Since I can remember, my Windows 7 always shows 6 icons for fictitious Removable Disks. They aren't a problem, really - when I insert a real USB stick, it shows as yet another icon (but working).

But they are a mystery, and I've always wondered where they come from, why are there 6 Removable Disk icons for disks that don't really exist. If I try to open any of them, I only get this dialog saying:

Please insert a disk into Removable Disk K:

enter image description here

So where do these icons come from? I most definitely don't have 6 USBs attached to my computer, or anything like that.

  • Please list all your devices installed in your device. Speccy is great for something like that even allows you to link to all the information after you have copied the relevant details into the question. – Ramhound Jan 22 '15 at 15:06
  • I don't know where it came from,but we can hide these Empty Drives. – Itachi Uchiha Jan 22 '15 at 16:03
  • have you tried to test it with a new copy of windows on another drive? or using linux ie ubuntu and boot it in live mode. If the problem is from your computer using ubuntu live helps. I think its a virus or so ...... – TechLife Jan 22 '15 at 20:22

I get something very similar on a PC with a multiformat memory card reader. It can read SD-Card, Sony Memory-stick, Compact-Flash etc. It shows up as several removable media devices even though mostly there are 0 or at most 1 of them with any content.

I don't get this effect on other computers.

So it can be a feature (tm) of the way the device hardware interacts with the Windows driver.

  • My computer is an HP and it does have a memory card reader. – sashoalm Jan 22 '15 at 15:07
  • Thanks for the suggestion, your put me on the right direction, I posted it in an answer here. – sashoalm Jan 23 '15 at 13:40
  • OK, I also found the devices in the Hardware tab, it really is the card reader - anyone interested can see my answer superuser.com/a/868516/66282. Thanks again. – sashoalm Jan 23 '15 at 14:40

Thanks to @RedGrittyBrick, his suggestion put me on the right direction.

I needed to check "Hide empty drives in the Computer folder" and then also set to "Don't show hidden file, folders, or drives".

I also noticed that if "Hide empty drives..." and "Show hidden files..." are checked, the drives are shown, but slightly transparent, just like how hidden files are slightly transparent.

enter image description here

Also upon further investigation I found this:

enter image description here

So it really does seem be because of the SD Card reader, as @RedGrittyBrick suggested.

So mystery solved :)

  • 1
    This should be an edit to your question. – Little Helper Jan 24 '15 at 11:38

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