Setting Up C: Drive


J

jbilecky

I am trying to set up an older PC with Windows XP, SP3. It has 4 internal hard drives - 2 IDE & 2 Sata. I would like to make one of my Sata drives the C: System Volume/Boot Volume. My BIOS lists this drive as 'IDE Channel 4 Master'.

The PC keeps assigning one of the IDE drives as C: instead. How can I change this?

Regards...John
 
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C

Charlie Hoffpauir

I am trying to set up an older PC with Windows XP, SP3. It has 4 internal hard drives - 2 IDE & 2 Sata. I would like to make one of my Sata drives the C: System Volume/Boot Volume. My BIOS lists this drive as 'IDE Channel 4 Master'.

The PC keeps assigning one of the IDE drives as C: instead. How can I change this?

Regards...John

You need to access the BIOS and set the drive you want to be the first
boot drive... on my HP computer that is still running XP, I enter the
BIOS during startup by pressing the F1 key. On some computers it's the
Delete key or something else.... usually shown on the screen briefly
during the startup process.

Once in the BIOS look for something like "Boot" or Boot device
priority. Be careful what you change tho, and make notes so if you do
something wrong, you can change it back to what it was.

It's usually possible to set up a series of drives taht the computer
will try, in order, looking for the boot disc. With that kind of
setup, you can set the CD drive as first, and the hard drive you want
as second. Then it you want or need to boot from a CD you just insert
one in that drive. If the drive is empty, the computer looks
automatically to the hard drive you've selected.
 
P

Paul

I am trying to set up an older PC with Windows XP, SP3. It has 4 internal hard drives - 2 IDE & 2 Sata. I would like to make one of my Sata drives the C: System Volume/Boot Volume. My BIOS lists this drive as 'IDE Channel 4 Master'.

The PC keeps assigning one of the IDE drives as C: instead. How can I change this?

Regards...John

Is it possible the letter assignment is made during WinXP installation ?
At least, for the OS volume.

The time to resolve a "C:" issue, might be while you're installing
the OS.

You disconnect as many drives as is necessary, to ensure the installation
goes perfectly. And the install ends up on C:.

Note that, if you're dual booting (and this install, is the second Windows
OS), there are more opportunities for it to end up with the wrong
drive letter.

While many installed programs, don't care that C: is used for the
system drive, there are some programs that keep track. Microsoft
Office might be an example. If you assign a drive letter to the
optical drive, you want that letter to be consistent over time,
so that if the Office CD needs to be inserted into the computer,
it has the same letter. The letter for the OS volume probably
matters too in that case.

Other, third party programs, can be "close to portable", and have
virtually no dependencies at all on the drive letter.

I would think, that once the system volume has been assigned
its drive letter, all the other letters can be assigned at will.
So if "C:" ended up in the "pool of free letters", then it can be
doled out to the IDE drive. And that's why it is on your IDE
drive right now.

But, if during the OS installation, the OS installed as C:,
then it should be more difficult for C: to end up somewhere
else.

And no, I don't know of a way to change the drive letter after
the fact. You'd have to visit the registry, and clean up installed
programs if that were the case. The registry does keep some entries
for drive lettering, so you can change details of those, but that
would not remove a dependency in something that's already installed.
And I expect cleaning up the details, is the hard part.

MountedDevices registry key

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc978525.aspx

DosDevices is another registry key. This is for the wrong OS.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms940866(v=WinEmbedded.5).aspx

Now, maybe someone has written a program to do the cleanup.
If that was the case, you'd do a backup before attempting it.
You would back up at least the OS volume, in case something
goes wrong. Because, if the program wanted to "clean house",
it'll be attacking the Registry files on the OS partition.

Paul
 
F

Flasherly

I am trying to set up an older PC with Windows XP, SP3. It has 4 internal hard drives - 2 IDE & 2 Sata. I would like to make one of my Sata drives the C: System Volume/Boot Volume. My BIOS lists this drive as 'IDE Channel 4 Master'.

The PC keeps assigning one of the IDE drives as C: instead. How can I change this?

Regards...John

Pull out the other three and if it won't work you'll know. Then do
the same for the other three and you might get good at it.
 
F

Flasherly

I'm with Charlie. Either that or switch the cables at the Mobo.

Used to have a mb w/ ide and 2 blocks of sata controllers - each block
w/ it's own bios identity. So, you know how that has to go, I put in
two more controllers into the pci slots. (9 or so drives if
counting). Where it gets interesting is the drivers when they match
chipset brandnames between mb & pci boards, only the chips are
actually different revisions and functionally apart. Periodically
have an electrical brownout to shake loose goo and jell of everything
stuck between the registry or system32 directory and it's fun with id
drive time.
 
T

Ting Hsu

I just noticed that USB3 drive is 5400RPM. I didn't
think I ever be back there again any time soon. Trying to see now much
of a hit that drive will take verses the 7200. Why would anyone put
one of those in a USB3 enclosure if we are looking for something fast.

External hard drives only do about 35-40 mb/s, even for usb 3 versions
(usb 2 versions are worse, at about 20-25 mb/s). You can find 75-80 mb/
s external drives, but you'll pay a premium for them.

Regardless, nearly all 5400 rpm drives can do 100 mb/s if directly
connected to your motherboard, so as you can see, the bottleneck is
the usb controller, not the drive speed.
 
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C

Charlie Hoffpauir

External hard drives only do about 35-40 mb/s, even for usb 3 versions
(usb 2 versions are worse, at about 20-25 mb/s). You can find 75-80 mb/
s external drives, but you'll pay a premium for them.

Regardless, nearly all 5400 rpm drives can do 100 mb/s if directly
connected to your motherboard, so as you can see, the bottleneck is
the usb controller, not the drive speed.

Interesting! Is the same true for external drives connected as e-SATA?
And what about a "removable" SATA drive... shouldn't that look just
like an internal drive to the controller? And I sometimes connect a
"bare" SATA drive via a long SATA cable, power it up with an external
power supply... usually to clone one of my internal drives. They all
seem to go much faster than a USB connected external drive.... but my
system has only USB 2 capability. I was hoping that USB 3 woud be as
fast as what I have with my various setups.
 
F

Flasherly

At one time I was thinking the more the merrier when it came to
drives. Now my whole strategy has changed. SSDs for the OS, one
sitting there not connected for the clone and some large SATA III HDDs
along with a USB3. I just noticed that USB3 drive is 5400RPM. I didn't
think I ever be back there again any time soon. Trying to see now much
of a hit that drive will take verses the 7200. Why would anyone put
one of those in a USB3 enclosure if we are looking for something fast.

Over and beyond me. First off with a SSD, I'm not entirely convinced
they're not wearing prematurely, failure prone;- figuring for low-end
model pricing, difficult configuration issues some over others have,
although, push it much harder (I've caught SSDs sale advertised for
around $50), and it'll be a mote point if further resistance on my
part is futile. Second, USB3. Newer. Haven't gotten around to
looking at real word results and performance. You bring up an
interesting point, though. If your drive is USB3, I'll assume a self-
contained or sustained unit (viz., not normally if at all drive-
replaceable from the user standpoint), is there actually a point to
going outside green for a 7200 black drive. . . (at the back of my
mind is the throughput for USB3 is probably maxed out before even
hitting 5400). I've got 'em, green 5400 drives, stacked up in piles
from last year when the getting was fantastic -- 2T Samsungs for $59
and stuff. Good enough for a couple USB2 docking stations I got for
$8 each. For now. Also picked up a 7200 1.5T for a main media
squeeze. Good thing. My, or those old drives (half that monster
config. was DVDs, anyway) have worked out nicely for retirement, 200 &
250Gs -- just sold one recently, while another got eaten by a bad-dog
MB, I suspect. And so I'm down to my last one. Double good.
Reformating my first "big drive" purchase, after those, in the
background this moment, a Seagate 650G. Probably stuck NTFS on it
before running into the program Easeus (a Partition Mngr.). Never
been a fan of NTFS since I've had NTFS drives turn into jello mush.
FAT32 has always done me right, even thought 64K segments over a total
size Easeus works with is pretty far out there in left field (have had
issues with Easeus and primary active assignments to booting and
related arbitrators). So far no main or related data corruption,
knock on wood.
 
T

Ting Hsu

Interesting! Is the same true for external drives connected as e-SATA?
And what about a "removable" SATA drive... shouldn't that look just
like an internal drive to the controller? And I sometimes connect a
"bare" SATA drive via a long SATA cable, power it up with an external
power supply... usually to clone one of my internal drives. They all
seem to go much faster than a USB connected external drive.... but my
system has only USB 2 capability. I was hoping that USB 3 woud be as
fast as what I have with my various setups.

Much of the problem is power. USB2 only provides 2.5 watts max, USB3
only provides 4.5 watts max, but 5400 rpm drives can draw 6 watts and
7200 rpm drives can draw 10 watts, when writing at full speed. Thus,
you will never get maximum performance out of an external drive that
is solely powered by a USB port.

While it is possible to find external drives that allow for external
power, I would discourage the use of external power. Drives that want
more power tend to not deal well with disruptions in power / cable
disconnects / etc. That's from personal experience.
 
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F

Flasherly

While it is possible to find external drives that allow for external
power, I would discourage the use of external power. Drives that want
more power tend to not deal well with disruptions in power / cable
disconnects / etc. That's from personal experience.

A non sequitur: Want of power as related to either an external, or
internal, power source - adequate within means and specifications -
does not correlate well to subsequent dealings of less than auspicious
natures.

What you mean to qualify is whether the external drive bay transformer
is substandard construction and/or not applying similar standards to a
computer PS proper, if in fact further redundant to a UPS.

Disruption of power -- hosed, utterly, trashed and nigh irretrievable
from a big, slop of Jello goop, warmed-over directories and files --
likewise, I'm sure, objectively based in only the finest tradition of
empirical observation, is what NTFS has dealt me over more than one
occasion, in direct contradiction to FAT32.

Fried USB header, although I must confess, does sound yummy yum.
 

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