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  1. #1
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    Formatting new drive

    I'm on win 7 pro and I want to add a HDD as a 2nd drive for storage. I've done it before on XP many times but when I did it on win 7 the last time I just chose the drive and clicked "New simple volume" and chose a drive letter that was not in use so I could go back and change the drive letters around ( 2 Optical drives & a card reader that is considered a hard drive ) to make the new storage drive, drive D.
    When i started changing the first drive letter on the first drive, a message pop's up asking if I am sure I want to change the drive letter because some programs may not be able to find it anymore. I got that message on every drive I changed.
    Is it possible that changing the drive letter would do that? I don't ever remember seeing that warning on XP.
    Thanks for any and all reply's

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    There are path statements in the registry that use the drive letter. When you change a drive letter, Windows isn't keeping active track of those path statements, so that warning pops up to remind you that there may be consequences. Typically, if this is a data drive you're talking about, you can get it sorted out over time without a lot of difficulty.

    I have three drives and multiple partitions, and a multi-card reader as well, so I have to keep my drive letters straight. I have a printout of a Drive Management screen to keep myself straight.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    There are path statements in the registry that use the drive letter. When you change a drive letter, Windows isn't keeping active track of those path statements, so that warning pops up to remind you that there may be consequences. Typically, if this is a data drive you're talking about, you can get it sorted out over time without a lot of difficulty.

    I have three drives and multiple partitions, and a multi-card reader as well, so I have to keep my drive letters straight. I have a printout of a Drive Management screen to keep myself straight.
    If I understand you correctly, changing the drive letters around to accomodate the added storage drive COULD cause problems. If that is the case, then should I just pick a letter past what is in use and leave it at that?

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95 View Post
    If I understand you correctly, changing the drive letters around to accomodate the added storage drive COULD cause problems. If that is the case, then should I just pick a letter past what is in use and leave it at that?
    Yes, if it's just for additional storage, go with an unused drive letter.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95 View Post
    If I understand you correctly, changing the drive letters around to accomodate the added storage drive COULD cause problems. If that is the case, then should I just pick a letter past what is in use and leave it at that?
    Hi lumpy95,

    There will only be problems if you pick a drive letter that has already been used, i.e. if the information has already been recorded (most usually in the Windows Registry).

    Windows' automatic method of using drive letters is to assign them to verified hardware devices using very simple 'rules', i.e. A: for a (now legacy) primary floppy disk drive, B: for a (now legacy) secondary floppy disk drive and C: for an active system drive (i.e. hard disk). D: is usually assigned to an almost obligatory optical drive. (Note: As a result, there is usually no reason these days not to use A: or B: for drive letters as floppy drives have become extinct. [Just waiting for the posts that 'floppies rock'...)

    As a result, Microsoft's advice (which I believe has never changed) is to work backwards in the alphabet when assigning new drive letters (i.e. first Z: then Y: then X:, etc).

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    Z,Y,X...should be reserved for mapped drives unless one knows for sure none will ever be assigned. I forget what happens exactly if a local drive is assigned a deeper letter than a mapped drive but it was some nuisance; disappears from listing or something. A seems to be the preferred letter assigned by default now to images mounted as drives.

    Almost no problems switching drive letters to whatever the preference is as long as the drive/partition contains no specifically referenced system files other than the hidden recycle bin and system volume info folder. Some programs might initially point to the old location (or a new default if the old location is missing) upon first use after the change so one would just point to the new location and establish that as the new default. I've changed more than half a dozen at a time (card reader assignments in the wrong place) without consequences.

    Oh, and the same warning is present in XP, maybe not always (that's too far back to remember these days) but it is now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    Z,Y,X...should be reserved for mapped drives unless one knows for sure none will ever be assigned. I forget what happens exactly if a local drive is assigned a deeper letter than a mapped drive but it was some nuisance; disappears from listing or something. A seems to be the preferred letter assigned by default now to images mounted as drives.

    Almost no problems switching drive letters to whatever the preference is as long as the drive/partition contains no specifically referenced system files other than the hidden recycle bin and system volume info folder. Some programs might initially point to the old location (or a new default if the old location is missing) upon first use after the change so one would just point to the new location and establish that as the new default. I've changed more than half a dozen at a time (card reader assignments in the wrong place) without consequences.

    Oh, and the same warning is present in XP, maybe not always (that's too far back to remember these days) but it is now.
    I don't remember ever seeing that warning when reassigning drive letters in XP. It just asked if I was sure I wanted to change it.
    Basically on the win 7 Pro machine, I am going to add a HDD and name it "storage" and make a "New Simple Disk" which will ask me to designate a drive letter. I will designate it "R" for example and then quick format it.
    After the disk has formatted, it will be "Storage R:".
    I already have "Local Disk C:", "BD-ROM Drive D:", "DVD RW Drive E:", "Removable Disk H:". and now will be "Storage R:".
    My plan would be to make "Removable Disk H:" into I:, "DVD RW Drive E:" into F:, "BD-ROM Drive D:" into E:, and "Storage R:" into D:.
    In doing that, I will get that warning message I had in my first post, on every drive letter change I do. So my question is, will this cause a problem by doing it the way I described?
    Last edited by lumpy95; 2014-03-08 at 11:23.

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    Specifically it says, changing the drive letter of a system volume may cause programs to no longer run, are you sure you want to proceed?

    Should have no problem doing what you propose except as the warning implies, something like an automated backup may have to be altered to reflect the new drive letter destination in order to work again.

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    What's the word on the use of drive letters "A & B" nowadays?
    I haven't seen these being used in a heck of a long time, since at least the floppy age.
    Can we start using them now in their (floppy) absence?
    ...or are we just running on old and antiquated assumptions?

    I kind-of, wouldn't mind bumping my primary drives up to these alphabetical values.
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    I don't think Windows Vista and above have any restriction on the use of A: and B:. I've avoided them out of habit and there are more than enough of the others, but I don't think it matters any more than reserving D: for the DVD player. Just a matter of personal preference now.

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I've been using A and B letters since I migrated to Windows 7. For my use, they are logical drives, each on a different HDD. I use them for my "tinkering" drive images, also for duplicate copies of important files and folders (part of my "backup" regimen).

    Windows does have a predilection to use C for the system drive letter. I dual boot Windows 7 and 8, and whichever OS I'm booted into is on drive C, and the other is on drive D. On my old D800 laptop, I dual boot XP and Windows 7, with the same result. However, Windows doesn't seem to care where Program Files or Users are located, drive letter-wise (of course, the registry has to be edited to change those locations - the default is C).

    I reserve F for my optical drive, leaving E vacant; it gets snatched by thumb drives when I plug one in.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2014-03-09 at 12:20.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    That's not a bad idea, assigning those drive letters to purely backup drives.
    I too have a print out of my drives order, mainly because in a bootable disk everything gets bumped temporarily and it becomes easier to make a mistake when working with dos commands.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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    Whenever I've added a new drive, I've never had to do anything except power down, plug in the drive, and then power up. Whatever letter Windows assigns always seems to stay with that drive, so I never worried about assigning a specific drive letter.

    I always use C: for my primary Windows drive, because so much in Windows assumes that it will be C:.

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    I found this by googling today:
    1. The Disk Management window that appears advises you that "Some programs that rely on drive letters might not run correctly. Do you want to continue?".
    Note: If you have software installed to this drive, the software may stop functioning after a drive letter change. Nearly all software defaults to the primary drive though, so this is rarely a concern.
    2. If you're sure you want to make this change, click Yes.
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/window...-windows-7.htm
    Since it will be a new HDD there won't be any software on it and there is no software connected to the optical drives or the card reader so it shouldn't be a problem changing the drive letters around should it.
    MS say's this in the notes about changing drive letters:
    • Some programs make references to specific drive letters. If you change a drive letter, these programs might not work correctly.
    Which is what bbearren said earlier so I am trying to figure out what "programs" means in that definition. Is it software programs that are looking for a specific drive that can be changed after reassigning drive letters?
    In other words, would it be my burner software that might not be able to find the burner anymore? If so I would assume that I would have to uninstall the software and reinstall it, is that correct?
    Last edited by lumpy95; 2014-03-10 at 19:54.

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