Windows 7 - What is maximum number of drives? Or maybe...

Asked By Tcs on 06-May-07 03:51 PM
I have just encountered a problem, which I didn't have before...

I've just upgraded from an old PC, running Windows 2k Pro (sp4), to a
new one running XP Pro (sp2).  (I have built both PCs, just as I have
always done.)  My configuration is:

----+-------+-------+---+----------------------
Drv | OLD PC| NEW PC| # | description
----+-------+-------+---+----------------------
A: | x     | x     | - | floppy
B: | -     | -     | - | doesn't exist
C: | x(10) | x(35) | 0 | OS partition (active)
D: | x (5) | x (8) | 0 | comm partition
E: | x (5) | x (8) | 0 | graphics partition
F: | x (5) | x (8) | 0 | word proc partition
G: | x (5) | x (8) | 0 | database partition
H: | x (5) | x (8) | 0 | various data
I: | x     | x     | - | CD / DVD-ROM drive
J: | x     | x     | - | DVD drive
K: | x     | x(10) | 1 | OS partition (active)
L: | x(320)| ????? | 2 | misc
M: |       | x (5) | 1 | comm partition
N: |       | x (5) | 1 | graphics partition
O: |       | x (5) | 1 | word proc partition
P: |       | x (5) | 1 | database partition
Q: |       | x (5) | 1 | various data
R: |       | x     | - | card read 1st drive
S: |       | x     | - | card read 2nd drive
T: |       | x     | - | card read 3rd drive
U: |       | x     | - | card read 4th drive
V: |       | x(160)| 3 | misc

Right now, disk 1 in the new PC is my disk 0 from my old PC, while I
continue to migrate from the old to the new.  *Normally*, I would only
have one, perhaps two partitions on disk 1.

Hard Disk 0 = 80gb
Hard Disk 1 = 40gb right now, but varies (win 2k hdd 0)
Hard Disk 2 = 320bg right now, but varies
Hard Disk 3 = 160gb right now, but varies

Notes:
------
1.)  Disks 0, 1 & 2 are in removable cartridge/chassis.
2.)  Disk 3 is an external unit with USB interface.
3.)  All hard disks are IDE.
4.)  Disks 0, 1 & 2 are in the chassis.
5.)  Disks 0 & 1 run off the mobo's controllers.
6.)  Disk 2 runs off a SIIG Ultra ATA/133 PCI controller.
7.)  Drives R:, S:, T: & U: are card reader unit (Koutech F7210).

I can disable drives R:-U:, by "stopping" the USB device, although I
don't actually "remove" anything.  I was able to get my system to
then back to "on".  ( I don't believe it was the "scan for hardware
changes" that worked. )

So...I'm thinking this has to do with the number of physical "disks"
in the system.  ( So far I haven't been able to find anything about
what any such limit might be. )  But maybe it's a matter of the number
of "drives".  Maybe some combination.  Whatever it is, I would like to
know.  I'm also wondering if it would be possible to script the
disabling of drives R:-U: and enabling of drive L:.  And...if so, how
to do it.  Can I restrict the enabling of drives R: thru U: to perhaps
just ONE (1) drive?  ( I only have one Compact Flash card. )

Can anyone out there help me?  Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Tom




Shenan Stanley replied on 06-May-07 04:29 PM
I think you have gone into overkill on the number of partitions.
You do not *need* that many.

Most get along just fine with one (1) partition per drive.
Many get along better in that way and organizing their files/installations
into folders.

You have not ran out of drive letters - but you have a riduculous number of
them.
I have systems with 2+TB of space on them and connectivity to several
external drives and network devices and seldom get over 12-15 drive letters.

Why not make an image of the old disk using somehting like Symantec Ghost,
Acronis TrueImage, BootItNG - and then read from the image to save your
machine from having to parse the abnormal number of tiny partitions? heh

--
Shenan Stanley
MS-MVP
--
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Wesley Vogel replied on 06-May-07 06:53 PM
26.

A computer can use up to 26 drive letters. Drive letters A and B are
reserved for floppy disk drives, but you can assign these letters to
removable drives if the computer does not have a floppy disk drive. Hard
disk drives in the computer receive letters C through Z, while mapped
network drives are assigned drive letters in reverse order (Z through B).
from...
To assign, change, or remove a drive letter
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/dm_drive_letter.mspx?mfr=true

Or paste the following line into Start | Run and click OK...

hh diskmgmt.chm::/dm_drive_letter.htm

--
Hope this helps.  Let us know.

Wes
MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

Tcs <someone@somewhere.com> hunted and pecked:
Gerry replied on 08-May-07 06:04 PM
Wes

26 is not the max. You can have any number of C drives as long as the
operating system residing therein  cannot see any of the other C drives.


--



Regards.

Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wesley Vogel replied on 09-May-07 08:20 PM
Hi Gerry,

On one Windows operating system you can have as many drives as you like.
But you can only designate 26 of them with drive letters, from A thru Z.

--
Hope this helps.  Let us know.

Wes
MS-MVP Windows Shell/User

Gerry <gerry@nospam.com> hunted and pecked:
PVS R replied to Wesley Vogel on 28-Sep-10 01:08 AM
Then how do we designate the rest ??
Brad B replied to PVS R on 31-Oct-10 01:52 PM
An explanation of one way to do it here:



http://ask-leo.com/26_drives_is_there_a_way_around_the_26_drive_limit_in_windows.html
Brad B replied to PVS R on 31-Oct-10 01:54 PM
See:



http://ask-leo.com/26_drives_is_there_a_way_around_the_26_drive_limit_in_windows.html