Solved: How to make a USB flash drive register as a A:

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ericj

Thread Starter
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Sep 10, 2004
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Does anyone know how I can make a USB flash drive show up as an A: or anyother drive letter other tha C: drive?

If I attach the flash drive and then boot using the USB Storage Device option the flash drive will come up to a C: drive prompt and then I am unable to see any of the other "true" drives. Any ideas?

I was thinking maybe it's a size issue. One difference between a USB floppy drive/floppy disk and a USB flash drive is size. However, I don't understand how to make a flash drive partition equal the size of a floppy disk so I haven't been able to test that.

I also dabbled with the DOS command SUBST and didn't have much luck.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
245
well i thk its more of a problem with the boot disk yorur using. so if you do D: e: F:
you get no device errors or somthing i forget the exact error.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
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Could you explain why you want to boot from a flash drive and not your hard drive? I only use flash drives as removable backup. I could be missing something in the question.
 

ericj

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
29
Here is more detail as to what I'm doing and why;

1. Have a floppy containing a dos program called G-Disk that will wipe and sanitize a hard
drive and then create a results TXT file. I attach a USB floppy drive to a Dell latitude
D800 laptop. I insert the G-Disk floppy disk and boot the laptop selecting the Boot From
USB Storage Device option. I see that WIN98 is starting and then a A: prompt appears
at which point I can initialize the G-Disk program. G-Disk then searches for the laptops
C: drive and begins it's wipe. When complete it creates a results TXT file and places it
back on the G-Disk floppy disk.
2. Try doing the same thing using a USB flash drive.
A. Use the HP Flash Drive Boot Creation Utility
1. format the flash drive using NTFS (first made the drive Optimized
For Performance)
2. Copy the contents of a WIN98 boot floppy disk to the flash drive
command.com
drvspace.bin
fdisk.exe
format.com
io.sys
msdos.sys
3. insert flash drive in to dell d800 latitude laptop
4. boot and select the USB Storage Device boot option
5. only get a blinking cursor
a. Also get just a blinking cursor when I substitute the
WIN98 boot files with the G-Disk files
B. Use the HP Flash Drive Boot Creation Utility
1. format the flash drive using FAT and select the Create A DOS
Startup Disk option
2. direct the utility to use boot files from the WIN98 floppy disk
3. insert flash drive in to dell d800 latitude laptop
4. boot and select the USB Storage Device boot option
5. see the WIN98 splash screen
6. get a C: drive prompt
7. can't see any drives other that the flash drive contents marked as
C: drive
8. try changing drives to D:, E:, F: and get error message; invalid
drive specifications
a. at this point if I had also placed the G-Disk files on the
flash drive I could execute the program however it
wipes my flash drive instead of the laptops C: drive
and then errors out when it tries to write the results
file to the flash drive because the flash drive now
does not have a partition

QUESTIONS - Why does the floppy disk recognize the laptops C: drive even though the laptops HDD is NTFS and the floppy is FAT?

Thanks for the reply's!
 

ericj

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
29
well, I was able to download DBAN. I created the floppy which works when I attach a USB floppy drive containing the DBAN disk. I then formatted the USB flash drive using the Optimize For Performance setting and formatted as NTFS. I then copied the DBAN files to the USB flash drive and attempted to boot. I got the Invalid System Disk error. I then removed the OFP setting and formatted the flash drive using FAT. I copied the DBAN files to the flash drive and booted and again recieved the Invalid System Disk error. I then formatted the flash drive as a boot disk using the WIN98 files from the WIN98 boot disk and then on top of that added the DBAN files. I booted to a C: drive prompt but then could not execute DBAN.

Any other ideas? If I can boot off a WIN98 floppy and then execute my DOS wipe/sanitize program what is it that's stopping the USB flash from doing the same? And why doesn't the USB flash recognize either logical drives or physical drives, other than itself? (scratching head with that crazed look in the eyes)
 

ericj

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
29
OKay, I'm at the end of the rope. I've formated the flash drive as fat, loaded dos boot files and can successfully boot from the flash to a C: prompt. I've also tried several other variations and still end up at a C: prompt. The problem is once at the C: prompt I am unable to access any other drives such as the computers true C: drive. Does anyone know how to boot from a flash drive and then be able to access the other drives in the computer?
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,532
If the other drives are formatted NTFS, the DOS boot on the FLASH disk won't see them.
 

ericj

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
29
Thanks for replying JohnWill, really appreciate you hanging in there. Okay. Understood and agree. Do you know how to make the flash drive bootable and able to read other drives that are ntfs?
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
3,390
G'day ericj, this Puppy Linux I am using should do that easily, use Puppy version 1.0.7 and select option 4 as it begins to boot from the CD.
Once it is up and running on your machine use the Start > Setup > Install Puppy USB Drive.
Ensure the flash drive was clear before doing this.
This will give you a bootable system on your flashdrive which when booted from should see your other drives after they are mounted using it's mount utility.
This same ability is also achieved from the live CD on it's own without the flashdrive.
Free download from http://www.goosee.com/puppy/
Cheers, qldit.
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,532
You can read the NTFS drives with NTFSDOS on the boot drive. If you want to write NTFS drives, it's a lot more expensive, then you'll need to buy the professional version from the same page. Linux based solutions don't write NTFS well, though they can also read them.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
3,390
Good Evening ericj, an easier way may be to use a bootable cd with your cleaning utility on it. (provided you have a CDROM)
You can use a Madboot floppy image and files to make a bootable CD, this works very well is easy to make and also has a zero writing low level format tool.
Dban is also on a bootable CD.
I must try making a bootable flashdrive with this stuff on.
qldit.
 
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