View Full Version : Drive letter problems

1st Nov 2002, 20:03
Hi all, I added another hard drive to my computer.
On the orriginal hard drive I had "C" & "D"
After the install "C" is still "C" but the partition "D" is now "E" and the new hard drive is "D".
The problem is that T2 looks for a CD in a drive that has changed it's letter ident and I cant open any cfg files to change it.

1) Is there a way to change drive or partitions letters?

2) Is there a way to open Thief files to change the CD drive ident?

1st Nov 2002, 20:57
1. Yes, open the System config in the Control Panel, click on the device manager tab, expand Disk Drives and choose the one(s) you want to change the letters on, then click on properties, then settings tab, you can then change the drive letters from there. The same is true for CD drives. This is for Windows 98, other OS' may be different.

2. Yes, the file(s) you need to edit are install.cfg(Thief and Thief 2) and darkinst.cfg(Thief 2 only). They are normal text files, openable with notepad.

1st Nov 2002, 21:15
Thank you sir!

2nd Nov 2002, 17:24
For furture reference regarding the default letter assignment for drives within Windows:

A: and B: are assigned to floppy drives whether they exist or not.

Hard drives are assigned next, primary partitions first followed by logical drives in extended partitions. The logical drives are assigned letters after all primary partitions on all hard drives have been assigned. If you have only 1 hard drive with 1 primary partition on the first physical hard drive with an extended partition with 1 logical drive then the drive letters would be C: for the primary and D: for the logical. However, if you have 2 physical hard drives where each has a primary partition and each has a logical drive in an extended partition, drive C: is the 1st primary partition on the 1st drive, D: is the 1st primary partition on the 2nd drive, then D: gets assigned to the logical drive on the 1st drive and E: to the logical drive on the 2nd drive. I didn't get into what happens when there are more than one primary partition on a drive since that depends on whether it is hidden or not. All unhidden primary partitions on the 1st drive get assigned a drive letter, then all unhidden primary partitions on the 2nd drive get assigned a drive letter, and so on for all physical drives. Then you come back to the 1st physical drive and assign the logical drives a drive letter, then all logical drives on the 2nd physical drive get assigned a drive, and so on.

Removable storage media gets assigned drive letters last, like CD drives. You can alter the drive letter assignments within some versions of Windows but I usually try to keep the default assignments the same as what Windows has allocated. Then if you boot to DOS, even if you're using a NT driver to read NTFS formatted drives, you don't have to remember how you reassigned the virtual drive letters in Windows to the default assignments.

The easiest way to add more physical drives without ever screwing up your current drive letter assignments is to NOT add any primary partitions to the new drive(s). Instead partition the new drives with one extended partition that encompasses all of the hard drive and then slice it up into logical drives. The only primary partitions will be on your 1st physical drive. Since there are no primary partitions on any other physical drives, the logical drives on your 1st drive get assigned letters first, then the logical drives on the 2nd drive get assigned drive letters, and so on. And installing a new drive won't screw up previous drive letter assignments - provided you don't then change which IDE port on which the drives are connected (i.e., 1st drive on IDE0, 2nd [new] drive on IDE1, 3rd [next new] drive on IDE2, and 4th [most recent] drive on IDE3).

This only eliminates drive letter changes on hard drives. The CD drives would still get pushed to the end of the list by default. These drives do not have intrinsic or embedded support within Windows. These drives MUST have a driver to access them whether you install it separately or it happens to be included in Windows (usually via a generic driver rather than one specific to your model). Any drives that require a driver get assigned drive letters last. You can reassign the drive letters inside some Windows versions but then you'll end up with some hard drive letters, the CD drive letters mixed in, followed by more drive letters. Since the drive letter for a driver-based drive always has to get explicitly assigned a drive letter (even if you leave it to default to follow after the hard drive assignments), I always assign my CD type drives starting at a high drive letter, like K: or higher. That lets me add lots of hard drives before I start bumping into the drive letter for the CD or Zip drives. Just be careful if you are on a corporate network that you don't use drive letters that a startup script that runs on logon also assigns for network or mapped drives.

Of course, all this stupidity of using drive letters is something only Microsoft would do. Does the Mac also use drive letters, or do they emulate the \\hostname\path URI naming scheme of Unix which doesn't change its path simply because you added more drives and you can even enlarge a path's diskspace by adding more drives to that path. Back when IBM decided to slap together off-the-shelf components into a PC, they also thought 640KB was a massive amount of RAM and 5MB was a huge drive. Well, we're into PCs that have 1GB or more for RAM slot support and 80GB or higher for hard drives. It sure be nice if Microsoft gave us more than 16 interrupts and stopped using drive letters based on technology limits back from 1982.

2nd Nov 2002, 18:51
Chiefdreams, no problem.

Vanguard, I learned something from your post.:)

3rd Nov 2002, 15:04
I was only able to fix the problem by changing the cfg files in Thief.
The drive letters in control panel would not alow me to change them.

3rd Nov 2002, 16:54
Drive Letter Assigner (http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/) worked for me when I had the same situation.

3rd Nov 2002, 19:19
Originally posted by Chiefdreams
I was only able to fix the problem by changing the cfg files in Thief.
The drive letters in control panel would not alow me to change them.

Yeah, that's pretty much the easiest and most reliable way for things concerning Thief.