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  1. #1
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    Recently, I noticed that the physical hard drive numbers of my drives hand changed. This was caused because I tried to add an e-sata drive. Shortly after this one of my hard drives became "bricked" going from 1TB capacity to 33mb. I've abandoned using the e-sata drive and now have three internal hard drives My question is that when I use my Acronis boot disk the physical drive position is reported differently from Computer Management in XP and Acronis Disk Director started when XP is switched on. Disk 0 is Windows in both cases (as it should be) but disks 1 and 2 are switched around depending upon whether I am using a boot CD or not. Why is this? I'm concerned because I wonder if it is a symptom of a bigger problem, failing motherboard, for example? I don't want to lose any more hard drives. Has anyone else noticed physical disk position being reported differently from a boot up CD?

    Thanks,

    Chris

  2. #2
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    This is just the order in which the different OSes see the disks and is normal behaviour. As long as the disks are seen in the same order every time you will be OK.
    The reason the SATA disk changes the disk order is the SATA controller reports it's disk in between the other disks, so Windows sees then as different disks. This is not a problem for Windows as long as the disks have been initialized. To check this run Disk Manager (diskmgmt.msc) and right click on one of the disks in the bottom right pane. If the disks need to be initialized Windows will ask.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reassurance, Paul. Discs are initialised.

    Chris

  4. #4
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    I have had similar problems with Acronis and other bootable CDs. In one case I even formatted the wrong drive (with Partition Magic) because of this annoyance. I found that often the bootable disks may not load the appropriate drivers and thus do not even recognize certain disks. For example, if your bootable disk does not load a USB driver, your external USB drive won't show up and other drives may have different physical drive numbers. Adding the appropriate drivers to the bootable disk will at least make those drives show up. Loading them in the correct order order is a bit more complicated. I have learned (the hard way) to carefully check the description of the drive and/or partition to ensure I am dealing with the correct one.

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