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Hard disk…why C?

Friday, April 21st, 2006 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Just out of curiosity, why is the hard disk drive automatically set as the C: drive?

That’s a very good question and I’m sure many others have probably wondered the same thing! For anyone who is using an IBM compatible computer (that is based on such factors as the CPU and DOS system) and uses a Microsoft operating system (all versions of Windows), your default hard disk drive letter is C.

The reason for that is the letter C is the first available drive letter for all of the hard disk drives. The letters A and B are assigned to other media drives. For example, the A: was for 3.5″ floppy drives, and B: was the old 5 1/4″ drives (if you can remember those)

When you install other hard disk drives on your computer or make any new partitions, they are assigned a drive letter. If you have a CD ROM or a DVD drive, they are usually assigned the letter D and then so forth to E, F, etc.

Most computers today come with a hard disk drive, of course, and a CD ROM/DVD drive. Several people also get external floppy drives and many use some sort of flash or thumb drive. All of those devices are assigned a letter after C, mainly because of the removable status they hold.

The hard disk drive is pretty much the main drive on any computer, so by default, it comes first in the assignment of drive letters. I hope that helps answer your question!

~ Erin

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