Unusual drive problem


Noob Whisperer
I have a Windows XP SP3 computer with something strange going on that I've never seen before (see attachment).
Windows explorer shows two drives C:\ and E:\
That wouldn't be particularly strange except there is only one physical drive with a single 1 terabyte partion on it.
Disk Management show the drive properly as does Disk Defrag.

The interesting part is, one seems to be a live ghost of the other almost like there was some bizarre mirroring going on in real time, which I can assure you there is not.
If you create a text file on either drive in any place from the root of the drive to any container folder it is duplicated identically including any edits on the other drive within explorer.
If you delete that file from either drive it is automatically deleted from the other drive.

I've of course scanned it for virus and malware and have performed a complete Chkdsk /R thinking there was something corrupt with the volume bitmap or master boot record or file allocation table or something but the drive comes back as pristine no issues or problems.

The machine runs flawlessly without issue or problem but you can probably understand how this could be a possible annoyance.

Anyone ever seen anything like this before?



Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
1. This post belongs in the xp forum.

2. Yes I have seen this before… xp and modern terabit drives are incompatible.

3. Imo the xp system is reading that as a 2 TB Raid 1 (Mirrored) drive in the MBR format… it could also be a hybrid drive with a ssd wafer but that is much less likely:

a. What is the make, model and brand of the drive?

b. Is it internal, nat or usb?

c. Motherboard bios settings?

If the motherboard can't support the drive internally then ime a nat setup is your best chance but honestly I'd recommend moving up to a w7 or even w8 system and just making the xp a virtual | dual boot… it's your system.

Joe S

Excellent Member
I thought it sounded a bit like RAID too. Could the E drive just be a loop where you are actually looking at the file on the C drive from either drive?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

As you probably did, I looked around and found a few other people who had similar problems but none of them had a solution posted.
The ones I found were a long time ago, like 2002.

I haven't run XP on anything in so long I can barely remember it, but I'd guess that as Ussnorway said, Windows XP never imagined a 1TB hard drive just as it couldn't have handled 32 Gigabytes of ram.

It probably just doesn't know how to show that much disk space so it does something weird to compensate.

This is totally a guess.


Joe S

Excellent Member
I don't know about the 1 T limit on XP I've got a few USB 1T drives that work fine on XP. The limit on drive size for 32 bit XP is 2 T I think.

Joe S

Excellent Member
I just remembered I've also used a 2 T USB drive on XP with no problems.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I don't have any info about the drive size suggestion for XP, so I can't comment. Maybe the system is just mad because Microsoft is going to stop supporting it! ;)

You might check the registry and see if you have a MountedDevices entry and see if the partitions show up there. If it does and you do not have an E:, you might think about removing that entry.

But you are sure you do not have any virtual drives set up, or have a mounted virtual version?

Was the drive ever cloned?

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.