Drive identification letters

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Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:33 pm

OK, got my new system put together and running. The computer only sees the dvd drive and the SSD with windows on it. The SSD is drive C and the DVD drive is Drive D.

I'm getting ready to format the second SSD and the 1 terrabyte HDD and I am wondering if it will cause any issues if I change the DVD drive to drive A, the second SSD to drive D, and the HDD to drive E? Reserving the drive B slot for a future blue ray drive?

Another question. Would I be better off using a raid set up for the two SSD's? I know nothing about raid other than what I have read here and there. If it would be a better way to do it would some one care to point me to a link explaining the procedure? I have a few programs on my boot SSD do I have to start all over with a clean drive to use it in a raid configuration?

Here is my system in case that would be useful information.

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K
ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
EVGA 02G-P4-2680-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
2x SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC512D/AM 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit
Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
SeaSonic Platinum Platinum-860 860W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA
Corsair Special Edition White Graphite Series 600T Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 120mm Long Life Sleeve CPU Cooler
CORSAIR Survivor Stealth 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Windows 8 64bit OEM
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:38 pm

I just had another thought. Should I get a smaller SSD to use as my boot drive for windows and put all my games and other applications on the two 512 GB SSD's?
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:46 pm

Changing the drive letter of the OS drive post-install, or using drive A/B for anything other than their original MS-DOS purpose (floppy drives) is likely to cause headaches. Why do you want to do this?
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:19 pm

just brew it! wrote:Changing the drive letter of the OS drive post-install, or using drive A/B for anything other than their original MS-DOS purpose (floppy drives) is likely to cause headaches. Why do you want to do this?


Since no one uses 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 drives any more I figured the DVD/blue ray drives would take their place. Why would windows reserve a drive spot for something no one uses any more? OK, maybe a few still use 3.5's but they have to be a minority since flash drives came on the scene.

I want to do this because I like things to be in a logical order. At least logical to me. I am not changing the OS drive from its current C setting. The only thing I am considering changing is the DVD drive so I can have all my hard drives in order.
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:39 pm

Khali wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Changing the drive letter of the OS drive post-install, or using drive A/B for anything other than their original MS-DOS purpose (floppy drives) is likely to cause headaches. Why do you want to do this?


Since no one uses 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 drives any more I figured the DVD/blue ray drives would take their place. Why would windows reserve a drive spot for something no one uses any more? OK, maybe a few still use 3.5's but they have to be a minority since flash drives came on the scene.

I want to do this because I like things to be in a logical order. At least logical to me. I am not changing the OS drive from its current C setting. The only thing I am considering changing is the DVD drive so I can have all my hard drives in order.

That's why I usually put the optical drives in reverse order from Z:.
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:42 pm

Khali wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Changing the drive letter of the OS drive post-install, or using drive A/B for anything other than their original MS-DOS purpose (floppy drives) is likely to cause headaches. Why do you want to do this?


Since no one uses 5 1/4 or 3 1/2 drives any more I figured the DVD/blue ray drives would take their place. Why would windows reserve a drive spot for something no one uses any more? OK, maybe a few still use 3.5's but they have to be a minority since flash drives came on the scene.

I want to do this because I like things to be in a logical order. At least logical to me. I am not changing the OS drive from its current C setting. The only thing I am considering changing is the DVD drive so I can have all my hard drives in order.


JBI is right. Windows isn't the problem. It will happily let you set drives to A or B. The problem is software. Lots of software is hardcoded to prevent you from using A or B.
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:43 pm

You can try it right now -- go to Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management and then look for "Disk Management" -- then right click on the drive you want to modify and select "Change Letter." Be prepared for one of two things to happen:

1) Nothing. It works fine.
2) You trigger the Rise of the Machines, and humanity is destroyed.

Seriously, though, some things should not be toyed with. These days the letter is functionally arbitrary anyway, it just provides a simple way for the user to address the drive in command line. But any computer BIOS (pre-UEFI, anyway...not sure what UEFI does with it) maintains legacy support for floppy disk drives at positions "A" and "B", and so Windows follows the tradition of starting all other disk types at position "C".
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:54 pm

Yup. Basically, you want to move your optical drives and any mapped network shares towards the end of the alphabet to get them out of the way of the drive letters Windows wants to assign when new storage devices show up. This helps prevent strange things from happening when you add hard drives, plug in external thumb drives, etc.

The avoidance of A: and B: is to prevent problems with software that has a hard-coded notion that those drive letters are reserved for floppies. You'd think that we would've gotten rid of all of that legacy cruft by now, but better safe than sorry unless *not* using them is causing you problems because you've run out of drive letters!
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:03 pm

You could try something without a brain dead file system setup. Linux will make all those stupid letters go away.
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:13 pm

NTFS doesn't have the need for drive letters either beyond the initial root (C:) via mount points.
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:02 pm

I map my flash drive(s) and SD card reader to A:\ and B:\ Drive mappings in Windows aren't strickly necessary. But, since it was brought up (moving to *nix), in my opinion, it's easier to type c: than /dev/hda

edit: to fix typo
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Re: Drive identification letters

Postposted on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:33 am

This is why I'm so glad I got pointed to the Tech Report by a friend. I am learning quite a bit from you folks. Thanks for the input.
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