logical drive letter assignment- IDE and SATA

By stoutcj ·
There have to be caveats that I am unaware of when installing a SATA drive and then adding two IDE drives to a desktop.
ECS-600A Motherboard
WD 160G Sata

What's happening is the logical drive letter assignments are not in proper order.
The SATA drive shows as C, the NEC DVD Writer shows as D, even when the IDE drive is installed in the it as simple as a jumper Master/Slave issue, or is there something else I am missing?

I'd appreciate some design/installation rules from the PROS!
Thanks in advance.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

5 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  
| Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Generally speaking when you add an IDE Drive

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to logical drive letter assi ...

To a system with SATA Drives the IDE becomes the default C Drive or at the very least moves the Optical drive up one letter so any programs that run off the Optical Drive will no longer be pointed to the correct location.

As I can find no listing of an ECS-600A M'Board on their Web Site it's a bit hard to give you any more information though as I'm not sure how many IDE Chanel's are available the Optical Drive should be set as Master and be on the End of the IDE Lead and if that's the case you'll need to set the IDE Drive to Slave or Cable Select and fit it to the middle IDE Connector. The CS option will only work if that is a supported option on this M'Board if it's not a supported option you'll need to set the IDE Drive to slave.

The only thing that even comes close to your stated M'Board model is some form of SIS Chip Set M'Board built by ECS as there are some 600 series M'Boards listed there but they are all things like 651 and can be either for Intel or AMD CPU's.

So there isn't much more that I can offer here. Except if you have 2 IDE Chanel's place the Optical on the Second IDE Chanel as the master and the IDE Drive on the primary IDE Lead as the master and if you are adding a second IDE Drive place it on the primary lead as a slave.

No matter what happens the system should still boot off the SATA drive though you'll most likely find that the drive letters are now all different and any program that runs off the optical drive will need to have a repair install done on it so that ti works again. If you fit an IDE Drive with a loaded OS installed on it he computer will default to that OS and attempt to boot it.


Collapse -

Logical Letter Order

by stoutcj In reply to Generally speaking when y ...

Thanks Hal 9K,
You answered one question that dogged me about the logical order. The reason I rebuilt this SATA is due to the remarkably long time the pc would take to find its own drives in "My Computer." No kidding, when the SATA became the H Drive after adding an IDE, it took as long as 60 seconds for the computer to identify its own drives, putting the optical and IDE's ahead of the boot drive.
btw- the ECS-600A is tough to find....I hear you. The ECS site only identifies it on the Taiwan site, not on the US site for whatever reason. Traditionally, I've found their boards to be acceptable and free of the infant mortalities I've suffered with ABIT and a couple of other brands. So I use them and upgrade motherboards more often to keep things new and add capabilities. I'm also cheap when it comes to computers...been building them since 1982. But the logical drive issue caught me off guard.
OK, so now I know about IDE and SATA and logical order thanks for your time Hal 9K.
I'll investigate the options with the board under another part number they gave as KT600-8237 and see what my options are.
Thanks again for your time.

Collapse -

You're welcome

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Logical Letter Order

We try to help as much as possible.


Collapse -

This could be happening for a number of reasons,

by Deadly Ernest In reply to logical drive letter assi ...

I'll start with the basics, please forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know.

1. The normal drive allocation process for Windows is the first partition on the first hard drive is C, first partition on the second hard drive is D, and so on. Then come the other partitions on the hard drives, followed by the optical drives. It usually takes the first hard drive on the master IDE channel as the very first hard drive unless either:

a. Another hard drive has been set as the 'active' drive and has the MBR, or

b. The BIOS settings tell it to boot from another hard drive.

2. It is possible in Win XP to have it set a particular drive letter to a particular drive and it will ignore the above default process. NB Sometimes the above will reapply if a drive is removed and it is C or D drive.

Use of Master / Slave settings normally do not affect the above process, but I have seen (with some motherboards) drive letter allocations change about on booting, when Cable Select is used.


If you wish to boot from the SATA, make sure that the BIOS sets that as the boot hard drive and do NOT set any other hard drive as a boot drive after it. Then make sure the SATA is used as the MBR drive, best to have it loaded with the OS.

Best to have the hard drives set as Master on the first IDE channel. Then make any adjustments within XP itself.

Back to Hardware Forum
5 total posts (Page 1 of 1)  

Related Discussions

Related Forums