how to swap IDE and SATA drive assignments?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View


Hi folks --

I have, in my middle-aged PC, four hdd i/fs:

two IDE, 40GB, one is WInXP drive c: and the other is unassigned
two SATA, 500GB, one is WinXP drive e: and the other is unassigned

These drive assignments are displayed at boot time, and it seems that
the bios is always going to insist that the IDE drive is always going
to be drive c: and the SATA drive is always going to be drive e:.

How can I reassign these drive letters such that the SATA drive
becomes drive c: and the IDE drive becomes some other drive?

I don't see how to do this in boot-time chip setup.

Thanks so much!

-- ben


how to swap IDE and SATA drive-letter assignments?



Hi folks --

I have, in my middle-aged PC, four hdd i/fs:

two IDE, one is WInXP 40GB drive c: and the other is unassigned
two SATA, one is WinXP 500GB drive e: and the other is unassigned

These drive assignments are displayed at boot time, and it seems that
the bios is always going to insist that the IDE drive is always going
to be drive c: and the SATA drive is always going to be drive e:.

How can I reassign these drive letters such that the SATA drive
becomes drive c: and the IDE drive becomes some other drive?

I don't see how to do this in boot-time chip setup.

Thanks so much!

-- ben

Re: how to swap IDE and SATA drive-letter assignments?



lcplben wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

"Drive letters", like C:, D:, are things that exist in
Windows, and they're applied to the one or more partitions
that live on a physical hard drive. I could have 26 partitions
on a hard drive if I wanted, and use up all the letters. (Three
primary partitions, and the rest would be logical partitions
living in an extended partition. I don't know what the limit
is for logical partitions.)

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial115.html

The BIOS is more interested in "things that boot". One primary
partition on the drive, may have the boot flag set, and that
might be where the BIOS tries to boot from. If you have more
than one boot drive, then the BIOS popup boot menu may have
more than one item in it.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa279/Von_klumpen/boot_pop.jpg

The BIOS popup boot menu, may name the drives by their
brand string, such as "Seagate ST3250310AS" or just "ST3250310AS".
The menu may not be wide enough, to provide enough info to make
each drive identity unique. I end up with two identical looking
items in my BIOS popup boot menu, that look the same,
and it's up to me to memorize, which disk is the one I want.

Windows is where the partition letters are assigned.
You use Disk Management, to make letter assignments.
And there are certain things, you don't try to change.
Generally, if you have a "data only" partition, it would be
safe to change the drive letter on that partition. but there
are other cases, where changing the letter is not a good idea.
(Like changing the drive letter for the OS drive for example.)

To get to Disk Management, try Start : Run : diskmgmt.msc

("Two disks, eight partitions")
http://www.imgx.org/pfiles/7284/disk%20management.jpg

If you have two Windows OSes you boot from on the computer,
and you want to do this "drive letter forcing" thing, you
may have to do it on both OSes. I don't think the drive letter
is stored on the drive itself. The label might be stored on there
somewhere, but the drive letter may be recorded in the registry.
For example, if I boot Linux, occasionally, but not
consistently, it might be able to extract label information,
but I don't think I've seen any examples where Linux knows
the Windows partition "drive letter".

If you're a neat freak, you may not be satisfied with the
restrictions Windows puts on your fun. You may achieve control
over some partitions, but others will remain elusive (WinXP partition
is C: when WinXP is booted, and is H: when Win2K is booted. With
enough trickery, you might be able to make the initial installation
appear on H:, but that would require a different trick than just
using Disk Management. It would involve creating fake partitions
to appear "ahead" of where Windows is going to go. Then removing
the fake partitions later.)  In any case, I would guess you
could have hours of fun doing this, only to have things upset
again, when you add yet another hard drive. I've given up on making
all the partitions "stand still" here, because I have more disks
than I have slots to install them.

I find assigning a label, such as "Freddy", to be more meaningful
than relying on the same partition to always be F:. You'll notice
in the Disk Management picture above, with the eight partitions,
the owner of that computer has gone overboard with the labels. I
seldom have partitions that are so exclusive, I could label
one of them "Songs" :-) I have partitions full of junk, with no
organization at all to it. But I do label my WinXP partition
"WinXP", and that turns out to be very handy at times.

Based on those sample pictures, maybe you could clarify what
you want.

Just a guess,
      Paul

Re: how to swap IDE and SATA drive assignments?



On Fri, 18 Jun 2010 04:11:56 -0700, lcplben rearranged some electrons to
say:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

If drive C has the master boot record on it, I don't think you're going
to be able to change it to anything but C.

Site Timeline