Drive letters wrong and reserved partition visible after restoring disk from clone

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by Yossu, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    Sorry if the ramble is a bit long, but I need to explain what I did in case it's relevant...

    I wanted to try reinstalling Windows yesterday, so plugged a spare HDD into my PC, and used Macrium Reflect to clone my C: drive (an SSD) onto the spare disk. I then pulled out my SSD, plugged in the clone and powered up, just to make sure all was working in case I needed to back out.

    I then plugged in the SSD as a second drive and deleted all partitions. I then pulled out the HDD, plugged in the SSD and rebooted to an installation USB.

    Without going into details, the reinstall didn't work, and I decided to back out to my clone. I plugged the HDD in as a main drive, plugged the SSD in as a secondary drive and cloned the HDD back onto the SSD. I then plugged the SSD in as the main drive and put the HDD in a drawer.

    When I booted up, I had my machine back as it was before the whole thing started, except that the drive letters had been swapped around. My PC has a second HDD (not the one I used for cloning), which I use as a data drive, as well as an external HDD which I use for backups. Both of these had the wrong letters.

    In addition, the system reserved partition on the SSD is now visible.

    I used the Disk management section of the Computer Management app to change the drive letter for the second HDD without problem, but when I tried to do the same for the external drive, but for some reason, the Computer Management app is sitting there with a busy cursor, and the Task Manager shows 97% disk activity on the external HDD. it's been doing that for over an hour now.

    So, anyone any idea why changing the drive letter is taking so long? Also, how do I hide the system reserved partition on the SSD?

    Thanks
     
    Yossu, Feb 12, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    A picture of your Disk Management window might help folks see the problem.

    It is a good practice, if able, to always disconnect any drives not directly involved in the install process.
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 12, 2018
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    A picture of the Disk Management window is attached.

    I thought I mentioned that when I installed, I only had the SSD connected. I'm not that this is relevant though, as the problem seems to be when I cloned the backup back onto my SSD. For some reason, when I plugged the SSD in place of the HDD, reconnected the second drive (which was connected when I cloned the drive), then when the machine came back up, the system reserved partition was visible, and the second drive had a different letter.

    At that stage, I didn't have the external drive connected (as I had disconnected it while reinstalling, and not reconnected it yet), so when Windows came back up, it renamed my CD drive with the letter previous used by the external.

    Not sure if that helps or confuses! Either way, I closed the Computer Management app quite some time ago, but the Task Manager still shows 97% disk usage, and then I reopen Computer Management, the drive letter is still at the wrong one.

    Any ideas? Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

    Yossu, Feb 12, 2018
    #3
  4. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    You have a Legacy system. If you can't remove the Z in Disk Management you may have to go to an admin command and Diskpart to remove the letter.

    The external drive (1 TB) has a logical partition. Did you set it up that way? Otherwise, the drive letters seem to be OK..
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 12, 2018
    #4
  5. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can remove the letter, I just wasn't sure if that was the right way to do it.

    Not sure what you mean. The disks are as follows...

    Disk 0: My SSD, has the system installed. For some reason the C: partition isn't using the whole disk. Do you know how I expand it to use the 488.11Gb unused space?

    Disk 1: My data drive (internal 1Tb HDD) hasn't been touched. I'm not sure where the 24Mb partition came from, but the rest of the drive is one partition.

    Disk 2: The external 6Tb HDD. This is the one that I want to change to be drive F:, but couldn't. Even after a couple of hours (maybe more), Task manager is still showing this as having 97% disk utilisation, and the letter hasn't changed.

    So, how do I expand the C: partition to fill the disk, and how do I change the letter of the G: drive to be F:?

    Thanks again
     
    Yossu, Feb 12, 2018
    #5
  6. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    The 1 TB drive with the 24 MB partition, I have seen before but I do not remember where. If it had been used somewhere else, perhaps in a RAID configuration it might look different. I was thinking it had been in an external drive of some type.

    There have been some situations where a System had been assigned a drive letter. If the Z comes back you might need to change the partitions properties to make sure it is not being assigned a letter.

    I don't know what is happening with the external drive. You did not tell it to do a full format? It is a GPT configured drive or are you using special software on it so it can be seen?

    Do you have the external drive set policies to enable write caching? Check the Device Manager and the Properties-Policies tab for the drive.

    If you check the Resource Monitor, it might show you what the drive is doing.. (resmon.exe in run box)
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 12, 2018
    #6
  7. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, that drive was brand new when I put it in this machine as a second drive. Never been used for anything else. No idea where the 24Mb partition came from, but as it'sso small, I never bothered about it.

    Do I assume that just removing the drive letter from the partition should hide it?

    All I did was change the drive letter to F:, which is what it was before. Unlike the previous letter changes, which have been instant, this has been going o for hours now, and shows no sign of stopping.

    Yes, the enable write caching checkbox is checked. The secondary one isn't.

    Interestingly enough, neither the resmon nor a desktop gadget I have to show disk activity show anything at all for that drive. Only task manager shows it as 97% activity. Thinking about it, being an HDD, I would be able hear if it were doing that much disk stuff.

    I think I might reboot the machine and try again.
     
    Yossu, Feb 12, 2018
    #7
  8. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    The 24 MB may be for the logical partition. I have a 200 GB SD card formatted as exFAT which shows a 16 MB partition in front.

    I do not know what you have on the Data drive, but I would move all the data and then clean the drive or remove the current partition and then create a primary NTFS partition in the space.

    I don't really have any other suggestions. Hopefully your external drive will work itself clear of whatever it is doing. If you unplug it you may need to use the USB eject option.
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 12, 2018
    #8
  9. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hang on, the data drive isn't the problem. It's the external (back up) drive that's the problem. How is moving the data off the data drive going to help?

    Sorry if I confused you.
     
    Yossu, Feb 12, 2018
    #9
  10. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    Not confused, I just see something which does not look right.

    If you do not want to redo the data drive you could try disconnecting it to test when it is appropriate.

    I still think the external drive could be reformatting. A drive that large would take a very long time...
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 12, 2018
    #10
  11. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Still not working. I restarted, started Computer Management, and removed the letter from the System Reserved partition. That immediately disappeared from File Explorer.

    I then tried changing the letter for the external drive, and it's doing the same thing. Task Manager claims it's using 99-100% disk utilisation. I am sure it's not formatting, or at least, I'm sure I didn't ask it to format, as I did this from Computer Management by right-clicking on the partition, selecting "Change drive letter", accepting the warning about this affecting programs that use the existing letter, choosing a new letter, and then accepting the second warning. I can't have asked it to format the disk and dreamt all of those steps! Not only that, but I left it for several hours like this yesterday, and if it were formatting, I wouldn't be able to access my files on the disk. File Explorer shows the same disk usage as before, and I can happily access all my files on the disk.

    So, any ideas? Computer Management is showing a busy cursor, Task Manager shows full disk activity, and the drive letter isn't being changed. How do I change it?

    Thanks
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #11
  12. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forgot, I also asked how I expand the C: partition to fill the disk. Can't see a way to do that,

    Thanks
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #12
  13. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    In Disk Management you can right click the C partition and select extend. Then tell it how much to extend. You can extend C or create a new partition in the empty space or a combination of both. Just set the C partition size first.
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 13, 2018
    #13
  14. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hmm, right now I can't right-click anything in there. All I have is a busy cursor, and nothing happens when I right-click.

    This is very frustrating. Why is it so hard to change the drive letter? I've never had a problem before, even on a big disk.
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #14
  15. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Me again. Just checked the resource monitor, and I can see that it seems to be accessing every single file on the external disk. As I use that for File History, that's a lot of files!

    Does this make sense? Why would it need to access each individual file just to change the drive letter?
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #15
  16. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    Have you ever rebooted that system?
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 13, 2018
    #16
  17. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor! I'm having such hassles with this machine that it gets rebooted more times than I care to remember. Sadly, these reboots often lead to an unstable Windows (see this thread for more details), and I have to reboot again, and again, etc.

    Just taken me an hour to reboot to a stable position. If this machine we're fairly new (only had it 18 months, and was working fine until about 3 months ago), I'd be tempted to junk it and buy another, but by the time I've bought anew machine, added extra RAM and so on, it mounts up to more than I can afford.
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #17
  18. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyway, having finally managed to reboot, I used Computer Management to extend the C: drive to use all the available space.

    Not sure what I'm going to do about changing the drive letter for the external drive. I'm tempted to copy the data off somewhere, change the letter and then copy it back. Trouble is, that means a lot of time and many spare disks.

    Any ideas?
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #18
  19. Yossu

    Saltgrass

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,651
    Likes Received:
    217
    When you plug in an external drive, it is assigned a drive letter by Windows, which you probably know. If you want it to have a specific drive letter, try assign it something like K. If you want the drive to be permanently available you may want to alter the drives policies as far as caching.

    I will suggest again, remove the external drive and the data drive until your system stabilizes.... Once it returns to normal, then reconnect the drives in turn to see if one of them reinitiates the problems.
     
    Saltgrass, Feb 13, 2018
    #19
  20. Yossu

    Yossu

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never needed to do anything other than change the letter in Computer Management, and it's always stuck when I've rebooted.

    Anyway, I have decided to reformat the drive and will try renaming afterwards. See if that helps.

    Stabilises? I wish! I've been having serious problems with this PC for nearly three months now, and there's no such thing as stable. I'm pretty certain that the issues are nothing to do with the drives though, as I've reinstalled Windows (more times than I care to remember), and have done so with an without the drives (internal second drive and external drive) connected. Didn't make any difference.

    Anyway, if I can change the letter after reformatting, then I will have solved the problems raised in this thread. I still have the other problems, plus one new one that I'm going to post in a new thread.

    I'll let you know what happens when it's finished reformatting.

    Thanks again.
     
    Yossu, Feb 13, 2018
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.