General discussion

Changing Drive Letters

Every now and then, when I turn on computer, I find that drive letters have mysteriously changed...anyone ever hear of this happening, or what causes it? Have to go to disk management, and set things right, which is a nuisance; but, if drive letter changed is for my second harddrive, will not allow me to change same...have to use system restore, to return things to normal. Any suggestions? I am running Windows XP Pro with SP2...two harddrives plus an external harddrive, and a DVDROM plus a DVD Recorder.

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Are you only using IDE ports?

Sometimes with RAID, or SATA ports a drive might not be detected during a boot. When that happens Win XP rearranges drive letters to fill in the empty spot.

Watch the boot screen carefully at each boot to see if this is happening.

What mobo and chipset???

Toni Hackler has reported this happening to her computer frquently on a cold boot.

It might be a timeout problem where the drive is not found in the time allotted. The RAID and SATA part of the boot doesn't know if there should be drives there, so after a timeout if none is detected it simply reports no drive detected and continues booting. Doesn't require "hit F1 to continue", as with the boot drive if IDE.

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IDE ports

Two internal harddrives and DVDs are connected to MB via IDE cables...external harddrive is USB...MB is Aopen model #AK77-8XN with VIA KT400 chipset, and Athlon 2100 CPU. If applicable, 1.5 gig DDR memory also installed.

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Drive Letters

Guess none of you Gurus has an answer for me on this one...thanks anyway...will live with it!

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When the drive letters are changed

is there, then, one of the drives missing????

Does your BIOS offer an option to extend the time to detect the drives. Gigabyte site says there is one, but I can't find one in my gigabytes BIOS.

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Waited for you to respond fully to...

Ray as he indicated that such "drive disappearance" can be caused by the drive not fully spinning up prior to boot.

Rather than a "system restore", next time it happens see if a simple re-boot restores things to normal. If so you can adjust the amount of time spent in POST.

Ways to increase POST time include (I would do 1 and 2 first to see if problem resolves UNLESS overclocked in which case I would clock correctly first):

1. Enabling "Boot up Floppy seek" if you have a Floppy installed (all that is happening here is that the system checks to determine if it is 40 or 80 tracks). (In Advanced BIOS features)

2. Make Boot order Floppy then CD-ROM then Hard drive as this will cause POST to attempt to read floppy then CD for a boot sector prior to accessing any other IDE device. (Advanced BIOS Features)

3. Enable USB legacy support--allows USB keyboard or mouse and takes a fraction of a second for checking. (Integrated Peripherals)

4. Disable Top Performance (Top Performance)

5. If you have made use of the overclocking utility step it down to specs.

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Waited for response

Can do, Edward...thank you...will get back to have CD first in boot sequence...will change to floppy.

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I also thank you Ed.

I'll email the link to here to Toni H. She is the one that loses a drive at a cold boot. Maybe this will help.

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Never lost it on a cold boot

I only lose the RAID/ATA drive (two partitions) on a reboot. I've never been able to figure out why it doesn't do the extra IDE search on a reboot.


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(NT) (NT) Sorry that I got it backwards Toni..
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Thank you

Edward...thank you for the info...did what you far, so good.......Dobby.

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