Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

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Re: [SLE] [OT] Microsoft maldesign and drive letters
  • From: smaug42 <c.cornell@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 06 May 2001 16:45:52 +0200
  • Message-id: <3AF563A0.B94BC355@xxxxxxxxx>
Partition Magic tries to get around this by searching your drives etc.
and correcting the references... it works some of the time - enough that
I used it every time I changed drives around.


Paul Abrahams wrote:
> I've just been sweating through a common problem that
> exemplifies Microsoft's penchant for bad design: keeping
> drive letters straight when adding a hard drive or
> reconfiguring partitions. The problem, as most folks here
> probably know, is that if you add a hard drive or a disk
> partition to your system, drive letters change in a way that
> you cannot control or modify. That naturally messes up all
> references to files on the drives whose letters have
> changed.
> And needless to say, Unix (ergo Linux) has a perfectly
> straightforward solution to the problem: all devices hang
> off the root filesystem via mounts. You rejigger a drive,
> you change /etc/fstab and that's the end of it.
> Of course, Windows is stuck with the problem of backward
> compatibility. Yet ironically enough, at one time DOS
> (yes, DOS!) supported a workaround with the SUBST command
> that enabled you to redefine one drive letter into
> another. With SUBST you could work entirely with virtual
> drive letters and never have to reference the real ones.
> SUBST went out with the transition to Win 3.1, I believe; I
> haven't seen it for years.
> The real maldesign, though, is that there is a simple way
> that MS could have its cake of backward compatibility and
> still provide flexibility in adding hard drives: provide a
> "reverse SUBST" that would associate a directory with a
> drive. In other words, something like C:\AUX_DRIVE would
> be associated with, say, the G: drive. That would make
> C:\ equivalent to the Linux root, and all file references
> would then be to locations on the C drive.
> Why not?
> Paul

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