How To Delete Virtual Drives After Software Uninstallation - gHacks Tech News

How To Delete Virtual Drives After Software Uninstallation

I have tested a variety of virtual device creator programs in the past. Programs like OSFMount, TotalMounter, Gizmo Drive or Virtual Clone Drive are just some of the applications that I have reviewed. One of the problems that I encountered was the fact that virtual CD or DVD drives remained available on the system after uninstallation of the software that added them to the system.

While that is more of an aesthetic issue it is still something that could be problematic, for instance when trying to access media inserted into a drive (finding the right drive).

I never really bothered to look into the issue. Today's article on Unlock For Us addressed the issue which made me address it here on Ghacks as well.

virtual drives

It is not possible to quickly distinguish physical and virtual optical drives in Windows Explorer, unless you have renamed drives to reflect that or by digging deeper into the configuration settings.

Uninstalling Virtual Drives

Here is how you remove virtual drives under Windows so that those drives do not longer appear under My Computer, Windows Explorer or other software that makes use of optical drives.

Open the Device Manager with Windows-p and the selection Device Manager from the sidebar menu. Locate DVD/CD-ROM drives in the listing and expand the selection.

optical drives device manager

It is sometimes possible to spot virtual drives right away, for instance if they have virtual in their name. At other times it is not that easy. If you know the brand and model of your built-in DVD, CD or Blu-Ray drive you can select the other drives easily to uninstall them. If you do not know those information, you could look at the drive type. A drive displaying SCSI for instance can be an indicator that it is a virtual drive, especially if your computer does not support that technology.

Right-click on the virtual drive and select either Disable or Uninstall from the menu. Disable will keep the device listed in the device manager but not on the system. Uninstallation on the other hand removes the driver from the system and thus the drive.

I suggest to disable drives if you are not sure if they are virtual or physical drives. Put a CD or DVD into your physical drive for identification purposes. Now disable the suspected virtual drive. Refresh Windows Explorer afterwards to see if you can still access the CD or DVD. If you can you have disabled the correct drive and can right-click it again to uninstall it.

uninstall virtual drive

Repeat the process for additional virtual drives if present until you have uninstalled all drives that you no longer use.

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Comments

  1. Rick said on June 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm
    Reply

    Interesting that OSFMount is now charging for their software – when they actually say in their readme.txt that it is based on open-sourced software at http://www.ltr-data.se/opencode.html/

    Using the original, I haven’t had any left over virtual drives :)

  2. Anonymous said on November 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm
    Reply

    You can also remove the Drive Letter in Disk Managment from the Administrative Tools in your Control Panel. That removes the drive from explorer.

  3. SHaul Marom said on November 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm
    Reply

    hallow to you, i opened the “dvd/cd-rom drivers” in the “device-manager”, but the virtual cdrom that i wanted to uninstall didnt appeare in the list……only my two physical dvd-rw drivers was in the list…..but in the window of “my-computer”, he shows the two real cdroms-burners (F) (G), and the virtual cdrom as cd-drive (H)……
    so how can i get to this virtual cd-drive (H), and get rid of him forever?

    thank you! – 2012-11-28 — SHaul

  4. Dani said on September 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    Reply

    I have the same problem as SHaul, the fake cd-drive only appears in Windows explorer and I can’t find a way to remove it. Btw, Anonymous’ suggestion doesn’t help either because the drive doesn’t appear in the admin tools either.

  5. Dani said on October 2, 2013 at 10:02 am
    Reply

    Ok I finally found that a piece of software I had installed (UltraISO) was being responsible for that fake cd-drive, as the latter disappeared when I removed the former.

    1. KoMo Tan said on December 18, 2013 at 10:13 am
      Reply

      Another piece of software (PowerISO) would do similar too.

  6. zidar said on October 26, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    Reply

    Thanks, this helped me a lot.

  7. Anonymous said on September 12, 2016 at 5:39 pm
    Reply

    thnx

  8. Emile said on January 5, 2017 at 11:22 pm
    Reply

    I had a virtual CD ROM drive which was left with one exe file in it that my virus detector went nuts about and nothing I did could remove it, including all of the above. Finally I in desperation I hovered over it, right-clicked and selected and, poof! Gone.

  9. Nawi said on February 21, 2017 at 3:22 am
    Reply

    I have problem with my drive which always startup when I turn on my computer.
    That problem after I downloaded mobile huawei driver and automatic installed on drive F.

    Thanks for your explanation, it’s work rightly for my computer problem.

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