My only drive has no drive letter assigned...


G

Guest

Hello,

Yesterday I wanted to spring-clean and reinstall win2K Pro on my old laptop.
It has a single 4Gb harddrive which was partitioned into C: D: and E:. Since
it has no cdrom drive, reinstalling the system has always been a bit tricky
and has always invloved fiddling with customized bootdisks to give support
for this PCMCIA cdrom drive or that USB cdrom drive (both of which often
freezed in the middle of the installation provess).

I wanted to try to do without the cdrom drives this time so I copied all the
contents from the i386 folder on the CD to my E: drive, I then used
PartitionMagic boot diskettes to boot into PartitionMagic 8 where I then
proceeded to delete C: and D: partitions. I then resized the E: partition to
span my complete harddrive so that the drive only has one partition. I then
set that only partition to active in order to install win2K.

I did so by typing winnt inside the i386 folder and everything proceeded as
it has before when I have reinstalled this and other systems. I now have a
working installation and have updated it and everything. When I look in
explorer my harddive is appropriately labelled C:.

So what is my problem you ask?

Well, I now wanted to boot into Partitionmagic again and create a partition
D: for the purpose of ghosting an image of C: to the new partition and then
burn it as a backup.

But when I am booted into PartitionMagic 8 (via PM diskettes) I discover
that my harddrive has no drive letter assigned and when I try to create a new
partition PM wants to give the new partition the C letter which of course is
should be used by the system already installed. Why does not PM treat my
harddrive as C: when I can boot my computer normally and see C: as the label
for my harddrive when inside win2K ?

I am not so good at these things and I believe that drive letters are
assigned during the boot process, but should not the system drive have a
static drive letter (C: for most people) ??

I probably shouldn't have done that thing with keeping E: and then resizing
it.

Does anyone know how I can set my harddrive to be C: instead of apparently
not having a drive letter at all?

Thanks a lot for any help!
 
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G

Guest

This always happens to me, first I troubleshoot for hours and then after
giving up and deciding to get help online I got back and fiddle a bit more
and find out what the problem is.

It turns out that the problem was that my harddrive was FAT32 and when I
converted it to FAT PartitionMagic immediately identified it as C: and then
next partition I created as D:. Why this was a problem, though, I have no
idea since previously all C: D: and E: partitions were FAT32....
 
G

Gary Chanson

Peter said:
Hello,

Yesterday I wanted to spring-clean and reinstall win2K Pro on my old laptop.
It has a single 4Gb harddrive which was partitioned into C: D: and E:. Since
it has no cdrom drive, reinstalling the system has always been a bit tricky
and has always invloved fiddling with customized bootdisks to give support
for this PCMCIA cdrom drive or that USB cdrom drive (both of which often
freezed in the middle of the installation provess).

I wanted to try to do without the cdrom drives this time so I copied all the
contents from the i386 folder on the CD to my E: drive, I then used
PartitionMagic boot diskettes to boot into PartitionMagic 8 where I then
proceeded to delete C: and D: partitions. I then resized the E: partition to
span my complete harddrive so that the drive only has one partition. I then
set that only partition to active in order to install win2K.

I did so by typing winnt inside the i386 folder and everything proceeded as
it has before when I have reinstalled this and other systems. I now have a
working installation and have updated it and everything. When I look in
explorer my harddive is appropriately labelled C:.

So what is my problem you ask?

Well, I now wanted to boot into Partitionmagic again and create a partition
D: for the purpose of ghosting an image of C: to the new partition and then
burn it as a backup.

But when I am booted into PartitionMagic 8 (via PM diskettes) I discover
that my harddrive has no drive letter assigned and when I try to create a new
partition PM wants to give the new partition the C letter which of course is
should be used by the system already installed. Why does not PM treat my
harddrive as C: when I can boot my computer normally and see C: as the label
for my harddrive when inside win2K ?

I am not so good at these things and I believe that drive letters are
assigned during the boot process, but should not the system drive have a
static drive letter (C: for most people) ??

I probably shouldn't have done that thing with keeping E: and then resizing
it.

Does anyone know how I can set my harddrive to be C: instead of apparently
not having a drive letter at all?

My first guess is that your C partition is an extended partition instead
of a primary partition.
 
G

Guest

It is true that, before reinstalling, the E: partition was a logical in an
extended partition. But after I had performed all the drive actions to create
a single partition and before reinstalling I made my single partition both
primary and active. So it was certainly primary, that I am sure of, but
perhaps some kind of remnant of the extended attribut was still there.

However, PM does not say anything about it being extended while it correctly
identifies the new D: partition as extended.

Also, I can use the computer and boot normally and in Partitionmagic under
Windows everything looks normal. Should I clean out everything and start over
again?

This is what is looks like when I boot into Partitionmagic. The photo is
dark but notice that there are no drive letters inside the graphical
representation of the partitions (unlike the second image below).

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/4840/doscs3.jpg

This is what the same situation looks like when I have booted into Windows
2000:

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/1420/win2kzp3.jpg


I don't know if this is a critical or unstable situation or not and whether
I am better off re-doing the whole installation 'hoolabaloo' ?

Thanks!
 
G

Gary Chanson

Peter said:
It is true that, before reinstalling, the E: partition was a logical in an
extended partition. But after I had performed all the drive actions to create
a single partition and before reinstalling I made my single partition both
primary and active. So it was certainly primary, that I am sure of, but
perhaps some kind of remnant of the extended attribut was still there.

However, PM does not say anything about it being extended while it correctly
identifies the new D: partition as extended.

Also, I can use the computer and boot normally and in Partitionmagic under
Windows everything looks normal. Should I clean out everything and start over
again?

This is what is looks like when I boot into Partitionmagic. The photo is
dark but notice that there are no drive letters inside the graphical
representation of the partitions (unlike the second image below).

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/4840/doscs3.jpg

This is what the same situation looks like when I have booted into Windows
2000:

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/1420/win2kzp3.jpg


I don't know if this is a critical or unstable situation or not and whether
I am better off re-doing the whole installation 'hoolabaloo' ?

It's probably not significant but it would be nice to know what exactly
is going on. My next guess is that the partition table entries are out of
order. It would be interesting to look at the raw data in the partition
table. There are a number of partition table utilities floating around but
I don't off-hand remember which ones display the information in raw for. I
think the Partition Utility program which comes with Partition Magic does.
 
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G

Guest

Hello again!

Indeed, it would be nice to know what is going on.

Since the raw data outputted by partinfo.exe does not really tell me
anything I posted it online and you can see it here in case you can make
something out if it:

http://hem.bredband.net/lutherblissett/rawdata.html

(I wonder if this has something to do with the drives being FAT32 and not
FAT. Some sites say that DOS cannot read NTFS but only FAT so perhaps DOS
cannot read FAT32 either? And since I am in DOS when I boot with the
Partitionmagc diskettes perhaps that could be the problem? )

Ciao,
 

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