What the hell???????? (Drive letter issue)


C

casey.o

I just installed XP Home SP2 on a new computer that I'm building. The
computer is missing a floppy drive. I plan to buy one, but dont have it
now. Otherwise, it has a AMD Athlon 64 processor 3200+ 2G of ram.
The harddrive is a SATA type, which I had to buy. I have never used a
SATA drive before, so this puzzled me. However, I just plugged in the
drive, put the XP CD in the CD drive, and let it format the drive and
install XP. Besides the SATA Drive, there is a CD drive and a DVD
drive. Nothing more......

After XP was installed, I keep getting an error at bootup saying floppy
drive error. But pushing F1 loads XP. (Of course there's a floppy
drive error, there is NO floppy drive).

But the real puzzler came when I went to "My Computer". Listed are
Drive C: removable - Drive D: removable - Drive E: removable - Drive F:
removable - Drive G: CD Drive - Drive H: DVD Drive - Drive I: Local disk
(harddrive).

There are NO usb drives plugged in, NOTHING except the harddrive CD
drive, and DVD drive. Why are all those removable drives listed? Why
is the harddrive on I: and not on C:? This has got to be the weirdest
thing I've ever seen......

NOTE: I can reinstall XP if necessary. I actually only installed it
because I wanted to test the SATA drive I just bought. But I'd leave it
installed, if the drive letters were correct.......

I let the install format to NTFS, using the entire 500G drive as one
partition. I really wanted to partition it to at least 3 partitions,
but I was not sure how to do this during the XP install. I figured I'd
just reinstall after using Partition Magic to modify it and make more
partitions. Normally, I use a dos floppy and run Fdisk to preformat
drives, but I dont have a floppy drive, and also understand that Dos can
not access Sata drives directly. (Plus if I'm nto mistaken, Fdisk cant
access such a large drive anyhow!).

How the hell can the ONLY harddrive be accessed as drive I:? I didn't
think that was possible. I thought the boot partition was always Drive
C:
 
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P

Paul

I just installed XP Home SP2 on a new computer that I'm building. The
computer is missing a floppy drive. I plan to buy one, but dont have it
now. Otherwise, it has a AMD Athlon 64 processor 3200+ 2G of ram.
The harddrive is a SATA type, which I had to buy. I have never used a
SATA drive before, so this puzzled me. However, I just plugged in the
drive, put the XP CD in the CD drive, and let it format the drive and
install XP. Besides the SATA Drive, there is a CD drive and a DVD
drive. Nothing more......

After XP was installed, I keep getting an error at bootup saying floppy
drive error. But pushing F1 loads XP. (Of course there's a floppy
drive error, there is NO floppy drive).

But the real puzzler came when I went to "My Computer". Listed are
Drive C: removable - Drive D: removable - Drive E: removable - Drive F:
removable - Drive G: CD Drive - Drive H: DVD Drive - Drive I: Local disk
(harddrive).

There are NO usb drives plugged in, NOTHING except the harddrive CD
drive, and DVD drive. Why are all those removable drives listed? Why
is the harddrive on I: and not on C:? This has got to be the weirdest
thing I've ever seen......

NOTE: I can reinstall XP if necessary. I actually only installed it
because I wanted to test the SATA drive I just bought. But I'd leave it
installed, if the drive letters were correct.......

I let the install format to NTFS, using the entire 500G drive as one
partition. I really wanted to partition it to at least 3 partitions,
but I was not sure how to do this during the XP install. I figured I'd
just reinstall after using Partition Magic to modify it and make more
partitions. Normally, I use a dos floppy and run Fdisk to preformat
drives, but I dont have a floppy drive, and also understand that Dos can
not access Sata drives directly. (Plus if I'm nto mistaken, Fdisk cant
access such a large drive anyhow!).

How the hell can the ONLY harddrive be accessed as drive I:? I didn't
think that was possible. I thought the boot partition was always Drive
C:

What you are seeing, is the results of a USB "card reader", located
on the front panel of the computer. Look under the optical drives for it.
It takes small memory cards, such as SD cards out of a digital camera.

It was fashionable, to remove floppy drives from computers,
and replace the empty "hole" in the chassis, with a USB card reader.

The USB card reader, typically takes up four drive letters. Even
when no media is present, the drive letters are occupied as removable
devices, in the same sense as A: shows up even when no floppy is in
the floppy drive.

There is some technique for hiding those drive letters, so they
don't show, but I'll leave that to your capable search skills :)

If the motherboard in the machine, actually still has a floppy
header for the floppy ribbon cable, you can enter the BIOS
setup screen, and attempt to track down and disable the floppy.
In the hopes that the OS will no longer go looking for it.
Note that my older motherboards, don't have this! Only
the relatively new one (that does currently have a floppy
drive loaded, so I can use my memtest86+ floppy). This motherboard
actually has a setting to disable the floppy and make it disappear.

http://i61.tinypic.com/2a6tc93.gif (~40KB picture)

Paul
 
C

casey.o

What you are seeing, is the results of a USB "card reader", located
on the front panel of the computer. Look under the optical drives for it.
It takes small memory cards, such as SD cards out of a digital camera.

It was fashionable, to remove floppy drives from computers,
and replace the empty "hole" in the chassis, with a USB card reader.

The USB card reader, typically takes up four drive letters. Even
when no media is present, the drive letters are occupied as removable
devices, in the same sense as A: shows up even when no floppy is in
the floppy drive.

There is some technique for hiding those drive letters, so they
don't show, but I'll leave that to your capable search skills :)

If the motherboard in the machine, actually still has a floppy
header for the floppy ribbon cable, you can enter the BIOS
setup screen, and attempt to track down and disable the floppy.
In the hopes that the OS will no longer go looking for it.
Note that my older motherboards, don't have this! Only
the relatively new one (that does currently have a floppy
drive loaded, so I can use my memtest86+ floppy). This motherboard
actually has a setting to disable the floppy and make it disappear.

http://i61.tinypic.com/2a6tc93.gif (~40KB picture)

Paul

You're right about the card reader. I forgot that was there. Its for
camwer cards and such. But that still dont explain why the HD is not
C:. I think I'll just unplug that card reader for now.

I dont have the floppy installed as a bootup device. I only set the HD
and CD as booting devices. But I'll check on that. In the bios.

If that's not enough trouble, I installed XP yesterdayThursday at around
5pm. It's now Friday around 2am. I just turned on the computer and
windows will not let me get into it, unless I activate it NOW.
Obviously I cant do that, I never even connected a modem to it yet. I
only had it turned on once, when I installed it. I know you gave me
that code a few weeks ago, to extend the activation, but I cant use it
because I cant get in. I guess all I can do is wipe the drive and
reinstall. But I'll probably have to get a floppy drive first, so I can
use dos to format it clean. Seems the more I mess with XP, the more I
hate it. I might just install Win2K and be done with it. There is no
reason at all that I should not be able to boot XP whhen I just
installed it.....
 
C

casey.o

Drives C, D, E and F are probably logical assignments to the slots of
the built-in card reader. Drives G and H are obvious. The next drive
letter available for installing Win7 would be Drive I. This would also
be the boot, or system, partition. (Microsoft always assumes that the
hard drive would never be partitioned with logical drives, in which
case, it does not matter whether it is Drive C or Drive whatsoever.)

I have never installed Windows to any computer with a built-in card
reader but perhaps it can be disconnected or disabled prior to the
Windows 7 installation. In this instance, Windows 7 would install
to the hard drive but it should be assigned as Drive C.

GR

You're right about the card reader. I forgot that was there. But I'm
not installing Windows 7. This is "microsoft.public.windowsxp.general"
So obviously I'm installing XP. Which I said more than once in the
post.
 
Z

Zaky Waky

How the hell can the ONLY harddrive be accessed as drive I:? I didn't
think that was possible. I thought the boot partition was always Drive
C:

You have a bios configuration problem. I ran into the same problem once
while doing a rebuild.
 
C

casey.o

(e-mail address removed) wrote in

You have a bios configuration problem. I ran into the same problem once
while doing a rebuild.

I fixed it. Not sure how though. I removed the floppy in the bios.
Then because of the activation issue, I formatted the drive, and
reinstalled XP, but this time I created several partitions on the drive.
Now the primary partition is on C: What changed it, is puzzling. I'm
wondering if maybe I formatted too large of a drive (the entire 500G).
C: is not 116G. I think I also know why the activation issue happened.
When I instaled XP, I did not change the date, which was about a month
behind. I changed the date later on. I bet that caused that problem.
This time I set the date during the install.

One thing I'm not happy about now, is that Disk Management will not
allow me to format the partitions to Fat32, except for the little one at
the end, which is about 32G. The other partitions are 116G 100G 100G
and 125G. I read on the web that I cant use Fat32 on any partition over
32G. That's odd, on my Win98 computer, I have soem 40G partitions that
are Fat32. I have never used NTFS, and prefer not to. The main reason
is so I can access files from DOS, especially if I have a problem where
XP wont boot. At least I can still access my data. The other reason is
cuz I have a Linux OS program that runs inside of XP, but it wont run on
a NTFS drive.

I'm now formatting the logical partitions, which is slow. I hope to
soon find out of all the partition drive letters are correct, when I
reboot. I'm not used to these huge hard drives, and this is the first
time I've ever used a SATA drive. (I guess 500G is really not "huge"
anymore, but till now, the biggest drive I've used was a 160G IDE.
 
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H

Hot-Text

|I just installed XP Home SP2 on a new computer that I'm building.

You was
Now you building XP Home SP3

| After XP was installed, I keep getting an error at bootup saying floppy
| drive error. But pushing F1 loads XP. (Of course there's a floppy
| drive error, there is NO floppy drive).

Power On Computer
or if On
Ctrl+Alt+Delete
1,2,3 sec.........
Delete [For Dell Bos Setup]
F1 [For CompaQ Bos Setup]
F2 [For HP Bos Setup]

Of course there's a floppy on
Yes you know how to put it to Off
Just geting there
Casey O
That a job on it's on

| But the real puzzler came when I went to "My Computer". Listed are
| Drive C: removable - Drive D: removable - Drive E: removable - Drive F:
| removable - Drive G: CD Drive - Drive H: DVD Drive - Drive I: Local disk
| (harddrive).
|

On A
XP Pro SP3

[Start]
[Settings]
[Control Panel]

Note: Lift Side Manu Bar
Click to
Switch to Classic View
You can
Switch Back when we are
Done

You see
[ Administrative Tools ]
Click on it

You see
[Computer Management]
Click on it too

Pop-up Computer Management

Note: Lift Side Manu Bar
Click on (+) Storage
Click on Disk Managment

Right Click
On a Drive



The harddrive Tools
By Microsoft
Good for partitions of a
New Add-on harddrive too

Have fun youall
 
P

Paul

I fixed it. Not sure how though. I removed the floppy in the bios.
Then because of the activation issue, I formatted the drive, and
reinstalled XP, but this time I created several partitions on the drive.
Now the primary partition is on C: What changed it, is puzzling. I'm
wondering if maybe I formatted too large of a drive (the entire 500G).
C: is not 116G. I think I also know why the activation issue happened.
When I instaled XP, I did not change the date, which was about a month
behind. I changed the date later on. I bet that caused that problem.
This time I set the date during the install.

One thing I'm not happy about now, is that Disk Management will not
allow me to format the partitions to Fat32, except for the little one at
the end, which is about 32G. The other partitions are 116G 100G 100G
and 125G. I read on the web that I cant use Fat32 on any partition over
32G. That's odd, on my Win98 computer, I have soem 40G partitions that
are Fat32. I have never used NTFS, and prefer not to. The main reason
is so I can access files from DOS, especially if I have a problem where
XP wont boot. At least I can still access my data. The other reason is
cuz I have a Linux OS program that runs inside of XP, but it wont run on
a NTFS drive.

I'm now formatting the logical partitions, which is slow. I hope to
soon find out of all the partition drive letters are correct, when I
reboot. I'm not used to these huge hard drives, and this is the first
time I've ever used a SATA drive. (I guess 500G is really not "huge"
anymore, but till now, the biggest drive I've used was a 160G IDE.

You can prepare a partition as NTFS, give it a drive letter etc,
then use the Ridgecrop FAT32 formatter, to format it. The Ridgecrop
one, does a "quick" format, only writing a new FAT for the partition,
rather than formatting every sector. It only takes a second or two,
to make a FAT32 partition up to 2TB etc.

(Note - this page is SMOTHERED in those stupid, irrelevant, green download
buttons. None of those buttons have anything to do with the download!)

http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?fat32format.htm

The actual file is located on a line of text on that page.
Click this to get the file.

http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/download/fat32format.zip

fat32format Q:

That's enough to get the job done. On occasion, you may want
to adjust the cluster size, but for the most part, I just
pass it the drive letter and that's all there is to it. The
command (done in Command Prompt) will ask for confirmation.

That's how I solve the WinXP FAT32 formatter limitation.

It can also be done with GParted, but then, there might
be side effects and research to do (alignment).

Paul
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>,
The harddrive is a SATA type, which I had to buy. I have never used a
SATA drive before, so this puzzled me. However, I just plugged in the
drive, put the XP CD in the CD drive, and let it format the drive and

You obviously have a motherboard and BIOS that can make a SATA drive
look like an (E)IDE one, as most such mobo/BIOSes of that era (and
possibly still) could/can.
[]
After XP was installed, I keep getting an error at bootup saying floppy
drive error. But pushing F1 loads XP. (Of course there's a floppy
drive error, there is NO floppy drive).

As I think you've now discovered, there's sometimes a BIOS option to
check some aspect of the floppy drive (sometimes called something like
"pre-seek" or similar, IIRR; I think it checks whether the drive is
"high density" [1.44M rather than 720K], double sided, or whatever); if
you have a floppy drive, it makes the light flash and the drive clunk at
bootup. If you disable it it boots a second or two faster and wears the
drive less, at the expense of not detecting faults with it. If you turn
that off, as I think you have, you might not see that error message.
But the real puzzler came when I went to "My Computer". Listed are
Drive C: removable - Drive D: removable - Drive E: removable - Drive F:
removable - Drive G: CD Drive - Drive H: DVD Drive - Drive I: Local disk
(harddrive).

As others have said (and you've confirmed), sounds like a card reader,
though I'm surprised it got letters lower than C:. Probably worth
unplugging it (it usually is a USB device, though it might use an
on-mobo USB header) while installing XP, and then reconnecting it. (I've
never encountered one cause any problems, and they're useful to have
[IMO far easier to transfer pictures from a camera by transferring the
card rather than connecting the camera - if you can remember where you
put the lead! - and battling the camera's menus, and in some cases
running down its battery], so you might as well.)
[]
I let the install format to NTFS, using the entire 500G drive as one
partition. I really wanted to partition it to at least 3 partitions,

I'm with you there. Plenty disagree with us though. FWIW I made my
"system and software" drive (C:) 30G, and have only filled about 20G of
it since, over several years of using XP.
but I was not sure how to do this during the XP install. I figured I'd
just reinstall after using Partition Magic to modify it and make more
partitions. Normally, I use a dos floppy and run Fdisk to preformat
drives, but I dont have a floppy drive, and also understand that Dos can
not access Sata drives directly. (Plus if I'm nto mistaken, Fdisk cant
access such a large drive anyhow!).

I hadn't heard (or had forgotten) about DOS having difficulties with
SATA drives; I think if the drive is _appearing_ as an (E)IDE drive
anyway, courtesy of the mobo/BIOS, then DOS should have no problem,
BICBW about that. DOS can't access NTFS partitions anyway though,
without help.
How the hell can the ONLY harddrive be accessed as drive I:? I didn't
think that was possible. I thought the boot partition was always Drive
C:
I think for up to a certain level - not sure whether DOS or '9x (3.1 was
a DOS prog. really) - it was, but from some level on - obviously
including XP, which I didn't know - it can be otherwise.(Actually, C: _or below_; I remember machines which booted from A:, in
some cases not even _having_ a C:. But then I'm showing my age ...)
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>,
If that's not enough trouble, I installed XP yesterdayThursday at around
5pm. It's now Friday around 2am. I just turned on the computer and
windows will not let me get into it, unless I activate it NOW.
Obviously I cant do that, I never even connected a modem to it yet. I
only had it turned on once, when I installed it. I know you gave me

I know you've sorted it (though possibly only for 30 days or a similar
period!), but for completeness: you don't need a MoDem. It can use any
network line, but if you start the activation process and it can't
detect _any_ MoDem, network connection, or similar, it will offer you
the option of activation using the telephone: it tells you a number to
call (usually a freephone one - and there are ones for many countries -
I think), and you then interact with the remote computer using your
telephone's keypad, and typing in things that it reads to you. (I don't
know if it has speech recognition if you don't have a touch-tone 'phone.
I think there's an option to get through to a real human anyway - that's
for when the automatic mechanism fails, so you can try to convince them
you're not using a version/copy that's already been used - though I
_presume_ that'll not last for ever.)
[]
use dos to format it clean. Seems the more I mess with XP, the more I
hate it. I might just install Win2K and be done with it. There is no

You won't believe us at the moment, but you'll grow to like XP as much
as you do '98. (Not _more_: both have their shortcomings, '98 being -
among other things - limited USB support and software, like browsers
that can hack modern websites, won't run on it; XP some of the more
nannyish aspects, though you can tame most of those.)
reason at all that I should not be able to boot XP whhen I just
installed it.....
Unless you're using a pirated copy, which is what the activation thing
is about. (Not saying you are, only that that's what it's there for.)3
 

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