Ghosts in the machine


larrydonline

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OS
Windows 11
I don't know that this is much of a problem but I sure would like to know why it keeps happening. One of my hard drives opens a window without having been in any way summoned by me to do so.

Sometimes it happens only a short time after a reboot. Other times it happens 10 or more hours after a reboot. It's always the same drive "T" and it's happened under Win 10 as well as Win. 11. It's even happened after I replaced the drive that was on that letter with a different drive. It's been going on for over a year at least. I'll be working in some program and up pops drive T on the screen.

I don't know whether it's a function of Windows or some other process deep in the computer. I can't think of anything I'm consistently doing when it pops open. It just seems to happen totally randomly. Any ideas?

I'm wondering if there may be some keyboard combination that I could hit by accident that would open a drive window? I know that with Win 11 it seems like any mistyping causes the computer to attempt some operation.

Ver. 21H2 build 22000.493
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell 8950
    CPU
    12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12900K 3.20 GHz
    Motherboard
    0DYKKV A00
    Memory
    65262 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
    Sound Card
    Multimedia Intel(R) Display Audio NVIDIA High Definition Audio NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) Realtek(R) Audio WsAudio_Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    D/L 120 mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes
Well, the obvious seems to be autoplay settings but am unsure if it is. Check your autoplay settings. Settings>Bluetooth and Devices>Autoplay
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Huawei Matebook X Pro
    CPU
    intel 8250 I5
    Memory
    8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    intel uhd 620
    Monitor(s) Displays
    built in laptop display
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1280
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 Evo 500gb M2
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
  • Operating System
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer A515-43-R6DE
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7300U
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Raedon RX Vega graphics onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15"6 FHD IPS Slim Bezel
    Hard Drives
    512cb PCie NVME SSD
    Case
    Pure Silver
    Mouse
    Touchpad and Logitech external mouse
    Keyboard
    Inbuilt
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
What is in this window? is it large or small? what have you got on this drive? a picture would help.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M18 R1
    CPU
    13th Gen Core i9 13900HX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 @4800MHz 2x16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 4090HX 16GB
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD / Realtek ALC3254
    Monitor(s) Displays
    18" QHD+
    Screen Resolution
    25660 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    C: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    D: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    Case
    Dark Metallic Moon
    Keyboard
    Alienware M Series per-key AlienFX RGB
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi Network Adaptor Wi-Fi 6E
    Bluetooth 5.2
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen i-9 10900 K
    Memory
    32Gb Dual Channel DDR4 @ 8843MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Hard Drive C: Samsung 2TB SSD PM981a NVMe
    Hard Drive D:Samsung 2TB SSD 970 EVO Plus
    Mouse
    Alienware 610M
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
I agree with The-Hive. Screenshots are helpful. Have you tried something as simple as changing the drive letter to see if it stops? Check event viewer at the time it happens to see if there is information of what process called it to open.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3155
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
I am guessing an app, like EOM bloatware, that for some reason was not completely uninstalled, and is now acting up every now and then.

Since this has been going on for over a year, I would do a clean install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
Yes what kind of window opens up? I also had ghosts in the machine recently when HP Support Assistant suddenly decided my warranty lasted for 122 years and expired in 1899. But more likely software glitch than a ghost!

It could well be accidentally hitting the odd key. But as the others say, maybe more likely some program set to do that automatically. My stepson's laptop has two accounts - one for us, one for him. He doesn't use it much as he has a gaming PC. And it annoys me to death that whenever I sign into the adult side, Steam window opens automatically. Took me ages to work out how to stop it doing that and it keeps coming back. Usual settings are - check to see which programs start up with Windows.

Without seeing what the window is, we don't know if it's a program.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
    CPU
    Core i5
    Memory
    16gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo plus 2TB
    Cooling
    Could be better
    Internet Speed
    200mbps Starlink
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd
I am not sure of the cause as it is happening at random times, will have to wait for the OP with more info
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M18 R1
    CPU
    13th Gen Core i9 13900HX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 @4800MHz 2x16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 4090HX 16GB
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD / Realtek ALC3254
    Monitor(s) Displays
    18" QHD+
    Screen Resolution
    25660 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    C: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    D: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    Case
    Dark Metallic Moon
    Keyboard
    Alienware M Series per-key AlienFX RGB
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi Network Adaptor Wi-Fi 6E
    Bluetooth 5.2
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen i-9 10900 K
    Memory
    32Gb Dual Channel DDR4 @ 8843MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Hard Drive C: Samsung 2TB SSD PM981a NVMe
    Hard Drive D:Samsung 2TB SSD 970 EVO Plus
    Mouse
    Alienware 610M
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
Is it the drive that has Windows installed? If not - what is on drive T?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
    CPU
    Core i5
    Memory
    16gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo plus 2TB
    Cooling
    Could be better
    Internet Speed
    200mbps Starlink
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd
Is it the drive that has Windows installed? If not - what is on drive T?
As @The-Hive said, we aren’t going a lot further with this unless the OP offers up more info
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Beta, 11 Dev, W11 Canary
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Alienware M15 Ryzen Edition R6
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900HX
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3070 8GB GDDR6
    Hard Drives
    1 x Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
    1 x Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB
Thanks for all the discussion on this issue. The window that opens is the same window that you'd expect if you used file explorer and clicked on that drives icon. It's just the regular window with a list of programs and files. The files are mostly music files, mp3s, waves, and some text files in various folders. There are no computer operating files on it of any kind.

I took a look at the autoplay settings. There must be well over a hundred things to check under Settings>Bluetooth and Devices>Autoplay. I like the suggestion to look at event viewer next time it happens and see if there's a clue there.

As I mentioned, I have changed the hard drive assigned to letter T about a year ago and the strange booting still happened. As you can see there's nothing unusual about the content of the drive.

1645062759097.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell 8950
    CPU
    12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12900K 3.20 GHz
    Motherboard
    0DYKKV A00
    Memory
    65262 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
    Sound Card
    Multimedia Intel(R) Display Audio NVIDIA High Definition Audio NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) Realtek(R) Audio WsAudio_Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    D/L 120 mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes
You did not say if this drive is fixed or an external hard drive. If it's external, I agree with Humbird that it's related to autoplay. Are you accessing autoplay through settings app or control panel. Try going through control panel.(this is the old autoplay screen that has been around forever) At the bottom, reset autoplay settings to default. Restart.
Go back into autoplay and set each setting to what you want.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3155
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
Yes, it's external. I did the reset autoplay and reboot. Guess I won't know whether it worked unless it doesn't happen again. Hard to report a success because nothing happened but I guess that's where I'm at. Thanks for all the contributions.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell 8950
    CPU
    12th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-12900K 3.20 GHz
    Motherboard
    0DYKKV A00
    Memory
    65262 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
    Sound Card
    Multimedia Intel(R) Display Audio NVIDIA High Definition Audio NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM) Realtek(R) Audio WsAudio_Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    D/L 120 mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes
In autoplay, make sure REMOVABLE DRIVES is set to "take no action"
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3155
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 7080
    CPU
    i9-10900 10 core 20 threads
    Motherboard
    DELL 0J37VM
    Memory
    32 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    none-Intel UHD Graphics 630
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1tb Solidigm m.2 +256gb ssd+512 gb usb m.2 sata
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Internet Speed
    so slow I'm too embarrassed to tell
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 22H2 19045.3930
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
    Case
    MT
    Cooling
    Dell factory
    Mouse
    Logitech wireless
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
    Internet Speed
    still not telling
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
You could use Panda Usb vaccine. It's a small program that "vaccinates" any usb's you put into the computer to prevent viruses getting onto the computer. But it also prevents autoplay. Both on the usb device and on the computer itself at the click of a button, and it stays like that.

Although there are other ways of achieving this I like the program. And it prevents viruses via usb.

 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
    CPU
    Core i5
    Memory
    16gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo plus 2TB
    Cooling
    Could be better
    Internet Speed
    200mbps Starlink
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd
It automatically "vaccinates" a usb when you put it in the machine (ie prevents autorun). When first installed you get this panel and asks if you want to "vaccinate" the computer - which you do. What that does is basically turn off autorun or autoplay (not sure which) in Windows.

What this means is, when you use a usb device it doesn't automatically open. You go to file explorer and double click on it to open. The turning off of autorun in Windows means malware can't be "executed".
 

Attachments

  • Panda usb vaccine.jpg
    Panda usb vaccine.jpg
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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 14-ce3514sa
    CPU
    Core i5
    Memory
    16gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 970 evo plus 2TB
    Cooling
    Could be better
    Internet Speed
    200mbps Starlink
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    Originally installed with a 500gb H10 Optane ssd

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