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[ The PC Guide | System Optimization and Enhancement Guide | System Optimizations and Enhancements | File System Optimization and Freeing Disk Space ]

Set up your CD-ROM as a High Drive Letter to Avoid Renaming Problems

I highly recommend that when you set up your system, you "remap" the CD-ROM drive to a drive letter that is "far away" from the letters being used for your hard disk. The reason is that if you do not, you run the real risk of "breaking" a lot of your CD-ROM software should you ever decide to add another hard disk, or even partition the disk that you have.

For example, let's suppose you have a hard disk in a single partition, and a CD-ROM drive. The hard disk volume will be C: and the CD-ROM drive D:. This is fine, and you will use the system this way for a while without any difficulty, and probably set up a lot of software. Then, one day, you will decide to add another hard disk to the system, or to repartition your existing disk. When you do this, your new hard disk partition will be assigned D:, your CD-ROM will be bumped to E:, and a bunch of your software will stop working.

Hard disks are always assigned drive letters before CD-ROM drives, which is why this happens; see this discussion of drive letter assignment in the Reference Guide. The key to avoiding this sort of problem is to tell the system to make your CD-ROM drive use a letter that is "high enough" in the alphabet that it will not get bumped when you change how your hard drives are configured. I personally use J: for my CD-ROM drive. Of course, it is best to do this before you install a bunch of software from the CD-ROM as D: (or whatever).

Most people only realize that they have this situation after they change or add the hard disk and their software breaks. For this reason, I cover it in a section of the Troubleshooting Guide.

Next: Repartition to Reduce Cluster Size and Free Up Disk Space

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