I have two hard drives: 80 GB with Windows XP installed and 20GB. I
took off my 80 GB hard drive and let only 20GB plugged in(I didn't want
to mess with my Windows XP system). I then repartitioned the 20GB hard drive and installed Windows 2003 server on it. Now I have both the drives connected. I have Hard Disk Boot Sprite enabled from the BIOS, this enables me to select the hard drive I want to boot from. Now when I boot from the 20GB hard drive containing Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition, I don't see my drives on 80GB. I was scared. I opened the Disk Management snapin and what I saw was that there are partitions but they are RAW. :eek: :eek: :eek: No FILE SYSTEM, NO DRIVE LETTER, and over the top, it shows 100% free space on the all the partitions of 80 GB drive (Though the first time the drive was connected, I could see the drive names in the drive's properties in device manager. The next time I restarted the computer, even they were gone). This was like hell. I had around 60 GB of my data on this drive. So I booted back using the 80 GB in Windows XP Professional and thank GOD, everything was right here. This surely means that the Windows 2003 server is not able to detect the file systems on the partitions of my 80 GB drive, where as both drive's partitions are accessible normally when using the Windows XP Pro. This has come as a dilema to me and I cannot even think of formatting my 80GB drive. Need everyone's help desparately .......HELLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!!!!! Please see the attached pic (NoDriveLetters.jpg) to see how it appears in the disk management console.

Attachments NoDriveletters.JPG 88.37 KB
11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by MartyMcFly

For a start you have authentication (security) problems accessing root drives from another operating system. Secondly, unless you did the magic, your gonna have conflicting drive letters from the two systems, (two c:\ and two d:\ ?).

It is possible, but the fact that you used Boot Sprite has scuppered your chances in my opinion, (never used it so not sure). If you have both drives online when you rebuild 2003, then it will pick up the other drives, make 2003 drive F:\, and make a space for it in Disk Manager, then you only need to make you second partition on 80gb drive suceptable to any hacker by zeroing your security, and your away. :)

BTW, how could you afford a $1200 approx OS, just to use it on a second PC drive. A server on Ebay can be got for $400 approx.


Did you format all the data partitions on the 80GB drive as NTFS? If so, those partitions use the security of the Windows XP system which is why they appear as RAW to Server 2003. You should always use FAT32 partitions to share data between different installations of Windows (for max compatibility, FAT16 if there will be Operating Systems other than Windows).

I have to agree with MartyMcFly... Installing Server 2003 as a secondary OS? That's very odd.


I have tried this earlier but I don't know what did I miss this time. I think MartyMcFly's idea of having the drives plugged in during the installation should do some good, as I had the 80GB drive unplugged during installation of Windows 2003 server on 20GB.

But I don't understand one thing. If I have a secondary hard drive which has 2 ntfs partitions and 6 FAT32 partitions, how can security affect the FAT32 drives. Also, I had not put any kind of security on any of my drives. Also, does it mean that I cannot add any other hard drive having existing partitions (ntfs and FAT32 both) to any hard drive containing Windows Server 2003??????? This seems to be strange to me.

Even if C: drive can clash, what about the other FAT32 drives???? They are also recognized only as RAW.

I am pursuing MCSE 2003 and hence, I have a Windows 2003 Evaluation Edition. So I could afford to put it on a second hard drive.

Awaiting a really helpful reply..... I will paste the pics of how it appears in winXP and how it appears in win2003 server later today


I am pursuing MCSE 2003 and hence, I have a Windows 2003 Evaluation Edition. So I could afford to put it on a second hard drive.

lol, thought you had nicked it, apologies, and good luck with MCSE.

General basic security, is set on drive permissions with any drive, that you format from an operating system, or associate with an OS. These can be reset of course, from XP, but as I said, if your other OS can see them, anyone can.

You can still have security on a FAT32 drive, it's just considered less effective, for example it's easier to access the SAM from your OS, through 98 dos boot disks, (which can be used to hack your passwords through brute force attack, useful to know if you ever forget you NT server password).

Regards you second question, you can add as many partitions as you have room for, but they still get a basic security set up, which only allows access from the authenticated users of the OS they were ascociated with. Ie. you have to format the drives in one OS, and in doing so you get some security added.

Let us know how you get on, and looking forward to some more fantastic art work, regards, MMF. :lol:


so does it mean that I cannot use the second hard drive containing about 60 GB of my data (80GB hard drive) by connecting it to another computer as well ???? I mean, if I take that hard drive to another friend's place running Windows 2000 or Windows XP or Windows 2003, its partitions would not be detected???? This would be really farrrrrrr to strange to believe.

I generally keep on testing on my computer. That is why I bought a 80 GB hard drive, sothat I move everything off my 20 GB and then use it as a test drive.

I am sure, I am missing something but don't know what!!!!!! Lets see what happens. I have tried this earlier but have never had a problem. :rolleyes:

I think I would have to format the 20GB hard drive again and do some testing work again. will do this weekend then!!!


:cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy: Hey Everyone ...........I got some good news for myself and some new knowledge for everybody else out here.

I RESOLVED my problem.........

You wanna know what the problem and solution was:

goto http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;822653

There was no problem with security, permissions, hardware, cable connections etc. The only problem is that the AutoMount feature of the Mount Manager (MountMgr) program is turned off in the Microsoft Windows Registry. So all you needed to do here was to do the following:

1. Start -> Run -> MountVol /E and hit enter.
2. Go to Disk Management Console
3. Right click any of the partitions which are listed RAW and assign drive letter to it.
4. Repeat Step 3 till you get the drive letters of all the partitions.
5. Right-click on the the partition which was showing as RAW and click Explore.

Vola........there are your drive contents.

In case you want to disable the AutoMount feature, run the command MountVol /N

Anyways, all of your invaluable comments are appreciated.

I still do not understand how can the permission be applied to a FAT32 partition. I have never seen a Security tab in a FAT32 partition's properties. :?: :?:

Attachments Good_news.JPG 108.71 KB

I thought NT4 ran on Fat32, but I am wrong. Your right, and I was horribly wrong. sry :cry:

you got a lot of drives :cool:


Yeah, I got a lot of partitions and I got a lot of back up. That is why I said that it is crucial for me and I cannot even think of partitioning. I got one more question......really techy one.....about volumes....I mean about stripped, spanned, simple, mirror and RAID-5 volumes. I am not sure if I should continue in this thread or put on a new one first???? :confused:


I would start a new in hardware storage, and leave this question open here as well.

I would attempt to help you, but my knowledge of Raid configs is pretty poor, and I've already misdirected you once :/

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