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Drive Letters


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#1 1up2down

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 01:21 AM

My hard drive has 4 partitions, 3 with a different XP operating systems on, and the 4th I use for backups. When I boot to partition 1 ©, The drive letters for the 4 partitions are C - D - G - H. When I boot to partition 2 (D), The drive letters change to C - D - E - F. I was wondering if there were any settings that could prevent the drive letters from being changed this way.

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#2 pip22

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 09:08 AM

It has to do with what type of partitions they are I think (eg a primary partition as opposed to logical partitions inside an extended one).

Reading this may help: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/part.htm

In the left pane, click on the last link "Drive Letter Assignment and Choosing Primary vs Logical Partitions".

Edited by pip22, 04 February 2007 - 09:11 AM.


#3 1up2down

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 05:42 AM

It has to do with what type of partitions they are I think (eg a primary partition as opposed to logical partitions inside an extended one).

Reading this may help: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/part.htm

In the left pane, click on the last link "Drive Letter Assignment and Choosing Primary vs Logical Partitions".


Thanks for trying but I am struggling to make sense of this article. This could be because it appears to have been written basically for earlier versions of Windows rather than XP. Nonetheless, the article is also inaccurate in as much as it tells us that drive C is a primary partition, and that a primary drive is only needed because it is required to boot the operating system. It also suggests that all other partitions are automatically allocated drive letters D, E, F and so on.

To my way of thinking, the computer can only boot to the C drive, which has to be an active partition not a primary one. While any other partitions containing an operating system have to be a primary. Plus XP normally assigns letters D and possibly E to the CD ROM drives. I say normally because depending on which operating system I boot to, the CD ROM drive letters also change.

#4 fozzie

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:34 AM

Would this shed any light on the matter? What is an active partition. Partition info

#5 1up2down

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 02:05 PM

Would this shed any light on the matter? What is an active partition. Partition info



Thanks fozzie, (this) was an interesting read in the sense that it told me something I didn't know about, removing a drive letter. However, there's nothing that explains why after assigning a drive letter to each partition, those drive letters are changed depending on which OS I boot to.

Still, I am learning all the time though. When I first noticed the problem, even the C drive letter was changing. This turned out to be because I had used an image from another drive to install one of the OS's, not realising that the image was originally from an active partition. This gave me two OS's booting as a C drive :-))

#6 Jombee

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 07:16 PM

to change a drive letter
Right click My computer and choose Manage
in the left pane click Disk Management (you may have to expand the storage option) in the right window bottom half, right click on the drive in question and choose "change drive letter and path(s)"

2 things to remeber
don't EVER change the letter of the system drive. really don't do that, bad things happen and baby jesus cries

#7 1up2down

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 12:50 AM

to change a drive letter
Right click My computer and choose Manage
in the left pane click Disk Management (you may have to expand the storage option) in the right window bottom half, right click on the drive in question and choose "change drive letter and path(s)"

2 things to remeber
don't EVER change the letter of the system drive. really don't do that, bad things happen and baby jesus cries


Thanks. Yes I do know how to change a drive letter. What I want is to stop the computer automatically changing it again when I boot from one operating system to another.

#8 fozzie

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 03:48 AM

I have been looking around, on the system where you have C,D,E,F can you see you optical drives?

#9 usasma

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 07:56 AM

I would suggest changing the drive letters in one instance of XP to reflect the drive lettering scheme in the other instance of XP.

Be aware that XP will prefer to use the partition that it's on as C: - and, if you change it, be prepared to repair Windows.
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#10 1up2down

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 05:33 AM

I have been looking around, on the system where you have C,D,E,F can you see you optical drives?


Yes, I can see the optical drives. Anyway, to solve the promblem, I have decided to change the drive letters of every partition bar C to X, Y and Z. This way the two optical drives will always be D and E. Lets hope this stops the other partition letters changing. I'll let you know how it goes :-)) Thanks




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