Unable to designate drive letter to new hard drive

  Jim Sadler 17:31 28 Aug 2004

My friend has a PC running W98SE. There are 2 hard drives, the master is partitioned and lettered C & D and the slave is E with the CD-ROM as F. The slave drive (E) failed and was replaced with a new unit. The new hard drive is recognised in the BIOS and Device Manager but not in the System Information section of Windows System Tools. In Device Manager the drive letter designation box is greyed out for all drives except the CD-ROM on which the drive letter had changed to E. This means that I cannot allocate the new hard drive a letter although I can and have changed the CD-ROM drive letter to F. How can I allocate the new drive a letter, namely E?

  cga 17:46 28 Aug 2004

Strictly speaking you do not allocate a letter to a drive but to a partition on a drive. This is the heart of your problem.

Open a DOS box and use FDISK to set up the new disk. Then you will be fine (be careful to set up the correct disk).

  Zak 17:46 28 Aug 2004

I had a similar problem and found this wonderful little program. It runs in windows.

It runs at startup and you just forget about it until you want to make any other Drive Letter changes.

Please note that in DOS the Drive letters remain as the sytem decides, i.e. Letter Assigner does not run in DOS.

It may solve your problem. Here is the link:

click here

  Zak 17:48 28 Aug 2004

cga has given good advice, I had missed that point!

  Diemmess 18:15 28 Aug 2004

Also............. having been extremely careful to make sure it is the new disk you are working on, you will need to FORMAT once you have used FDISK, before Windows will recognise it.

Since you are fitting this yourself why not connect only the new disk while you are doing these things, just plug the data and power leads into the new disk and isolate the Master. That way you cannot possibly wipe the master disk!

  Diemmess 18:24 28 Aug 2004

If you use the isolation method, you will have to boot from the setup floppy or CD, whichever way you do that thing.

  SEASHANTY 20:32 28 Aug 2004

Preparing a hard drive with FDISK
click here

  THE TERMINATOR 20:41 28 Aug 2004

Can you format the drive from within windows?...TT

  cga 22:25 28 Aug 2004

You can both partition & format from within windows but, as Diemmess says, If you do it stand alone you cannot make mistakes.

  Jim Sadler 16:15 01 Sep 2004

Thanks for all suggstions. Problem has been resolved.

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