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Windows 7: Why would Windows 7 assign drive letters oddly on an internal drive?


06 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home 32bit & Windows 7 Pro 32bit
 
 
Why would Windows 7 assign drive letters oddly on an internal drive?

I've spent several hours doing searches trying to find a reason for the way drive letters have been assigned on a new system I put together today. Every system I have ever configured (starting in the late 80's) with 2 internal drives the first partition on the boot drive is C: and first partition on the second drive is D:. The remaining partitions on the boot drive get the next series of letters, E:, F: and G:, and the remaining partitions on the second drive go from there, H: and I. The Windows 7 Pro system I'm typing this on is exactly like that.

Today I put together a new system and installed Windows 7 Home on it. I was amazed to find the drive letters assigned differently. The first partition on the boot drive is still C: and the first partition on the second drive is D:, but E: is assigned to the second partition on the second drive (it only has 2 partitions). The remaining partitions on the boot drive are F:, G:, H: and I:.

The only thing that is obviously different on the new system is that the boot drive is a Velociraptor SATA3 drive and the second drive is a Seagate SATA2 drive. The boot drive is connected to the SATA3 port and the other drive is conencted to the SATA2 port.

I'm trying to figure out what's up with the drive letters before I install any software in partitions that might get a different letter if I correct whatever has caused this.

Thanks in advance for any ideas on why this has happened.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Not sure why this happened, but I think if you simply reshuffle the drive letters to match what you're used to (i.e. disk 0 having C: E: F: G: and disk 1 having D: H: I: ) - use Disk Management for this - then you should be safe and not have to worry about unexpected letter changes.
I believe that once you (re)assign drive letters, Windows saves them in the registry such that they become fixed to the respective disks/partitions for good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2011   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lee123 View Post
I've spent several hours doing searches trying to find a reason for the way drive letters have been assigned on a new system I put together today. Every system I have ever configured (starting in the late 80's) with 2 internal drives the first partition on the boot drive is C: and first partition on the second drive is D:. The remaining partitions on the boot drive get the next series of letters, E:, F: and G:, and the remaining partitions on the second drive go from there, H: and I. The Windows 7 Pro system I'm typing this on is exactly like that.

Today I put together a new system and installed Windows 7 Home on it. I was amazed to find the drive letters assigned differently. The first partition on the boot drive is still C: and the first partition on the second drive is D:, but E: is assigned to the second partition on the second drive (it only has 2 partitions). The remaining partitions on the boot drive are F:, G:, H: and I:.

The only thing that is obviously different on the new system is that the boot drive is a Velociraptor SATA3 drive and the second drive is a Seagate SATA2 drive. The boot drive is connected to the SATA3 port and the other drive is conencted to the SATA2 port.

I'm trying to figure out what's up with the drive letters before I install any software in partitions that might get a different letter if I correct whatever has caused this.

Thanks in advance for any ideas on why this has happened.
Lee,
Welcome to Seven Forums.
Two topics:
1. Tell us what drive letter assignment you would like to have,
2. Carry out following and pay special attention to dragging the field separators so that no field is truncated.

HOW TO POST A SNAPSHOT OF DISK MANAGEMENT DISPLAY
Run disk management:
WIN | type DISKMGMT.MSC | ENTER
WIN
is the key with the wavy flag.

Maximize the output of Disk Management:
ALT-Spacebar key combo (this pops up a menu) followed by X key (selects Maximize) |
Drag the field separators (such as between Status and Capacity) to show entire field. This is very important, otherwise, needed info is not visible.

Make a snapshot:
WIN | type SNIPPING | ENTER | New
Drag the cursor around the area you want to snip.
File | Save as | select save location and name | Save

Post the snapshot:
Upload a File or Screenshot in Seven Forums
===============================================

thanks,
karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


07 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home 32bit & Windows 7 Pro 32bit
 
 

Thanks to both of you for the suggestions. And thanks for the tip on how to quickly get to the disk management screen, Karl. Windows 7 is still real new to me, although I worked with previous versions of Windows and mainframe systems for many years (until Airborne Express/DHL bit the dust).

Looking at the disk management screen on both systems there was no significant difference between the one that had the letters in the traditional sequence and the new one with the odd sequence. I decided to stop wondering why they were that way and just fix them as you suggested. Since there was no data in any of the partitions except C and D, rather than juggling the letters I deleted all the logical partitions and recreated them in order. Now the letters all line up the way I'm used to seeing them.

Thanks again,
Lee
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2011   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Lee,
Thanks for getting back to us.

Good to see the problem is solved.

Glad that we could be of assistance.

If the problem is solved, would you please mark the thread as solved?

Thanks,
Karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista and now 7 in 32 and 64 bit.
 
 

Glad it is solved. Fwiw. I remember, in the very early Vista testing days, when this problem first came up, I queried it on the Technet forums. I only received one answer, from a Microsoft employee, who claimed that Microsoft were trying to get away from the concept of letter deignations to partitions/hds, and that, instead, it would be more adviseable to name them. I never had that view confirmed.
Fine idea, until you want to swap drives around or do anything physical with them. Also, during a clean install, with format, it will, of course, wipe any label you have assigned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Why would Windows 7 assign drive letters oddly on an internal drive?




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