QuickBooks

Fixing the “There is no disk in the drive” Error

Written by Charlie Russell

Have you ever had the “There is no disk in the drive” error message pop up when using an add-on product that works with QuickBooks? It’s annoying and it can make you worry that something isn’t working right. I consider this to be a bug in QuickBooks, not the add-on products, but there are several ways to fix it.

There is no disk in the drive

What Causes the “There is no disk in the drive” Error

This actually can pop up in a number of situations, and if you do a Google search on the phrase you’ll see a lot of confusing information on this. It isn’t limited to just QuickBooks installations.

In a very general sense it is due to there being a removable drive in your system that doesn’t have media in the drive. Remember the old Iomega Zip drives? These kinds of drives would make the error pop up often. Nowadays we don’t see Zip drives that often, but any of the following can make the error pop up (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Floppy disk drives: Do you still have some? I do…
  • Removable hard disk drives: These have multiple kinds of interfaces, USB as well as others, and they all can cause the problem.
  • USB Multi-Card Readers: I don’t think of those when I thing of removable drives, but they ARE. Many consumer level PC’s have these included, even if you don’t use them.

Some process in an application in your computer is doing a check on the drives in the system, and in some situations this is going to cause Windows to pop up this error message if there isn’t something in that drive.

You may notice that I’m being a bit vague here – there are factors involved that I haven’t worked out. It doesn’t always happen. I have a program in my main computer system (several, actually) that will cause this error to pop up, but sometimes it won’t happen for days at a time. Then it starts up. I haven’t changed the media in my removable drives, I haven’t changed the configuration of my system – it just happens sometimes and not others. As a software developer, this is frustrating because it makes it hard to determine if I’ve found a way to fix the problem. I make a change – the problem doesn’t appear – but is that because I fixed it or because it just decided to not show up today?

You can see which drive is the one that is causing the problem, if you wish. If you look at the sample error message above, you’ll see that it says “\Device\Harddisk2\DR3”. That is the drive number that has the problem. Run your Computer Management utility (in Administrative Tools with Windows 7, it may exist in other places in other versions of Windows) and select Disk Management. you can scroll through the list of drives (it may take awhile to populate the list) and see which one is the drive. It helps to identify them if you can insert media into all your removable devices. In my screen shot, the drive I’m looking for is #3 (DR3). You can see in this list that my F: drive is #3.

Windows Computer Management

What Is The Connection To QuickBooks?

I usually see this in connection with QuickBooks whenever I’m running certain QBSDK based add-on products. If you ask Intuit Support they’ll just tell you that they don’t support add-on programs, which is no help. If you talk to many add-on developers they’ll often not be able to help, because this problem won’t show up reliably on their own test and development systems.

It is my opinion that this is a bug in Intuit’s SDK, which is most commonly used by desktop products working with QuickBooks. I can demonstrate, in my own add-on software, that the error pops up just when I’m making certain calls to connect to the QuickBooks database. Call the Intuit function, error pops up. Unfortunately, since this error is so dependent on machine configuration, and because Intuit pays very little attention to problems like this in the SDK, I don’t believe that Intuit will be fixing this problem.

Is This a Big Problem?

In general – no. It is only a problem if you are running a program that NEEDS something in that drive, such as when you are doing backups.

The main issue is that it is annoying (it can pop up multiple times in a row, once for each “drive”), and that it makes people worry that there is something really wrong in their computer or with the software that is running.

Recently I’ve been testing a number of QuickBooks SDK based products that have their own “sync engine” that periodically sends information out to the cloud – and each time they make a connection this error was popping up. Since these are “background” programs that should be running unattended, having this error pop up repeatedly while I’m in the middle of working with some OTHER program becomes a major hassle.

Here’s How to Fix It

There are a number of ways that this can be resolved. I’ll go through several of them.

Keep Media in the Drive

Well, of course! If there is something in the drive all the time, no error! Simplest resolution, but it might not be practical. If you have one of those multi-card readers then this can be a pain to implement.

Make Sure Drive C Isn’t Removable

We don’t see this as often these days, but if your C: drive is a removable drive, you’ll get this problem often. If you can reconfigure your system so that this isn’t the case, that often resolves the problem.

Disable Unused Drives

Not my favorite option, but if you have a drive that you NEVER use, and you don’t want to take the trouble to physically remove it, then you can disable it in your Computer Management utility. I’ve seen people do this if they have multi-card readers in an office system where they’ll never use the reader.

Disable The Message with a Registry Hack

I generally don’t like to provide information on altering your Windows Registry, but it is an option that you’ll find in several Microsoft support forums. this turns off the error message – I’ve not found a situation where this would cause a problem, and if there IS  a problem then you can reverse this fix.

If you aren’t familiar with editing the Windows Registry, don’t do this yourself! Find someone who is familiar with the process AND who is reliable.

  1. Start regedit. If you don’t know how to do this, you probably shouldn’t be trying this!
  2. Got to the very top of the registry and select Computer.
  3. From the regedit menu, select File and then Export. This allows you to save a copy of the registry before you make any changes. Save this in a safe place that you can find easily if you need to restore it later (if you goof and clobber your registry).
  4. Locate the following registry entry: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL\MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Windows
    Windows Registry key to fix No Disk in Drive error
  5. Select ErrorMode. Double-click on it to edit the value, change the value to 2
  6. Exit regedit

This changes Windows so that it won’t generate this error message. Again, don’t do this if you aren’t comfortable with editing the Windows registry.

Update The Addon Software

Even though the bug is in Intuit’s SDK code, most add-on developers can resolve this. A program can make some Windows function calls (“SetError()”) that will tell Windows to not display that error dialog, by resetting the ErrorMode similar to what is done in the registry fix (there are several options). I’ve done this in my CCRQBOM and CCRQInvoice products, and it works very well.

Of course, the user can’t make this change – it is up to the software developer. If you are running into this problem with a particular add-on, forward this article to the developer. I’m happy to share the specific code that can be used to reset this problem if the developer wants to contact me.


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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. He retired from accounting and QuickBooks activities in early 2018.

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.

49 Comments

  • Found out another solution…Just installed QB2013 Pro on a machine with multiple drives (HDs and multi-card reader) after upgrading from xp to win 7. Due to partitions and multiple drives, my registry has 15 drives registered. By default, drive or partition #15 is assigned as “Q:”, given that the system starts registering with “C:”, and #15 is defaulted as “Q:” if there are no floppy drives. The drive error kept popping up. I was getting “DR7” as the drive with the error.

    I went into Control Panel->System and Security->Administrative Tools->Computer Management. I clicked on the left side panel to Storage->Disk Management. The disks would not show up until I quit out of QB 2013.

    Scrolling down on the middle center window of the Drive Management screen, the drive labelled by Windows as “Disk 7” was a removable drive, and had been assigned as letter “Q:”. I right-clicked on the drive name, clicked on “Change Drive Letter and Path”, and reassigned the drive to “R:”.

    This solved the problem on my system.

    I would bet that changing the drive to anything except “Q:” would fix the problem.

    Evidently, one of the multiple causes of this problem is that Intuit has taken it upon themselves to assume that everyone that has a drive “Q:” must be using it exclusively to host or back up the Quickbooks 2013 files. While 15 drive labels registered is, by my own admission, quite a lot, (card readers, partitions, old HDs used as backup, etc.), no one should need to get into regedits to work around QB.

    Hope this helps a few folks.

    • Thank you for that, Jonathan. I think that there is something more to this, though, as I have one test system that exhibits this problem and it doesn’t have a drive mapped out the way you reference. It is a puzzle!

      • same issue. Yeah, it was an old share, renamed the share, windows still has it shared. I found a way in, the folder still existed, right clicked on it, found it indeed was still shared, so it kept coming back i guess, so i unshared it, thinking it would have resolved this issue, but there’s more hanging it. It says disk4 on mine, any i only have a disk 1/2 no 3, let alone 4… So I agree, something more to this, check lanman or entries for your hanging disk in the registry.

  • We’ve been banging our head against the wall for several days with this issue which was presenting itself when we compiled using the old Borland C++ Builder 5. The warning dialog would come up like 60 times in a row before the compile would complete. We were losing our sanity.

    based on this article i stuck an SD card into the SD card reader built into my computer and voila. no problem! woo hoo

    one of my colleagues has been having the same problem and i think this will fix his problem as well.

      • we’re using some third-party utilities that can’t be updated until we update C++ Builder (and the decision on that is beyond my control). just made the registry fix and all is well. i’ll let my colleagues know the good news. thx again for the thorough analysis of the problem.

        there are other forums where this problem is mentioned (with some odd workarounds) but i haven’t seen such a comprehensive analysis.

  • Not sure what it is worth, but I noticed when a QuickBooks integrated applications has windows throw the no disk error, Process Monitor shows queries such as these:

    D:\qb2460\SOURCE\QB\Platform\Data\DatabaseManager\DatabaseManager.pdb – NO MEDIA FOUND

    Q:\ThirdParty\STLPort\5.0\STLport\build\lib\obj\vc9\shared\stlport_r50.pdb
    – PATH NOT FOUND

    I am guessing both of these are paths referring to files on Intuit’s own development environment.

  • I have had this problem for several months. This error message only shows up when I am saving a Word file. I have QuickBooks Pro installed, but it never pops up when I am using QuickBooks. Interesting.

    • Kay, unless you have some QuickBooks add-on that is running in the background and periodically looking at the file, your problem isn’t related to QuickBooks. There are a lot of different situations that can make this error dialog pop up – it isn’t specific to QuickBooks. You can adjust the registry to get that to stop showing up.

  • I’m installing a zip software and it shows the no disk error message. This regedit way solve my problem, thank you.

  • I was just experiencing a similar error; essentially the same error except instead of prompting \device\Harddisk… – was prompting “… insert into drive G:” – G: is a USB DVD Drive and I’d just ejected a DVD and every console command I ran was throwing up the pop up. I looked around and noted I had a couple of old “G:\Paths” in my PATH environment variable; this was a left over from when the G: drive was an external hard disk, and I’d installed a program or two onto that drive… – Long story short, editing the PATH environment variable (Advanced System Settings) and removing the two G:\Paths from the PATH environment variable solved my problem. I’m not saying it will solve your problem, but it might be worth while checking your environment variables (probably PATH most specifically) to see if it references folders that no longer exist.

  • when editing the registry Value I believe on the last step you are supposed to select “decimal” as the base. We experience this issue ourselves with out Label Connector for QuickBooks product. This was a great article!

  • You, my friend, are a genius! Who would have thought that simply disabling the affected drive would be the answer?!

  • Charlie,

    Do you regularly review any new comments? If so, you said there was something you could send to assist with this problem.

    I would greatly appreciate your sending it to me.

    Thanks,

    Byron

  • i am facing the same problem “no media”on my hdd but none of the above solution can fix it please do you have any additional solution

    additionally it appears when i trying to recover my files from raw partition table using third party software…

  • I have a client where the message displayed by QBFC is “Out of Disk Space–Volume: ‘I’; required space: 812 KB: available space: 0 KB. Free some disk space and retry.

    Customer has even commented that his Brother printer has even added a drive under disk Management.

  • Thanks Charlie Russell . Nice info, i have do all things properly except – Deframentation, after read your articles i will do it and hoping all will go better. Such a basic and nice information. Keep it Up dear. Thanks again.

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