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windows 98 won't assign drive letter

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by greeneye, Jan 18, 2004.

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  1. greeneye

    greeneye Thread Starter

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    Hi

    Ok, I am running windows 98 SE
    Dell laptop inspiron 5000
    I have one USB port on the unit that is a V.1 USB. I normally connect this port to an external CD burner (F: drive)

    I also have a cd drive on the laptop. (D: drive)

    I recently puchased a USB 2.0 high spped external hard drive. However, because my USB port was version 1.0 -- Dell told me that it would not support a USB 2.0 high speed external drive device.

    So I purchased a Belkin PCMIA USB card that has two V2.0 usb ports.

    I have installed the Belkin USB card and my Dell recognizes the card fine. I can plug in my digtal camera in this card and my system assigns a drive letter E: to my camera without any problem.

    However, windows 98 won't assign a drive letter to my USB 2.0 High Speed drive when I connect it to the Belkin USB card. Thus I have not been able to use it so far. I can't connect it to the USB port on the back of my Dell because that USB port is v.1 and DELL told me that it can not support V.2 USB devices, which is what my USB 2.0 high speed drive is.

    So my question is: What can I do to make windows 98 SE assign a drive letter to my USB 2.0 drive when I connect it to my Belkin USB card?

    Thanks
    Sharon
     
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  3. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    First off, your USB 1.1 port will support any USB 2.0 device that a 2.0 port will, the difference being that the USB 2.0 device will operate at the much, much slower data transfer rate of the 1.1 when connected to the 1.1 port. When applied to mass storage devices like a large hard disk, this slowness can be almost painful.

    I don't have any experience with USB hard disks; but, I do have experience with main boards that have BIOS limitations on how large a hard disk it will see. When that limitation is exceeded by the hard disk size, the system cannot see it at all. I know this applies to IDE devices; however, I don't know if this main board BIOS limitation applies to USB hard disks.

    Maybe someone else who knows about that will happen along in a few minutes.
     
  4. greeneye

    greeneye Thread Starter

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    I tried connecting the USB 2.0 drive to my usa v.1 port, but after spending several hours of trying to make it read the hard disk, I could not.

    So I took my laptop and my USB 2.0 drive back to the store tech guy who I purchansed the unit from. He spent 3 hours working on my laptop and could not make my USB v1 port read the drive.

    The drive works find on my desktop which is newer and has serveral USB 2.0 port.

    However, my laptop is only three years old -- which isn't that old to me works fine.

    I know my USB hard drive works fine, my PCMIA USB card works. I think it might be a windows 98 issue that needs to be addressed.


    Sharon
     
  5. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    It is my understanding that everything else is the same between 1.1 and 2.0 except the speed. I could be wrong, though. I'm surprised no one else has jumped in on this one.

    I assume you have a different OS on the desktop; you didn't mention that OS.
     
  6. greeneye

    greeneye Thread Starter

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    my laptop has windows 98 se
    my desktop has XP

    however, my tech friend who is well versed on windows told me that there is a fix for this problem by microsoft (a fix for the fact that my system (laptop with windows 98) is not atomically assigning a letter to the external drive)
    However, I haven't been able to find this fix on the microsoft site.

    Sharon
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Rob
    XP vs 98 might be the issue. If the drive was setup up the XP machine then it is likely formated with NTFS. Windows 98 cannot read NTFS therefore teh drive would not appear. On the XP machine you must wipe out the existing and the create a partition and format it on the Windows 98 Machine. On XP go to Administrative Tools and Disk Management you should be able to delete the partition. When you move it to the Windows 98 Machine you'll need to repartition it and format it. Honestly I don't know if FDISK and FORMAT will work. But I think a lot of drives come with there own software that might be able to format it. You may also be able to download drivers and software for Windows 98 from the manufacturer.
     
  8. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    An alternative would be to format the drive on the XP machine, but specify FAT-32 rather than NTFS.

    Until recently, all XP machines I encountered will allow you to do that; but, I did encounter one just this week that does not offer the FAT-32 alternative.
     
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