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Laptop Only Recognises Drive Letter `A'

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Richard Bonner, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Hello, All.

    One of my on-the-road computers is a 2000 HP Pavilion laptop with
    floppy and CD-ROM drives installed in separate bays. It runs DR-DOS 7.03
    exclusively.

    I recently replaced its original 4.8 GB drive with a 30 GB one. For
    some reason, the floppy drive `B' letter is no longer recognised. Normally
    in a system with only one floppy, one can reference either `A' or `B' and
    it's sorted out. That is, any `B' references will simply be sent to the
    `A' drive.

    Can anyone suggest what might have happened to change this behaviour?

    Can anyone suggest a solution to allow either drive letter to be used?
    Yes, I can use ASSIGN, but I would prefer to have this handled internally
    as it had been up until now.
    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
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  2. On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 15:21:36 +0000 (UTC), (Richard
    Bonner) wrote:

    > Hello, All.
    >
    > One of my on-the-road computers is a 2000 HP Pavilion laptop with
    > floppy and CD-ROM drives installed in separate bays. It runs DR-DOS 7.03
    > exclusively.
    >
    > I recently replaced its original 4.8 GB drive with a 30 GB one. For
    > some reason, the floppy drive `B' letter is no longer recognised. Normally
    > in a system with only one floppy, one can reference either `A' or `B' and
    > it's sorted out. That is, any `B' references will simply be sent to the
    > `A' drive.


    I recall that calls to "B:" would ask the user to remove the mounted diskette
    from "A:" and replace it by the diskette to be referred to as "B:" and then
    confirm the change-over. Is there any reason you might be missing or failing
    to acknowledge that instruction?
     
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  3. Anthony R. Gold () wrote:

    > On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 15:21:36 +0000 (UTC), (Richard
    > Bonner) wrote:


    > > One of my on-the-road computers is a 2000 HP Pavilion laptop with
    > > floppy and CD-ROM drives installed in separate bays. It runs DR-DOS 7.03
    > > exclusively.
    > >
    > > I recently replaced its original 4.8 GB drive with a 30 GB one. For
    > > some reason, the floppy drive `B' letter is no longer recognised. Normally
    > > in a system with only one floppy, one can reference either `A' or `B' and
    > > it's sorted out. That is, any `B' references will simply be sent to the
    > > `A' drive.


    > I recall that calls to "B:" would ask the user to remove the mounted diskette
    > from "A:" and replace it by the diskette to be referred to as "B:" and then
    > confirm the change-over.


    *** That is pretty much correct. In this case (until it failed), what
    came up was a request to put a disc into Drive `B' and hit "Enter". If a
    disc was already there, hitting "Enter" sufficed. From then on until
    letter `A' was requested, the floppy drive behaved as Drive `B'. No more
    prompts would appear regarding drive letters.


    > Is there any reason you might be missing or failing
    > to acknowledge that instruction?


    *** The instruction never appears, so it is failing. What happens is
    that the system hangs with a black screen. I have not tried this recently,
    but I believe I regained control by either using Control-C or requesting
    Letter `A'.

    I am curious as to what happened and why. I liked the dual operation I
    once had. ASSIGN will work but it means extra work if I want to use the
    drive as `A:' from time to time.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  4. BillW50

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:j2602f$et2$,
    Richard Bonner wrote:
    > Anthony R. Gold () wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 15:21:36 +0000 (UTC),
    >> (Richard Bonner) wrote:

    >
    >>> One of my on-the-road computers is a 2000 HP Pavilion laptop with
    >>> floppy and CD-ROM drives installed in separate bays. It runs DR-DOS
    >>> 7.03 exclusively.
    >>>
    >>> I recently replaced its original 4.8 GB drive with a 30 GB one.
    >>> For some reason, the floppy drive `B' letter is no longer
    >>> recognised. Normally in a system with only one floppy, one can
    >>> reference either `A' or `B' and it's sorted out. That is, any `B'
    >>> references will simply be sent to the `A' drive.

    >
    >> I recall that calls to "B:" would ask the user to remove the mounted
    >> diskette from "A:" and replace it by the diskette to be referred to
    >> as "B:" and then confirm the change-over.

    >
    > *** That is pretty much correct. In this case (until it failed),
    > what came up was a request to put a disc into Drive `B' and hit
    > "Enter". If a disc was already there, hitting "Enter" sufficed. From
    > then on until letter `A' was requested, the floppy drive behaved as
    > Drive `B'. No more prompts would appear regarding drive letters.
    >
    >
    >> Is there any reason you might be missing or failing
    >> to acknowledge that instruction?

    >
    > *** The instruction never appears, so it is failing. What happens is
    > that the system hangs with a black screen. I have not tried this
    > recently, but I believe I regained control by either using Control-C
    > or requesting Letter `A'.
    >
    > I am curious as to what happened and why. I liked the dual
    > operation I once had. ASSIGN will work but it means extra work if I
    > want to use the drive as `A:' from time to time.


    The only thing I can think of Richard... and I don't think this has
    anything to do with it actually. But there is a magnet and a reed switch
    to detect a floppy change (this is a 3.5 inch floppy right?). But
    supposedly since floppies in later versions of OS gets their own unique
    serial number, the importance of a working switch doesn't matter much.
    So I have heard anyway.

    I would attempt to swap out the floppy drive out with a known good one.
    Yeah, it probably wouldn't change anything. But at least you would know
    for sure. You could disconnected it and use one of those USB floppy
    drives too. That would work if your BIOS isn't too old and supports it.

    Say are you booting the OS or have a needed driver on this drive? That
    might change the behavior.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
    Centrino Core Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
  5. BillW50 () wrote:
    (Re: Using Either `A. or `B' to Access a Single Floppy Drive)

    > The only thing I can think of Richard... and I don't think this has
    > anything to do with it actually. But there is a magnet and a reed switch
    > to detect a floppy change (this is a 3.5 inch floppy right?).


    *** It is.


    > But
    > supposedly since floppies in later versions of OS gets their own unique
    > serial number, the importance of a working switch doesn't matter much.
    > So I have heard anyway.


    *** That is not relevant to this problem. The Pavilion laptop did allow
    one to use either letter before my troubles.


    > I would attempt to swap out the floppy drive out with a known good one.
    > Yeah, it probably wouldn't change anything. But at least you would know
    > for sure.


    *** I am thinking of getting a replaement drive anyway. I sometimes have
    problems with the one I have that seem to relate to worn heads.


    > You could disconnect it and use one of those USB floppy drives too.


    *** Yes, but I don't want to have to carry yet another peripheral.


    > That would work if your BIOS isn't too old and supports it.


    *** With DOS (and probably other operating systems), the BIOS need not
    support USB. My DOS USB drivers take care of the requirements, as long
    as there is a USB port, of course. (-:


    > Say are you booting the OS or have a needed driver on this drive? That
    > might change the behavior.
    > --
    > Bill


    *** I don't understand what you are asking. The laptop hardware
    and operating system did not change. I was having some odd issues and then
    had corrupted data on the hard drive. I swapped a new hard drive for the
    old and this floppy drive issue started.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  6. BillW50

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:j28l46$7du$,
    Richard Bonner <> typed:
    > BillW50 () wrote:
    > (Re: Using Either `A. or `B' to Access a Single Floppy Drive)
    >
    >> The only thing I can think of Richard... and I don't think this has
    >> anything to do with it actually. But there is a magnet and a reed
    >> switch to detect a floppy change (this is a 3.5 inch floppy right?).

    >
    > *** It is.
    >
    >
    >> But supposedly since floppies in later versions of OS gets their own
    >> unique serial number, the importance of a working switch doesn't
    >> matter much. So I have heard anyway.

    >
    > *** That is not relevant to this problem. The Pavilion laptop did
    > allow one to use either letter before my troubles.


    See the last comment below.

    >> I would attempt to swap out the floppy drive out with a known good
    >> one. Yeah, it probably wouldn't change anything. But at least you
    >> would know for sure.

    >
    > *** I am thinking of getting a replaement drive anyway. I sometimes
    > have problems with the one I have that seem to relate to worn heads.


    They do wear out from time to time.

    >> You could disconnect it and use one of those USB floppy drives too.

    >
    > *** Yes, but I don't want to have to carry yet another peripheral.


    No I was thinking of trying this for troubleshooting purposes. Not as a
    permanent solution.

    >> That would work if your BIOS isn't too old and supports it.

    >
    > *** With DOS (and probably other operating systems), the BIOS need
    > not support USB. My DOS USB drivers take care of the requirements, as
    > long as there is a USB port, of course. (-:


    That is all well and fine and everything. But those DOS USB drivers are
    worthless if you wanted to boot from an USB device in the first place.
    Now you have to hope the BIOS supports booting from USB in this case.

    >> Say are you booting the OS or have a needed driver on this drive?
    >> That might change the behavior.
    >> --
    >> Bill

    >
    > *** I don't understand what you are asking. The laptop hardware
    > and operating system did not change. I was having some odd issues and
    > then had corrupted data on the hard drive. I swapped a new hard drive
    > for the old and this floppy drive issue started.


    Well if you boot from this floppy, some files on the floppy may become
    locked. Like Command.com and some drivers. And the OS might disallow
    using this drive as nothing else but drive A and that is it. If you are
    booting from a hard drive, well then you should be okay as long as you
    don't have any open files on that drive.

    And speaking of replacing the hard drive... are you sure none of the OS
    files are not corrupt? As if they are, that would explain all of your
    problems.

    --
    Bill
    Alienware M9700 ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
    AMD ML-34 1.81G - 1GB - Windows XP SP3
     
  7. BillW50 () wrote:
    > Richard Bonner <> typed:


    > > BillW50 () wrote:
    > > (Re: Using Either `A. or `B' to Access a Single Floppy Drive)
    > >> You could disconnect it and use one of those USB floppy drives too.

    > >
    > > *** Yes, but I don't want to have to carry yet another peripheral.


    > No I was thinking of trying this for troubleshooting purposes. Not as a
    > permanent solution.


    *** Oh, OK.

    Hmm, that still won't help because a USB floppy drive will take on the
    letter assigned to it via the USB drivers. In the case of my laptop, it
    would be Drive `H'.


    > >> That would work if your BIOS isn't too old and supports it.

    > >
    > > *** With DOS (and probably other operating systems), the BIOS need
    > > not support USB. My DOS USB drivers take care of the requirements, as
    > > long as there is a USB port, of course. (-:


    > That is all well and fine and everything. But those DOS USB drivers are
    > worthless if you wanted to boot from an USB device in the first place.
    > Now you have to hope the BIOS supports booting from USB in this case.


    *** Ahh yes, you are correct. Unfortunately, my Pavilion's BIOS is 1999
    or 2000 and has no provision to boot from the USB port. )-:


    > >> Say are you booting the OS or have a needed driver on this drive?
    > >> That might change the behavior.
    > >> --
    > >> Bill

    > >
    > > *** I don't understand what you are asking. The laptop hardware
    > > and operating system did not change. I was having some odd issues and
    > > then had corrupted data on the hard drive. I swapped a new hard drive
    > > for the old and this floppy drive issue started.


    > Well if you boot from this floppy, some files on the floppy may become
    > locked. Like Command.com and some drivers. And the OS might disallow
    > using this drive as nothing else but drive A and that is it. If you are
    > booting from a hard drive, well then you should be okay as long as you
    > don't have any open files on that drive.


    *** Since I reinstalled everything, I am indeed booting from the hard
    drive. If I boot from a floppy, yes, it is automatically designated as
    drive `A'.

    You have given me an idea, though. I must ask for a disc-to-disc copy
    and designate the target as `B' to see what happens.


    > And speaking of replacing the hard drive... are you sure none of the OS
    > files are not corrupt? As if they are, that would explain all of your
    > problems.
    > --
    > Bill


    *** I am not sure, but all seems to work as it should otherwise.
    However, I will take that as an advisement and reinstall the operating
    system.

    Before I try that though, I must boot from a floppy to see if I can
    access `B'. If so, then that might indicate a corrupt OS file on the
    hard drive.

    Thanks for the help.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  8. In article <j28l46$7du$>,
    Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    >
    >*** That is not relevant to this problem. The Pavilion laptop did allow
    >one to use either letter before my troubles.
    >


    Did you check your BIOS settings?
     
  9. In article <j2c5lc$861$>,
    Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    >
    >*** Ahh yes, you are correct. Unfortunately, my Pavilion's BIOS is 1999
    >or 2000 and has no provision to boot from the USB port. )-:
    >


    Hmmmm, boot GRUB then manually boot the usb device?
     
  10. the wharf rat () wrote:

    > Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    > >
    > >*** That is not relevant to this problem. The Pavilion laptop did allow
    > >one to use either letter before my troubles.


    > Did you check your BIOS settings?


    *** Yes. It is a simple BIOS with few options. None there are useful for
    this problem.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  11. the wharf rat () wrote:
    > In article <j2c5lc$861$>,
    > Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    > >
    > >*** Ahh yes, you are correct. Unfortunately, my Pavilion's BIOS is 1999
    > >or 2000 and has no provision to boot from the USB port. )-:
    > >


    > Hmmmm, boot GRUB then manually boot the usb device?


    *** I'd have to make a bootable CD with GRUB, or find a DOS version of
    it.

    I appreciate the suggestions given by you and Bill regarding the USB,
    but don't feel they will solve the problem. Give me a few days to try some
    other options.

    Stand by...

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  12. In article <j2djn9$68i$>,
    Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    >
    > I appreciate the suggestions given by you and Bill regarding the USB,


    Oh, come on. We didn't fix your problem. You're supposed to
    call us names and storm off, muttering under your electronic breath.

    p.s. - just install GRUB on whatever you're booting DOS from.
     
  13. BillW50

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:j2c5lc$861$,
    Richard Bonner wrote:
    > BillW50 () wrote:
    >> Richard Bonner <> typed:

    >
    >>> BillW50 () wrote:
    >>> (Re: Using Either `A. or `B' to Access a Single Floppy Drive)
    >>>> You could disconnect it and use one of those USB floppy drives too.
    >>>
    >>> *** Yes, but I don't want to have to carry yet another peripheral.

    >
    >> No I was thinking of trying this for troubleshooting purposes. Not
    >> as a permanent solution.

    >
    > *** Oh, OK.
    >
    > Hmm, that still won't help because a USB floppy drive will take on
    > the letter assigned to it via the USB drivers. In the case of my
    > laptop, it would be Drive `H'.


    Oh wow, really? When I use mine, it becomes drive A if there isn't an
    onboard floppy. And drive B if there is one.

    >>>> That would work if your BIOS isn't too old and supports it.
    >>>
    >>> *** With DOS (and probably other operating systems), the BIOS need
    >>> not support USB. My DOS USB drivers take care of the requirements,
    >>> as long as there is a USB port, of course. (-:

    >
    >> That is all well and fine and everything. But those DOS USB drivers
    >> are worthless if you wanted to boot from an USB device in the first
    >> place. Now you have to hope the BIOS supports booting from USB in
    >> this case.

    >
    > *** Ahh yes, you are correct. Unfortunately, my Pavilion's BIOS is
    > 1999 or 2000 and has no provision to boot from the USB port. )-:


    My two Toshiba 2595XDVD from '99 doesn't allow booting from USB either.
    Worse they only have one USB port and top speed running at USB v1.1.
    Thank goodness for CardBus USB 2.0 ports. ;-)

    >>>> Say are you booting the OS or have a needed driver on this drive?
    >>>> That might change the behavior.
    >>>> --
    >>>> Bill
    >>>
    >>> *** I don't understand what you are asking. The laptop hardware
    >>> and operating system did not change. I was having some odd issues
    >>> and then had corrupted data on the hard drive. I swapped a new hard
    >>> drive for the old and this floppy drive issue started.

    >
    >> Well if you boot from this floppy, some files on the floppy may
    >> become locked. Like Command.com and some drivers. And the OS might
    >> disallow using this drive as nothing else but drive A and that is
    >> it. If you are booting from a hard drive, well then you should be
    >> okay as long as you don't have any open files on that drive.

    >
    > *** Since I reinstalled everything, I am indeed booting from the
    > hard drive. If I boot from a floppy, yes, it is automatically
    > designated as drive `A'.


    Well that is normal. ;-)

    > You have given me an idea, though. I must ask for a disc-to-disc
    > copy and designate the target as `B' to see what happens.


    Yes that would be interesting how it handles that.

    >> And speaking of replacing the hard drive... are you sure none of the
    >> OS files are not corrupt? As if they are, that would explain all of
    >> your problems.
    >> --
    >> Bill

    >
    > *** I am not sure, but all seems to work as it should otherwise.
    > However, I will take that as an advisement and reinstall the operating
    > system.
    >
    > Before I try that though, I must boot from a floppy to see if I can
    > access `B'. If so, then that might indicate a corrupt OS file on the
    > hard drive.
    >
    > Thanks for the help.


    Yes running DOS from the floppy should tell you what really is going on
    here. ;-)

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
    Centrino Core Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
  14. the wharf rat () wrote:

    > Richard Bonner <> wrote:
    > >
    > > I appreciate the suggestions given by you and Bill regarding the USB,


    > Oh, come on. We didn't fix your problem.


    *** No, but I was given some new directions in which to look/think.


    > You're supposed to call us names and storm off, muttering under your
    > electronic breath.


    *** Fortunately, I am politer than that. (-:


    > p.s. - just install GRUB on whatever you're booting DOS from.


    *** It would have to be a DOS version (if one is available), otherwise
    a live Linux CD.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  15. BillW50 () wrote:

    > Richard Bonner wrote:
    > > BillW50 () wrote:
    > >> Richard Bonner <> typed:

    > >
    > >>> BillW50 () wrote:
    > >>> (Re: Using Either `A. or `B' to Access a Single Floppy Drive)
    > >>>> You could disconnect it and use one of those USB floppy drives too.
    > >>>
    > >>> *** Yes, but I don't want to have to carry yet another peripheral.

    > >
    > >> No I was thinking of trying this for troubleshooting purposes. Not
    > >> as a permanent solution.

    > >
    > > *** Oh, OK.
    > >
    > > Hmm, that still won't help because a USB floppy drive will take on
    > > the letter assigned to it via the USB drivers. In the case of my
    > > laptop, it would be Drive `H'.


    > Oh wow, really? When I use mine, it becomes drive A if there isn't an
    > onboard floppy. And drive B if there is one.


    *** Well, perhaps the DOS drivers can do that. I have never used them to
    mount an external floppy; maybe there is a drive letter option, or
    perhaps they will assign `A' or `B' on their own.


    > > *** ...my Pavilion's BIOS is 1999 or 2000 and has no provision to
    > > boot from the USB port.


    > My two Toshiba 2595XDVD from '99 don't allow booting from USB either.
    > Worse they only have one USB port and top speed running at USB v1.1.


    *** That is about the same as what I have. I use a Hub if I need more
    ports.


    > Thank goodness for CardBus USB 2.0 ports. ;-)


    *** I have CardBus services but don't have a USB card. I do have several
    modem and wireless cards, and a nifty, mini zip-drive card.


    > > You have given me an idea, though. I must ask for a disc-to-disc
    > > copy and designate the target as `B' to see what happens.


    > Yes that would be interesting how it handles that.


    *** I have not had the time to try that yet.


    > >> And speaking of replacing the hard drive... are you sure none of the
    > >> OS files are not corrupt? As if they are, that would explain all of
    > >> your problems.


    > > *** I am not sure, but all seems to work as it should otherwise.
    > > However, I will take that as an advisement and reinstall the operating
    > > system.
    > >
    > > Before I try that though, I must boot from a floppy to see if I can
    > > access `B'. If so, then that might indicate a corrupt OS file on the
    > > hard drive.


    > Yes running DOS from the floppy should tell you what really is going on
    > here. ;-)
    > --
    > Bill


    *** I expect to have some free time on Friday and will try to squeeze in
    some time with the laptop.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
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