The Mysterious Local Disk Z

The Mysterious Local Disk Z


Regedit32

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Regedit32 submitted a new article:

The Mysterious Local Disk Z - What is Local Disk Z, why can't you access it, and what can you safely do with it.

After seeing a new thread today I was reminded of an old Registry tweak, but was also interested in the issue of this mysterious appearance of Local Disk Z in the User's File Explorer window. What is this? Why can't you access it? Is it safe to delete or do anything else with?

After doing some basic research on this, I discovered there are two scenarios when a User may see this mysterious Local Disk Z appear.
  1. The User happens to own a Hewlett Packard computer and is running...
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Data

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This is by far the most comprehensive article on the subject I've read, and it will probably fly over most novice users head, because most people just dont read or like reading helpful stuff such as this. :) Anything that makes you scroll too much is lost on most minds.

A comment on the article. how it refers to registry paths e.g.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
— SOFTWARE
— Microsoft
— Windows
— CurrentVersion
— Policies
Explorer
Since Creators Update, the registry editor supports entering a Registry path as copy and paste to automatically goto that location (this saves all the manual navigation).

So this layout used in article or forum posts is not compatible with said feature, making it useless. SO I personally prefer and advocate the usage of the long path
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
or with brackets (also compatible
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

sample image

iu[1].png



As a personal comment on how I used this information from long ago in my system.

I actually created a partition on a secondary HDD for my pagefile years and years ago and assigned it Z: and used the registry tweak this article describes to hide it from explorer view, later when I installed Windows 10, I used same exact practice.
I'm a proponent that removing the pagefile because you have a large RAM amount is not a wise idea and prefer to keep it like this hidden.

+1
 
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Regedit32

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Thanks Data for your observation about using Registry Editor's Address Bar to enter a full path to quickly navigate to the required location.

It certainly beats having to write LastKey scripts, or download tools like RegJump, or RegScanner, or NirCMD, all of which were useful tools, but when at all possible I prefer to avoid third party tools.


So far as omitting the mention of the Address Bar shortcut in this article, this was because I prefer to clearly display the expanded branches to ensure the User can confirm they are definitely in the location required. It also serves to demonstrate why sometimes it is just easier to take Option 2, and modify things via the elevated command prompt.

You may have noticed in many threads where I offer a Registry modification, I provide the methodology to make this modification via the elevated Command Prompt only. I do this to ensure the User modifies the specific key and its values, and cannot accidently modify anything else.

For the purpose of this article though I provided the two conventional methods for achieving the said goal, realizing some Users are quite comfortable with the Registry Editor, and perhaps more used to that, than using the elevated command prompt. whilst other Users are safer using the elevated command prompt.

Regards,

Regedit32
 

Trouble

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I wanted to comment to simply say thanks.
I had no idea, in spite of your excellent explanation, what this was all about, until......
A friend of mine gave me an HP 15-D017Cl laptop that was toast, the motherboard was fried. He asked if I wanted it and I told him I would probably just grab the parts that I could use from it and bin the rest.

Instead I ordered a new motherboard replacement ($93.99) delivered to my door, which in my opinion is only marginally below the actual value of the whole computer.
Anyway, I tore it apart today and replace the mainboard, reassembled it and surprisingly enough it actually booted and ran. It had Windows 10 home 64 bit installed, so I wiped (cleaned) the drive and reinstalled Windows 10 Home 64 bit, clean, UEFI, GPT, without bloatware from HP.
Made the dumb mistake of installing the HP Support Assistant and was rewarded with "The Mysterious Local Disk Z", remembered your article and used your Command Prompt solution to hide it.
Thanks again.

Thinking about installing an SSD. IF I do, I will probably redo it from scratch again, this time avoiding HP altogether.
 
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A SSD will make a big performance improvement for your pc so I only can urge you to do it. When I change to a SSD I just installed what I really needed on a day to day basis. Most of the HP crap is out dated anyway and the links to the servers are no longer existent. My Lappie came originally with XP but I managed to get not only win7 running on it but Windows 10 as well in a Dual boot configuration. For a almost 11 year old HP laptop it runs pretty good so far and compared to what I see in the shop for Repairs on Laptops and Desktops, mine outshines them all....
Just because its old, does not mean, it has to be thrown out....
I even got my Toshiba Laptop running on Windows 10 (came with Vista), even though its only slightly younger than my HP....

BTW: if you are looking for a SSD, I can recommend the Samsung EVO series (not that I usually recommend Samsung) or the Drives from OWC (Other World Computing). They usually manufacture Drives for MAC's but they run excellent in PC's as well... Its a matter of budget......

My preferred Source for PC stuff is BHphotovideo.com . I always get the best deals there...
 
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At risk of being reprimanded for not reading the entire thread what happens if a user decides to label a drive 'Disc:Z' ?
I have a 2TB Backup Drive which I use in the front drive caddy on my machine and labelled it Drive:Z for ease of use. Is this naming structure likely to cause me any problems ?
 
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At risk of being reprimanded for not reading the entire thread what happens if a user decides to label a drive 'Disc:Z' ?
I have a 2TB Backup Drive which I use in the front drive caddy on my machine and labelled it Drive:Z for ease of use. Is this naming structure likely to cause me any problems ?
if there is already the drive "Z" then one cannot use that letter a second time.
 
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Thanks @Grizzly, no I didn't already have a Drive:Z, if that were the case then Drive:Z wouldn't be available to use a second time anyway. My question was simply 'does naming a drive 'Drive:Z' cause any issues with the above topic in mind'?
 

Trouble

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what happens if a user decides to label a drive 'Disc:Z'
Short answer..... nothing happens.
A drive label is not of any consequence to anything I can think of, with respect to the computers' operation and performance, it's more or less for your reference like a human "friendly" name.
So you can label it DiscZ or Fred or Purple or Bkup or anything you like.

Assigning a drive letter is a bit different and of some consequential import.
Although I routinely assign my two optical drives, the letters of "X" and "Z"
Just a habit I've developed over the years, probably stems from having worked in various environments where there was a lot of network drive mapping of lower letters in the alphabet.
 
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Short answer..... nothing happens.
A drive label is not of any consequence to anything I can think of, with respect to the computers' operation and performance, it's more or less for your reference like a human "friendly" name.
So you can label it DiscZ or Fred or Purple or Bkup or anything you like.

Assigning a drive letter is a bit different and of some consequential import.
Although I routinely assign my two optical drives, the letters of "X" and "Z"
Just a habit I've developed over the years, probably stems from having worked in various environments where there was a lot of network drive mapping of lower letters in the alphabet.
Thanks @Trouble

I think you might be misunderstanding me though this is largely my fault for using incorrect terminology! I was referring to assigning my backup drive - 'Drive:Z'. If you go back to the first post this discussion centres around the mysterious appearance of Drive:Z on some machines. My question was simply "what would happen in that situation if I already have a Drive:Z (i.e. my backup drive) how would that mysterious drive be labelled in that situation"?

I suppose the question is somewhat rhetorical, I don't have the mysterious 'Drive:Z' on my machine other than my backup drive which has been assigned that letter but I'm curious more than anything how that would affect someone who is affected by the original topic.
 

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