D: drive (2nd hard drive) not recognized

I have both my hard drives on the primary IDE channel, one 100 gb (the C: drive), and the 2nd the 40 gb (not listed in the “My computer” screen) is not listed. The “My Computer” screen identifies the DVD drives as D: and E:, although they are on the Secondary IDE channel. HOWEVER, under “System Information” and under the “Device Manager,” both hard drives are listed under the Primary IDE channel and both are identified as on the UDMA 5 setting. They are also detected on the initial boot-up screen at start up.

How can I get my system to detect the 2nd HDD and change the drive letter to D: (as it should have been when I reinstalled XP), and get it to change the DVD drives to E: and F: as they were before? Let me know! I think I may have read of this solution before, but I could not find it. :frowning:

Have you formatted and partitioned the second hard drive?

In Win XP you can go to the Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management and change drive letters for your DVD drives if you wish, I do believe.

The 2nd drive is not formatted nor partitioned; I used Western Digital’s Data Lifeguard tool to write zeros to the drive and have not done anything to it yet. I have neither drive partitioned, and all I want the D: drive for is for data storage, formatted as NTFS.

So, how do I proceed? While I should be able to change the DVD drive letters under Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management, how do I get the system to recognize the 2nd HDD (the 40 GB) as the D: drive? Sorry if I’m repeating something, but I want to make sure before I proceed. I’ve already spent the last 3 days with backups and reloading XP, security updates, the works, so I want to make sure I get everything right before proceeding. :iagree:

Yeah, because the problem is that I cannot see the 2nd HDD to format it anyway under “My computer,” although I see it listed under “Device Manager.”

I would first move the drive letters for the optical disks, then you should have a slot free so when the drive does get Partitioned and Formatted, it should find Drive D available, and if not, you can change it to D:.


Ok, I have successfully changed the drive letters of both ODDs to E: and F: respectively. Since I can only “see” the 2nd 40 GB drive under Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Storage>Disk Management, will right clicking on the drive and selecting New Partition>Next>Primary Partition format the drive? I want the drive to be formatted as NTFS, but only for storing data, like backups, music files or movie files. Is the “Primary Partition option” the correct option for leaving it as a HDD for data backup?

By the way, thank you for your help so far, Bearded Kirklander. :iagree: :bigsmile:

Make sure you partition the drive like you want it (looks like you want a single partition), because there are only limited options to change it later without buying a commercial partitioning software.

ok, got it. For future reference, if anyone does not partition their drive, just accept the defaults under XP, selecting the “Primary Partition” option. It assigned D: as the drive letter to it and the “Primary Partition” option automatically left it at the full size of the HDD. :slight_smile: Now my system also recognizes it as the D: drive, listed also in the “My computer” screen.

So if anyone has this problem when doing a full reinstall, make sure to reassign the drive letters of the ODDs on your system first, leaving D: open. Then once you select the “Primary Partition” option for formatting as NTFS, it will be assigned D: by default. :iagree:

Thanks, but the problem was solved already. Also, I was later told when I had to fully wipe my 2nd drive because of a bad virus that snuck past my AV software that it’s best to have the system detect just one HDD (where one has two) as the C: drive, although one could leave a 2nd HDD in there, just unplugged with no power + no connection (as well as the ODDs inside but also no power/connection). Then once only the C: is showing, one can plug in the molex connections to all the drives and the 2nd HDD will be detected as D: and the two ODDs as E: and F: respectively. It’s a lot simpler solution.