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Windows 7: Why does my new storage drive appear 1st in puter mgmt?

21 Nov 2014   #11
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tinsby View Post
I bought an SSD, I was told to enable AHCI before I put the OS/ Win 7 on to it. So that's what I did. Then I bought a WD 500GB HDD to use as a storage drive for music files and photos etc. With that drive connected and unallocated it wouldn't boot, so I used Partition Wizard to format it to NTFS.

Then I booted the machine and all was fine with the exception of the drive letters in Computer Management being reversed. This is when I started to change the SATA cables around to 'solve' the problem.. lol... right!
Honestly, it doesn't matter what SATA controller you use for what drive, nor does it matter what "disk number" any disk shows up as either in the BIOS setup or in Disk Management. No matter what you see, you can change and reconfigure to meet your needs.

What's really important is what you define as the boot sequence in the BIOS, because the drive you want to be your boot drive with the "active" partition on it... that drive must be specified as the first hard drive in the BIOS boot sequence. So you should reconfigure things in your BIOS setup so that your SSD is that first drive. Then, when you install Win7 to the SSD, the installer will create the "active" 100MB "system reserved" partition (where it will put Boot Manager) and C partition (where it will put Win7 system) on that drive. And when you have to re-boot during the Win7 install, the BIOS will automatically boot from the SSD being constructed forever after. You can even do this before you boot from the Win7 installation DVD, since your CD/DVD is presumably in front of the first hard drive (i.e. your new SSD) in the boot sequence, so you can always boot from the DVD no matter what hard drive comes next.

Or, if you do a new Win7 install to a newly added drive that currently is not first in the BIOS boot sequence, the installer will still mark the 100MB "system reserved" partition as active and build Win7 what it will also create and which will appear as C when you boot to that drive. But you need to get into the BIOS and change the boot sequence before the first reboot during the installation process to point to this new drive first in the boot sequence, so that it will truly become the boot drive.

The remaining non-boot drive(s) for data, honestly it doesn't matter where they show up to the BIOS. All that's critical is that your boot drive with the "active" partition, that must appear first in the hard drive boot sequence for the BIOS.

Now... once you finally boot to Windows, it will automatically letter the Win7 system partition as C, no matter what SATA controller it's on, and no matter what disk number it shows up as in Disk Management. Doesn't matter at all, as long as that "active" partition drive is first in boot sequence to the BIOS, then Win7 system partition will automatically be lettered as C.

After that, again it is not critical at all what any other drive(s) you have appear as in Disk Management. Nor is it at all problematic what drive letters got assigned to any partition(s) on any hard drive. And that's because except for C, you can use Disk Management to change any assigned drive letter for any partition on any hard drive, to whatever you want it to be. Now you can't "switch" drive letters between two partitions, but you can change m to be x, and then n to be m, and then x to be n, and you've accomplished your desired "switch".

So again, it doesn't matter one bit what SATA controller you use for any drive. And it doesn't matter what drive letter Win7 initially assigns for any partition on any hard drive. it only matters that the drive you want to boot from and have installed Win7 to (and thus created the "system reserved" partition which is also marked "active") is first in the BIOS boot sequence, and you must configure this if it's currently not. Then, when you boot, Win7 system partition will automatically be lettered as C. Any other partitions on any other hard drive can be re-lettered using Disk Management, no matter what disk number they appear as in Disk Management, and no matter what drive letter they were initially assigned by Windows the first time that assignment occurred on first-boot of a newly installed Win7 system.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Nov 2014   #12
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

As @TVeblen and @dsperber basically explained, you need to make sure that your boot order in BIOS is on first place the SSD with the OS and System reserved partitions and next, the storage HDD.
See what your settings in BIOS are and if you could fix it from there or as e.g. @Tveblen explained so thoroughly.
Keep us posted, good luck!

CK_WD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #13
Tinsby

Dual boot Win7 Pro 64 & Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela"
 
 

HI TVeblen,

Not sure if I actually have a SATA port 0 on the board I'll have to look in the manual. Mine are numbered 1 thru 6 as I recall.

In step 3 of your "how to".. wouldn't the SSD automatically be Drive 0, since it was the only one connected? I had that condition, at one point, and figured it was the default being it was the only drive connected...

I think your point about the machine being cold booted is a good one, sometimes I try and use my external HD to make a backup and it won't show up in 7 until I have totally shut the machine off and restarted. The eSata isn't hot swappable on this MB.

I'm glad you got yours sorted. I had such a miserable time getting the HD to be recognized that when it did show up with he SSD, I simply said "that's it.!" I don't like it but after so many hours of playing with it and getting nowhere enough was enough. Not letting the machine boot to the OS after changing the BIOS is what I did as well I think that's what made allowed the HD to show up, even though the naming and order are wrong.

Thanks for your DIY and maybe when I am feeling less doubtful about messing with it I'll go back to it again at a later date. Constantly having to lift the machine from where it resides up to my desktop is a killer. Especially after having two spinal fusions <sigh>

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Nov 2014   #14
Tinsby

Dual boot Win7 Pro 64 & Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela"
 
 
The neverending story...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CKWD View Post
As @TVeblen and @dsperber basically explained, you need to make sure that your boot order in BIOS is on first place the SSD with the OS and System reserved partitions and next, the storage HDD.
See what your settings in BIOS are and if you could fix it from there or as e.g. @Tveblen explained so thoroughly.
Keep us posted, good luck!

CK_WD
Well that's what I have, the SSD is first in the boot order in the BIOS. The trouble occurs when the BIOS doesn't recognize the HDD, it will 'see' one or the other but at times not both! I can fool around for a long time to get the BIOS to recognize both at the same time and when it does, it makes the SSD Drive 1 and the HDD Drive 0.

As @dsperger opined in his lengthy response I followed the steps he calls out...
The install of Win 7 was a new one to a new SSD and I chose to let it make the system reserved paritition even though I know I could have gotten on fine w/o it. The SSD was loaded with Win 7 on this machine and this BIOS so it's not as if I plugged in a drive that was created elsewhere. Plus when I did the install of 7, the SSD was the only drive connected to the system. Where it's going wrong I have no idea. Plus if in the BIOS I had the drive letters reversed the machine wouldn't boot since there's no OS on the HDD storage drive.

I think back to when I added the HDD to the machine, the drive at that point was unformatted and just unallocated space. The machine wouldn't boot of course, so I had to use the Partition Wizard to format it NTFS. Could it be that the BIOS made the HDD Drive 0 at that point? I never removed the SSD during the format it stayed connected fwiw. If I was to reformat the HDD again, and make it unallocated, then try to boot and then reformat it ( I have it backed up) np, would that alleviate the mess I am in?

Thanks to @dserber and @tveblen all the rest who have tried to help, I may try and putz around with it again because it just pi$$es me off that it's not 'right' in the sense of appearance if nothing else. I don't mind spending the time to make something right, so I may get a burst of energy and try it sort it out again. I just made an Acronis image of all the drives so I can't mess it up too far, if I do I simply revert to the image backup on my external HDD.

I found this article from 2011 that refers to drive letter assignments for XP not 7, but everything in the registry was exactly like the article says. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/26...ments-registry

Did I try it........... 'no' ......... was I tempted..............'YES'

Cheers and here we go again....... maybe! lol

You all will be the second to know if I ever get it sorted!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #15
Tinsby

Dual boot Win7 Pro 64 & Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela"
 
 
Sorry but no joy

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
It's not that easy. It is important that Windows makes the change, otherwise bigger problems could occur.

I do not see anything unusual in your screenshot, so no help there.
Curious as to why the HDD was formatted as a logical drive. That is not necessary, but it won't harm anything either. (Do not play with the formatting unless you have backed up all data on the drive!).

IIRC, the last time I dealt with this 'problem', I did something like this:
  • Connected only the SSD (desired Disk 0) to SATA port 0 on the MB
  • Cold booted into windows (from full OFF condition).
  • Checked to be sure the drive was in DM and was Drive 0
  • Turned off the computer
  • Connected the HDD (to be Disk 1) to SATA port 1 on the MB
  • Booted and immediately went into BIOS (did not let Windows start)
  • Check in BIOS that 1) both hard drives were recognized, and 2) that the boot order was correct. It was not. Bios showed my HDD as the first drive to boot from.
  • I changed the boot order to boot from SSD first. Saved changes and Exit.
  • When the PC booted I immediately went into BIOS again. Checked boot order. All was good. Save and exit.
  • Then on reboot I let it go into Windows. My drives were finally in the right order.
Hi TVeblen,

I used your method above word by word on my system today, unfortunately it didn't work. I'm glad it did for you but for some reason no luck on this end. But thank you for all the time all of you have spent on this niggling problem. No one sees it but me, plus if I showed it to anyone who isn't interested in computers they'd just shrug and say " Oh!"

Failing any forthcoming ideas I have decided it's not hurting anything but my ego. I know it's there and it shouldn't be the way it is, but it is what it is!

Regards and Happy Holidays to all of you!

J T
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #16
Tinsby

Dual boot Win7 Pro 64 & Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela"
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Curious as to why the HDD was formatted as a logical drive.
TVeblen,

Forgot to ask this before.. why should I have formatted it to? Another primary? I can easily blow it out and reformat it I have all the backups.

Tnx!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #17
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tinsby View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Curious as to why the HDD was formatted as a logical drive.
TVeblen,

Forgot to ask this before.. why should I have formatted it to? Another primary? I can easily blow it out and reformat it I have all the backups.
Again... makes zero difference for a data partition. In fact, it doesn't even make a difference for the Windows system partition (i.e. C drive). So the Windows C partition can also be logical.

The only partition which ABSOLUTELY must be "primary" is the "active' partition, i.e. that 100MB "system reserved" partition. This is truly the only partition that MUST be "primary", as it's required by the BIOS to be that way.

Otherwise, any other partition anywhere on any drive can be primary or logical... matters not. There is no performance consequence, or any other consequence for that matter.

A hard drive formatted as MBR can have up to four primary partitions. If you want to have one or more logical partitions (because you want to have more than four partitions on that drive) you need to give up one of those four primary partitions (thus leaving you with three max), which gets converted to be the "extended partition" inside of which all of your logical partitions on the drive will live... one or more of them, up to a max of 120.

You simply choose primary or logical when you define the partition. And of course, the logical partitions must be essentially contiguous (although there also can be "logical free space" between logical partitions) since they're all living within the "extended partition".

The particular primary partition you give up to convert it into the "extended partition" can be any of the four max primary partitions on the drive. So it can be at the left-end of the drive, right-end of the drive, or be a middle partition area, or in fact can occupy the entire drive (i.e. there are zero other primary partitions on that drive, which could have now held up to three). Doesn't matter. But you can only have one "extended partition" on a drive, and all logical partitions are inside of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2014   #18
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I just meant what I said: it is unusual to create a entire disk as a Logical Drive, so I was curious if there was a reason why you did that.

As dsperber said, it has no bearing on your 'problem'. I think you would be just spinning your wheels to change it.

But it remains why the HDD is sometimes not recognized in BIOS. There just seems to be a piece of this puzzle that is missing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2014   #19
CKWD

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I have to agree with @Tveblen, something is missing and not quite right.
What's troubling me is the fact that the hard drive is not always recognized. You could first of try it on a different PC to and scan its health.
Though, it sounds to me that the problem is somewhere in the cables or motherboard itself.
After all, you said you have a back up, so it wouldn't hurt to try and wipe the drive clean and format and partition it again, see if the Disk numbers will rearrange.

CK_WD
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 Why does my new storage drive appear 1st in puter mgmt?




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