No drive letter for second hard drive

  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm trying to install a second hard drive on my dell that is running win98 se. The second hard drive used to be the master in my old computer that was also running win98, so I changed the jumper to slave and installed it in the dell. Everything went fine and when I booted windows it seemed to detect it and find the driver. It shows up in device manager as the second hard drive, and it also shows up in the BIOS as the slave. Unfortunately Windows doesn't seem to be giving it a drive letter and it's not showing up in explorer, so I can't access it.

Any ideas?
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You did run fdisk and create a partition right? :)
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You don't need to add a partition when adding a slave, Axe. RichB did it exactly the way I would have. The master would have been C: and the slave would have defaulted to D: It should have worked like a charm the first try. I've done the exact same thing multiple times (in fact the computer to my right is set up exactly that same way). The only things I can think of to suggest are double check the jumper setting, and make sure the slave drive is on the correct connector on the IDE cable. Other than that, I have no explanation for it. This would have surprised me too.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually, I do have one other thought. How was your current machine originally set up? Were the current master and CDROM device on the same IDE cable? If so, then how did you add the slave drive? On the second IDE controller? or did you put it on the same controller as the master and switch the CD to the secondary? I'm not sure it makes a difference, but if the slave is on the second controller, it might be what's gumming up the works.

I'd have the two hard drives on one controller and any CDROM devices on the second.
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, you need to add a partition to the disk for windows to be able to know that it should use it.

If I take the hard drive out of my Linux box, for example, set it up as a slave and stick it in my windows machine, Windows isn't going to see it (the BIOS will though), because it's ext2 & Linux Swap partitions (or simply "Non-DOS" as far as Windows is concerned), and not a fat/vfat/fat32/ntfs partition - so a drive letter won't show up.

You do need to add a windows-readable partition if one does not exist.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Agreed with your scenario -- however, my scenario is the same as RichB's. They were both Windows 98 drives. My master is a newer 80GB Western Digital with Win 98. My slave is my original 1.6 GB Seagate drive that came with my computer (tells you how old it is! *lol) I did exactly what RichB described above with my own machine twice, and several others as well. I promise you, I do not have to add any partitions for this scenario. Install the drives. Make sure jumper settings are correct. Reboot, and I immediately have it.
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've put slaves in a bunch of machines too, if it's a brand new drive straight off the store shelf (or ordered onlnie), then there won't be any partitions on it - nothing. If it's out of another PC, then something's different - I didn't actually read first time around that it was out of another box ;P

Although, if a drive was on an ATA cable, then it might not be readable on a regular IDE cable (and vice versa), I've seen some motherboards that are funny like that.

Still, regardless, I'd still fire up fdisk, even if just to VIEW the partitions. Perhaps the FAT got corrupted being jiggled about while it was taken out of one machine and put into another (unlikely but possible)..

If there are windows partitions on there, fdisk should show it if you just view.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There's a thought. I wasn't thinking about ATA -- I just assumed IDE.
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the help guys. I'm not sure why it didn't work out originally because I was able to use fdisk to view the partition info, both HD's were on the same ide cable and I verified the jumper setting.

Anyway, I used fdisk to get rid of the old partition since I wasn't interested in the old data on the disk and created a new extended dos partition with a single logical drive using 100% of the space and it seems to work fine now.
  • Ragnar78
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Uhmmm...
I was wandering, does win 98se uses the autoexec.bat and config .sys?

cause i had onec this problem with 95, all i had to do was to add in the autoexec file 'lastdrive= Z:'
  • Axe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If I remember right it CAN use autoexec.bat & config.sys if they exists, however I do not believe they're essential for system operation & driver detection - although, some installations do have config.sys containing CD-Rom drivers, etc. for "Reboot to MS-DOS" mode type stuff...
  • bigcheeez
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I came across this post through google when I ran into the exact same problem - exept I AM interested in the data.

What I have is a hdd formatted with fat32 (win me.) All I need to do is recover some data off of it. When I put it in my xp pc the bios and disk management both detect it. Disk management says its a healthy fat32 formatted hdd, but there is no drive letter assigned. The only actions available in disk management are "delete partition" and "help."

I was finally able to boot from this drive and noticed it had Goback installed. I believe Norton makes this program, and it is some sort of Windows system restore wannabe.

I was able to disable goback, put the hdd back as slave, and boot from my xp hdd.

Then the fat32 disk recieved a drive letter automatically, and I was able to retrieve the data I needed.

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