Hard Drive Cloning Itself???

Old 01-06-03, 12:01 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Weird problem.

I went to my nephew's today to install a printer for him. (His computer is a HP Pavilion 7420, about 6 years old.) All went well with the hardware but when I tried to install the printer software from CD-ROM, I kept getting an error message saying that the program MSGSVR32 had performed an illegal operation. Well, I didn't know what MSGSVR32 is, so I went looking for a file with that name and found two of them with the same creation date and size, everything identical, including the path they were in. How's that possible, you ask? Because they are on different drives... one's on the C: drive and the other's on the D: drive! Yes, you heard right -- this computer seems to think it has two hard drives, C: and D:! (The CD-ROM drive is M:.) Anyway, the two drives are nearly identical; C: drive shows 1.42 GB used and D: drive shows 1.37 GB used. (My guess is that the difference is the desktop?)

Now here's where things get really weird. I tried an experiment... I created a small text file and gave it a unique name and then saved it. Guess what? When I did a search for the file I had just created, I found two of them (identical), one residing on the C: drive and the other on the D: drive. It saved the file to both drives!

Now I want to add that I was the original owner of this computer and it does not and never did have a second hard drive, nor have I ever partitioned the hard drive. From me it went to my sister and from her it went to my nephew (neither of whom is very computer literate) so it's been about four years since it was in my possession, and I have no idea how this happened. But my nephew has told me a few times that whenever he goes to delete something from the Recycle Bin he finds two of them; one he can delete and the other he can't. He's also told me that when he runs McAfee Antivirus, it always gags when it gets to the Recycle Bin folder.

At this point, I guess I have two problems -- the original problem of that error message about the MSGSVR32.EXE file, and the duplicate drive file. I don't even know if they're related. Any ideas? I'm at a loss here.
Old 01-06-03, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 600
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I REALLY hope someone here has an idea of what your problem is!! What a strange problem. Looks like it may be time to drop back and punt on this one! i.e. reload Windows.
Old 01-06-03, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Posts: 119
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Is it possible that you have a DOS drive substitution?
When you have a DOS drive substitution command in your autoexec.bat file, Windows Explorer shows it as a separate drive; e.g. the command "subst d: c:\windows" will assign drive letter d: to the folder c:\windows. Now when you search for a file which is located in c:\windows, the search will turn up two files, one in c:\windows, the other in d:, although you only have one file.
Old 01-07-03, 06:07 AM
abNORMal's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 521
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
You may have a virus. Update your virus data and run a full scan.
Old 01-07-03, 09:02 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I would start with checking the program files in the control panel and checking if any type of drive partioning software has ever been loaded and run. A partition program can change your C: drive to have a D: drive and perhaps the prgram was not run correctly and copied all data to both drives.

That is a strange problem that I have never seen before. The virus scan is a great idea. Be sure to manually delete your temp files [Internet explorer and Windows and the recycle bin] before updating your virus scan and then run a complete scan on your drives.

If all else fails, make sure you have all the setup disks and drivers and reformat your C drive. [as a last resort - as this will erase all data!]

Old 01-07-03, 06:51 PM
tae's Avatar
tae is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,451
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
obviously it has been partitioned! HP almost always has this configuration. Usually d drive is a virtual drive, and they use m and n for cd's or dvd's. Either you have a dual user configuration that allows all files/changes to stay the same, or there is a mirror image/data recovery program working that's saving everything to the d drive for easier recovery.
Old 01-07-03, 07:06 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 2,627
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
That was my thought also, tae, but do the master partitions (backup partitions, whatever) that HP, Compaq, Dell use actually double-write files? One to the users drive, one to the backup? I've never actually owned one of these computers (thank God), I've only worked on a couple of Compaq laptops. But I do know that second backup partition exists, I just didn't think it would write everything from the users partition to it. What would be the point then? Let's say it does write everything twice, where's the backup? What if you get a virus? It's on both partitions then.

This is definitely a strange problem, but I think it may have something to do with the subst command, or something similar, maybe a virus.

Anybody familiar with a virus that has similar characteristics to this? I've never heard of one, but then again, there are millions of virii out there.

Good luck!

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: