Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    704
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 68 Times in 53 Posts

    How to prevent repair/recovery disc failures




    LANGALIST PLUS


    How to prevent repair/recovery disc failures



    By Fred Langa

    Simple, proactive steps and tests can help ensure that repair/recovery disks work as they should — when you really need them. Plus: Using hard-drive "short-stroking," File History's excessive use of disk space, and a virus-scan crashing problem.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/how-to-prevent-repairrecovery-disc-failures/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2014-08-13 at 19:48.

  2. Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    133
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Thanks Fred. Back in the 90's, the use of Zip, Syquest and other such drives would bump my CD drive letter around, causing problems with where it was expected to be by some software. I got in the habit of always labelling it K early on. Then its always in the same place.

    That has served me well.

    I can recall a period in XP's life when mapped drives to network locations and removable drives both would try to use the same letters, making one invisible. The solution was usually to bump the mapped drive to a high letter so the variables wouldn't overlap it.

    A friend still has an external floppy for the occasional client. Rarely uses it. It of course does not use A: or B:

  4. #3
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,306
    Thanks
    138
    Thanked 113 Times in 97 Posts

    About BIOS and Rescue Environments and Drive Letters

    Actually, the BIOS (on my laptop at least) does not use Drive Letters. Neither does Linux, internally. WinPE (on rescue disks) does assign Drive Letters, and these are usually the Windows Defaults.

    In Linux, devices (physical drives) are labelled Dev/(something), and partitions on an internal hard drive will show up as hda1, hda2, etc. Most USB External HDDs will show up as sdb1, sdb2, etc. And this includes portable HDDs. SSDs are a bit more variable.

    Point is, Drive Letters are strictly a Windows convention (and before that, a DOS convention). I don't use Macs, so I don't know whether Macs use drive letters, but I'm guessing they do. Again, the assignment of Drive Letters is OS dependent, not BIOS dependent.

    The problem with booting from CD or DVD is that if the System Drive upon which the operations are to be performed has a Letter or other label other than the expected defaults, the entire utility program(s) on the Rescue or Repair Disk must have all their Paths adjusted to reflect the reassigned designations of the devices or partitions. This is not BIOS dependent, but depends on the Operating Environment the CD or DVD launches when it installs into its RAM Disk.

    Launching the bootable media should not be dependent at all on the Drive Letter of the CDROM or optical drive when seen in the Windows Explorer Tree. Boot Order in the BIOS must be correct, however.

    As Fred says in the article, the only way to be sure the BIOS will boot the utility disk, and that the program(s) on the disk will use the correct drive paths, is to test the disks you will use before there is any trouble requiring emergency repairs.

    At least make sure you can boot the disk, and that it reports the needed drive locations in some consistent way.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-08-17 at 23:40.
    -- Bob Primak --

  5. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,754
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 339 Times in 306 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    I don't use Macs, so I don't know whether Macs use drive letters, but I'm guessing they do.
    They don't:

    Operating systems that use drive letter assignment

    Bruce

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,841
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 250 Times in 244 Posts
    Hi Bob Primak

    What has puzzled me is that when you boot up with an install disk and navigate to the RE, when it goes through the stage of locating the OS or you execute bcdedit |find "osdevice" it can give the partition as D: when it is actually in C: and then you have to apply that partition letter for an offboot sfc /scannow.

  7. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,306
    Thanks
    138
    Thanked 113 Times in 97 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Sudo15 View Post
    Hi Bob Primak

    What has puzzled me is that when you boot up with an install disk and navigate to the RE, when it goes through the stage of locating the OS or you execute bcdedit |find "osdevice" it can give the partition as D: when it is actually in C: and then you have to apply that partition letter for an offboot sfc /scannow.
    That means the device has a hidden or non-hidden Recovery or System Partition. C: is the first partition (A: and B: are not available in Windows or WinPE). But if that is the System or Recovery Partition, the OS Main Partition may be the Second Partition, conventionally labelled D: . Unfortunately, this is also the convention for the CD/DVD Drive. If booting from that drive (bootable CD/DVD) this is not a problem. But in a USB Boot, the Windows Partition may actually list as D: and the CD/DVD drive as some later letter. USB listings are even more unpredictable.

    Point is, something already takes up the C: letter, and it may be a hidden partition, a recovery partition or a "system" partition.

    Partition nomenclature is already confusing enough when the OS is consistent (as Linux and Mac seem to be). Injecting a "simplified" letter system seems to me to be adding to the confusion rather than reducing the issue.

    Thanks to BruceR for the info that Mac does not use Drive Letters. The Wikipedia article has a note that their list is incomplete. However, it is clear that Mac OS does not use Drive Letters from this brief post:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Allocate-a-Drive-Letter

    The basic divide is between UNIX derived OSes and DOS derived OSes (and OS/2). DOS introduced the Windows-like Drive Letters. As I posted, this was supposed to make life simpler. Well...
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-08-19 at 11:54.
    -- Bob Primak --

  8. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,743
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 544 Times in 492 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    (A: and B: are not available in Windows or WinPE).

    A: and B: are indeed available in Windows. They have been traditionally reserved for Floppy Disks but any hard disk partition can be assigned to A: or B: via the Disk Management utility.

    Jerry

  9. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,306
    Thanks
    138
    Thanked 113 Times in 97 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    A: and B: are indeed available in Windows. They have been traditionally reserved for Floppy Disks but any hard disk partition can be assigned to A: or B: via the Disk Management utility.

    Jerry
    Does that also apply to WinPE environments on rescue media? The Rescue Environment would have to recognize the designation, right?
    -- Bob Primak --

  10. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,743
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 544 Times in 492 Posts
    I haven't used WinPE but I see no reason why it wouldn't recognize the A o B drives if they had been previously assigned by Windows Disk Manager.

    Jerry
    Last edited by jwitalka; 2014-08-21 at 16:22. Reason: typo

  11. #10
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hinsdale, IL, USA
    Posts
    2,306
    Thanks
    138
    Thanked 113 Times in 97 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    I haven't used WinPE but I see no reason why it wouldn't recognize the A o B drives if they had been previously assigned by Windows Disk Manager.

    Jerry
    Well, OK then. A and B are available in modern Windows and Win PE versions.
    -- Bob Primak --

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •