Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Phantom Local Disks in explorer

  1. #1


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1

    Phantom Local Disks in explorer


    Hey guys,

    New to the forums here, not sure if I'm posting in the right area so sorry in advance!

    I'm having a really annoying problem with an external hard drive I'm using with my Windows 8 laptop and was looking for some assistance.

    First a little background. I had a desktop computer whose hard drive I replaced, so I decided to use the old hard drive (a WD6400 SATA drive) as an external (using a SATA to USB docking station) to use between my Windows 8 laptop and my dual boot Mac OS X/Ubuntu desktop. I formatted the drive as NTFS and it worked fine with the dual boot machine, however when I connected the drive to my laptop it wouldn't show up in explorer!

    After a bit of digging around on the internet I managed to get it to show up by going it to Disk Management and assigning it a letter drive and path (D/) which worked fine until I removed the HDD from the computer. What I noticed was that after removing the HDD the path (D/) remained in explorer as a kind of ghost and the next time I connected the HDD I had to reassign it again using disk management, this time using (E/), as (D/) was unavailable. I'm now up to (F/) with this drive and I can't seem to get rid of these 'phantom' drives in explorer.

    I have tried restarting the computer etc.

    So my question is firstly how do I remove the Local Disks (D, E & F) from explorer and then is there any way for me to just permanently assign a letter to the drive so it will show up when I connect it and also disappear when I remove it?

    Any help is greatly appreciated as I'm very lost as to what to do
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails PhantomDrives.png   Phantom2.png  

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    are you safely ejecting the drive before removing it? also do the drives appear in disk management when the drive is pulled out? id you format it initially on the laptop or in osx if osx did you make it master boot record or guid??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Folder options > view > Hide empty drives, might help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
    are you safely ejecting the drive before removing it? also do the drives appear in disk management when the drive is pulled out? id you format it initially on the laptop or in osx if osx did you make it master boot record or guid??
    Thanks. Yeah i select Safely Remove Hardware from the system tray before unplugging it once I do that I can still see it in explorer as Local Disk (D), however it no longer appears in Disk Management.

    As Mac OS X is unable to write NTFS I am using a program NTFS-3G along with MacFUSE to do this and as such there is no option in OS X's Disk Utility to format as NTFS. I'm *pretty* sure I formatted the drive in Ubuntu but might have done it in Windows 8. I have checked that the drive is Master Boot Record, although I'm not too sure what that means myself.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails screenshot.jpg  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    USA, CA
    Posts : 191
    WIN 7 PRO x64, WIN 8.1 PRO x64


    that's fine and nfts-3g and macfuse is fine its what my friend uses. if you look at this registry entry what do you see can you screenshot it please. specifically the part i have highlighted, what is shown there when your disk is not in the system? like how mine is below.

    OFF TOPIC: love your wallpaper cant wait for link between worlds on Friday lol.
    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Phantom Local Disks in explorer
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