I have several drives attached to a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional machine. In the last week, I am getting repeated, constant autorun popups for a new drive, with the label 'System reserved'. Before I can click on anything, the popup window disappears. If I look in My Computer, I can see my usual list of drives, however every few seconds a new drive (system reserved) will appear for just a second and then disappear. This happens constantly. Sometimes, I can get this to stop - sometimes by removing a USB device. Other times it just continues.

I'm unable to do anything in the disk management screen, as it'll freeze trying to figure out how many drives there are. I can't look in the Device Manager, as every time the new drive flashes in and out of existence, it refreshes the screen - so it's just constantly flickering.

I guess it seems like a hardware issue - like perhaps a cable is dodgy and the connection is being made and broken repeatedly... except that it appears to be the system reserved partition, which, presumably, would be on one of the existing drives that are all working correctly.

Any ideas?

  • System Reserved is usually the hidden partition on your main OS drive (i.e. the internal one). You may have a faulty USB driver causing the Disk Manager to constantly update the drive map, or something simple like a faulty USB cable. All the same, test everything including the drives. – user3463 Sep 11 '12 at 6:58
  • I think the USB is a likely culprit - I managed to get it to stop once when I removed a USB scanner, but the issue came back after a reboot. Doesn't seem to be happening now however - the computer's been left on since I posted yesterday and when I looked this morning the issue had stopped. I suspect it'll start again on a reboot. How would I test for a USB issue? – Gary Sep 11 '12 at 10:58
  • Well, I've disabled all the USB ports in device manager one at a time and nothing seems to make a difference. HDs are difficult, I have an SSD drive with the OS, but I'm using a symlink (or whatever the Windows 7 equivalent is) to host the users folder on the D drive - which is an external RAID caddy using eSATA with a separate eSATA card. – Gary Sep 24 '12 at 12:44
  • I've had a couple of occasions where the problem manifests only after clicking on a mapped network drive in Explorer for the first time! – Gary Sep 28 '12 at 10:21
  • I've experienced this with Windows 8, with OS X as the network share. So is it USB or is it network? – user3463 Sep 28 '12 at 17:36

I've experienced this symptom with some versions of the Tom Tom GPS desktop software. (I presume the problem is related to scanning for a Tom Tom being connected via USB.)

If you have a Tom Tom, try exiting the software. (You must turn it off in the system tray, not just close the window.)

If this solves the problem for you, make sure to use msconfig to disable the Tom Tom agent in your startup software. (It's not necessary in order to use the Tom Tom; it's only purpose is to autorun the software when you connect the device.)

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  • Aha! Yup, that was indeed the culprit. Don't know why I didn't think to try booting in Safe mode, which would have shown the issue to be software. Not impressed with the TomTom software at all... and there's been a speed restriction near me for over a year now that the TomTom is still unaware of! Poor show all round. ;) – Gary Mar 6 '13 at 11:00
  • @Gary: The trouble with Safe mode is that the average PC now runs so much background software that narrowing it down can be hours of work. I don't blame you for not going there first; neither did I. – Tynam Mar 6 '13 at 13:33
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    Googled - found this question + this answer immediately, upvotes all round, thanks guys. Recommend to remove Tom Tom software from startup (click start, type msconfig, go to Startup tab and untick Tom Tom). The only reason for it to be there is to respond automatically when your device is connected. – David Jan 13 '17 at 10:03
  • Just commenting to note that if the computer reboots after a power failure and you select "Start windows normally", the services might be enabled again. Uninstallation is the best solution if you don't have good memory. – quimnuss Jul 19 '18 at 15:39

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