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Considering changing drive letters


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Hi,

after many years of using DrivePool and Scanners, I just noticed a mistake on my behalf about drive lettering. 

On my win10 pc, I have 10 physical drives, including 2 pools of 4 hdd each.

Pool D (movies) is 4 drives, lettered W,X,Y and Z

Pool E (TV shows) is also 4 drives, lettered S,T,U and V

If possible without hosing the system, I'd like to swap letters of one pool to another and vice versa.

The expected end result would be:

Pool D (movies) is 4 drives, lettered S,T,U and V

Pool E (TV shows) is also 4 drives, lettered W,X,Y and Z.

Is there a preferred way to achieve  this without DrivePool or me going crazy. :P

 

 

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You can use the Disk Management panel in Windows to add/change/remove the letters of your drives.

Because you're swapping the letters, you may need to restart your PC between operations (e.g. remove letters, restart, add letters); so first take note of the physical disk numbers for each pool drive (normally displayed in the lower half of the panel) so you add the correct letter to the correct drive afterwards.

(obviously, do NOT mess with the drive letter of your operating system drive)

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4 hours ago, Shane said:

You can use the Disk Management panel in Windows to add/change/remove the letters of your drives.

Because you're swapping the letters, you may need to restart your PC between operations (e.g. remove letters, restart, add letters); so first take note of the physical disk numbers for each pool drive (normally displayed in the lower half of the panel) so you add the correct letter to the correct drive afterwards.

(obviously, do NOT mess with the drive letter of your operating system drive)

Thank you, I will note drive letter, number, name and s/n before doing anything.

But do I reassign letters while DP is running, or should I stop the service?

 

And once the windows disks management part is all done, its unclear to me what should I expect to see when I start back DP ?

Will it list drives in both pools as "missing", or else will it display the movies drives in the tv shows pool and vice versa?

 

 

Edited by docjl61
typo
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FWIW, I just removed all drive letters from my DrivePool HDDs. DrivePool does not need a drive letter to recognize a HDD in the pool. It uses the hidden PoolPart directory.

Removing drive letters on the HDDs makes a less cluttered display in Windows 10 File Explorer as it will only show HDDs with drive letters. That works great for me as I currently have 16 HDDs in my DrivePool. Those HDDs are dedicated to DrivePool and nothing else. So I don't need any drive letters assigned to them.

Of course, when you remove the drive letters, Windows 10 File Explorer can longer "see" the drive normally. You would have to go back into Disk Management and reassign a drive letter.

I track all my pool HDDs by name, such as DP01, DP02, DP03, etc.... which also corresponds to the physical location on my rack. I also put the drive name sticker on the physical drive/case for easy identification. The HDDs in my pool do not have drive letters assigned to them, as I stated. The DrivePool UI lists the names all in alphabetic order, which is very nice. However, if for some reason I want to reassign a drive letter to a particular drive, I just use Disk Management and look up the HDD by name. That is much easier then trying to track all the S/N of the HDDs.

I am not using Scanner, so I am not sure if that program requires drive letters to work. Is there some reason you need/want to keep any drive letters assigned to your pool HDDs? I found DrivePool was easier to work with when I removed all those drive letters from my pool HDDs. Just my thoughts to your initial question on how to not drive yourself crazy with numerous drives in DrivePool.

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10 minutes ago, gtaus said:

FWIW, I just removed all drive letters from my DrivePool HDDs. DrivePool does not need a drive letter to recognize a HDD in the pool. It uses the hidden PoolPart directory.

 

This sounds like good news to me :)

I think when I started using drivepool, individual drives were "letter-less" (file explorer would only show pool drives, and non-pooled OS drive also, obviously)..

For a specific reason I fail to remember (lets call it old habits), I switched to lettering and never looked back once.

Thanks !

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4 minutes ago, docjl61 said:

For a specific reason I fail to remember (lets call it old habits), I switched to lettering and never looked back once.

Yeah, old habits... When I removed the drive letters and just used drive names, life with DrivePool became easier with my 16 HDDs. It works better for me.

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24 minutes ago, gtaus said:

Yeah, old habits... When I removed the drive letters and just used drive names, life with DrivePool became easier with my 16 HDDs. It works better for me.

I just removed the letters on all 8 pool drives and nothing exploded!

Same for SB scanner, business as usual (except for now blank drive letters

 

You now have me interested in leaving them unlettered, but there must be a scenario/usage case where lettered pool drives are desirable.

EDIT:

Should a need arise, I could always revert to letters, but I'll leave them out for now and see how it goes.

Thanks @gtaus

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3 minutes ago, docjl61 said:

You now have me interested in leaving them unlettered, but there must be a scenario/usage case where lettered pool drives are desirable.

Well, there may be some scenario where drive letters are required. But with 16 HDDs in my pool, I am more than happy to assign names to the HDDs and not have to bother with drive letters. In theory, DrivePool is able to pool many more than 26 HDDs, so you would reach a point where you would run out of drive letters anyway.

If you need to assign a drive letter to a DrivePool HDD that has a name only, you can easily do that in Disk Management and it will not affect DrivePool at all. Again, DrivePool does not read the drive letter at all. It only uses the hidden PoolPart directory for identification.

As mentioned, you may have to restart your computer if you decide to reassign drive letters to your DrivePool HDDs, not for DrivePool itself, but sometimes other Windows program will not recognize the newly named drive without a restart. IIRC, Disk Management will warn you about that when you change/add/remove a drive letter.

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:51 AM, gtaus said:

Yeah, old habits... When I removed the drive letters and just used drive names, life with DrivePool became easier with my 16 HDDs. It works better for me.

Just a little follow up after some months going "letterless"

It is MUCH simpler this way, so thank you again for this suggestion.

 

A little side effect was looking at those letterless drives in Scanner becomes less than ideal, as Scanner does not offer column option for actual drive name. (see my M1 M2 M3 M4 T1 example on OP). SB Scanner does have a Name column but it default to WD/Seagate model name (useless), instead of the name I gave the drive.

I had to edit out default name to actual name + s/n, a bit of a drag x20 drives , but a one shot done deal.

That being said, I dont regret it for sure

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8 hours ago, docjl61 said:

A little side effect was looking at those letterless drives in Scanner becomes less than ideal, as Scanner does not offer column option for actual drive name.

Interesting. I use Hard Disk Sentinel, and it displays the Drive Name on the status window. That is good, but it still orders the list by Disk Number as they attach to Windows on boot. I would prefer that the drives were listed by Drive Name, as I have it listed in DrivePool, but so far I have not figured out how to make Hard Disk Sentinel order the drives by name. It's not a big deal, as I only really check Hard Disk Sentinel only if I get an alert. I might check the status of the drives in DrivePool multiple times per day, and there the drives are order by Drive Name. But, yes, using Drive Names is a much better option for organizing pool drives, IMHO.

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12 hours ago, gtaus said:

Interesting. I use Hard Disk Sentinel, and it displays the Drive Name on the status window. That is good, but it still orders the list by Disk Number as they attach to Windows on boot. I would prefer that the drives were listed by Drive Name, as I have it listed in DrivePool, but so far I have not figured out how to make Hard Disk Sentinel order the drives by name. It's not a big deal, as I only really check Hard Disk Sentinel only if I get an alert. I might check the status of the drives in DrivePool multiple times per day, and there the drives are order by Drive Name. But, yes, using Drive Names is a much better option for organizing pool drives, IMHO.

Here's how it now looks, as I put actual drive name in front of s/n, they are sorted as such; I can sort by any other category should I wish to (temp, for instance) 

image.thumb.png.8bf86100ab5e534a303d8f27287663ce.png

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1 hour ago, docjl61 said:

as I put actual drive name in front of s/n, they are sorted as such; I can sort by any other category should I wish to (temp, for instance) 

 

Nicely done. Looks like Stablebit Scanner has more sorting options than Hard Disk Sentinel.

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9 minutes ago, gtaus said:

Nicely done. Looks like Stablebit Scanner has more sorting options than Hard Disk Sentinel.

If a small thing could be improved about this, I would have expected to see drive name preset options (manufacturers name/user created name/serial)or even a combo of those, like I did.

It just defaults to Mfgr model name of the drive (which is useless IMO), with option to manually edit; that did the job eventually, but required more time/effort than should have been necessary.

 

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On 3/20/2021 at 11:12 AM, docjl61 said:

It just defaults to Mfgr model name of the drive (which is useless IMO), with option to manually edit; that did the job eventually, but required more time/effort than should have been necessary.

Total agreement. When I upgrade my HDDs, I often buy 2 or 3 of the same models on sale at the same time. Mfgr model name is almost useless to me, and trying to find a HDD by serial number is insane. IF these programs would allow the option to identify and list the HDD by Drive Name, I could quickly pull that HDD and then verify the S/N of the drive. Yes, I understand why these programs use the unique S/N of the drive as the ultimate identifier, but they would be more people friendly if we could list the HDDs by Drive Name.

Again, my Hard Disk Sentinel orders the drives by Disk Number, which can change on every reboot of the computer. I sent off a support request about this issue to see if there is any way HDS can order and list the drives by Drive Name. That would be my preferred option, but if not yet possible, it's not the end of the world. I hope they would consider my request for a future update.

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