Can't assign drive letter D

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by pmennen, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. pmennen

    pmennen Well-Known Member

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    On my new Toshiba Portege R830, the first partition on the SSD is a small 1.46G system drive that is marked as the boot device and as a Recovery Partition. The next partition covering most of the disk is the C drive. I didn't even know this could be done. Is this a new way of doing things? On other systems I've always seen the C drive as the one marked as the boot device.

    I've always partitioned my main drive into 3 parts ... C for the OS, D for the installed applications, and E for the user data. However this time after adding the extended partition and the two logical drives (using Qparted), when I boot windows, windows calls the new drives E and F. If tried to change E to D using the windows disk management tool, but the "D" is missing from the list of choices.

    The Qparted display looks something like this:
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    /dev/sda1 ntfs System 1.46G Boot
    /dev/sda2 ntfs 48G
    /dev/sda3 extended 69.78G
    /dev/sda5 32G (logical drive)
    /dev/sda6 37.78G (logical drive)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Curious that sda4 is missing. Could this be the source of the problem?
    Actually more likely I think what may be happening is that windows is assigning the drive letter D to the Bootable System partition.

    Either way, this is pretty much a disaster. I maintain 8 other computers for various family members and they all have drives C,D,E. If this one has to be different I will forever be getting confused and all my old shortcuts will not work anymore unless I modify them.

    I thought about marking the Recovery Partition as hidden to see if that gives me back my drive letter, however I was nervous about trying that since I thought it might render the system unbootable (which at least will be a pain in the ***). With the incredible flexibility inside windows, I figure that windows must have a way of changing the drive letters to the ones I've grown used to. If so ... does anyone know how this can be done?

    Many thanks for any suggestions.
    ~Paul
     
  2. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

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    As I understand it, As you say, this small partition (usually 100mb) will be your boot and recovery option. I've always removed/merged this to C:, (as I have a install dvd) which puts the boot on your C:. I can then use D: as a drive letter as is my wont. I've only ever had one issue where I had to repair my bootmgr. It maybe different on an SSD, but cannot see why.

    This is probably a very simplistic explanation!
     
  3. pmennen

    pmennen Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your response Elmer.

    I don't believe it is any different with an SSD however what you suggest is more complicated. Toshiba had two recovery partitions.
    The large one (15Gb) was at the end of the disk, so it was easy for me to delete that without effecting the data on the C drive. The small one (1.46G) however is at the beginning of the disk and is used for the windows recovery environment. It is annoying that it is this big since it has less than 200Mbytes of data on it. But I wasn't planning on deleting it since this is where Toshiba puts the boot files. I don't know why Toshiba does it this way. What is the advantage of this? Why didn't they just make the large C drive partition bootable? If this is the reason I can't assign a drive to the letter "D" it is especially annoying.

    I've made the recovery DVDs using toshiba's utility, but still I'm not sure if it is safe to remove the smaller hidden partition. Wouldn't that mean I would have to move all the data on the C drive into the merged partition. Even if there is a tool to do this without damaging the data, I would still have to know how to make this bootable. And if that didn't work, could I re-install Windows 7 using the DVDs I made? I got the impression that the windows recovery disk required the extra partition to be there. Sounds kind of risky. Perhaps I would try that if I could find step by step instructions written by someone who has tried it on my model computer. Even then I would attempt that only if there was absolutely no way to cajole windows into assigning the drive letters that I want (i.e. D and E) to my logical drives on the SSD.

    ~Paul
     
  4. Elmer

    Elmer Extraordinary Member

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    Can you post a screenie of your disk management for us? I agree, nearly 1.5gig is , err, a tad excessive!
     
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You need to be very careful about looking at drive partitions from outside windows and making assumptions about exactly what they do.

    If would be best if you used Disk Management and took a snipping tool picture and attach using the paperclip.

    In Windows, the System partition is where the boot files are. The boot partition is where the OS is. You do not state which partition is active, but on a MBR (normal) system, that is where the files needed for boot are located. Other utilities may use different names to signify special partitions.

    On and EFI system, you may not have an active partition since the boot is handled in the Bios.

    There are also some hard drives that have a SSD in conjunction with a normal hard drive and I think they are called Hybrid drives. Since you state your drive is an SSD, I will assume this is not your situation.
     
  6. pmennen

    pmennen Well-Known Member

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    Ok, that's what I have done. The image should be attached to this reply ... I hope :)
    Thanks.

    ~Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  7. jackoab

    jackoab Well-Known Member

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    Your problem is that your Disk drive is using D so you will need to change this to an unused letter and then D will again be available.
     
  8. pmennen

    pmennen Well-Known Member

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    Hi jackoab. Thanks for replying, although unfortunately I haven't the foggiest idea what you mean. Do you see a "D:" anywhere in the screen capture in my last post? I certainly don't. Perhaps somehow "D" is assigned to that first partition that shows a blank as the volume label, but if that is the case I wouldn't know how to change it. If I right click on any of the other drives, there is a "Change Drive Letter and Paths..." in the context menu. However this doesn't happen for that first (recovery) partition. The context menu for that partition just says "Help". So what do I do?
     
  9. nmsuk

    nmsuk Windows Forum Admin
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    Your cdrom device is D: change it to G and then change the partition you want to D:

    This can all be done in disk management, right click on the cdrom and change it's drive letter first and then do the partition you want.


    DiskMgmt.
     
    #9 nmsuk, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  10. pmennen

    pmennen Well-Known Member

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    Oh my gosh ... how embarrassing. I've never had it assign the cdrom before the disk drives, so I wasn't even looking there. I can see why the earlier posters wanted to see a screen capture. I was looking for complicated explanations, but the answer was right there in front of me. Thanks for straightening me out!

    ~Paul
     
  11. nmsuk

    nmsuk Windows Forum Admin
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    Not embarrassing at all, is one of those easily missed things. Glad it's sorted :)
     

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