Windows 10: Restore partition showing up as a Z drive.

Discus and support Restore partition showing up as a Z drive. in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware to solve the problem; Hello everyone, Even though this is my first post, i'm a regular reader of various posts here. I have a DELL-XPS13 Laptop. After upgrading it... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware' started by geojoshi, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. geojoshi Win User

    Restore partition showing up as a Z drive.

    Hello everyone,

    Even though this is my first post, i'm a regular reader of various posts here.

    I have a DELL-XPS13 Laptop. After upgrading it from win8 to win10, i noticed a restore partition is getting showed up in explorer as Z drive.

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    When I open Disk Management, i do not see this Z drive assignment to the drive.

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    I do not know how i can hide this drive.

    Thanks in advance for helping me out.

    geojoshi, Oct 25, 2015

  2. Windows 10: Unknown System (ZRestore partition showing up as a  Z drive. :) Partition or Disk.

    My mystery Z: drive seems to come and go quite randomly. It's almost certainly one of the 2 Recovery partitions on the internal drive, one of which is a leftover from Windows 8, which was the OS before I upgraded to Windows 10.

    The 2 Recovery partitions and an EFI partition have no drive letters in Disc Management and the Z: drive, when it shows up in Explorer, does not have a drive letter in Disc Management. Whenever I reboot, e.g. for an Update install, it goes away in Explorer
    but eventually returns again.

    It's doing no harm as long as it only takes the Z: volume letter, but seems obviously to be an OS bug which will hopefully be fixed one day.
    MichaelHarrison_793, Oct 25, 2015
  3. Window 10 can't read drive other drives after deleting "old window" folder


    I've upgraded my OS from Window 7 to window 10. Initially, my PC ran fine for two weeks. So I decided to delete the "windows.old" folder to save 30 GB of space. Before deleting the folder, I have five partitions located on three different hard drives:
    "C" is by itself on a SSD; "D" and "F" are empty and are on one HDD; "G" and "Z" each have about 350 GB of pictures and videos and are on a different HDD.

    After deleting the "windows.old" folder and rebooting my PC, drive "G" and "Z" disappeared. I launched my partition software, and it showed that the two drives are still there with about 350 GB of used space on each drive. I relabeled both drives, and
    now window can see them but it can't display or allow access to the data stored on both drives.

    I went to system restore, but there is no restore point to allow me to restore the PC to an earlier date. I went to the recycle bin, but it was empty.

    My computer can see and access everything on the C drive, but it can't see or access my personal pictures and videos stored on my "G" and "Z" drive. The data are still there, but it won't show up. Can anyone tell me what I'll have to do to gain access
    to my data again? Thank you in advance for your help.
    anthony_955, Oct 25, 2015
  4. dalchina New Member

    Restore partition showing up as a Z drive.

    Hi, there's going to be a way in Windows, but I don't know offhand. So I'd turn to a partition manager, e.g. Easeus Partition Manager. (The Pro version is regularly given away). (There are many, and their boot disks can be useful in an emergency). I've done the search for you..
    Two Ways to Hide Disk Partitions in Windows
    (Command line)
    dalchina, Oct 26, 2015
  5. geojoshi Win User
    Hi dalchina, many thanks for the help,

    out of two ways described there, only one way is possible. Using "Diskpart" command.
    However, the results are temporary. After a reboot the restore drive is again acquiring Z drive.

    Is there any permanent way?

    Best regards
    geojoshi, Oct 26, 2015
  6. Hello geojoshi Welcome to the Ten Forums!

    You may not want to hear this but after seeing a full system image backup made of one laptop's drive right after the upgrade to 10 followed by the first clean install for the 32bit later to be the 64bit changeover fresh install to come while checking first to see if the clean install would activate I found after removing those small 300mb and 400mb OEM and System Reserved partitions the main C primary could not be resized to fill the drive in or shrunk down any to see a second back up partitiion created.

    The end result which followed the second clean install conversion to the 64bit 10 Home from 32bit 7 Home Premium was to wipe the drive entirely! That meant nuking the C primary off the drive from being the one hold up. Afterwards the second 64bit clean install went onto a fresh brand new C primary which also saw the second backup partition created on the single drive model.

    After you make a full image of the drive you have the same option open to blast Z as well as the other unnecessary drive space takers and put on a fresh install of 10. With Z gone for good it can't come back on it's own ever again! The system image is simply made in case of any mishap until 10 is up and running on a fresh primary without worry!
    Night Hawk, Oct 26, 2015
  7. dalchina New Member
    As NightHawk says- it depends whether you want to keep it - if not, he gives a definite way to remove it. If it's an obsolete restore partition dating back to when you bought the PC, why keep it?

    If you really want to hide it, try getting a good partition manager, and try that - unless there's something amiss with your disk structure.
    dalchina, Oct 26, 2015
  8. lx07 Win User

    Restore partition showing up as a Z drive.

    Try changing the letter to Y and rebooting and see what happens. It seems something is resetting it if diskpart doesn't persist.

    Another thing you could look at is gdisk and make sure the partition type code is correct.

    Download it and then from an elevated cmd prompt in the same directory it is in... Code: D:\Users\Hali\OneDrive\Programs\Gdisk>gdisk64.exe 0: GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 1.0.0 Partition table scan: MBR: protective BSD: not present APM: not present GPT: present Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT. Command (? for help): p Disk 0:: 236978176 sectors, 113.0 GiB Logical sector size: 512 bytes Disk identifier (GUID): 94EB0CDB-062F-4EF9-BDED-04F144D52C7C Partition table holds up to 128 entries First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 236978142 Partitions will be aligned on 8-sector boundaries Total free space is 1273309 sectors (621.7 MiB) Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name 1 40 1024039 500.0 MiB 2700 Windows RE 2 1024040 1433639 200.0 MiB EF00 EFI 3 1435648 1468415 16.0 MiB 0C01 Microsoft reserved ... 4 1468416 49500159 22.9 GiB 0700 Windows10 5 49501912 186482799 65.3 GiB 0700 Shared 6 186482800 235708599 23.5 GiB AF00 El Capitan Command (? for help): q D:\Users\Hali\OneDrive\Programs\Gdisk>[/quote] If it is 2700 you'll not see it in file explorer for example.

    You can change the partition code using the t and then w options.

    Alternatively as other have said you could delete it.
  9. That would be the Open Source tool GPT fdisk being pointed to there. And if you decide to go Open Source you then have the Gnome Partition Editor or GParted live available. That will show what partitions are present and allow you to get things cleaned up fast.

    Without any downloads at all you can open up the Command prompt(admin) option and type in "diskpart" as one word at the dos like prompt there followed by the "list volume" command which then displays all partitions as Volume 0, Volume 1, etc in progression. The drive letters will be seen in the "Ltr" column right before the label of each.

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    Right then and there if you happen to type in the "Clean All" command say good bye to everything as all volumes will be cleared off in one shot! You then can create the new primary right there on the spot or wait until booted live with the 10 media if you saw that made up. Did you?

    You certainly will want the 10 media either on usb flash drive or if your laptop won't allows booting from anything but optical the 10 dvd made up. A good example of that was the HP laptop mentioned before that has no F key option for bringing up a boot device menu where you could select USB HDD or the cd rom option. Plus there was no getting in to the bios setup to change the drive order. The optical drive was already set as first by HP.

    Besides the more drastic steps outlined you could also simply nuke the Z partition by itself and leave everything else intact without any worries. The drive space where Z is now would simply be turned into unallocated drive space. The drive cleanup and fresh 10 install of course is for the intent of dumping the small factory OEM as well as a 3rd party partitions intended for recovery purposes with or without recovery media as well as the System Reserved partition created by the Windows installer when that is allowed to create the OS primary C itself. If a drive is already partitioned all the installer does then is format if needed and then put the set up files as those are unpacked. So you do have various options to work with.
    Night Hawk, Oct 26, 2015
  10. spapakons Win User
    Another option is to hide drive Z from appearing on This PC. Press Win+R to open a Run dialog and execute regedit to open Registry Editor. Then navigate to Current_User -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer

    See image below:

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    If there is no there already, create a new DWORD32 key, name it NoDrives and then set the value in hexadecimal to hide the desired drive(s) according to the table below. The table gives each drive letter a binary number (power of 2). To hide a drive letter, set the binary value to 1 and to show others set to 0. Calculate the resulting binary number and convert to hexadecimal. Put this value to NoDrives. To hide more drives set the respective drive letters to 1 and calculate the resulting binary number.

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    So, in your case to hide Z and leave others, the binary number is 100000000000000000000000000 which in hex is 4000000 which is the value you have to set to hide only drive Z. I hope I calculated correctly.
    spapakons, Oct 26, 2015
  11. geojoshi Win User
    Guys many thanks for your suggestions here,

    I tried to delete the partition using Diskpart, but 2 times the program just forced itself to close. I tried to follow spapakons suggestion to hide the partition using regedit.....but got lost in what values to be put where......i would appreciate if you could help me out here.

    Thank you once again guys....
    geojoshi, Oct 27, 2015
  12. spapakons Win User
    Hello! If you open Registry Editor, you will see a tree of "folders" (actually keys) and values. There are several main keys, one of them is HKEY_CURRENT_USER and contains data concerning the current user only. So you expand this first. The second level ("subfolder") is Software that contains data about installed programs. Expand that. Then you are looking for Microsoft which contains data about windows and other Microsoft applications, expand it. From Microsoft you select Windows and then CurrentVersion. Next level is Policies which contains settings for applications. Expand this and go to Explorer to adjust settings for Windows Explorer. Once at the Key Explorer, you will see some variables at the right window which are the actual settings. You are looking for the variable NoDrives which is used to show/hide drives from This PC. For a drive to be visible it must have binary value 0. To hide it, it must have binary value 1. You set the value at 1 for each drive you want to hide and let it 0 for the other drives (look at the table). Then you write down the resulting number of 1s and 0s. This is a binary number, use the calculator app to convert it to hexadecimal. In your case, to hide only drive Z you need to set 1 the most significant bit of 26 digits, and let others to zero. This in decimal translates to 2^26 (2 in the power of 26) and in hexadecimal is 4000000. So you need to create a new DWORD 32-bit variable [right-click NEW->DWORD (32-bit value)] and rename it to NoDrives, if not already present. Then set it (double-click) to value 4000000 to hide drive Z. Logoff and login to see the difference. If done correctly, next time you open This PC you shouldn't see any Z drive as it is now hidden.
    spapakons, Oct 27, 2015
  13. geojoshi Win User

    Restore partition showing up as a Z drive.

    Hi spapakons,

    Many thanks for the help.

    I tried to locate Current_User -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer
    but, in the current_user, there is no Explorer directory

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    tried to locate similar folder under Local_Machine.... i could

    tried following thing, and rebooted the computer..but still no luck... Z drive was back!!!!

    may be i'm doing it the wrong way.

    Restore partition showing up as a  Z drive. [​IMG]

    Let me know if anything need to be corrected. Thank you for your valuable time.
    geojoshi, Oct 27, 2015
  14. I can tell you what I did here. Wanting to check out the latest flavor of Linux Mint Debian as well as show someone what Linux looks like when compared to Windows I burned the dvd for use on the laptop where you can' boot anything live from a flash drive and simply used GParted while live to nuke the OEM stuff off completely!

    You can also use it to see Z made history without touching anything else if not opting for any other partitioning program. OEM partitions are generally stubborn and may take an extra step to see removed. And don't plan on being able to resize any of the other partitions to fill in the gap left behind either. Been there done that with the HP laptop I mentioned before where I simply saw he drive in that wiped clean to start over fresh.
    Night Hawk, Oct 27, 2015
  15. spapakons Win User
    Check the steps again in Registry Editor. Maybe you didn't navigate to the correct key. Doing the same in HKEY_LOCAL_COMPUTER might work for all users, haven't tried. I just followed an online guide that done that for current user.
    spapakons, Apr 5, 2018

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