the log files to find out what they have edited.

So my post was more a dig at IT support staff fiddling with stuff they haven't a clue about. I always made it very clear where ever I worked that I had zero clue about Apple Macs. I would have never dreamed about having a play with a system and get the hopes up of the user that it was going to be sorted. My limit was printer problems if the toner was full and paper in it and it printed from laptop, if it still din't work after a reboot they were on there own.

Loose rivets
22nd Aug 2010, 19:24
Didn't gibbo have it sussed?:confused:

22nd Aug 2010, 19:27
No - not personal - it was 'triggered' by this thread but really a general 'Sunday evening' post about the 'Buy a Mac/use Linux/Windows is great' routine that we see so often when someone asks for advice.

22nd Aug 2010, 19:41
O aye to the op use CCleaner to clean your registry out.

It sounds like your user profile is a wee bit dodgy.

this can happen if you don't log out properly and just kill the machine holding your finger on the power button. Or the machine dies on you a few times.

The best way to test this is by making a new account and seeing if you see the drives when you start using that one. If it does work the simple way is to change to using that account and always make sure you shut the machine down properly allowing it to soft power down.

22nd Aug 2010, 20:15

Go to "Folder and search options->View". On Vista and Win 7, it's under the organise menu in any Explorer view. On XP (from memory) it's in the Explorer options menu.

Select "Hide Empty Drives in the Computer Folder"

This sets the drive to hidden so, if you are also viewing hidden files, the drives will still appear but will be greyed out.

Despite the stupid flame wars, this is by design for rapid remounting of drives and compatability with old pre-XP apps which could not handle drives disappearing. The hidden files option read "files, folders or drives".

Hope this helps


Mad jock. The problem is not with Windows. It's with the ill qualified people working as "admins". I cannot think of anything that needs a visit to a Win box except "not bootable", which of course applies equally to *nix boxes. No need for telnet either, thankfully, but of course you can use it if you want to.

PS. Nix admins never leaving their offices probably explains why they have such a poor customer facing reputation :)

22nd Aug 2010, 20:28
I don't think it exists in XP, but this ( does.

22nd Aug 2010, 21:16
You and I both know the reason why users never see the *nix admins is because we usually have a ratio of 500 plus users for every admin.

The system is usually locked down so all they can screw around with is there dot files in thier home directory and if they abuse that to often they get the edit rights removed from them as well.

And usually a unix user is a hellva lot more savy than your average windows user. The usual support call from a *nix users is I am trying to do xyz and we are missing some libary's then sends a screen dump of the error. Where as a windows user usually just says this stupid computer isn't working again fix it. When you eventually track them down you find out they have a cyrix session to a computer in a different country and its that machine thats kanckard.

Also application rollouts seem to have alot more planning and testing done before they get squirted in *nix enviroment.

22nd Aug 2010, 23:33
How do I get rid of unused drives shown on 'My Computer' ? Over the past year I've had a number of flash drives plugged in at the same time shown as Drive D, Drive E, Drive F etc. None are there now but the icons still are on screen and right clicking doesn't bring up a 'delete' option..... If you've installed a front panel extra which has options for plugging in other devices, including one or several flash (usb) drives and possibly a card reader, these various "drives" can linger on in My Computer even when they are not actually hosting an external device. It seems to be part of the installation software that they remain as potential physical drives when the devices they play host to are absent.

I have these on two of my XP boxes, and that's what I see here.


23rd Aug 2010, 09:57
Thanks folks for all the suggestions. FullOpposite, I didn't install a front panel reader but did have an external one. Now taken it out.


Hence, icons still there !

23rd Aug 2010, 10:07
As a wee bit of a drift are you still running the orginal linux cut down that your aspire one came with?

After a quick search I found a site that will show you where all the screws are to add memory so I stuck an extra 1G in.

I then put Fedora on it and boy does it rock now. No driver issues at all.

And its worth while finding out about the black screen of death on the aspire ones. The BIOS goes tits up and you have to reblow it. If you already have a USB stick with it on, you can sort it in 3 mins if you don't its a right pain in the bum.

23rd Aug 2010, 13:28
1) Using Administrator, deleted the four Kingston drives F G H I shown in "My Computer" (which since I have them all unplugged, shouldn't be there anyway).

2) "For changes to take effect, you will need to restart your you want to do this now...?"

3) Yes

4) Grind grind whir whir

5) Screen comes up


6) "Windows has detected new hardware....device drivers being installed...etc etc"

7) All four icons for non-existent drives F G H I are back in "My Computer" despite being physically removed and no other drives plugged in anywhere (except my LaCie backup hard drive).

Fun, isn't it !

23rd Aug 2010, 13:32
Ofso - I think you still have yet to tell us which OS, but did you read post #20?

23rd Aug 2010, 17:42
XP with SP3 installed. Post 20, info excellent. I suspect problem is de minimus compared with task of removing unused drive icons.

Interesting how my XP detected a USB drive when none was plugged in and set up the driver for it.

Ah well, back to JB/Limericks.

Thanks all !

green granite
23rd Aug 2010, 18:37
Try redoing it and then cleaning out the registry using CC Cleaner before restarting.

23rd Aug 2010, 19:50
I still think there is something suspect with the user profile.

After the clean try creating another account.

23rd Aug 2010, 20:46
Just a thought

Could it be possible that some "nasty" has transferred from the usb stick and is fooling the system into thinking that the drive is there so it can sit on the computer doing whatever it is designed to do without antivirus, etc, discovering it?

Could be worth running Malwarebytes Antimalware as well, just to be sure.....

24th Aug 2010, 12:12
MS PowerToys for WIN XP did it. Untick the boxes and away we go (or rather, away THEY go). Thanks BOAC !

24th Aug 2010, 23:45
More precisely, this is TweakUI from MS Power Toys.