Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

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Re: [SLE] [OT] Microsoft maldesign and drive letters
  • From: Paul Abrahams <abrahams@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 10:32:50 -0400
  • Message-id: <3AF95512.F1ED63D7@xxxxxxx>
peter hollings wrote:

> Paul --
> Good points. But unless I'm mistaken, the plot gets deeper. Suppose you've
> just added a new HD (as I have) because you've run out of space. Further, I
> wanted to re-allocate my files for performance and other reasons: a WinOS
> partition, swap partition, programs partition and a user files partition
> (all in addition to my SuSE partitions). This seems to leave me with a huge
> problem with my Windoze registry: everything in the registry will point to
> C: and there's no way I have yet figured out how to move my files around and
> simultaneously update the registry other than reinstalling everything!!

This is really OT, we know, but ironically enough, the SuSE list seems to be
one of the best places around for irreverent but useful Windows advice.

I've observed that for some programs, but not MSWord in particular, if you move
them, Windows makes an attempt to update its shortcuts and registry to point to
the new location. So before the Grand Upheaval, you might try moving one
program you *can* reinstall to a different drive and see what happens to it,
just as an experiment. My guess is that you'll never be able to move Office,
though; I think that its ownership verification tests will prevent that.

> I
> understand PartitionMagic has a feature called MagicMover, but as far as I
> can tell it only moves whole partitions (and not files within a partition)
> while updating the registry.

It can do drive letter switches without actually moving anything, but it can't
treat different parts of the content of a partition differently.

> Of course, with Linux this problem seems to be
> easily resolved by simply copying files to their new partitions and
> reassigning the partitions/mount points.

Of course, indeed!

The drive letter fiasco goes back to early DOS days when machines (fancy ones
at that!) had two floppy drives, A: and B:. To be fair, though, Unix has its
own bits of useless history: the choice of 8 as the default tab spacing because
that was handy for some long-bygone DEC assembly language. Totally
inappropriate for C, C++, or Java, of course. For other stone-age features,
look at the man page for stty. Or contemplate the terms "console" and "core


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