Windows: Computer thinks second hard drive is a system disk. Can’t create a System Image.

I accidentally installed a program (SQL Server) to my second hard drive that I also use to backup my c:\ drive as a system image called, "windowsimagebackup".

I removed the SQL Server software, reformatted the second hard drive, and when I clicked on Create a System Image, it recognized my second hard drive…… until I rebooted. I was back to square one.

What I came to learn was that during a reboot, if your system finds any lingering entries in the registry that are services that point to the second hard drive, it will again flag the drive as a system disk before the login screen appears.

Here is what I did to fix the problem.

1) Remove any programs and services that are using the second hard drive.
2) Run the registry editor in CCleaner and get rid of any pointers to the second hard drive.

Run Computer Management by type Computer Management in the search bar.
1) Under Storage, click Disk Management.
2) Right click the second hard drive and click Delete Volume
3) Right click on the second drive and make sure it is MBR.
4) Right click and click New Simple Volume (creates a partition).


The system should not flag your second hard drive as a system disk, and it should now be recognized as a drive for creating system images.

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How to turn off Windows Defender in Windows 7

After uninstalling Microsoft Essentials, Windows Defender automatically takes over quietly in the background. If you want to install another antivirus protection program, you must turn off Windows Defender.

Here is how.

In the search box, type, Windows Defender.


Click Windows Defender. After it is launched, click Tools and then click options.


Click Administrator and uncheck the box that states, “Use this program”, and then click Save.


To verify that Windows Defender is now turned off, repeat step 1 and launch Windows Defender. You should not get this message:


You can now install another antivirus program.

Hope this helps!

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Windows – How to repair missing hard drive icon

  1. Open up Windows Explorer. Go into options and check the box “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”. Also uncheck the box “Hide protected operating system files”.
  2. Delete the file, “autorun.inf”.
  3. Restart PC or right click on the drive, go to Properties, click the Tools tab, click Check Now button, check the box “automatically fix file system errors”, click the Start button.
  4. After the PC restart or scan and fix is complete, the icon should appear.
  5. Go back to Windows Explorer and reverse what was done in step 1.

Hope this helps!

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Windows – How to Uninstall or Repair Visual Studio 2015 When the Package Is Corrupt or Missing

Here is my story:

I at one time installed Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. I then uninstalled it, but the uninstall went badly somehow.

Weeks or months later, I saw the software lingering in the Programs and Features area where you can modify or uninstall programs.

So, I tried to uninstall it again and could not because the package was missing from the Package Cache folder.

Now, I don’t claim to understand how all this works and why it just hung when I tried to both uninstall and repair it. All I know is that sometimes I would get a dialog box during the uninstall prompting me to browse for the package that apparently was missing.

I did a lot of research and tried a lot of different things. Nothing worked for me. Without that package, I felt doomed…. until I came across this article.

I hope this help someone else as it did for me.


Follow the section under:

Error during a repair

1) Close Visual Studio.

2) Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, type cmd in the Start search box, right-click cmd.exe in the results list, and then click Run as administrator.

3) At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press Enter.
cd “C:\ProgramData\Package Cache”

4) To clear the .msi and .cab files from the cache, type the following commands at the command prompt, and press Enter after each command:
Delete /F /S *.msiDelete /F /S *.cab


Erase /F /S *.msiDelete /F /S *.cab

5) Try to repair Visual Studio again.

Hope this helps!


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Windows – How to Clean up and Remove Old USB Storage Drivers

This process could be used on previous version of Windows, but I am only giving instructions for Windows 10.

This is a post taken from

You can find the original post here:


USB Mass Storage devices include:

* External hard drives and optical drives, including CD and DVD drives
* Portable flash memory devices
* Digital cameras
* Digital audio players & portable media players
* Card readers
* Portable gaming systems
* Mobile phones​

One possible cause of USB Mass Storage Device problems: Windows can get “confused” by all the old (and sometimes conflicting) USB storage driver data that tends to collect and remain installed on a PC

Here’s why: By default, Device Manager only displays drivers of connected devices so the drivers you see in Device Manager aren’t the only USB storage drivers that are really there! You probably still have drivers installed for devices you once connected then disconnected long ago!

  • Windows installs drivers for a USB Mass Storage device when you first plug it in to a port
  • Windows sometimes installs the same driver for the same device each time you connect it to a different port!
  • Problem is
    ==> These drivers aren’t uninstalled when you simply unplug the device but only when you uninstall the device (or each device instance per port)
    ==> Driver data associates devices with drive letters and ports. Port and drive letter conflicts may occur as you start unplugging/replugging devices

You may be surprised at just how many old USB drivers are actually still installed on your machine!

Steps to Safely Cleanup and Remove old USB Mass Storage Drivers on your PC

  1. Shut down your computer. Unplug your USB storage devices: USB Disks, flash, cams, CD/DVD, etc. as well as your USB hubs
    ==> Other USB devices like keyboards, mice and LAN adapters can stay plugged in
  2. Boot computer back up. Click for how to determine whether you are running 32 or 64 bit Windows
  3. Download, unzip and save to your desktop. Move the 32 or 64 bit version of DriveCleanup.exe to C:\Windows\System32
  4. Open an elevated command prompt window:
  5. In the command prompt enter: drivecleanup.exe
    ==> Your output should be similar to my example below.
    ==> If, instead, you get an error message like Command not recognized it means you didn’t move Drivecleanup.exe to the right directory
  6. Reboot. Now just replug your devices for fresh clean device reinstalls! :)
DriveCleanup V0.7.0 (Win32)
Uninstalls non present storage volumes, Disk, CDROM, Floppy devices
and deletes their registry items
Freeware by Uwe Sieber -

removing USB device 'USB\VID_0000&PID_0000\7&2285BC2A&0&1'
removing USB device 'USB\VID_0411&PID_00A2\WDC_WD2500_____WD-WCANKE590248'
removing USB device 'USB\VID_0BB4&PID_0C02&MI_00\6&2DD32CD2&1&0000'
removing USB device 'USB\VID_1058&PID_0702\575845313037453632383432'
removing USB device 'USB\VID_1058&PID_0702\7274787265616E206C2E3132'
removing USB device 'USB\VID_1058&PID_0702\F53A39F2AB75F5CDC4B6ABC3'
removing Disk 'USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_HTC&PROD_ANDROID_PHONE&REV_0100\7&1012C922&1&HT9A2HF00558&0'
removing Disk 'USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_WD&PROD_1600BEVEXTERNAL&REV_1.02\575845313037453632383432&0'
removing Disk 'USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_WD&PROD_N_EXTEREXTERNAL&REV_1.02\7274787265616E206C2E3132&0'
removing Disk 'USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_WDC_WD25&PROD_00JS-00NCB1&REV_\WDC_WD2500_____WD-WCANKE590248&0'
removing volume 'STORAGE\REMOVABLEMEDIA\8&3152D400&0&RM'
removing volume 'STORAGE\REMOVABLEMEDIA\9&29B6E3D1&0&RM'
removing volume 'STORAGE\REMOVABLEMEDIA\9&BC53371&0&RM'
removing volume 'STORAGE\VOLUME\1&30A96598&0&SIGNATURE44FDFE06OFFSET7E00LENGTH2543150400'
removing volume 'STORAGE\VOLUME\1&30A96598&0&SIGNATUREC12C6F64OFFSET7E00LENGTH3A388A8400'
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\??\Volume{91a9bc60-2535-11df-b96f-00256495135f}
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\??\Volume{91a9bc61-2535-11df-b96f-00256495135f}
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\??\Volume{dce40c14-30ad-11df-b973-00256495135f}
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\??\Volume{d4227929-32c8-11df-b97c-00256495135f}
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\??\Volume{9827b60e-34f1-11df-b983-00256495135f}
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\DosDevices\Z:
Regkey delete HKLM\System\MountedDevices\\DosDevices\H:
Regkey delete HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MountPoints2\H
Regkey delete HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MountPoints2\Z

Removed 6 USB devices
Removed 0 USB hubs
Removed 5 Disk devices
Removed 0 CDROM devices
Removed 0 Floppy devices
Removed 5 Storage volumes
Removed 9 Keys from registry



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Windows 7 – How to reduce the size of the System Volume information folder?

In start search type Advanced and select View Advanced System Settings
Select the System Protection tab
select the drive that as too much space wasted and select configure.
Adjust the max usage, this should take care of both system restore and shadow copies for you.

This will reduce the number of files or restore states you can have, so it is a balance of space vs longer term protection.



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Windows 7 – Could not find this item – when deleting files

Sometimes applications save files and folders in a way that can’t be deleted via Windows Explorer. The solution is to determine 8.3 format (Short file name) via a command prompt and delete the file within the command prompt dialog as follows:

1) Open a Command Prompt.
2) Browse to the parent folder of the file or folder you want to delete.
3) Type ‘dir /x’ to obtain the 8.3 formatted filename.
4) Delete the file using the 8.3 filename, e.g. ‘del somefilename~1.txt’

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