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  1. #16
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    I did read and believe. But I don't see how 26-2=22 even if that is a bit closer to your target of 20.

    Bruce
    At least I've whittled you down to 24 letters.

    I didn't list all the required devices which take up drive letters, partly because these may vary from one system to another. Both of my laptops come in at about four required drives and devices which take up drive letters. This may or may not be representative of an average home user. I think most home users have even more drive letters which are not usually available for external devices, especially drives.

    Be that as it may, my main reason for not using a hub is not so much that I'd run out of drive letters, as that power and other more technical considerations (like required resources conflicts and read/write traffic conflicts) make me very unsure about connecting more than one external USB drive to one USB port. Since as I said, my drives are used for critical backups, I'd rather play it safe. So I never get to test the drive letters all the way out to wherever they may become exhausted or start to overlap.

    My USB limitations are not in the number of available drive letters, but in the available (other) Windows and hardware resources, were I to use a USB hub. I believe one USB port only supports a limited data transfer bandwidth anyway, so simultaneous transfers (which I usually do) might suffer slowdowns as well as possible errors. In any event, I just don't like taking unnecessary chances with my critical system backups.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-09-08 at 13:23.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Windows only allows use of 20 letters, as the other 6 are reserved.
    I don't think that's correct. For example, Windows certainly doesn't 'reserve' a drive letter for a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive that isn't present in the system (think Netbooks), though it will assign one if it finds one present (and as with hard drive partition letters once assigned the letter will be 'sticky' unless the drive disappears and its letter gets assigned elsewhere). And you can change the letter of a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drive the same way you can change any hard drive partition's letter save perhaps for the 'boot' and 'system' partitions (at least in earlier Windows environments - my impression is that Win7 and perhaps Vista may tolerate changing those partition letters as well, and even in earlier systems the 'boot' partition could wind up as a letter other than C: depending upon which partition you chose to install the OS in - e.g., mine is usually D: in XP and Win2K environments and I've seen it as high as F: when I forgot to manage partition visibility as I meant to).

    Even the traditional floppy drive letters (A: and B:) can be used for other removable drives if no floppy drive is present (and perhaps now even if a floppy IS present), so in a system lacking a floppy drive where the boot and system drives are the same partition you do, in fact, have the other 25 drive letters available to assign pretty much as you please (and perhaps in recent Windows environments also the 26th drive letter to change as you please).

    Older Linux systems were limited to using 15(?) partitions per physical drive, though obviously not due to a paucity of letters in the English alphabet. My vague recollection is that pre-NT Windows systems may have had something like the 20-partition limit you mentioned, but (again) not due to letter constraints but rather to those of their internal memory structures (I may be talking early DOS systems here - it's been a long time since I had to think about it).

  3. #18
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    True, if the devices aren't there, the drive letters become available. I was only referring to more traditional laptops and PCs, where there generally are optical drives and such devices present. I don't think I meant to imply that the limitation is inherent in the Operating System (at least not since Windows 2000). In any event, my own limitations are the USB ports, the fact that using a USB hub is not a good option for me, and the fact that my own laptops do assign drive letters to certain devices.

    By the way, modern Linux doesn't make as many partitions as the older versions used to do. (Linux used to use Partitions much the way Windows uses Folders.) And as far as I know, the 15 partition limit is ancient history in Linux. Not being a Linux user, I may be wrong about this. But in any event, we're talking about Windows here, not Linux. Windows may also have a partition limit, but here we're talking about assigned drive letters.

    Without assigned devices, a Windows Ultraportable or Tablet could well have all 26 drive letters available. This helps me not one bit.

    Even though the letters A and B may be available, I'm not sure it would be wise to use these letters for external drives. I just have a feeling some software or OEM drivers might have an issue with this. Maybe not -- but why take the chance?
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-09-12 at 05:18.
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  4. #19
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    can someone help me please ive tried using my files on my expansion hard drive, i have 3 different players like real player, VLC media player and windows media player but when i go onto my expansion hard drive through the computer and click on the expasnsion hard drive it goes through but it doesnt read all of my files ive backed dated the laptop twice and there is no progress before i started to back date it, it never read it i have never had this problem before it will read now but doesnt read my files it reads about 4 files but there is atleast 100 on it, it isnt blocked up still has massive amounts of GB left, when the expansion shows up in auto windows i click on real player etc to try and get it to read but crashed my computer everytime i do it can someone please help me i cant afford to keep back dating it, it makes my computer incredibly slow much appreciated for anyones help Angela

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