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  1. #1
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    Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    While messin around in Computer Management, I noticed that while the Disk Management utility will allow me to assign any of my 4 usb-connected card reader drives to either A or B, it will not give me that option with my two IDE Cd-Rom drives. (which are currently R: and S<img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    Since I have multiple removable drives and many network connections that need drive letters, I'm finding the alphabet a bit tight. I would really like to move my CDs to A: and B: . Any one have any insight on why this might be restricted, or what to alter to allow it.

    I'm doing some Technet searching now, but haven't caught anything yet.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Off the top of my head I would have said that this would not be possible if you already had a diskette drive installed on your PC. The only PC that I have in captivity without a diskette drive is the one we've just bought at work, and I will have a look tomorrow to see whether you can redirect A: and B: from their previously-usual function...

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by rory on 17-Jan-06 19:17. )</P>[Edit: of course you can take the easy way and just do all this through the Disk Management interface too! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>]

    Jim,
    I don't believe you can mount a CD or DVD drive as A: or B:. However, you can use <code>mountvol</code>
    to mount them in an NTFS directory (which has to already exist before running the command). For example, assuming your CD drive letter is D, you could create a C:CDROM directory, then from a command prompt enter <code> mountvol D: /L</code>
    to get the volume name for the CD drive, then enter something like <code>MOUNTVOL C:CDROM ?Volume{ebc79032-5270-11d8-a724-806d6172696f} </code>
    (your volume name will be different). You can then remove the D mapping from the CD drive in Disk Administrator.
    HTH.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Sorry, I guess i thought it would be obvious that I don't have any floppy diskette devices installed. I've been buying PCs with no floppies for a few years now. Don't really miss 'em.

    In the Disk Manager though, when I try to "Change" the drive letter, A and B justdo not show up in the picklist for CD drives. It does show up in the picklist for the USB card reader's drives, so it's possible.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    <hr>I don't believe you can mount a CD or DVD drive as A: or B:<hr>

    But why would this be so? I can't think of anything in the PC bios that would preclude it.

    I'm getting really sick of having to use drive letters at all.

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    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    I suspect it is more likely to be a Windows issue rather than a BIOS issue. I suppose you could mount all your drives onto C: and run them from there, which might help?
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Through out the history of PC's, the A and B letters have been RESERVED for the floppies. Even today on my current machines, which have a 3 1/2 floppy, the letters A and B are NOT listed in the "Disk manager".
    So, until this "Reserved" is removed from the design, then we will not be able to use them for anything other than floppy drives.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    <hr>I'm getting really sick of having to use drive letters at all.<hr>
    Better take a couple of aspirin, then, because for the foreseeable future drive letters are going to be around. Originally what is now Windows Vista was going to abstract the file system from the user and get rid of this, but those plans got scrapped some time back.
    -Mark

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Well, I am right now using a USB SD card reader assigned to A:, so it's not completely blocked.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    <Sigh>

    Well, looks like once again if I want to get a computer that works the way I want it, I'll have to go Linux.

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Does mounting the volumes in C: not do what you want? (If you think of C: as the root directory, it's very similar to the Linux filesystem).
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    You could not assign letters A and B to IDE devices because they are physically connected to IDE controllers, not floppy disk controller. However, you can assign these letters to USB devices and logical volumes.

    Simply speaking, you can map as A: drive any particular CD inserted in your IDE CD drive, not the CD drive itself. But you can connect external USB CD/DVD drive and assign letter A or B to it.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    Avtually I didn't get around to trying that option.

    I did however find a low-level method to do this. It involves editing the registry. Here's a link to the KB article

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;EN-US;q223188


    I tested this on my second machine with a floppy mounted as A: and renamed the key "DosDevicesD:" to "DosDevicesB:"

    After a reboot, my CD is happily existing as B:.

    So it turns out it is not a PC limitation or even a Wndows limitation. Rather it's a shortcoming of the management program.

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    Re: Assign A & B to CD-Rom drives (Pro SP2)

    I don't think it's a shortcoming of the disk management snap-in. This method (as the article states) is a procedure to restore a system/boot drive letter that has somehow been changed. A: B: and C: have always been recognized as boot drives, and if reassigning these to some other device could be easily accomplished through the snap-in (or any other obvious method), could you imagine the number of "unbootable" computers that would result? This does work for your particular problem, but that's not really what the procedure was designed for.

    I saw this KB article when you first posted your question, but I was under the impression you were running out of drive letters. The KB article indicates that to free up a particular letter, you first have to rename if to something else. This being the case, there would be no real gain in the number of letters available.
    John
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