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signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5

We're through with floppies, so why...

...doesn't Windows 8 use the A and B drive designations for hard drives by default? It annoys me that drive designations, other than remapping, only go from A to Z.


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
Floppies are still around.

Have a look at this regarding Mount Points:
»www.techrepublic.com/blog/the-en···letters/

Blob
--
Don't try to follow me, I have a cab waiting. EEEEEEEEradicator!


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to signmeuptoo
Backwards compatibility

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to signmeuptoo
Do you really have more than 24 volumes on directly-attached drives? (So-called 'drive letters' are per file system volume, not per disk).

If so, however do you keep track of them? Drive letters are hardly mnemonic. Mount points are the way to go, and I wish Windows would start deprecating the 'letter' feature that is basically there because of some old 1980s operating system.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
said by dave:

Do you really have more than 24 volumes on directly-attached drives?

That was what I was wondering. If OP is trying to use drive letters for something there is probably a better way to do it.


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to dave
No, I don't have that many volumes, but years ago, because of all sorts of less common reasons (for instance, a Magic Jack claiming 3 or was it, 4 drive letters) I got close to running over.

Now the Unix/Linux drive system I like. But with Windows a non lettered drive has to reside inside another drive, that is a kludge and I don't like it.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

said by signmeuptoo:

But with Windows a non lettered drive has to reside inside another drive, that is a kludge and I don't like it.

On Unix, a mount point has to live somewhere, which is on... another volume. Give /mnt/fubar, 'mnt' is a directory in the volume called "/". Given the above and /mnt/fubar/framitz, 'framitz' is a directory in the volume called "/mnt/fubar".

The two implementations are precisely similar. I think you're only objecting to the fact that the root of all file systems on Unix is called "/" and on an equivalently-configured Windows system it is called "C:\".

Sure, in some glorious future when the only volume name is "C:" we won't need to say "C:". But there's history to dispose of first.


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
Huh, never thought of it that way, you are right. C: and Root are a little different but I see what you are saying and stand corrected.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to dave
said by dave:

Do you really have more than 24 volumes on directly-attached drives?

They don't have to be directly attached to take up a drive letter, network drives for instance. Last job I was at I had almost of the drive letters mapped, including A: and B:.
--
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." - Robert A. Heinlein


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to signmeuptoo
IIRC, what happened to me was I had 5 hard drives (this is very long ago), I had the magic jack which used 4 drives, I had a number of partitions on each drive. I had two memory card readers with each one using 4 or 5 ports, and think I had some other USB device using a drive letter along with 2 optical drives.
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

2 recommendations

reply to signmeuptoo
LASTDRIVE=Z

Seriously, it's a ridiculous holdover from CP/M. Time to go. Virtualized device paths are so, so much better. We're not squeezing bytes anymore.

That's why Windows is a 64-bit hack of a 32-bit extension on a 16-bit kludge for an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to Kilroy
said by Kilroy:

...network drives for instance. Last job I was at I had almost of the drive letters mapped

At my previous job, many, many years ago, they ran Novell (can't remember if it's one "l" or two) and the admin mapped shares to drive letters in everyone's login script. Everyone had the same basic mappings too. They switched to Windows Server later but no one (knew how to?) set up the login scripts the same way - the admin manually set up each user's PC to map the old way.

I transferred to that location and brought my PC and knew nothing about "the X drive" or "Z drive". I did know /server1/common or /server2/drawings though that pointed to the same places... Worse, a user would tell me to copy a file and say "it's on the U drive" - "U" was each user's home directory and others may or may not have access.

IamGimli

join:2004-02-28
Canada
kudos:2
said by Hall:

At my previous job, many, many years ago, they ran Novell (can't remember if it's one "l" or two) and the admin mapped shares to drive letters in everyone's login script. Everyone had the same basic mappings too. They switched to Windows Server later but no one (knew how to?) set up the login scripts the same way - the admin manually set up each user's PC to map the old way.

Seriously? A company migrated to Windows Server as the network OS and they didn't have a single admin who knew how to use "net use" in logon scripts?

Kinda hard to believe...

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Kilroy
said by Kilroy:

They don't have to be directly attached to take up a drive letter, network drives for instance.

OP said 'other than remapping', so I figured he wasn't talking about network connections. Yes, 'net use A:' is no problem at all.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

LASTDRIVE=Z

Not sure what you mean... drive letters are A to Z. LASTDRIVE=Z (not that any such explicit declaration is needed in Windows) is all you can get. There aren't any more letters in the American alphabet.

We could add more letters:
$ grep LETTER UnicodeData.txt  | wc -l 
5139
 

but the chance of any app that actually depends on drive letters being able to to parse other letters is slim to none, I'd say. dir Þ:\ anyone?

(Plus, some of the APIs return a 32-bit bitvector of drive letters, so there's only room for 4 more).

Can't extend to more than one letter, since that syntax is already taken:

C:\temp>echo foo >file:stream
 
C:\temp>more <file:stream
foo
 
C:\temp>dir /r file
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 7A31-2B1A
 
 Directory of C:\temp
 
01/29/2014  16:23                 0 file
                                  6 file:stream:$DATA
               1 File(s)              0 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  199,615,168,512 bytes free
 
 

But my summary is: drive letters are there for back-compatibility, and attempting to extend them will probably be of no use to programs that need the back-compatibility. Better to just let them fade into the sunset.


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by dave:

said by dennismurphy:

LASTDRIVE=Z

Not sure what you mean... drive letters are A to Z. LASTDRIVE=Z

Someone doesn't remember his DOS history ...

MS-DOS, by default, only allowed drive letters up to E. You had to set LASTDRIVE=x in your CONFIG.SYS file to allow "higher" drive letters. The downside was that each additional letter reserved available RAM, reducing usable memory.

I was trying to make a DOS joke and instead got a Kindergarten lesson on the alphabet.


howardfine

join:2002-08-09
Saint Louis, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T Southwest
reply to dave
said by dave:

The two implementations are precisely similar. I think you're only objecting to the fact that the root of all file systems on Unix is called "/" and on an equivalently-configured Windows system it is called "C:\".

For the sake of the story this may help the poster but, no, they are not the same thing and do not work the same way, but it's not worth going into it in this thread.


Dustyn
Premium
join:2003-02-26
Ontario, CAN
kudos:11
reply to signmeuptoo
Nope.
I still have applications and uses that utilize my floppy disk drive and I'm using Windows 7. I'll always want drive A: and B: reserved for that purpose.
--
"Graffiti Wall" Dustyn's Wall »[Serious] RIP


weaseled386

join:2008-04-13
Port Orange, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·AT&T U-Verse
said by Dustyn:

Nope.
I still have applications and uses that utilize my floppy disk drive and I'm using Windows 7. I'll always want drive A: and B: reserved for that purpose.

At least save A:. I almost needed it this weekend to install Win8!

Bought cheap copy when it came out. Wanted to test it, but on a laptop I don't use anymore. Bought my old Dell D620 back to life.

Next morning the old 80GB HDD died! Toss in old 80GB SSD, and install again. This time it won't activate. Call MS, and they tell me to install XP first. I bring up fact that I'd have to have drivers for XP to see the SSD... Thankfully they worked around it, and activated for me.

So there is a recent real life reason why we still need A (and I guess) B.

On a side note... its amazing how quick this old laptop is with Win8.1. I've tried Vista and 7 on it, but it was a dog.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3
reply to howardfine
I would like the move to /boot, /, and /home. Better security for the user accounts if people would actually use them, but there's some people who still insist on running everything as administrator on windows. Even with that there's things on Windows microsoft doesn't allow the administrator to modify, or access by default now so they are breaking their own rules. Things only system, and trustedinstaller can access which is annoying.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
reply to dennismurphy
Sorry for missing the point.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to weaseled386
said by weaseled386:

said by Dustyn:

Nope.
I still have applications and uses that utilize my floppy disk drive and I'm using Windows 7. I'll always want drive A: and B: reserved for that purpose.

On a side note... its amazing how quick this old laptop is with Win8.1. I've tried Vista and 7 on it, but it was a dog.

try windows 7 with that SSD
a SSD can make any computer fast
--
Live Free or Die Hard...

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to dennismurphy
said by dennismurphy:

LASTDRIVE=Z

Seriously, it's a ridiculous holdover from CP/M. Time to go. Virtualized device paths are so, so much better. We're not squeezing bytes anymore.

That's why Windows is a 64-bit hack of a 32-bit extension on a 16-bit kludge for an 8-bit operating system written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company.

A company being held back by the constant need to have legacy support for everything. The fact that 32bit Win8 exists shows MS is being held back and having to keep Windows as an ever growing rats nest mess of an OS. I mean is there even a 32bit desktop/laptop system that can meet the requirements of running Windows 8?
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
said by Kearnstd:

I mean is there even a 32bit desktop/laptop system that can meet the requirements of running Windows 8?

My XP Pro computer from 2005 meets the requirements (although I would have to install XP Pro SP 3 first as it runs SP2 still). My CPU processor meets ALL requirements. It's the last, insanely expensive (at the time) Pentium 4 CPU hyperthreading running at 3.8GhZ, etc. I have always wanted to run a 64 bit system on this computer but I love XP and XP 64bit never took off driver wise. I can add up to a total of 8GB RAM on this machine if I run 64bit Windows. So, it's tempting. I own a retail copy of Vista Ultimate 64 bit that I also could install.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Kearnstd
said by Kearnstd:

A company being held back by the constant need to have legacy support for everything. The fact that 32bit Win8 exists shows MS is being held back and having to keep Windows as an ever growing rats nest mess of an OS. I mean is there even a 32bit desktop/laptop system that can meet the requirements of running Windows 8?

Sorry; I think that's a choice, not a requirement. Nobody tells them they 'have' to do anything.

Heck, Apple's changed 3 processor families (Moto 68k, PowerPC and Intel) seamlessly in the life of the Mac. They chose to do the hard transition - Microsoft has chosen not to.

I'm not saying it's good or bad, but a choice.

dave
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

They chose to do the hard transition - Microsoft has chosen not to.

Given that NT is largely processor-independent, that's not exactly how it was. NT was born on the ill-fated N10, intitially developed on MIPS R-something-or-other, ported to x86 and Alpha, later ported to PowerPC then Itanium.

The difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Apple makes hardware and can therefore choose the processor that goes into its hardware. Microsoft does not make computers; its choice therefore is to decide what computers will be sold with sufficient volume to justify shipping an OS that runs on them.

I used to use an Alpha system running NT. While Alpha was (at the time) unquestionably better than the damn Intel/IBM PC, the problem was not the OS, it was lack of 3rd party application support. Yeah, DEC had a just-in-time x86 ISA emulator; this basically slowed your fast Alpha down to a not-very-good i486.

As regards your larger (I take it) point: sure, Microsoft chooses backwards compatibility. But it does that in the interest of retaining its customer base. If the new OS does not run on existing hardware, then the customers might buy someone else's OS before they buy new hardware to run Microsoft's OS. It's a risky business, and plenty of companies have gone out of business through choosing incompatibility.

Besides, didn't Apple manage compatibility by shipping fat binaries for a while?

As for kearnstd: I can't see much reason why continued 32-bit support makes Windows much of a rats nest. Write once, compile twice. Maybe the existence of Wow64 contributes, but that's not part of '32-bit Windows', it's the price of supporting 32-bit apps on 64-bit Windows.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
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Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

reply to Anonymous_
TRy a SSD with windows 98se you will need a IDE one though . it will SKIP the windows98se splash screen and you will be from the power on switch to the desktop in under 3 seconds bios takes 2 seconds loading = 1 second.
--
Live Free or Die Hard...