Thursday, June 09, 2005

Using External Drives in WinXP via USB2

I have posted a comment on this to an earlier post, but am going to do some linking to resources here.

I have some enclosures for external drives with USB connection. Trying to put in a totally new unpartitioned drive did not seem to work. I had to first install the drive in a box, then Initialize it, Partition it and format it. Is there any way to do from the USB port?
Once the drive was ready I was looking into how to use it. I think I will mount it as a volume instead of with a drive letter. Searching for information on the process of doing this I came upon a couple of command line utilities I had not seen or used before:
DiskPart.exe - for doing disk management
MountVol.exe - to Mount/Unmount volumes

This appealing titled KB article, How to create and use NTFS mounted drives in Windows XP, actually only discusses using the Management Console plugin. So I searched for info on the proper way to use the command line tools.

This site by Rick Lively has a good summary of MS OS commands.
Here are two relevant examples of his manual pages:

I find searching on a command at Technet always brings up Server2003 versions, which can be different. I don't see a Technet analog to the advanced search at MSDN. Maybe I should try MS Support. OK. That gave me at least one good article that is on topic:
A Description of the Diskpart Command-Line Utility
And a couple of others of possible interest, slightly off topic:
How to move the temporary files location for Windows XP CD recording
How to Use the Backup Utility to Back Up Files and Folders in Windows XP Home Edition

PS - This google directory for Windows XP lists some WinXP help sites, but they weren't terribly helpful.


Blogger Allan Wolff said...

I noted some other interesting behavior. I have a somewhat (2 years) old 160G Western Digital drive (5400RPM but only 2meg cache). When I installed it in my newest desktop on the same cable with a new 80G, it brought down the IDE access mode from UDMA-5 to UDMA-2 and the WD only ran as PIO. Boy is it slow that way. So, here is what's especially interesting. I moved it out and connected it to the box via USB2 external case and adaptor. Boy does that seem fast.

2:42 AM  

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