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Installing internal hard drive

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#1 owenh225


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Posted 14 December 2004 - 12:48 PM

Hi folks,
I'm new to this web site and maybe some one can help me. HP certainly cannot. Does anyone here know how to get Windows XP to assign a drive letter to a hard drive that the bios and system recognize? My computer wont recognize it. This is probably a Microsoft software problem because they're using D: for recovery.

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#2 phawgg


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Posted 14 December 2004 - 06:46 PM

Hi, Owen. Using winXP I have seen a number of variations when drives are installed. Partitions, too. Because you mention D:\ is being used as "recovery" I'm thinking that you describe something that HP has done using winXP.

I say that because I have no "recovery" on my PC.
I load from an OperatingSystem(OS) CD. Your computer may have been sold without that kind of disk. So, it has instead a part of the hard drive that it reserves for a "fresh" copy of all the files that make up the OS. If you as a user decide you want to start over again without all the stuff you put on the computer since you bought it you would enact that process in much the same way I do when I insert the OS CD to re-install.

Reinstallation requires that either the entire HD be wiped clean of data and re-formated to accept the OS files, or that part of the HD that contains the OS files needs to be wiped clean and re-formatted.

Parts of a HD that are formatted, to be in some ways "independant" of other parts, are called partitions. They are seen by windows as individual drives with letters assigned to them.

You might have 2 HD's and 5 drive letters assigned, perhaps. So in My Computer and also in the Storage console of your Computer Management feature you'll see
  • DISK1 VOL1 (C:\) local disk
  • DISK1 VOL2 (D:\) local disk
  • DISK1 VOL3 (E:\) local disk
  • DISK2 VOL1 (I:\) local disk
  • DISK2 VOL2 (J:\) local disk
or some variations of that basic plan.

Letter 'A' is usually reserved for a floppy drive. I think default provides for the Optical Drives (CD-ROMS, CD-RW's & the DVD counterparts) to get letters "F" & "G". Letter "B" I've never seen used unless a second floppy was in place.

The Primary Drive (or partition of a drive) being only the one that has the OS files on it, and those are:
  • Documents and Settings (which includes all sub-folders & files)
  • Program Files (which includes all sub-folders & files)
  • WINDOWS (which includes all sub-folders & files)
being called C:\ by default....
you can have drive letters of D, E, H, I, J, K etc. for the other(s) you might have.
All other partitions and/or additional HD's Windows "sees" as non-primary (also called BOOT drives) or Secondary drives. Also called (additional storage drives).

Please note that it is also possible to have only operating systems files on your C:\ drive.... but not likely.

The first file/folder you create yourself will probably land in My Documents, which is a sub-folder of one of the three main folders that all of WindowsXP version/any calls it's own.
Same with any installed program you download/install or slip a CD into and go from there without exercising your choice about where to installTO.
Most programs by default will install to C:\Program Files\'programname'. They also also usually allow you to browse for an option.
Those that do not, you can create a folder in another location before you install, so there is a location other than C:\Program Files available when you continue with the InstallWizard operation. Like E:\Program Files... one you made, for instance.

The value in that is that your C:\ partition never gets modified from original state as much. Your program files are on another partition, and your Data, also. Basically only things you choose to go into My Documents & things that programs (some of them) might by default send to those windows files. Thats the beauty of it. Only some programs will modify the folders in your Windows OS. Even fewer will modify particular files. Malware for instance can in some case. Its easier to find .

The Registry will be modified constantly as you use the PC, and it is of course a windows folder. System Restore (not to be misunderstood to be "recovery" files/folders like you mention are on your D:\) will modify each HD as it works, too.
These two things, and few others, are a lot less action than if you add all of your data and programs into it from the start & never stop doing it.

Smaller partitions reserved for specific purposes is what HP does when they bundle Windows into the PC they sell. Users who build there own also do this & of course plenty of others. The fact remains:
WindowsOS can operate on a single HD with it's required-as-format partition the whole drive (one letter) or
any number of partitions (which are essentially "sub divisions") on a single HD (more letters).

Modifications of your drive can be accomplished in a couple ways I know of:
  • Using software developed by HD manufacturers, like MaxBlast3.
  • Using the Disk Mangement console in Computer Management
  • found by -->Start-->Control Panel-->Performance & Maintenance-->Administrative Tools-->Computer Management (left pane, std. tree arrangement)-->Disk Management
Ask a simple question, ya' don't always get a simple (or even the one you're lookin' for) ANSWER. :thumbsup:

My computer wont recognize it.

Darn it. Why not? Is it plugged in? J/K :flowers:

how to get Windows XP to assign a drive letter

There is a way. Let's wait a see who knows it, huh?

Edited by phawgg, 14 December 2004 - 07:03 PM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 cowsgonemadd3


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Posted 14 December 2004 - 08:11 PM

Well looks like Phawgg got it lol!

Just to say Welcome to BC!

#4 phawgg


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Posted 15 December 2004 - 08:50 PM

I found this, but I do not think it applies to your question. It does add a little insight, however.
How to change a drive letter :thumbsup:
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#5 JEservices


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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:01 PM

To assign, change, or remove a drive letter
Using the Windows interface

Open Computer Management (Local).
In the console tree, click Disk Management.

Computer Management (Local)
Disk Management

Right-click a partition, logical drive, or volume, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
Do one of the following:
To assign a drive letter, click Add, click the drive letter you want to use, and then click OK.
To modify a drive letter, click it, click Change, click the drive letter you want to use, and then click OK.
To remove a drive letter, click it, and then click Remove.

Be careful when making drive-letter assignments because many MS-DOS and Windows programs make references to a specific drive letter. For example, the path environment variable shows specific drive letters in conjunction with program names.

To open Computer Management, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.
You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings might also prevent you from completing this procedure.
A computer can use up to 26 drive letters. Drive letters A and B are reserved for floppy disk drives, but you can assign these letters to removable drives if the computer does not have a floppy disk drive. Hard disk drives in the computer receive letters C through Z, while mapped network drives are assigned drive letters in reverse order (Z through B ).
You cannot change the drive letter of the system volume or boot volume.
An error message may appear when you attempt to assign a letter to a volume, CD-ROM drive, or other removable media device, possibly because it is in use by a program in the system. If this happens, close the program accessing the volume or drive, and then click the Change Drive Letter and Paths command again.
Windows 2000 and Windows XP allow the static assignment of drive letters on volumes, partitions, and CD-ROM drives. This means that you permanently assign a drive letter to a specific partition, volume, or CD-ROM drive. When you add a new hard disk to an existing computer system, it will not affect statically assigned drive letters.
You can also mount a local drive at an empty folder on an NTFS volume using a drive path instead of a drive letter.

Does that help? I can also provide the directions using the Command Prompt.
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.

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