Longtime subscriber Greg H. wrote recently to ask about a new hard drive problem in Windows 7:
On a desktop PC running Win 7 Pro, I have 3 hard drives. The boot drive and 1st backup are SATA, the 3rd drive is a new Seagate IDE. The old IDE was failing and I kept getting backup messages about it, so I just swapped it out.
My boot SATA shows up as C: (F) in Windows Explorer. I can’t get rid of the F designation. The 2nd SATA drive shows up also as C, but used to be D! The new IDE does not show up at all now.
I tried unplugging power and data cables from the 2nd and 3rd drives thinking that upon boot, the primary C drive would lose the F designation, but no luck. Re-connecting the 2nd SATA drive has caused it to also be labeled a C drive when it isn’t.
The 3rd IDE was a simple swap out but now does not appear. I tried the jumper in the Cable Select position and the Slave position but, again, no luck. It is plugged into the primary IDE board header where it was before. The SATA headers seem to override the IDE header.
How can I get all my drives straightened out and labeled correctly.
I don’t know why Windows would call two drives C, unless he have created a Dynamic Disk that spans from one drive to another.
I suggested that Greg give his drives individual names, if they don’t already have them. For this purpose, I’d stay away from the c,d,e etc to make sure you know what Windows thinks the name is and what Windows thinks the drive designation is C:, D:, E:, etc.
In Windows Explorer, right-click on a drive. Then, either use Rename or Properties to set its name. I like to set names like WD1TB for a Western Digital 1 TeraByte drive.
The IDE won’t appear in Windows Explorer until you create a partition on it and format the partition. If you’re using Windows XP or later, use Windows’ Disk Management to do this. From the Start Menu, click Run, then enter Diskmgmt.msc to do this.
If you’re running Windows 7, the Run command is not there by default. You can type DiskMgmt.msc in the search box and hit enter. I prefer to add the Run command back to the Start Menu.
If you don’t have the Run command on your Windows 7 Start Menu, you can easily add it.
See my article at
Adding the Run Command to the Windows 7 Start Menu
Greg wrote back:
Thanks for the info. Did a quick format on the new drive and it was picked right up as E. The CD/DVD drive is D. Renaming the other two SATA drives does not change the letter designation so I’ll just live with it. Thanks.