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How do I trick Windows 2000 into thinking a hard drive is a removable drive?

Posted on 2002-03-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I have just switched computers at work, and my old computer had two hard drives in it.  The first was partitioned four ways.  The second drive I just used as an archive.  I figured out that I could check a box and Windows ME would treat the drive as a removable drive.

This was useful because when I went to search for files, that drive wouldn't show up in the list of "all hard drives".  So if I searched for something on my main hard drive, I wouldn't be slowed down by it searching the backup drive.

Now I have Windows 2000 and that checkbox is gone (or I can't find it), so all my files will be searched on both drives whenever I do a search.

How can I trick Windows 2000 into thinking the second drive is a removable one so it won't search every time I search all hard drives?  Where'd that checkbox go?
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Question by:Chris99
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6844670
How do you setup your searches? You can have search to look only where you specify. You can tell it to search one particular drive or a particular folder, etc.


The Crazy One
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6845318
Yes, but usually I like to search all 4 partitions of the main hard drive, and never the second hard drive.  So usually I pick "Search Hard Drives (C:, D:, E:, and F:)" but now G: is in the mix.

Just a minor annoyance.  But I could set drives to be removable whether they were or not when I had Windows ME.

Chris
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6845708
Quite curios. How did you do it in ME. Seems to me it would have a lot to do with how the BIOS sees the disk. Win2000 is a little more tightly integrated with how it deals with hardware, hence one of several reasons it is considered much more stable then any of the Win9x family of OS's.

I only have the one HD attached to my system now so I don't have a way to verify any of the following. But have you tried Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management and checking out the "Properties" item after right clicking on the disk in question. Thesre are lot settings and info there and one of them might be what you are looking for.
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by:Chris99
ID: 6847237
I did check that, didn't see anything that would help me.  In Windows ME, I think I went to Device manager, clicked on hard disks and clicked the properties of the one in question.  I had checkboxes like DMA enabled (whatever that means) and Removable device.  It was as simple as that.

Any clue?

Chris
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6848471
Hmmm. Well the DMA settings in Win2000 are now found under the "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" > Primar or Secondary channel.
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by:Chris99
ID: 6850256
I looked, but saw nothing about removable drives.  Any other ideas?  Is there a way to just hack Windows to tell it not to search that drive?
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by:13eetle
ID: 6858509
on the "Look in:" section of the search bar you can enter your own selections including multiple drives.  Example c:\;f:\  semi-colon is the delminter.  Would that solve your problem?
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6860404
Well, it would be a workaround, but I like(d) the convenience of clicking "all hard drives" and having the G: drive excluded.

I would like to have the "all hard drives" selection refer to only the first four.  Is there a way?  Or does nobody know?

Picky ain't I.
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by:CrazyOne
ID: 6860515
Quite frankly Chirs for Win2000 I don't think it is possible. :>(

Personally I usually just check one disk and/or partition at a time hoping I picked the one that has what I am looking for to minimize the time of eaxh specific search. This also helps me to remember how I go about organizing things because I tend to forgert. :>))
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6860545
Oh well, I'll leave it open for a little while in case anyone has any fun registry hacks or whatnought.  Otherwise I'll just assume it can't be done.  8-C
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Expert Comment

by:13eetle
ID: 6860971
actually, once you pick a set of drive letters as in the example above, it becomes an option for future searches.  As in the example above if you were to do a search on C:\;F:\ upon furuter searches the "look in" drop down will include a "Local Harddrives (C:;F:).  I rebooted just to check and it is persistant.  Does that do the trick?
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6861044
Well, that does do pretty much the same thing as what I'm looking for.  Will it stay there indefinitely?
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Expert Comment

by:13eetle
ID: 6861197
well, after looking at it some more, I think I lead you astray.  It seems that "Local Harddrives" is all harddrives and not the user selected that I did above.  It just happens that those were both my local drives.  I tried it on a different machine (that has 4 local drives) and tried to reduce it to no avail.  Looks like it's back ot the drawing board.  Sorry....

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Expert Comment

by:13eetle
ID: 6861250
Okay, looking further a couple of more options.  The first is probably the easiest.  After you complete a search that you define you can save that search query from the file menu.  After you save it you can re-run it at any time.  Give it a try...  

(from the help dialog)

To save a search query

When you complete your search using Search Assistant, click the search results pane, click the File menu, and then click Save Search.
In Save in, specify the location where you want to save the search query.
In File name, type a name for the file, and then click Save.
 Notes

You can run a search using Search Assistant. To start Search Assistant, click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
When you open a search query, it will automatically begin a new search using the saved search criteria.
If you are searching for printers, and you filter your search results, the filter criteria will not be saved with the search query.

-------

You might also look in to indexing services.  I've not tried it but it might do what you need.  See http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q308202  for more info...

Hope that helps.....
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6861728
When I've saved it, how do I recall it?
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Expert Comment

by:13eetle
ID: 6861773
It saves the query as a *.fnd file.  Just execute the file and it brings up the search windon with the saved parameters.  Fill in what you are searching and away you go, the "look in" section remains as you saved it.  Create a shortcut on your desktop, create a hot key to run it, etc....

I would do the following:

Run your standard query on the drives that you are inetersted in (ie.  c:\;f:\ as above)  Go to File-Save and save the query.  Create a shortcut to that query.  In the shortcut, create a Shortcut Key under the properties-shortcut tab.  (ie. Ctr-Alt-F or something).  

Now, anytime you want to search those drives, hit your shortcut and away you go...

Kind of a hack but does that do the trick?
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6861844
Well, not to be difficult, but it is rather a lot to go through.  I have my computer set up for superconvenience, and I'm used to hitting logo-F and typing what I want to find (maybe selecting all Hard Drives if it isn't already selected).  I appreciate the effort you put in this, and if no one can tell me how to actually FOOL W2000 (via setting, registry hack, etc.) into thinking that the hard drive is not a fixed drive, I will award you the points, because what you say will work.  It's just not really what I was hoping for.
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Accepted Solution

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13eetle earned 200 total points
ID: 6861880
It's just a bit of setup, same as a registry hack would be (less really).  Once you have set it up all you do it hit your hot key from anywhere and away you go.  

But maybe someone else will show a better way........
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Author Comment

by:Chris99
ID: 6896365
13eetle, You win the points.  I think the way I wanted to do it is just not an option, so your way is the next best way.  Therefore I graciously and unhestitatingly grant you the credit for answering this question.  Many thanks.

Chris
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