Partitioning - external hard drive enclosures

  Ranger3 21:00 18 Jan 2004

I recently purchased a usb 2.o hard drive enclosure that accepts 3.5" hard drives. In Windows XP it is recognised as a mass storage device but the drive itself needs partitioning/formatting before it can be used. My question is this: should I assign a drive path and letter when prompted to do so by disk management during the partitioning procedure? I am fairly reluctant to do this since I would prefer the drive letter to be assigned "on the fly" when I connect the enclosure/drive, similar to compact flash card readers, so that the available devices are labelled in a contiguous sequence, ie a,b,c,d,e,f, instead of a,b,c,d,e,r. Is this possible? The enclosure unfortunately has next to no documentation.

Any help gratefully received.

  wawadave 21:02 18 Jan 2004

yes it will need to beasigned a drive letter.

  woodchip 21:03 18 Jan 2004

It should not need Fdisk you should be able to just right click the drive if you can see it and choose format in Explorer

  Ranger3 21:09 18 Jan 2004

Thanks for the info - just out of interest, when would a drive path and letter not need to be assigned?

  Spark6 21:13 18 Jan 2004

Ranger 3:

It wouldn't happen to be a ViPower enclosure would it?

I'm interested in more info on mine.

  woodchip 21:13 18 Jan 2004

Don’t know but it's got to have a letter and if it's a removable it will more than likely show as the last drive letter

  Ranger3 21:30 18 Jan 2004

Spark 6,

Good question - have been wondering that myself. There is no company name on the box or on the unit itself. However, it does have a product code: hd-337-u2. Have traced it to a company called CoolMAx

click here

They are obviously not that keen on providing support for the product!

  woodchip 21:40 18 Jan 2004

You should assign a drive path and letter, as if it's a external you should be able to add and remove as you like and it will just put the letter in when the drive is connected

  Ranger3 00:05 19 Jan 2004


I see what you are saying - I was just wondering whether the circuitry in the enclosure was designed to query the pc to establish connected devices and assign the next available drive letter to the attached hard drive. If it does this I imagine it is not necessary to set the drive letter manually.

What I might want to do is use the external enclosure to transfer files between different computers - if the hard drive I install in the enclosure is permanently labelled as drive f and a computer I want to transfer files to already has a drive f, there will be a conflict.

  JerryJay 00:13 19 Jan 2004


I use the same product and find some strange things. When I connect it to the PC, I get it works as USB1.1 device if I connect the power first and usb cable second. However, it works as a USB2.0 device if I connect the usb cable first and power second. This happen to me on two machines and with both XP and 2K. Two machines are dual boot by the way. Have you had the similar problem? I could not find the manual.

  Ranger3 00:28 19 Jan 2004


Interested to read what you say about the enclosure - unfortunately I haven't actually tried mine out yet due to my partitioning query but will keep a note of your comments!

BTW, how did you partition the drive you installed in the enclosure? Does it always show up as the same drive letter or does it assign the drive letter depending on what is already connected to the computer?

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