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Author Topic: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters  (Read 31385 times)

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ChrisXPPro

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Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
« on: July 05, 2008, 02:16:48 PM »
I have done a fairly deep search but failed to come up with an answer so - here's hoping I am not intruding by asking a repeat question.

First - HP 4600 work station, quite new, 2Gb RAM, Intel duo E6850 @ 3 GHz.  2x 250Gb WD SATA  HDD's, partitioned, Kingston USB hub, internal  quad card reader, Ultra SCSI card, Nvidia 1700 dual mon vid.

I already use successfully up to three external HDD's for backup etc with no problem - in fact USB anything is pretty OK - (as is the case on my Lenovo XP pro backup machine) .  However, this HP machine replaces my old custom machine which went sour recently and tho most data was backed up I have a few items I want to pull off two (partitioned) 150Gb HDD's from it.

I have tried both HDD's in my CompUSA ext'l hard drive enclosure (which has worked on many of my old HDD's) - but I have a problem.  The OS ''Sees" the drive and seemingly sets it up as OK - but - does not allocate a darned drive letter so - can't get in!  Same on the Lenovo in fact.

I took a peek within Computer management/disk management - and the drive shows but no letter.  In the top listing it shows as 35Gb with 4.1Gb spare - well that would be one partition.  The lower pictorial representation however shows it as 150Gb, basic, healthy/active - but looking like all one with no partition!  Shows too as NTFS.  Right click contect menu is all greyed out except for "delete partition' and 'help'

So - here we are - drive ''recognized'' but - no access - thus I am seeking opinion/advice as to what measures I could take to get past this hurdle.  Both old drives were set up and partitioned under XP pro on old machine.  Really puzzled - when other old drives will show via the external HDD enclosure - and those were used within Win 95 and Win 2k!  These are all ATA but that shouldn't matter.

BTW - checked within Removeable Storage/libraries - and the drive does not show - just my flash drives and DVD ROM.

Any advice would be most welcome.
Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

truenorth



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    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 05:33:51 PM »
    ChrisXPPro,Given your comments it appears you are far from a stranger in regards to knowledge re external HDD's. I suspect that is true for both standalone externals and internals converted to cases.Therefore i could assume (but won't--in case it is one of those times in life where the answer to "are you sure it is plugged in " results in it being unplugged.Hope you can follow the analogy.All this to say--my experience has shown that internal HDD"s can need to be set to varying jumper positions before placing them in a case in order for them to function.I don't know yet whether it is the brand of case that determines this,the brand of HDD,the operating system,or whatever.But from past experience i have found it can make a difference as to how it is perceived and handled by a computer. For what it's worth--maybe not much. goodluck,truenorth

    ChrisXPPro

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    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
    « Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 08:22:15 PM »
    truenorth - many thx for the response.  Yep - all plugged in!

    All other old HDD's I have used in the ext'l enclosure have been effectively ''de-jumpered'' so that they are standalone as against master or slave.  I may out of curiosity see what happens with some jumper changes.

    These drives are WD 1600's "Caviar" - good ol drive usually.  The case is, best I can tell, all that should be required - it just has a short IDE ribbon and power plug to connect an HDD - and as I mentioned - thing is several old other drives when hooked up (de-jumpered) - are accepted and ascribed partition drive letters just fine - this is what makes it right now puzzling.  Right now it is an enigma and I know the data is there!

    Thx again.
    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

    truenorth



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      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 08:30:36 AM »
      ChrisXPPro,Just curious--when you 1st introduced the WD 1600's  (in the case) to the computer through the Usb port what was the responce of the computer.Was there a "new USB device found"? And if so what came next?Because if you did not get that it occurs to me that the computer may have detected something but not what it should have to recognize that it was an external HDD.However even that notion is shaky given that it does give data regarding the drive (IE: file type,size,etc). One suggestion i can advance to try and determine if the fault is with the case or it's enclosed drive versus the computer having a problem dealing with it is to try the case/drive combination in another computer's USB port and see what happens. I am sure that you have tried all the available ports in the computer that you are having the problem with.What ,if anything shows up in device manager in regards to your USB hubs when the device is plugged in and turned on?Have you tried an "install new hardware" to see what it finds if anything?This sure is a puzzlement given that it obviously finds something just not enough.truenorth

      ChrisXPPro

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      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
      « Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 10:15:19 AM »
      Thx again truenorth - it's as big of a puzzle to you methinks!

      1) - computer response? - typical of any new USB addition - usual bubble "found new hardware"  and then a pause and finally ''your hardware is ready to use".  But - no darned drive letter as usually occurs.  Of course now it has been ''recognized'' first time I can just plug in and get the usual Win acceptance sound - and no drive letter!

      2) - Try another computer? - as I mentioned in original post, this was tried on my Lenovo backup machine - exactly same effect.  Out of interest - same effect with Vista - which came on this HP 4600 until I grew rapidly disgusted with it and downgraded to XP!  Guess we can say the problem is consistent!

      3) - Device manager - good thinking.  Just tried that and as it was recognized it showed up within the disk drive list - "initio WD1600JB-OOGVAO USB device".  Shows as functioning normally.!  Check in win explorer tho and of course - no change in drive letters!  Tried front of case USM port and one of hub ports - no difference.

      If I check ''safely remove hardware" - the darned thing shows too, along with other items - albeit with no ascribed drive letter!  Just done a scan for PnP hardware changes from device manager - no benefit.

      So - still wierd - everything seems OK except for no drive letter.  I would expect as per with other ext'l drives to see letters "Q", "R" and "S" added in explorer as I recall three partitions.  Oh well - mystery remains but still hoping there is some ''tweak'' I have over looked that could force this to do what is needed.
      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

      Goku



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        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
        « Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 10:21:12 AM »
        Hello Chris. Have you read this?

        New drive or mapped network drive not available in Windows Explorer

        Let us know if it helps or not. :)

        -- Goku

        ChrisXPPro

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        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
        « Reply #6 on: July 06, 2008, 10:56:19 AM »
        Goku - thanks for suggestion.  It is useful in as much as it shows this as a known issue but thus far I don't think it's going to solve things.

        One reason is - their suggestion of ascribing a drive letter from within Disk management is no go - as right click context menu has that optioned greyed out!  Then they refer to a hotfix but when I dug deeper it appears the hotfix is for SP3 - and I am certainly not ready yet to ''risk'' applying SP3.  From a Win Update POV the system is tho up to date - it took 94 items to get it done after my XP SP2 downgrade.

        Thanks tho ever so much for the help - from which I think somehow I am going to have to wait either, for some other idea or, perhaps hold off until I eventually go to SP3 and then try a hotfix approach.  If I can find someone with a reasonably up to date system on their puter then just perhaps I can try on that and use another external to copy over to ...... could be I have too many drive letters but as mentioned earlier, this does not affect other extern'l drives.

        I always place my DVD near the top - "Y" for this one ..... and even with my internal card reader and two flash drives sitting in hub - letters are clear from"P" all way up to the DVD - which other drives use just fine.

        Appreciate inputs - thank you guys.
        Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

        Goku



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          Assign New Drive Letter
          « Reply #7 on: July 06, 2008, 11:09:46 AM »
          OK Chris, I think I have finally identified the cause of the problem. From what I have read, people have been experiencing these problems because they had too many drives mapped and therefore there wasn't a free letter to assign to the new drive. According to your description, I think that when you connect the USB device, it all becomes "too much" for the computer to handle. To resolve this, either remap an existing drive letter or remove a mapped device to free the assigned letter temporarily.

          No Drive Letter for USB or Firewire Drive

          Let us know if it helps or not. Good Luck. :)

          -- Goku

          ChrisXPPro

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          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
          « Reply #8 on: July 06, 2008, 11:42:48 AM »
          Goku - well something else to consider I agree.  Thanks.

          I removed my 2 flash drives  - but left the card reader as that means getting into case to disconnect.  This anyways gives me free letters from "M" - the last card reader letter - thru up to DVD at "Y".  Oh forgot - HP recovery partition is set as "P".

          No effect on the problem - plus as I mentioned before, if I hook up any of the three dedicated ext'l drives, they will all settle nicely to pick up available drive letters - including placing their partition letters ''around'' that "P" of the HP partition.

          Right now with USB sticks back in ... I have everything used up to and including "P" - and so there is a chunk of available letters - 8 in fact - between that and the DVD on "Y" - which suits all the externals just fine.

          No - something else has to be odd here - note how earlier I was seeing this WD 1600 in Disk management - as one drive of 150Gb in the pictorial display (working and healthy) NTFS ... and in the text listing showing as seemingly just one of the partitions at around 35Gb and 4.1 Gb free!  This in itself is odd.  Remember too - I can put one of my old HDD's from Win 2k machine or even an old Win 95 into this drive enclosure and bring them up fine!

          This is definitely specific to these WD 1600 drives it seems - they are just not ''seen'' for what they actually are, tho I'd still expect to see one drive letter at very least!.
          Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

          truenorth



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            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
            « Reply #9 on: July 06, 2008, 12:14:11 PM »
            ChrisXPPro,
            It is nice to see Goku on board and hopefully others may also show up (Broni or patio would be nice).I do agree that it certainly appears to be uniquely associated with the WD drives.Have you tried calling them re the issue.Suggest phone as e-mail tech support with all the toing and frowing could take forever. My recollection is that WD is quite good with their phone tech support.Did you ever try changing the jumper locations yet?Have you always been using the same case. When i had a recognition problem i was able to solve it by changing the case (even though i had 3 which were totally identical. Hang in there a solution may be coming. truenorth

            ChrisXPPro

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            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
            « Reply #10 on: July 06, 2008, 01:24:38 PM »
            Oh yes - forgot to mention jumpering ... I did try master set up - no good at all.  Finally went for 'single neutral' which is pins 4 and 6 (10 pin config) ........ but that is in theory no different from no jumpers for 'single'.  No point IMO in setting up as slave tho tried it for fun - seems same effect as no jumpers.

            I might indeed try calling WD if I can get thru. 

            This case is the only one I have so no chance to try others but yet again I come back to how well it performs with numerous other ex puter int'l drives.
            Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

            stevejohnson1958

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            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
            « Reply #11 on: July 06, 2008, 01:36:51 PM »
            Sometimes...when you have a system with multiple card readers...you'll experience this problem.

            Have you tried manually assigning a drive letter to the drive?

            http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307844

            ChrisXPPro

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            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
            « Reply #12 on: July 06, 2008, 07:52:37 PM »
            Saviour, thx - could well be I'll try disconnecting card reader as an experiment, altho that reader does not affect other externals from working, including old drives in my drive enclosure.

            Manually changing drive letter is not an option as - mentioned earlier - tho the drive shows in Disk Management, right click options are greyed out for drive letter choice - apart from ''help'' only other option is clear partition!
            Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

            stevejohnson1958

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            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
            « Reply #13 on: July 06, 2008, 08:58:33 PM »
            What's the drives status is Disk Management?  Healthy?

            Is there anything on this drive...or is it used mainly for backup?  If it's free for use as you see fit...why not have Disk Management repartition it, format it NTFS, and see if making it active allows access to the adjusting the drive letter.

            I don't think disconnecting the card reader will have any effect...maybe...we'll have to wait and see.

            I've read some posts on other forums I frequent where a mulitple card reader can cause such an issue.  While Windows is supposed to automatically assign the drive letter, but then doesn't.  I haven't seen a work around for it yet.

            Please keep us posted...

            truenorth



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              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
              « Reply #14 on: July 07, 2008, 07:02:22 AM »
              Saviour,
              Is there anything on this drive...or is it used mainly for backup? 
              Quote ChrisXPPro "However, this HP machine replaces my old custom machine which went sour recently and tho most data was backed up I have a few items I want to pull off two (partitioned) 150Gb HDD's from it."
              Saviour quote"What's the drives status is Disk Management?  Healthy?
              ChrisXPPro quote "I took a peek within Computer management/disk management - and the drive shows but no letter.  In the top listing it shows as 35Gb with 4.1Gb spare - well that would be one partition.  The lower pictorial representation however shows it as 150Gb, basic, healthy/active - but looking like all one with no partition!  Shows too as NTFS.  Right click contect menu is all greyed out except for "delete partition' and 'help'"
                 Welcome aboard Savior.This case is sure a puzzlement.truenorth


              J Guy



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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #15 on: July 08, 2008, 12:36:10 PM »
                Hi, I recently experienced the same issue when my Dell Dimension died.  The two drives were working fine and I believe they are still OK except no other PC can assign a letter to them  They show up when first connected as new USB devices, and they show up in Device Manager.  However, it is my suspicion that there is something in the drive index (boot record) that prevents another PC from addressing it properly.  Here is the solution that worked for me:  Download the free Data Recovery demo from www.GetDataBack.com.  It will scan the disk and you will see if indeed there are recoverable files.  From there you decide if it's worth $60 bucks to copy these files to another drive.  It worked for me, it was easy and well Worth the $60 bucks in time savings alone.  I'm still looking for an explanation as to why another PC can not assign a drive letter to these drives.  I do not want to repartition these drives and loose the data.  Good luck and let us know your decision and success!

                ChrisXPPro

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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #16 on: July 08, 2008, 04:06:07 PM »
                J Guy ...... so I am not alone!  Thx for responding.

                You approach is certainly well worth considering altho I don't want to be spending to get at the data.  Could be tho my only option.  I will give feedback if I go that route and succeed.
                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                ChrisXPPro

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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #17 on: July 08, 2008, 06:58:34 PM »
                J Guy - got the trial GetDataBack - and tried it - using Lenovo backup machine.

                First observation was it was slow - really slow.  It came up with a boatload of errors but could have been because I had made a small FAT partition on this one HDD.  That aside - it looked like it was gonna take a whole 24 hours to get anywhere and as storms are coming in I may need to shut down over night - for safety. 

                BTW - I stopped process soon afer sector 1,000,000 - and total was in excess of 350,000,000 - so long time needed - probably treating drive as one partition - instead of the three or four it should show..

                I am thinking more and more this could be a lost cause, tho not given up entirely.

                Before my old machine was abandoned I was getting extreme and seemingly unstoppable HDD activity which was compromizing CPU - sucking up all resources nearly.  Despite a virus scan coming up negative, it had seemed there was some process (I could not identify) that was screwing things up.  One system restore seemed to help for an hour or so then it was back to trouble.

                Whether HDD controller had gone crazy I am not sure but anyways - it was taking for ever to acomplish even smallest task.  Same in safe mode too.  That PC had had well over 3 years hard work.

                Thx again for your suggestion.
                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                BC_Programmer


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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #18 on: July 09, 2008, 04:35:01 AM »
                can you get a screenshot of the disk management screen?
                I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                ChrisXPPro

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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #19 on: July 09, 2008, 09:49:30 AM »
                Disk management - here we go. 

                I have resized because original rather large but - download the full size version if need be. 

                The disks do not appear well ordered in the top text area but the top one is this problem drive in the enclosure - showing apparently as one of the partitions - and yet you'll see that in the graphic section below, it shows as the Disk 8, at full size and no partitions - complete with its old label.  No drive letter of course!

                I left the card reader and 2 USB flash sticks in place as this is the typical set up and what usually gives no problems with any other external drive - including most old (ex PC) internal HDD's in the enclosure.  Not sure if this will give any useful extra info but it is what I had described earlier.

                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                BC_Programmer


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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #20 on: July 09, 2008, 04:03:08 PM »
                oh this should be a simple fix actually- have you tried right-clicking and selecting "change Drive letter & paths"?

                then give it a drive letter.

                It's already a partition- otherwise  it wouldn't say "healthy" but rather "unallocated"...


                I can't remember if you had already said that the "change drive letter and paths" option was unavailable, which would be very strange.

                I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                ChrisXPPro

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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #21 on: July 09, 2008, 04:51:14 PM »
                Indeed - the real puzzle is that right click context menu is all greyed out except to delete partition and help!!!  Yes - it is strange!  I had hoped early on that would have been my fix.

                This has been constant all the time.

                Notice tho how it appears in the text at top of pic and graphic below - that too is odd IMO - declared differently for size.
                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                BC_Programmer


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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #22 on: July 09, 2008, 05:02:45 PM »
                hmm- also the red icon in the upper list is disconcerting. You don't happen to have it it jumpered to the "cylinder reduction" setting, would you?
                I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                ChrisXPPro

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                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                « Reply #23 on: July 09, 2008, 05:07:25 PM »
                That icon color is due to my ''selected'' color choice in my own (pretty much Win2k personalized) display theme - any other drive icon if selected would look the same.  Not significant.

                Re that right click - here's proof!!


                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                truenorth



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                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                  « Reply #24 on: July 09, 2008, 05:53:26 PM »
                  ChrisXPPro,I have continuously been lurking in the weeds hoping to see a resolution to your problem We certainly have much new blood in on the issue and I'm sure we all would like to get this solved.I have reread all the posts and i believe i notice something.I don't believe you have tried to access either of these problem HDD's as an internal in your HP.I know it won't resolve the external case aspect but it might allow you to get at the data you want. Then you could do a reformat and perhaps then (without concern for the data) get on with setting them up as fresh ,clean drives and perhaps at least you could again use them. Comments?truenorth

                  ChrisXPPro

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                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                  « Reply #25 on: July 09, 2008, 08:45:43 PM »
                  truenorth - thx for the suggestion ... I had considered this option but unfortunately both the Lenovo and HP mobo's are for SATA drives - and these drives are EIDE ATA - so, the ribbon cable hook up, as well as the different power plugs ..... so can't see that I can hook them up, altho I think the PSU wiring harness does make provision from the power plug POV.

                  I may have (somewhere) one of my oldest machines that I could try this on, unless there is some way to put these in an SATA environment.  Not something I have any ideas on as SATA has been relatively new to me.
                  Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                  BC_Programmer


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                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                  « Reply #26 on: July 10, 2008, 09:14:15 AM »
                  well, they have SATA->PATA converters and vice versa, also PCI EIDE cards.

                  I suggest you go with truenorth's advice, see if the problem still exists when installed internally (into a machine of some kind)
                  I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                  ChrisXPPro

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                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                  « Reply #27 on: July 10, 2008, 11:48:30 AM »
                  BC - yes, this does sound like way to go. 

                  I was thinking there must be adaptors but had not explored that.  Could be a PCI card for EIDE could be worth pursuing - I have spare slots in my Lenovo and only one HDD installed so - I could try in that.

                  Chances are this will take a while to implement so - the thread may well go quiet a while but if I get to trying this and have any success I will be sure to report back.

                  My thanks to all who have chimed in - it has been useful.
                  Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                  ChrisXPPro

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                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                  « Reply #28 on: July 14, 2008, 07:33:26 PM »
                  Update,

                  I think I am screwed!!  When I got to it and was looking around for methods to connect these HDD's - adaptor etc - I fortunately took a close peek at the Lenovo mobo - and noticed that while the main internal HDD was SATA - lo and behold, the DVD rom was setup on EIDE - and there was a spare slot.

                  So - hooked up what was the second old drive as slave and, Windows ''saw'' it and seemingly accepted it when it booted but - guess what?  Yep - same old deal - no drive letter or letters.

                  Once more - disk management showed pictorially the full drive (as basic healthy) and in the text area - just showed what was one of the partitions.  No right click context menu option for ascribing drive letter!!!

                  Outa interest I opend O&O Defrag Pro - but no evidence of the drive being there at all.  Looked in Device manger - once more it was like when I hooked up from enclosure via USB - it showed - shown as working, but ... that didn't help!

                  Not sure what else I might be missing but does seem I have exhausted options?
                  Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                  truenorth



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                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                    « Reply #29 on: July 15, 2008, 10:40:37 AM »
                    ChrisXPPro,I feel the pain and also running out of suggestions. However i was searching the web on your problem and came across the following site that might present another option (software).I cannot offer any comment on the software or it's efficacy as i knew nothing of it until i came across it.Check it out. You might want to try a contact with them also and either direct them to the CH forum post (and responces) on the problem or detail it by including the whole thread and see if they can  suggest something.goodluck,truenorth

                    ChrisXPPro

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                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                    « Reply #30 on: July 15, 2008, 01:35:08 PM »
                    truenorth - thanks once again - but doesn't seem to be a link referring to your mention of this other site! 

                    I'll follow up anything just in case it might help - even tho the data I want is not exactly totally vital - I guess this whole thing has also become something of a mission to try and crack the problem!
                    Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                    BC_Programmer


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                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                    « Reply #31 on: July 16, 2008, 06:08:49 AM »
                    I had a thought- maybe this is an ownership issue?

                    I don't have a lot of experience in using it, but there is a command-line utility, DISKPART, that could possibly be used, that may help to either give the drive a letter or actually give a reason why it can't.


                    Now, bear in mind diskpart is a very powerful program, even more so then fdisk, but here is something you could try.


                    1. start diskpart. Start->Run, diskpart


                    2. now, diskpart works in a freaky way, but our first plan of action is to find the right disk. type "list disk". try to determine which of these disks is your renegade drive. From your screenshots, I'd guess "disk 8".

                    3. armed with the disk to use, type "select disk 8". The disk should now be "selected". Now we need to determine once and for all exactly what partitions are present. type "list partition", a list should appear.

                    4. Now, I will assume that you have a single partition on it, but I'm sure you can figure out how to repeat the steps for additional partitions.

                    5. type "select partition 1"

                    partition 1 should now be active.

                    6. now the kicker, we try to assign a letter to the drive. when I tested on my computer, it changed the letter to something different, and I wasn't really given an option as to what letter. In any case, it's a simple command: just type "assign".


                    oh yeah, and exit quits.


                    if you follow those instructions, do be careful, I don't want to vend information that causes somebody to lose data. Pretty much just stay away from any "delete" type commands, and you should be fine.






                    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                    truenorth



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                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                      « Reply #32 on: July 16, 2008, 07:06:17 AM »
                      ChrisXPPro,I also saw the "DISKPART" option on a Microsaoft link  http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/33cc9af7-f68c-4656-af97-82e804a9c1e01033.mspx?mfr=true but did not think it would be applicable (however BC_Programmer might have a point). The other link to the free software is as follows:http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html  If that one does not work(it is a link from another web page)here is the original page that it links from (it is item #6 on the page). http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/how-to-change-the-drive-letter-in-windows-xp-for-an-external-usb-stick-or-hard-drive/ Goodluck, truenorth

                      ChrisXPPro

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                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                      « Reply #33 on: July 16, 2008, 09:15:53 AM »
                      BC_ and truenorth - thx both for the extra input.  I have researched a bit and will when time see what happens - but will do the experiment on my Lenovo.

                      I have downloaded the usbdlm utility, which certainly sounds potentially useful and I'll initially outa interest run the (carefully!) diskpart just to explore results.

                      I'll come back later to report when I have had a chance to ''play" !!
                      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                      ChrisXPPro

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                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                      « Reply #34 on: July 16, 2008, 05:31:09 PM »
                      OK folks - here's the skinny!

                      truenorth - diskpart sure looks mega useful - and I was careful. 

                      I seemed to be OK to show what, on the Lenovo was seen as disk 1 (I had it set up as slave internal) .... and then did a ''list partition'' ..... that came up as just partition 1, no list of more than this.  Fine so far but ... (always a ''but''!) ....... while this appeared active a request for ''assign'' came up with a message something like ''no volume present'', or similar!!  No amount of tries yielded me any further advance from this stage.

                      So - on to USBDLM ........ set that up and profiled the .ini file to suit re drive letters available etc ..... all that did was ascribe new letters to my card reader but nothing extra relevant to this darned drive. I elected to rule out drive letters for reader andswitched off reader (unless containing data card) - then those letters went - still no extra letter or letters for the drive.

                      In fact I threw the other HDD in the enclosure and hooked that up thru USB ..... so one now intl slave and other USB - two identical drives.  As ever it seems they appeared in Drive management as previously reported.

                      So - thx a lot for the extra ideas ... I really appreciate that help but once more I think I remain up the famous creek, and no paddle!!! :)

                      Only thing left perhaps if I make time - is to see if using USBDLM I can somehow mount the drive onto an NTFS  folder - pretty much a last ditch deal probably.

                      Frustrating problem - and I have wondered a bit if because I used Partition Magic 7 originally to set those two drives up whether that has any bearing at all - and yet XP Pro on that old machine just never had seemingly any issues with drive letters!!  IIRC one was three part's and the other four part's.
                      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                      patio

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                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                      « Reply #35 on: July 16, 2008, 07:52:54 PM »
                      Partition Magic has it's own unique way of labeling and identifying partitions/drives....
                      Sometimes it makes sense to Windows ....sometimes it doesn't.
                      Sounds like it's the latter in this case and we've been chasing a red herring.
                         
                       
                      " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

                      ChrisXPPro

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                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                      « Reply #36 on: July 16, 2008, 08:00:19 PM »
                      patio - I think perhaps you are right - but I recall now that other drives that read in enclosure from earlier machine had also been set up with Partition Magic - but these were back in Win2k and Win95 days...  maybe it's an XP thing!

                      Thx for response.
                      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                      truenorth



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                        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                        « Reply #37 on: July 17, 2008, 08:49:09 AM »
                        ChrisXPPro,Well my hope for Patio to show up has occur ed. However it seems he only brought an anti aircraft gun to shoot us all down. :'( With this belated news of the "partition magic "involvement it appears it introduces (potentially) a new set of concerns.Might i suggest on the oft chance that this problem is not unknown and that someone on a "partition magic" forum may have found a way to overcome it that you search out some forums more particular to problems with that program and see what people have to say there about it. To get you started here is one that seems to emphasise that software. truenorth
                        http://www.techsupportforum.com/microsoft-support/windows-xp-support/52846-partition-magic.html

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                        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                        « Reply #38 on: July 17, 2008, 11:26:12 AM »
                        Did you remember to select the partition and volume before doing the "assign"?
                        I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                        ChrisXPPro

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                        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                        « Reply #39 on: July 17, 2008, 02:04:31 PM »
                        BC_ - indeed yes - selected but, still result of 'assign' was something like ''no volume found"!

                        I may well when time allows run thru the whole deal again - still not quite given up!
                        Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                        truenorth



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                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                          « Reply #40 on: July 18, 2008, 08:09:29 AM »
                          ChrisXPPro,Since the recent "revelation" re the partition magic potential involvement in all of this i have been rethinking things. I have a new suggestion based on what i believe are "the facts".The facts being these 2 HDD's did work in the computer that is dead.The operating system as it existed in that computer had no trouble with them.Given Patio's comment "sometimes it makes sense to windows.... sometimes it doesn't" I believe it is safe to say in there earlier life in that computer it did "make sense".So now if that is true what about trying this:dual boot the present computer with one of the O/S's being the exact version that was installed on the dead machine. I don't necessarily believe it would be essential that whatever that O/S was need to have all the updates that were installed after it's original installation as presumably the HDD's were in it at the outset and grew up with what ever changes occurred thereafter. (and they always functioned).Once the "old" O/S is installed at boot select that as the one to be used and THEN install the HD (s) via a case and USB port. Logic tells me it ought to work.Of course the big IF is do you have the original O/S disk from which to install the O/S as it was installed on the dead computer?Are we grasping at straws here?What do you think Patio? Is it worth a try? truenorth

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                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                          « Reply #41 on: July 18, 2008, 08:53:16 AM »
                          It's also possible that a Drive Overlay was installed, but I've never seen symptoms like this from that (then again, I've only used Drive Overlay software once, enough to know to never use it again.
                          I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

                          ChrisXPPro

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                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                          « Reply #42 on: July 18, 2008, 02:51:26 PM »
                          More thanks for replies again ....... I am not sure if I have that original OS disk - I may have to do some serious digging!  Somehow think it was mislaid long ago.

                          My other possibility that I considered, altho not too optimistic, is to put the drives back in the old machine and see if I can pursuade it to do enough in safe mode to let me check things out.  Could be even if mega slow I can manage something.  All down to time right now with too much going on but - will still persevere further and report back - eventually!

                          Never used drive overlay BTW.

                          Appreciate all the input I have had guys - thx a lot.
                          Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                          patio

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                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                          « Reply #43 on: July 19, 2008, 08:10:19 AM »
                          Another thing you can do if in fact you are going to set things up all over again...with XP i have found that the best way to get drive letters to stick and not get juggled around all the time is to assign each drive/partition a Volume Label....this can be done at the time of the FDisk and or Format procedure.
                          I use a name corresponding with the drive letter:
                          C: Calvin
                          D: Dogma
                          E: Einstien
                          F: Faranheit

                          and so on...
                             
                           
                          " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

                          ChrisXPPro

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                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                          « Reply #44 on: July 19, 2008, 08:29:04 AM »
                          patio - yeah - I have always given my drives/partitions labels, usually descriptive of content useage.  Assuming that is what you mean.

                          If you peek back at one of my image grabs you'll see what I use and that is pretty much same as on these old drives.  I'll need to find a chunk of time tho to try them in old PC so as I said, may take a while.
                          Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                          schubie



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                            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                            « Reply #45 on: September 23, 2008, 06:51:45 PM »
                            ChrisXPPro - I have exactly the same problem.  My eternal HD is a WD2000.  The PC quite and I thought I could access the data through the use of a IDE to USB 2.0 adapter but no luck. Have you had any luck assigning a drive letter?

                            ChrisXPPro

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                            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                            « Reply #46 on: September 23, 2008, 07:54:51 PM »
                            Sad to say - I pretty much gave up.  No luck on main HP workstation or my Lenovo backup machine.

                            My external is a CompUSA deal and I can explore drives going back years - just these two that won't behave!

                            I do wonder still whether having originally partitioned them with Partition magic 7 - whether somehow this has a bearing on things.

                            Is your drive partitioned?  If so - by what process/software?

                            I am SOL tho anyways with mine and have had to all but accept I cannot get to the last bit of data i wanted.
                            Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                            schubie



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                              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                              « Reply #47 on: September 24, 2008, 06:50:48 PM »
                              Yes my WD2000 is partitioned but I did not do it (it was done by the box builder and they are out of business).  I am sure the the original PC motherboard is shot; checked the power supply with a PS tester and it checks good.  My newest machine uses SATA drives with no IDE connection.  My gaming PC uses IDE drives.  A thought - the broken machine has a Rocket 100 card in it to extend the number if IDE drives.  I think I might try putting it into one of the other machines with the WD2000 in Cable Select.  If that fails I could try disconnecting the IDE drives in my gaming PC and connecting the WD2000 in their place.  But since the motherboard and all of the other cards are different than the broken PC I think the drive will not be happy and might not boot up.  I'll let you know what happens either way.  I hate to pay someone to get the data off but there are pictures and things that I can't replace.  I know backup, backup, backup - next time for sure! I was told that if I had a Mac I could get the data off easily decause the Mac does not use drive letters - don't knopw if that's true, but I don't own a Mac. 

                              ChrisXPPro

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                              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                              « Reply #48 on: September 25, 2008, 08:08:52 AM »
                              Your plan might work - worth a try at least.  Might also be worth seeing if you can ''plug in'' on someone else's puter and access data ... and copy off that to an external - something i have yet to try when I get the chance.

                              I recently added another external enclosure for future use - my original is IDE but got a docking station for SATA drives - just in case.  Got that from Newegg ..

                              17-153-066  EXT ENCL THERMALTAKE | N0028USU R  1  $38.99

                              Good luck.
                              Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                              patio

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                              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                              « Reply #49 on: September 25, 2008, 02:24:45 PM »
                              Have you borrowed another external enclosure and tried it ? ?
                              I would do this after physically un-installing the card reader and doing a few cold boots first...
                                 
                               
                              " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

                              latham187



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                                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                « Reply #50 on: September 27, 2008, 05:56:33 PM »
                                Hey All,

                                I've read everyones comments as I have experienced the sameissue tonight.  Here's my story...
                                1) I plugged USB external "notebook" hard drive (WD 400) into a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop.  XP automatically installed drivers and assigned a drive letter.
                                2) Did a backup of some files (copy & paste). 
                                3) Inserted Windows XP OEM disk.
                                4) Restarted Computer.
                                5) Booted from Windows disk.
                                6) Deleted all partitions from my IDE disk drive, formatted and installed Windows XP.

                                When the new install of Windows XP finished I noticed my USB HD did not have a letter assigned to it so I went to disk management, noticed it was there without a letter assigned.  I've done everything listed in this thread without success.  Tried another HD in the external enclosure, no problems.  Tried the faulty HD in another computer, same issue.  It's not looking good.  I've declared this an issue with the HD.  Just wanted to let you know I feel your pain...

                                PS - No partition magic was ever used on this HD.

                                patio

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                                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                « Reply #51 on: September 27, 2008, 09:13:40 PM »
                                Hey All,

                                I've read everyones comments as I have experienced the sameissue tonight.  Here's my story...
                                1) I plugged USB external "notebook" hard drive (WD 400) into a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop.  XP automatically installed drivers and assigned a drive letter.
                                2) Did a backup of some files (copy & paste). 
                                3) Inserted Windows XP OEM disk.
                                4) Restarted Computer.
                                5) Booted from Windows disk.
                                6) Deleted all partitions from my IDE disk drive, formatted and installed Windows XP.

                                When the new install of Windows XP finished I noticed my USB HD did not have a letter assigned to it so I went to disk management, noticed it was there without a letter assigned.  I've done everything listed in this thread without success.  Tried another HD in the external enclosure, no problems.  Tried the faulty HD in another computer, same issue.  It's not looking good.  I've declared this an issue with the HD.  Just wanted to let you know I feel your pain...

                                PS - No partition magic was ever used on this HD.

                                Start a new Topic with your info so it can recieve the proper attention...
                                   
                                 
                                " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

                                latham187



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                                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                  « Reply #52 on: October 01, 2008, 05:42:03 PM »
                                  I decided to use this drive as a replacement in another laptop for a family member whos hard drive died.  As I started to format this drive I had an idea but realized it was too late...


                                  Can you boot from Windows (XP) cd and see the HD?  I noticed mine showed as "unpartitioned disk space" without a letter associated.  Maybe is you pressed "c" on the drive and created a partition here (DO NOT FORMAT)and then exit, you would be able to see it in Windows after you reboot.

                                  Just a thought...

                                  schubie



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                                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                    « Reply #53 on: October 03, 2008, 07:03:35 PM »
                                    :  I was unable to read the drive anywhere.  Decided to see if the motherboard was actually bad.  Removed all of the cards and the memory, cleaned the connectors, reinstalled the cards and memory and it still did not work.  As I was pushing on the cards to ensure they were fully seated I pushed on the CMOS battery and the system came to life.  My problem along was a bad CR2032.  I replaced the battery, installed the partitioned WD2000 and all is well.  I purchased a Seagate FreeAgent USB 2.0 1TB external drive and quickly copied all of the files off the WD2000 (just in case).    :) ;D ;)

                                    I guess I should have checked the battery first but never though of it - nor did any of the IT folks I work with.

                                    Just wanted to close the loop and tell you what worked for me.

                                    Saviour

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                                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                    « Reply #54 on: October 03, 2008, 09:06:52 PM »
                                    Sometimes the simplest problems are the hardest to diagnose...

                                    hyang6808



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                                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                      « Reply #55 on: October 04, 2008, 07:26:32 AM »
                                      OK folks - here's the skinny!

                                      truenorth - diskpart sure looks mega useful - and I was careful. 

                                      I seemed to be OK to show what, on the Lenovo was seen as disk 1 (I had it set up as slave internal) .... and then did a ''list partition'' ..... that came up as just partition 1, no list of more than this.  Fine so far but ... (always a ''but''!) ....... while this appeared active a request for ''assign'' came up with a message something like ''no volume present'', or similar!!  No amount of tries yielded me any further advance from this stage.


                                      Not sure if this is too late. I was having exactly the same problem. Reading further into the diskpart documentation, I believe what you are missing on the disk is the volume definition. Please take a look at the command 'create volume simple' and 'convert dynamic/basic'. It might work. I cannot try because I've only got vista home edition on my laptop.

                                      Good luck!

                                      hyang6808

                                      ChrisXPPro

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                                      Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                      « Reply #56 on: October 04, 2008, 09:24:09 AM »
                                      Hyang - never too late!  This has just been sitting on the back burner.

                                      Appreciate your reply and suggestion - I will investigate that and see when time if it gets anywhere - and if it does I'll of course report back.

                                      Thx again.
                                      Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                      hyang6808



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                                        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                        « Reply #57 on: October 05, 2008, 05:10:05 AM »
                                        OK. I've got mine working. I found something called PTDD Partition Table Doctor, which could fix broken file systems. The demo is free for checking any errors. When I downloaded and ran the demo, it somehow didn't report any error, which got me disappointed. But I noticed something new there. It labeled my disk's file system as ext2/ext3, which is used by linux (I got this disk from my broken landisk). Then I downloaded ubuntu, burned a bootable CD (follow the instructions on the web, use the tools listed there).

                                        When I booted from CD drive (choose first option: try without changing anything on harddisk), it started ubuntu and immediately mounted this disk, together with the original windows disks. Then I can view/copy all the files.

                                        I had another look at your screen shot. Your disk 8 does have NTFS marked, which seems to mean a different problem (mine doesn't have file system marked under windows disk manager). However, it's still worth a try with ubuntu. The only cost is a CD-R.

                                        Good luck!

                                        hyang

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                                        Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                        « Reply #58 on: October 05, 2008, 10:25:55 AM »
                                        Thx again - something else to consider which I'll try when I can get to it.
                                        Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                        CactusEucaliptus



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                                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                          « Reply #59 on: October 08, 2008, 02:50:07 PM »
                                          Hello Chris,

                                          For several months I've been using HD Segate (ATA) which installed in the external case. The case is connected to Dell laptop USB port. I took _the very same_ hard disk and very same laptop and I tried to connect the HD with one (S)ATA/IDE to USB adapter with additional power supply (and stuff). And what happend... I cannot see the drive letter! So I put the drive again to the case and - the drive letter is there!

                                          The problem hides somewhere within the ATA/IDE to USB adapter?

                                          ChrisXPPro

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                                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                          « Reply #60 on: October 09, 2008, 09:53:34 AM »
                                          Hi Cactus - well in my case installation of either of my old drives into spare machine as slaves was not successful - and unfortunately the machine they operated in is toast so no way to use them in original set up.

                                          Seeing as enclosure works great for many other old HDD's I think my prob is in the proper recognition of the drives and I have yet to try a means of giving them a volume info.
                                          Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                          Saviour

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                                          Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                          « Reply #61 on: October 09, 2008, 01:51:11 PM »
                                          Have you tried this:

                                          Disable your 1394 connection and reboot.  See if the drive is there.  I just read somewhere that this worked with XP SP3.

                                          Here's the link:  http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-21877-windows-xp-won-t-recognize-wd-ext-hard-drive

                                          Worth a try.  Once you reboot...enable the 1394 connection.
                                          « Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 02:20:51 PM by Saviour »

                                          CactusEucaliptus



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                                            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                            « Reply #62 on: October 09, 2008, 02:01:23 PM »
                                            Chris, would you please tell me which adapter are you using for connecting your external hard drives to your laptop?

                                            patio

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                                            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                            « Reply #63 on: October 09, 2008, 07:49:14 PM »
                                            Chris, would you please tell me which adapter are you using for connecting your external hard drives to your laptop?

                                            In his initial Post:

                                            Quote
                                            I already use successfully up to three external HDD's for backup etc with no problem - in fact USB anything is pretty OK - (as is the case on my Lenovo XP pro backup machine) .  However, this HP machine replaces my old custom machine which went sour recently and tho most data was backed up I have a few items I want to pull off two (partitioned) 150Gb HDD's from it.
                                               
                                             
                                            " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

                                            ChrisXPPro

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                                            Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                            « Reply #64 on: October 10, 2008, 12:30:32 AM »
                                            Cactus - if you meant the make of enclosure - it's a ''CompUSA" unit - quite good for price.  This one is IDE to USB 2.

                                            I have since bought a docking station unit for SATA but not tried it - a "Thermaltake - BlacX"
                                            Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                            CactusEucaliptus



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                                              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                              « Reply #65 on: October 10, 2008, 01:28:57 AM »
                                              and what is the exact spec. of your hard drive(s), like model number? did I understand good that your problem lies in the fact that english alphabet contains (only) 25 letters and there are no available letters for your two extra hard drives?
                                              did you try to connect some other hard drives via that unit - like newer drives and try to "mount" them properly?
                                              yesterday I bouth another sata/ide to usb adapter. This one is branded and guess what - the letter is attached to the disk. However, I have a lot of HDD's which I tried to mount. When I connect some (old) models the XP does not attach drive letter to them - even with the new adapter this does not work. In my opinion the solution to this problem lies in the HDD drivers and adapter itself.

                                              ChrisXPPro

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                                              Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                              « Reply #66 on: October 10, 2008, 09:37:30 AM »
                                              Most of the info you ask for is within this thread - but earlier on of course!

                                              The drives giving problems are WD1600 ..... 160Gb.

                                              I have spare drive letters even tho numerous partitions on local drives.  My actual externals usually come up as "P", "Q" and "R" for instance so no excuse there.

                                              This CompUSA enclosure as I had said - will show me all but two of my many HDD's going back about 12 years!  The two that won't get accepted and shown are from back in my DX4-66 puter days.

                                              Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                              CactusEucaliptus



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                                                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                « Reply #67 on: October 10, 2008, 12:37:33 PM »
                                                Chris, thank you for repeating thos information. Well, I guess you have the same problem as I do. there are indeed several old HD's that do not get recognized even with the branded adapters. In my humble opinion this is the question of the drivers and MS Windows XP just does not have the proper set of drivers for those old HD's. They just do not support them and that is that. Maybe the MS support could help solve this?

                                                mrogero

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                                                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                « Reply #68 on: October 16, 2008, 07:32:47 AM »
                                                ChrisXPPro,

                                                Ok, found the solution.  The problem arises with SATA drives and what I can find seems unique to them.

                                                My drive had the same problem.  I'm not sure which of the two commands fixed the invalid drive id number, but one of the two did it.  I typed the two in succession from Diskpart

                                                set id=0x07 override
                                                set id=ebd0a0a2-b9e5-4433-87c0-68b6b72699c7

                                                The codes were found on this page -
                                                 http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753840.aspx

                                                My drive had an id of 17 previously which seems to have been the root cause somehow.  After that, the drive immediately became 'normal' and was allocated a drive number automatically.  All information was intact.

                                                Hope this helps.

                                                Mike Rogero
                                                Beijing

                                                ChrisXPPro

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                                                Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                « Reply #69 on: October 17, 2008, 06:45:06 PM »
                                                Hi Mike and welcome.

                                                Well my two drives are straight ATA but, when I get (make!) some time I do have a few more things to try after some interesting posts on this thread.

                                                I guess because they contain no data vital to every day and work I have not gotten to trying other approaches but I do thank all for suggestions - and will still post back as and when (if!) I get some results of note and interest.
                                                Ain't technology great - until it goes wrong!

                                                slinds



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                                                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                  « Reply #70 on: April 15, 2012, 02:33:56 PM »
                                                  That icon color is due to my ''selected'' color choice in my own (pretty much Win2k personalized) display theme - any other drive icon if selected would look the same.  Not significant.

                                                  Re that right click - here's proof!!





                                                  Just click remove partition and then you can add it again. This fix the problem. Had the same prob as you after using a disk with the new Panasonic tv. (disk was formated in the plasma) not by windows. Maybe this helps somebody else since the thread is old.

                                                  patio

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                                                  Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                  « Reply #71 on: April 15, 2012, 04:45:14 PM »
                                                  The Topic is 4 Years old...
                                                     
                                                   
                                                  " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

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                                                    Re: Ext'l hard drive - no drive letter/letters
                                                    « Reply #72 on: April 15, 2012, 05:49:29 PM »
                                                    Yes and why when the immediate preceding post before your's (patio) is 4 years old did i today (before patio's observation) have this thread appear in my "replies to your posts? That's a mystery to me.truenorth
                                                    Ignore my comment. After posting my observation slinds post came up in the thread.