Drive Letter not Showing Up
I am happy to see that you are not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Before I get to your specific problem, let me just throw out a quick word of caution about upgrading or adding components to some retail computers. Many retail computers, especially low and mid level machines, have a tendency to be build with power supplies that just barely have enough power to run themselves and are usually not really designed with upgrading in mind. If you start adding internal components such as additional Hard Drives, video cards or expansion cards, you can stress the power supply causing premature failure. You may also experience problems getting the new devices to function properly or other strange problems may arise. I would recommend maybe removing anything that you are not using such as a dialup modem, just to help ease the power consumption. If you plan to upgrade, always evaluate your power supply needs. If you decide to upgrade the power supply, always go larger than you need. Note: Making changes may also void your warranty.
With that out of the way, let me get to your problem of your second hard drive not always getting assigned a drive letter. You did not mention if you are working both PATA or SATA hard drives (PATA are the older type of drives with the 2 wide ribbon cables). I believe your emachines T6216 came with a SATA drive. In any case, if your 5 year old drive was a PATA drive, double check how you have the jumpers set? It is usually easiest to keep them all set to CS (cable select) and let their location on the cable dictate the drive order. If you happen to be adding the 2nd hard drive to a cable that is already being used by another drive, you will need to check the jumpers on both drives to make sure you either have them both set to CS or one set to master and the other to slave.
Based on what you have told us and that the spec sheet for this computer shows that it has memory card slots built in, my guess is that you have everything physically connected properly and it is just a matter of a drive letter assignment issue. Anytime you have multiple drives installed as well as memory card readers built-in to either the computer or a printer, you have the potential for drive letter conflict. I would suggest manually changing the drive letter assignment for your second internal drive as well as your USB external drive to a drive letters that are well out of the normal range of A thru F. Use something like Q or S for these drives to make sure they will never conflict with anything else in you system.
Change the drive letter assignment in Windows XP:
1. Click on START > CONTROL PANEL and select Switch to ClassicView on the left hand menu.
2. While in Classic View, select ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS > COMPUTER MANAGEMENT and select DISK MANAGEMENT under the Storage Group.
3. You will now see a split window with all your drives listed. In the bottom window, scroll down until you see the drive that you want to change and right click the right hand box and select Change Drive Letter and Paths.
4. Now click on CHANGE and you will be provided with a list of available drive letters. Select the letter that you want.
NOTE: Avoid changing drive letter for any drive that you have installed any programs to or have reference. For example: If you have installed a game from your DVD drive on Drive D: and the game requires that you have the DVD in the computer to play. If you changed the DVD drive letter the program will no longer be able to find the disk. You would have to reinstall the game. An other example is if you have your current backup program set to backup data to your E: drive and you now reassign that drive to Q: you will have to go back into the program and change the backup location from E: to Q:.
Warning: You mentioned that you were using this 5 year old drive as a backup drive. Please keep in mind that the typical life span of a hard drive is about 5 years. Yes, it could last 10 years or it could fail tomorrow, so please do no make this your only backup, especially if the data is extremely important.
Was this reply helpful? (0) (0)