The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.

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  1. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,717
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
       #1

    The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.


    Strange. W10 Pro x64.

    I was doing some work swapping some USB Flash Drives and mysteriously, the G: drive appeared (when all hidden files are displayed.)
    Take a look at the image. I can eject the G: drive but it does not go away.

    The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.-2018-11-24_14-39-20.png

    No other USB device is plugged into the unit, except for E: which is a USB 3.0 external HDD.

    Any ideas as to the cause and how to get rid of it?

    TIA
    Last edited by Compumind; 24 Nov 2018 at 16:02. Reason: Clarification.
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  2. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 25,566
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       #2

    1. Device Manager
    2. menubar click view
    3. Select Show hidden devices
    4. select USB drive(G:)
    5. right click
    6. select uninstall device
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  3. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,717
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Cliff S said:
    1. Device Manager
    2. menubar click view
    3. Select Show hidden devices
    4. select USB drive(G:)
    5. right click
    6. select uninstall device
    Yes, I did that. Thanks.

    What I forgot to mention and I apologize for that, is the G: Drive is only displayed when the explorer view is set to show all hidden files.

    Any idea why? And particularly, why G: - Perhaps to bump over the USB Media Slots?

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  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,427
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
       #4

    Hello Brian,

    If the drive is not listed in Device Manager, then you might see if using Option 5 or 6 in the tutorial below to remove all drive letters of previously connected drives may get rid of it. It won't affect any currently connected drives.

    Remove Drive Letter in Windows 10 | Tutorials
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  5. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,717
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Brink said:
    Hello Brian,

    If the drive is not listed in Device Manager, then you might see if using Option 5 or 6 in the tutorial below to remove all drive letters of previously connected drives may get rid of it. It won't affect any currently connected drives.
    Well, the "G: Drive" is listed in the DM. However, I gave 5 & 6 a go anyway but without result.

    This system only has an SD Card Reader, so I looked further and found that G: is tied to the Card Reader by Dell.
    It must be a "normal" occurrence, even though the G: Drive only shows when hidden files are enabled.

    See...

    The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.-2018-11-24_17-59-44.png

    I'm not going to sweat this one as it's just not worth it.
    More of a curiosity than a problem.

    Many thanks!
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  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,427
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
       #6

    Yep, that would be normal for a SD card reader, and is why its drive letter is hidden by default until you insert a SD card.

    I agree. Nothing to worry about.
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  7. mta3006's Avatar
    Posts : 956
    W10 Pro v1903
       #7

    Compumind said:
    This system only has an SD Card Reader, so I looked further and found that G: is tied to the Card Reader by Dell.
    It must be a "normal" occurrence, even though the G: Drive only shows when hidden files are enabled.

    … or maybe you could use the 'Hide Empty Drives' in Files and Folders settings:
    (mine is a Dell XPS - same G: for the card reader slot.)
    Attachment 215084

    … Maybe I'll get along with this Snip & Sketch thing after all....


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  8. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,717
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
    Thread Starter
       #8

    mta3006 said:
    … or maybe you could use the 'Hide Empty Drives' in Files and Folders settings:
    (mine is a Dell XPS - same G: for the card reader slot.)

    That would probably work, too. There are 1000 ways to skin a cat, lol.
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  9. Farvatten's Avatar
    Posts : 644
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit 20H2 19042.928
       #9

    Compumind said:
    It must be a "normal" occurrence, even though the G: Drive only shows when hidden files are enabled.
    If it's any consolation I have 5 phantoms all apparently card readers either in the Dell Tower or an attached USB hub / reader combo.

    Elevated Cmd attempts to remove them unsuccessful, and uninstalling the readers seems unnecessarily extreme so I've just learned to live with them.

    also:
    Folder Options > View > Advanced settings: [ x ] 'Hide empty drives' appears to simply gray them out.

    The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.-hideemptydriveyes.jpg

    The USB "Phantom" drive just won't go away.-hideemptydriveno.jpg
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  10. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 2,717
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Networking, Storage, Cybersecurity Specialty.
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Farvatten said:
    If it's any consolation I have 5 phantoms all apparently card readers either in the Dell Tower or an attached USB hub / reader combo. Folder Options > View > Advanced settings: [ x ] 'Hide empty drives' appears to simply gray them out.
    Yes, same thing with me.

    The OS reserves the default drive letters for the Card Reader and why bother even trying to reassign them, since the result would be the same.
    This behavior is normal and predates W10.

    Thanks for your post!
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