98 Bottles of Beer…No, Wait! 98 Generic volume Shadow Copy Devices

This morning, I began my day with some modest self-congratulation, or perhaps just a small sigh of relief that my recent Vista crises have abated. It’s now been 9 days since my last bluescreen and my System Stability Index in Reliability Monitor is nearly at 8.0 for the first time since August 11. I sincerely hope I’m not jinxing myself to make this statement but it appears that my production system is finally stable. Zounds! What a wild ride it’s been.

In looking at yesterday’s Stability Report details, however, I noticed that a driver install for Generic volume shadow copy was repeated twice. In scanning back through daily reports, I also notice that the same exact driver gets installed once or twice every day, all the time. This doesn’t make sense to me so I start researching on the Web.

Successful install of generic volume shadow copy driver

This successful Generic volume shadow copy Driver Install occurs once or twice every day!

I learn that this kind of behavior is typical for USB devices on Vista, because they come and go with regular frequency. But still, I’m a little puzzled: even on days when I don’t reboot my system at all, the drivers still get installed afresh every day, one for each USB attached storage device on my system. What gives?

Next, things really start to get interesting. I go into Device Manager and check the “Show hidden devices” option in the View menu. Suddenly, 98 instances of Generic volume shadow copy appear under the Storage volume shadow copies entry. I also have 5 Generic volume instances inside the Storage Volumes entry as well. When I look for evidence of others with similar experiences I find numerous reports in Web forums from other users experiencing the same kind of thing, but it appears I’ve set a new record with the number of Generic volume shadow copy instances–nobody else reports more than 10!

A long, long, long list of generic volume shadow copy devices

And this isn’t even the whole list of Generic volume shadow copy devices. Weird, because I’ve got only two USB attached storage devices on my system.

As I dig further into the subject, I see that this kind of behavior is susceptible to certain kinds of treatment. One expert advises deleting all USB Root Hub drivers under the Universal Serial Bus controllers heading in Device Manager, then rebooting the machine so it will rediscover the hardware and reinstall the drivers. I’ve got a USB mouse and keyboard, though, so I’m going to have to figure out which hub they’re attached to and leave this alone, then uninstall the rest, so I can keep running my PC while going through these motions. This proves excessively tricky, so I opt to reboot with a PS/2 keyboard and mouse installed.

I’ve also asked for help at www.techsupportforum.com, where others have gotten aid on similar but more dire related problems (mostly bluescreens, which I’m thankfully not dealing with right now). I’m too chicken to do the uninstall manuever until I’ve met my deadlines for the day, so I’ll report back later with how this works out. Stay tuned.


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