External Drive weirdness

zapoqx

Striking Master
Joined
1 Jun 2005
Messages
460
As I can't really re-emulate the issue at home, this only tends to happen at the school.

TIDBIT INFORMATION FOR THE REST OF THE TOPIC

One of the clubs I'm involved in, until I get my laptop back in, we have to use the school's computer.

  • The Computers have 9 Drives mapped to network drives starting with M being taken and ending in Z and a few letters in between not being used.
  • There is also a 4-in-1 built in Memory card reader that each seem to have a drive letter of its own.
  • There is a DVD drive so that is mapped to drive E
  • A is mapped to the diskette drive.
  • The main hard drive is mapped to D.
So some cases we will need to put in multiple external drives. Of the drives, there is a few SanDisk ones that use that U3 program to run. Since it takes a letter for the U3, it obviously needs another letter open for the rest of the drive.

So this is where it gets weird. At times, if I need to take a drive out so that we can put in a different drive in for something, in some cases, it will say that there is no available drives.

My only work around is to grab the U3 zip file in the drive that is found and copy it to the computer, then force install the application so that it clears out and realises "Oh, there is actually a free drive slot". But this is a 50/50 shot since there is the option it either
  • Works or...
  • It freezes out the keyboard and mouse.
Any possible solutions since I can't really emulate this to find out?

Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Builder/Installer
Joined
5 May 2008
Messages
529
Do the computers allow you access to Windows' (assuming XP or Vista) built-in Administrative Tools [Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management (Local)]?

Using this, you could temporarily take away the optical drive's letter, freeing it up to be used for the SanDisk/flash drive. Just be sure to give it the drive letter back again when you're done. :)

Right-click the drive, choose "Change Letters and Paths" and click Remove. Then to re-add instead of Remove click Add and choose the drive letter from the drop down list and click the Okays.
 

LeeJend

OSNN Veteran Addict
Joined
25 Jan 2003
Messages
5,291
Cheat-

Shut down the 4 in 1 using "Safely Remove Hardware Icon" on the Taskbar.

Under XP this frees up the 4 drive letters. ;) Not sure about VISTA and finding out would require rebooting... (Ah,what the heck. BRB).


I'm back...
Works in VISTA also. The freed up drive letters using stop on my 4 in 1 were reassigned to the external drive I attached.
 

zapoqx

Striking Master
Joined
1 Jun 2005
Messages
460
To edor, no. I can't access the admin tools. As unless we're marked under IT either internship or actual IT Staff (which is only 4), we can't get that access and have been only able to manipulate what we can. I'll explain a bit more in a sec.

I should of mentioned yea, Windows XP.

I'd like to add that we can't really add anything that isn't in the Temp folder. The "My Documents" is considered Temp. The Temp folder seems to have about 5GB of allocated space for us to use and only pull more if needed as long as the files are seperate (so if a file is more than 5 gb, it won't do it, but at 4.8 gb, it will). It also slows a bit for us doing so.

so in response to LeeJend, the question is knowing this info, since we all login with seperate login names (the way it works is it gets our profiles via a server as opposed to local so its not some generic "student" user name and some generic "password" method. Its our own), if say I did that method of removing it via taskbar, would it come back if someone else was to login or would I have to restart the system?
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Builder/Installer
Joined
5 May 2008
Messages
529
I would guesstimate that you would have to reboot the computer for the card reader drive letters to reappear, unless it's an external card reader and you can unplug and re-plug the USB cable to it, but my impression is that it's an internal card reader so that probably isn't an option.

Only trying would tell 100% sure.
 

zapoqx

Striking Master
Joined
1 Jun 2005
Messages
460
ok, well next week since our club meets only Tuesday and Sundays, If it happens, I'll do what's suggested and update this post to say the results.
 

kcnychief

??? ??? ?
Political Access
Joined
8 Apr 2005
Messages
16,950
AFAIK hardware trumps mapped drive letters - (i.e.) if you turn the PC off and plugin the USB device, it will pick a letter and assign it before Windows has a chance to map the drive. Of course, if this is the first time the device is connected it may need to install drivers and delay grabbing a letter.
 

roirraW "edor" ehT

Builder/Installer
Joined
5 May 2008
Messages
529
IMHO, no PC hardware assigns drive letters at all. It's purely a Windows (or DOS!) thing. Now there are cases where Windows will screw up drive letters, but usually not in this kind of situation. You can even tell Windows not to assign a drive letter to selected drives. Just my two cents.
 

LeeJend

OSNN Veteran Addict
Joined
25 Jan 2003
Messages
5,291
so in response to LeeJend, the question is knowing this info, since we all login with seperate login names (the way it works is it gets our profiles via a server as opposed to local so its not some generic "student" user name and some generic "password" method. Its our own), if say I did that method of removing it via taskbar, would it come back if someone else was to login or would I have to restart the system?

Yes, all you need to do to get it back is log off and log in again. It will see the 4 drives again and they will be back in the usual place.

You haven't "uninstalled anything" all you did was turn it off for removal. They are treated like any thumb drive.
 

zapoqx

Striking Master
Joined
1 Jun 2005
Messages
460
Well I'm a bit late in the update, but here goes...
I seem to have figured out what it was. It seems that after one SanDisk flash drive is put in, for some reason (I don't know if its windows side or the sandisk program) it wants to keep the drive location for the drive that its on. Meaning, if Drive G is the U3 disk thing and Drive H is the actual drive itself, then it wants to lock Drive H as being the only drive for SanDisk flashes. However, the clear up of the 4in1 thing does fix up a bit of things.

That is my update.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest profile posts

Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
Xie wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
Electronic Punk wrote on Sazar's profile.
Rest in peace my friend, been trying to find you and finally did in the worst way imaginable.

Forum statistics

Threads
62,013
Messages
673,483
Members
5,607
Latest member
jonazop