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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | Drive Letter Issues ]

When I added a new disk drive, the drive letters assigned to my original hard disk's volumes changed

Explanation: After adding a new hard disk drive, the letters that were previously assigned to partitions on the old hard disk changed.

Diagnosis: This is a residue of the way DOS assigns drive letters. As discussed in detail here, DOS (and Windows) assigns drive letters first to the primary partitions in all hard disks in the system, and then to the logical partitions after that. If you start with a disk containing a C: primary partition and a D: logical disk volume, adding a new hard disk with a primary partition will cause the logical on the first disk to be pushed to E:

Recommendation: When adding a second hard disk to an existing system, partition it so that it contains only logical drives. Do not create a primary partition at all. This will cause the drive letter order to be preserved.

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