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Windows 7: harddrives listed in wrong order

24 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
harddrives listed in wrong order

well after testing pretty much everything im out of ideas and need help.

i have two harddrives, one wd black 2 tb and one wd green 1 tb. wd black is connected to sata port 1 and it contains my system partition c: (which is boot flagged) , and 3 logical partitions in an extended partition (lba flagged). the 1tb is connected to sata port 2 and contains only logical partitions in an extended partition (lba flagged aswell).

no matter what i do my second drive (the one connected in sata 2 port) gets listed as disk 0 in windows 7 install program and later on in windows disk manager. i've even erased both drives (to unallocated) and repartitoned them from scratch hoping it had something to do with mbr but to no avail. ive tried switching ports on the drives, changing boot options in bios, but whatever i do second drive always lists as disk 0.

i've also tried installing windows with only the first drive connected, sure it works, but when i connect second harddrive later on it gets listed as disk 0 again and i have to change drive letters. (windows lists cdrom before second drive partitions)
this is the first time im experiencing this, i've never had this problem before using the same rig (albeit different harddrives).
is windows listing drives based on their total size so smaller drives always comes first?
im pretty desperate at this point.

update: i got a breakthrough. changing from ahci to IDE emulation makes the harddrives (and partitions) to be listed in the correct order in windows 7 install program . what to make of this? i didnt change any other bios setting except this.

update 2: tested with both drives having all available space unallocated - no difference.

update 3: tested clearing cmos (removed battery + jumpered it) - no difference.

update 4: plugged in a 320 gb sata II harddrive unallocated and removing 2tb drive, and it shows up as disk 1 - this removes the idea that windows 7 may sort drives per total size.

update 5: with 320gb drive in sata 1 port and wd green in sata 2, the wd green drive still shows up as disk 0. interesting results...this then might possibly be harddrive related, jumper setting perhaps? need to dig in to it. next is to remove wd green and plug in wd black instead.

update 6: with 320gb drive in sata 1 port and wd black in sata 2, it displays correctly in win 7 install (320gb as disk 0, wd black as disk 1). this is intrigueing. allthough swapping ports (black in sata 1 and 320gb in sata 2) makes no difference, 320gb drive is still listed first. this is hopeless.

update 7: did extensive tests with 2 completely different harddrives, both sata II. same thing. one always comes before the other no matter what i change. this is getting pretty irritating.

update 8: i finally found some info myself, i add a link for future persons with the same problem to get enlightened.

so it seems this is a bug/issue in win7, along with other NT based OS:es, but only for certain controllers and setups apparently (guess i was unlucky then) and since i've only used non NT based Windows prior, i've never experienced it. seems we have no other choice than to accept the fact that you have to manually change drive letters after a reinstall (if you care about drive letters and their order that is) or do a ghost image.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Thank you for persisting in finding the cause of your problem as it will now help others searching the problem.

This is another reason why we always advise to remove all other HD's during install. Then even the MS solution to verify disk info by size and volume label isn't necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2010   #3
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello mulone, welcome to Seven Forums!

I have the same issues as you and have been watching this thread; I have just never been too concerned with finding a resolution though I would prefer it to not exist at all as it's a PITA.

My apologies for not posting something earlier but I (wrongly) assumed someone would have an answer for this and then lost track of it as you made "updates" to the original post instead of making new posts to bump the thread along so it got "lost" amongst the newer threads.

Thank you for the enlightenment though unless I missed something I see even MS is stumped on a resolution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 harddrives listed in wrong order

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