Windows 10: Multiple SYSTEM drives show in File Explorer. Solved

  1. Posts : 77
    Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Version 1703 (build 15063.540)
       30 Aug 2017 #1

    Multiple SYSTEM drives show in File Explorer.

    While doing a system backup today on one of my machines using EaseUs Backup app, it failed to write to the usual folder on a USB external HD. I investigated and found the folder could not indeed be written too. I disconnected the drive and connected it to another PC and found that I could not access the drive there also. The only thing I could do was to reformat it then it worked although all the previous files and folders were gone.

    I reconnected the drive to the Laptop, opened File explorer using the “This PC” shortcut on the Desktop and immediately saw that in addition to the original Drive C and D (a partitioned 1TB SSD) I had 7 seven extra System Drives show up as drive E through K. Each with a size of 256 MB.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	System Drives.JPG 
Views:	5 
Size:	68.1 KB 
ID:	151159
    They do not show up in Disk Management.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Disk Mgt.JPG 
Views:	7 
Size:	279.7 KB 
ID:	151160
    Any suggestions, I have never encountered this phenomenon before.
    Last edited by mb300e; 04 Sep 2017 at 17:27.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Posts : 77
    Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Version 1703 (build 15063.540)
    Thread Starter
       31 Aug 2017 #2

    I fixed it, it only took me ten hours of sweat and toil to do it. :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 8,090
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       31 Aug 2017 #3

    mb300e said: View Post
    I have never encountered this phenomenon before.
    No, I've never seen anything like that either....

    mb300e said: View Post
    I fixed it, it only took me ten hours of sweat and toil to do it. :)
    Care to expand on that? What was it? You've got me intrigued :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 77
    Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Version 1703 (build 15063.540)
    Thread Starter
       01 Sep 2017 #4

    It is a long story, how did I get there and back?

    As I said in my original post, I was doing backups when the sys drive one failed to write to an external HD. It had been working fine since I acquired the Surface Book Laptop a few weeks ago.

    Opening "This PC" on the laptop showed the "Phantom Drives" for want of better words and they could not be deleted and did not show in the Drive Manager window either.

    OK said I, I can use my "Emergency Repair" disc in an external optical drive to fix things. Wrong. I restarted the laptop, the disk spun up then just stopped. I the tried an install disc for version 15063. The disc spun up, and an install screen appeared. As it was getting late in the day, I decided to cancel everything, shut down the laptop, and try the next day.

    The next day was spent mostly doing research which did not help much other than creating more confusion than necessary. On powering up the laptop again, it opened to the UEFI screen and no further. No matter what I tried it would not boot normally. It would not boot from any disc in the external drive, regardless of the boot order. Thinking back to the good old days, I tried hitting a few Function Keys including F2, F8 and F12 then a message appeared on the screen say to hit any key to boot from USB or that is what I did. Still nothing happened with either disc...errr....

    Back at the drawing board, I figured there was nothing to loose by using the media creator tool on a WIn 7 laptop to create a bootable Win 10 ESD on a flash drive. I inserted the drive, set the boot order to USB then pushed the power button. Hey presto, up came a Windows Setup screen where I could set the Language and so forth. Because the native resolution on the laptop is 3000 x 2000, I had to use a magnifier to see the setup screen. After hitting "Next", the next screen appeared to have only one option which was to "Install Now". I paused there, and after a while I noticed some tiny words in the lower left corner that said "Repair your computer". Ok, what do I have to lose, eh? I clicked my way through a number of screens, and eventually after a while the screen went black and the "Surface" logo (name) appeared as it would do when starting up normally, then as if by magic, poof, up came my wallpaper and my login in box. I checked a few things and it was like nothing had happened, the phantom drives were gone, and whatever did not work before still did not work.

    I have left out a lot of the minutia that I went through to get back to normal. I did not want to bore y'all, and I omitted to get my camera out to record all the screens and screams. :)
    Last edited by mb300e; 13 Sep 2017 at 07:29.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 8,090
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       01 Sep 2017 #5

    Thanks for sharing...
    ...I feel your pain :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 77
    Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Version 1703 (build 15063.540)
    Thread Starter
       02 Sep 2017 #6

    I think someone should start a Class Action Lawsuit against MS for the uninvited and mostly unwanted interfering with people's expensive private property. This "thing" that I bought was $2,799. I would have been better off going to Wally World and buying a $300 throw-away laptop.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


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