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Windows 10 suddenly maps a non-existent CD drive CDROM

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
Today, when I launched my Win 10 PC, a File Explorer window popped up showing me a newly mapped CD drive H: called CDROM. On this drive, there are five folders - Win7, Win8, Win8.1, WINVISTA and WinXP - and a file called Setup.exe.

I have no idea what's happening here, not least because I don't have such a drive and I've not mounted any new drives of any kind lately.

Does anyone here have a clue what might have happened and what I can/should do?

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"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods

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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Today, when I launched my Win 10 PC, a File Explorer window popped up showing me a newly mapped CD drive H: called CDROM. On this drive, there are five folders - Win7, Win8, Win8.1, WINVISTA and WinXP - and a file called Setup.exe.

    I have no idea what's happening here, not least because I don't have such a drive and I've not mounted any new drives of any kind lately.

    Does anyone here have a clue what might have happened and what I can/should do?

    If you remove your xbox wireless adapter, does this "H:" drive disconnect from the computer?

    It sounds like that might be related to your other issue.

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    It's a good idea, but sadly disconnecting the wireless adapter doesn't have an effect on the phantom CD-ROM drive.

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    It's a good idea, but sadly disconnecting the wireless adapter doesn't have an effect on the phantom CD-ROM drive.

    it's likely some USB device attached to your PC.

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    GilgaronGilgaron Registered User regular
    Yeah assuming it isn't malware, the setup.exe and Windows folders sounds to me like a driver installer for some hardware that didn't automatically install.

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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited January 2023
    Windows does have the poorly documented ability to mount .iso files and some types of archive as a drive. If you right click such a virtual drive you should be able to unmount it.

    Hevach on
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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I don't get the option to unmount the drive. :( I'm also wondering if it's some USB device, but I've not attached anything new, other than (occasionally) the Xbox controller so I can at least play with it.

    I'll have to see if there's a malware issue. What's the best way these days to check?

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2023
    What does Device Manager say the drive is? Can you do the windows troubleshooting on the phantom drive?

    When you turn on the computer can you get into your BIOS before Windows starts and check what drives are listed?

    Burtletoy on
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    SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    It's a good idea, but sadly disconnecting the wireless adapter doesn't have an effect on the phantom CD-ROM drive.

    Your Xbox Wireless adapter will show up as an "ethernet" networking device in certain parts of Windows; ask me how I know. Not that it means anything, but it is annoying.

    I would've supposed that you unintentionally mounted a virtual drive (it's as easy as double clicking an ISO or relevant image), but we've ruled that out. You could also have third-party image mounting software that generated a drive (that without an image, just shows up as an empty device), but you would have to have gone out of your way to install that. It's possible, if rather remote, that you've installed another piece of software that, as part of its operation, mounts of a virtual drive image (like a virtual machine, or some kind of really weird installation for old software that must run off a disc drive to work).

    Given the contents of the drive, it almost sounds like you've accidentally opened up an OS utility backup image. That's not something you do accidentally though.

    I don't think it's malware, if only because I've never heard of malware generating an empty, inactive virtual disc drive. I guess there's a first time for everything, but Windows Security (and most malware-scanning clients) are triggered by far more innocuous things than that.

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    ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Thanks for the additional bits of info. I'll look at the BIOS when I have a moment, but it's good to hear that it's unlikely to be malware. Still weirds me out.

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    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Had to go look this up because I haven't done this in a while:

    In explorer, right click the Computer icon and click Manage. In that window, click Storage and then Disk Management (Local). This will show all your drive letters arranged by the disk they're on. It'll make it clear where it actually is, if it's a partition on your existing drive or a mounted drive image.

    If it doesn't show there at all, then it's a networked drive, but those should have an obvious overlay icon indicating they're a network drive.

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