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Q: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98.
Category: Computers
Asked by: wardtalktothebeaver-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 04 Nov 2002 16:50 PST
Expires: 04 Dec 2002 16:50 PST
Question ID: 98856
I installed a disk into my PC but it does not have a drive letter
assigned.  I went into the device manager and double clicked this
disk, which is listed as GENERIC IDE TYPE 80.  In the General tab it
says the device is working properly.  But in the Settings tab the
current drive assignment field has nothing in it and is read only. 
Question: How do I assign a letter to this drive so I can use it?

I have one other hard disk, drive C, and a CD, drive D.

Subject: Re: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98.
Answered By: sparky4ca-ga on 04 Nov 2002 23:38 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
You will need to partition and format your new drive before Windows
can assign a drive letter (although you may be able to format it in

you'll need:
1 blank floppy disk

step 1)Make a windows 98 startup disk.
click on start
click on settings
click on control panel
double click on add/remove programs
click on the startup disk tab
click on the create disk button.
when prompted, insert your blank disk. follow the prompts until it
tells you to remove the disk.

step 2) reboot into DOS mode.
leaving the new startup disk in the drive, click on start.
click on shut down
click on restart
click on OK.

The computer should now restart, and boot from your floppy drive. you
will end up with a DOS prompt that looks like:

step 3)gather information
type fdisk
press enter.
a screen will come up asking you if you want to enable large disk
support. press Y
the main fdisk menu should come up. you should see 5 options. choose
option#5 (change disks)
a list of hard drives should come up. verify that there are 2 drives
listed. choose drive number 1.
you should now be back at the main menu. choose the option for view
partition information (I believe it's number 4)
You should see at least one partition defined, with the drive letter
C: listed for it.
quit (press escape) back to the main menu. Choose option 5, and then
from the list of drives, choose drive number 2 (the new one)
back at the main menu, choose option 4 to view the partitions. It
should report that there are no partitions defined.
escape back to the main menu.

Step 4)Partition the drive.
Having confirmed that the second drive is selected, and there is no
partition defined, choose number 1 (Create primary partition)


The system will perform a drive integrity test, and then ask you if
you would like to use 100% of the available space for the new
partition. choose yes.
The system will perform another integrity test. 
When this test is complete, you should exit fdisk and reboot the
computer. (leave the diskette in for now).

You will again be left at a dos prompt.
type fdisk and press enter.
choose Y for enable large disk support.
choose option 5 to change drives. verify that the second drive now
shows D: being assigned to it.

remove the floppy disk and reboot the computer. 
Let Windows boot. 
When it has finished booting, open my computer by double clicking the
MY computer icon on the desktop.
You should see an icon for the D:, and it will be the same icon as the
C: drive.
Your CD-ROM will now be E:. 
Right click on the D: icon and choose format. 
then click the format button. 
Windows will ask you if you are sure you wish to format a fixed disk.
Click yes.
After it finishes formatting, Windows will prompt you to run scandisk
before using the drive.
That's optional.
You should now be able to use the D: drive.

If at any step along the way, your results vary from what I have
predicted, please stop, and post a request for clarification
describing what you did and what the result was.

I encourage you to rate my answer, but please, do not do so until we
have your issue resolved.


Search Strategy:
No search. I work as a certified PC technician and have listed these
steps from memory.

Request for Answer Clarification by wardtalktothebeaver-ga on 05 Nov 2002 15:15 PST
Thanks, the instructions look great.

I inserted the Windows 98 CD rom when prompted during the creation of
a start up disk.  However, I got the messaged that '' was
not found on the Cd.  it was trying to copy files from
c:\windows\options\cabs.  I search the CD and there was no file called
''.  So I unfortunately didn't get very far.

Would appreciate another clue.  Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by sparky4ca-ga on 05 Nov 2002 18:21 PST
Hello. is what is called the "command interpreter". I
truns in the background, and responds to commands typed at the DOS
prompt. THere are several locations you may be able to tell windows to
look for the file, either by typing it into the fila not found
dialogue box, or by browsing to the folder (if there is a browse
button in the dialogue box that tells you the file is missing.)

You may find in:


Please give this a try, and if you need any more help, request another

wardtalktothebeaver-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98.
From: tonster-ga on 04 Nov 2002 17:23 PST
Right click on "My Computer" icon on your desktop.
Left click on "Properties"
Left click on the "Hardware Tab"
Click on the "Device Manager" button
You should see "Hard Disks" selection, left click on the plus + sign next to it
It should expand to show your disk drives
Right click on the disk drive you need a letter for, choose "Properties"
There should be a setting in there for the available drive letter of your choice
Subject: Re: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98.
From: martyl-ga on 04 Nov 2002 18:17 PST
I'm pretty sure you have an empty partition table on the
new disk.

You need to go into fdisk, and create partitions, then reboot.

The new drives should have letters, but be non-writable, since
they're unformatted.

Run the format program and you should be set.

You need to run fdisk out of dos box -- be very careful with it...
Subject: Re: How to assign a drive letter to a newly installed disk in Windows 98.
From: nellie_bly-ga on 04 Nov 2002 21:34 PST
DON'T format that disk  if you have data on it.

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