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  1. #1
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    Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    My drive letters have decided to reorganize themselves. It seems my DVD drive really wants the drive letter my external Music drive used to use, pushing other drives out of whack in the process. This has caused many problems.

    I have tried setting the drive letters via the Disk Management Console, but the settings do not "stick". In passing, I think that I read that some drives are loaded upon startup via the BIOS, others via drivers during boot-up.

    What is my next alternative to set static drive letters? I've edited the Registry before, so I'm comfortable doing that (after backup, of course!).

    Happy 4th./ cel

  2. #2
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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    > I have tried setting the drive letters via the Disk Management Console, but the settings do not "stick".

    This is not normal. I always move my CD and DVD drives to Y: and Z: , and I know other people who use R: and W: (for Reader and Writer).
    Can you describe the exact procedure that you are following in case we can see the problem.

    StuartR

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Within the Disk Management branch of the Computer Management console, I right click on

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    It certainly sounds as though you know what you are doing, and this exact method works perfectly on other PCs.

    I have no idea why this doesn't work for you, hopefully someone cleverer than I will have a suggestion <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    StuartR

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    I know it seems very simplistic to ask, but have you tried a system restore to before the drive letters changed?

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Give this a try.

    To get a clean slate you'll need to create/set a System Environment Variable called:

    DevMgr_Show_NonPresent_Devices
    and set it's value = 1

    Open Device Manager, Click View - tic/check "Show Hidden Devices"
    Remove phantoms (grayed out or diminished in color) entries from:
    - Universal Serial Bus Controllers
    - Disk Drives
    - Storage volumes
    BOB
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    Today it is called golf!

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    I wasn't too clear on setting the variable in the the last post.
    -------------------------------
    Go to Command Prompt. ( start>run, type cmd....enter)

    To show, really show hidden devices, and possibly troubleshoot ghost devices:

    At command prompt type: "set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1" and press Enter.
    --------------------------------
    Then go to Device Manager and delete as mentioned in the last post.
    BOB
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  8. #8
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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    I agree with Stuart that it sounds like you're doing the right stuff, so let me ask a (hopefully) non-offensive question. When you're doing the letter changing, the drive is empty of disk is it not? And if so, you are right-clicking on the area to the left of the GUI screen, indicated by the red box in my cropped shot, huh? I can't think of any reason why the newly assigned letter wouldn't stick. How about, after you try it again, open Windows Explorer and insert a disk into the drive to see if Explorer sees the disk and the drive is registering as the new letter.

    Edited: Oops, sorry I forgot to attach the screenshot...

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Back to my own system.

    - I thought about doing a system restore after it was mentioned (above). If it works, however, it doesn't mean that in a week or two the drives won't migrate of their own accord again.

    - If I reset the CDR drive letter from the Management Console, then put a CD in the drive it is recognized by my system, no problems.

    - I created the suggested System Environment Variable (restarted) and then checked the device manager. There were no devices that were initially hidden and no phantom/ grayed out devices.

    So, again, after I reset the drive letters and restarted, the drives migrated back to where THEY think that they should be. Which I wouldn't mind except that my programs are looking for the old drive letters.

    The drives that are changing drive letters are the CD drives (CDR and DVD) which are "pushing back" two USB external HDDs. The CD drives are probably loading first and taking the first available drive letters (is that correct?). I think that it is possible to change the load sequence. Yes? How, please?

    I have two internal HDDs- the first partitioned c: , d: , and g: , the second a single partition, h. The drive letters were assigned by Windows when I utilized Partition Magic, and when I installed the second internal drive. Next time, more forethought on my part to the process.

    Any ideas as to what I might try next? I might just bite the bullet later today and move the two external drive letters to the end of the alphabet and reload the music program library and the photo software library.

    Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions./ cel

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Your hard drives letters are normally C, D, G, and H. You haven't told us what the faulty arrangement is, beyond the fact that it's out of whack. I suggest that you record the abnormal arrangement, viewing the drive contents to be sure which is which. Because H is a second physical drive it may be important.

    I had a similar problem, following this thread the whole time but having nothing to add, and eventually discovered what I had overlooked for so long, which was that only one hard drive letter changed, and took the available empty slot. None of the other hard drive letters changed. The cure for me was to use the disk management console to set the drive letter for the hard drive (partition) with the wandering letter. The hard drive letters now stay fixed.

    Trivial pursuit: If you have XP Pro and wonder what you paid for, open My Computer and see graphically Microsoft's hierarchy, complete with images and coloured folders. Just click on view and look at the various views, some more interesting than others (I find tiles best for this). There are three groups: Files, Hard Disk Drives, and Devices with Removable Storage, with different icons for different types of storage.

    If you right-click ont the box in Big Al's screen shot, note that at the bottom of the box there is a line for Device usage, which lets you choose not to use a device, although if you're absent-minded it looks like a quick trip to a real mess. If you want to take a drive letter out of service entirely, so that nothing can use it, try TweakUI, although there may be a more high-tech way of doing it. It's reversible, so if you do want it back, say, after playing musical chairs with drive letters, you can temporarily reserve drive letters for future use. (That could get messy if you have partitioning software as well. On the other hand, you might want to reserve a few letters following H in case you decide to partition your second hard drive in future. A small Backup partition at the end of the drive is a sensible place to keep Outlook backups and any other data backups, because it's a physically different drive from the drive with the data.)

    I hope this information has either helped or amused you. I'm still having trouble getting my computer to recognize the external DVD-RW that it previously recognized and that my other computer still does, so my problems aren't over, but best of luck with yours.

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    I can report some interesting news about my own post: my external drive now works as it should, and I may be able to offer a suggestion that I don't think has been made.

    You can remove a device using Device Manager. Just go to the device(s), in this this case DVDCDROM devices, click the tree to see all of them, and either right-click on ithe device(s) or go to the toolbar and click Action, and then Remove. If the device is not physically present, it will be gone when you reboot, and if you add it or them, Windows will recognize it and install the driver(s) for you.

    I have appended the relevant portion of HP's advice to me regarding my own problem, in case any of it applies to yours.

  12. #12
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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Good grief. I'm now back with the problem you described that started it all. In a phone call to Toshiba tonight they led me to think it is a known or standard issue with my setup, and that I should be searching Microsoft KB articles for the answer (something to do with ports).

    My setup involves modules that are inserted into the computer, among which is the original DVD/CD-RW and a recently-acquired hard drive, which is how my problem began. The infuriating thing is that Toshiba included no instructions (nor even a 50-cent carrying case) and left me (or us) to waste all of this expensive time trying to figure out how to make the thing work. The drive letter G which I thought I had pegged does indeed still move down to D if neither drive is in place. (The internal second drive can't be in place if the second hard drive is in place, but I have to have the now-functioning external drive connected, and it will take the letter D.) I'm ready to blow a gasket.

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Somewhere back in the mists of time, I found myself having to slog through the entire Registry (using the Find function) and change every single <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> existing reference from "old" drive to "new" drive. This has always worked. YMMV. These days I do tend to skip older MRUs on non-M$ products - without adverse consequences. HTH
    Gre

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Hi Cel,

    Could not help to throw my 2 cents worth in. I had a similar problem with XP Pro (SP1)several months back.

    I found out on my machine, the BIOS had an option to control "Plug and Play" configuration for devices on my computer. I had accidently activated this feature while "viewing" various options. I ended up with a conflict between the BIOS and XP Pro on who controled some devices.

    I changed the setting back on my BIOS to allow OS handle the Plug and Play devices, re-set my drive letters (same procedure you used), and re-booted. The drives stayed the same since (or until I loaded SP2 which caused different problems - different story).

    I do not know if this helps or even applies - just thought I offer my resolution.


    Scott
    (IMNetUser)
    Scott

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    Re: Set drive letters (XP Pro SP 2)

    Thanks to all for your input. If there is one thing that I

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