View Full Version : Changing Drive Letters in Win 98

08-07-2002, 08:31 PM
I have a PC with two hard drives, one fixed the other in a caddy. The fixed drive is partitioned into two.

The letters assigned to the drives/partitions are all messed up. How do I give them new letters and fix these so they don't change when the caddy drive is taken out?

OS = Win 98


08-07-2002, 08:51 PM
I'm sorry but with Win98 you can not reassign hard drive letters. The OS assigns C: to the first hard drive, first partition then D: to the second hard drive, first partition and then the drive letters get assigned to the other partitions. It's a real pain in the butt. I must say I much prefer the way Linux handles hard drives.

08-07-2002, 08:53 PM
I should have said that the only way to sort this out is for the first hard drive to be only one partition.

08-07-2002, 09:08 PM
Try this:

Windows 95/98

The more advanced operating systems will usually assign drive letters as part of the system boot process instead of via CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT files. For such drives, if you need to change the drive letter you should be able to open the Control Panel, double click on the System item, and then click on the Device Manager tab. Double click the device you need to change and then click the Settings tab in the Properties dialog box. At the bottom of the Settings page note the area called Reserved Drive Letters. Select the start (and ending) letter to assign to the device and close the dialogs. You will need to restart your computer for the change to become effective.

Note: If you do this be very certain that no software depends upon the old drive letter as it will no longer be assigned to the correct device and you can encounter errors; perhaps serious errors.

In the process above you have the option of assigning both starting and ending drive letters for a device. This is allowed in case you have placed multiple partitions on a given device.

08-07-2002, 11:07 PM
there is a program called letter assigner that can fix the problem of drive letters changeing in 98. however don't go changing letters on drives that you run programs off.

09-07-2002, 01:26 AM
Let me guess.
You used MS Fdisk to create partitions on both the fixed drive and the drive in the caddy.

You have three drive letters as well as those for FDDs, CDs and any other removal devices. The drive letters are C, D and E.

Let me guess.
C contains - say - Windows 98, D has - um - personal data or data to be shared and E has - oh - application software - like Word.
When you remove the caddy to share or move the data, E disappears and none of the application software works - you get error messages.

Cool - it will happen that way since you used MS Fdisk to partition the drives. Look here to find how MS-DOS and Windows assign drive letters: Order in Which MS-DOS and Windows Assign Drive Letters (Q51978) (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q51978)

Why does it happen? Because a design feature of MS Fdisk is to create primary partitions before the extended DOS partition and it is not possible, using MS Fdisk, to create only an extended DOS partition.

To create an extended DOS partition without a primary partition try programes like efdisk or Partition Magic.

Or you can use - at your own risk - the program suggested by tweak'e.
Search Ask Jeeves for "Letter Assigner Home Page".

Oh - and godfather's suggestion won't work since the drive in the caddy is recognised as a fixed drive - not a removal one.

09-07-2002, 09:13 AM
Thank you for a lot of helpful replies.

I may not have given enough detail about the config.

Disk # 1: Split into two partitions: Ist partition C: holds all the program files. Second partition D: holds all the data.

Disk #2: (Caddy) is used for backups only.

Hopefully this helps


09-07-2002, 07:16 PM
sounds like the problem you have is when you insert backup hardrive(caddy) windows labels it d drive and the old d drive becomes e drive. if so letter assigner will fix that easy enough.