Office 2010 Starter Virtual (Q:) drive may intermittently disappear from My Computer


When you install the Microsoft Office Starter 2010, you may notice that after the reboot of the machine, the Virtual (Q:) Drive may not appear in My Computer.

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Microsoft Office Starter 2010 uses the Application Virtualization (App-V) technology. This, therefore, requires the creation of a Virtual Drive. By default the drive letter for this virtual drive is Q:. Some systems may use the letter R: instead of Q: without any difference in features or performance.

After the Microsoft Office Starter 2010 is installed and the machine is rebooted, this virtual drive may appear in My Computer. However, in some cases after the reboot, the virtual drive does not appear or may appear intermittently. When the drive does not appear, connecting a USB drive or memory stick that causes the list of drives under My Computer to refresh, may cause the virtual drive to appear. The virtual drive may again disappear after a subsequent reboot.

This virtual drive is intentionally not accessible by end users in order to prevent accidental damage to Microsoft Office Starter's file structure. Therefore, a message saying that the drive is not accessible appears if a user tries to open it. This is normal behavior.

This is only a visual issue and does not impact the functionality of the Microsoft Office Starter 2010 product. This behavior is related with the start order of the Application Virtualization components and services that initialize the virtual drive.