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???reboot changes hard drive letters???

Posted on 2000-04-12
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have 2 hard drives assigned these characteristics by FDISK;

drive 1
C: 1 active primary DOS partition- 1.5 GB(boot drive)
E: 2            extended DOS partition- .5GB  (logical drive)

drive 2  (bakup)
D: 1 active primary DOS partition- 350MB  (old boot drive)


my CMOS setup has the following assignments;

C:/E:- primary master
D:- secondary master
CDROM- primary slave


my problem is this;

at start up, my drive letters are as above

C:1.5GB boot drive
D:  350MB bakup
E:0.5GB  extended/logical drive

the first & every time I reboot after that (either Ctrl-Alt-Del, or thro Windows95 shut down/restart) the letters of drives D: & E: are switched around;

C:1.5GB boot drive
D: 0.5GB  extended/logical drive
E: 350MB bakup

if I shut down & start up again, they go back to the original assignments.  its only my hard drives.  the others (floppies/CDROM) are fine.

win95 device manager has the drive settings grayed out so they cannot be changed.  I suspect it probably has something to do w/ having 2 active primary DOS partitions on seperate drives, or the CMOS setup of primary & secondary master assignments but I'm looking for verification cause I'm not quite sure how to stop them  from changing back & forth all the time.  kinda makes it hard to shortcut around....

I'd appreciate any help....

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Question by:bahop
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by:RoadWarrior
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Is there a reason why you don't want to toggle the active partition flag off on the secondary master?
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by:bahop
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roadwarrior,

sorry but I'm not familiar w/ the on/off toggle flag process.  fill me in & I'll try it...

thanx,

bahop
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Expert Comment

by:jjeff1
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Dos assigns drive letters in this order:
primary partition on 1st drive.
primary partition on 2nd drive... 3rd drive, 4th drive, 5th drive, etc...

Then all logical partitions on 1st drive (in order), then logical partitions on 2nd drive.....

The CMOS does not make any difference here. Drive letter assignments are done by the OS.

The fact that you have 2 partitions set as active should not matter either. It will always boot off the 1st drive's active partition. In fact if you try and make an active partition on your second drive, Fdisk won't let you.

This is an odd problem though. Are you running any drive compression or Drive overlay software on this machine? Those software's will interfere with the drive letter assignments.
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by:bahop
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sorry,

no disk compression or any overlay software used...  
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compmania earned 50 total points
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The problem is that you have 2 active partitions installed, you can use a program like Ranish to unactivate the 2nd drive:

http://www.users.intercom.com/~ranish/part/

Hope that helps.
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Author Comment

by:bahop
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THANX compania,

although I did not use the Ranish software to correct the problem, you were the first to confirm my hunch that it was being caused by two active partitions.  I ended up fdisking & formatting the 2nd active partition away (after moving my data elsewhere) and the drive letters have stayed put since...

I will gladly award you the full points allotted if you could help confirm my suspicions on a related matter...

I inherited an old 1/4" tape drive to use as a poor man's bakup zipdrive I guess.  I assumed it would hook up as a floppy but there is no setting in CMOS for it.

 I now assume the only space left is as a SECONDARY SLAVE drive & that it will bakup from DOS since WIN95 does not read it as new hardware?  any guidance...
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by:compmania
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Ok, for the older tape drives you do not assign anything to it in the BIOS.
You should be able to start MS Backup and be able to use it.
If you don't have it installed you can find it in add/remove programs.
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