Help with drive letters and numbers in Windows


New Member
I'm having a bit of trouble with drive letters and numbers and was wondering if someone could help out. First of all, what I'm trying to do is setup dual boot Vista on 2 separate PATA hard drives. I'm doing this so the "parents" can have their own Vista and the "kids" can have their own w/o messing up the "parents" OS from all their surfing activities.

Each drive is on its own IDE channel:

parents: ide channel 1
kids: ide channel 2

In addition, each drive is split into 2 partitions: OS & Data

And named appropriately: Parent's OS & Parent's Data
And: Kid's OS & Kid's Data

From what I understand, is this how Windows sees the drive numbers?

IDE CHANNEL 1 (Parent's OS): 0 = drive number :: 1 = partition number
IDE CHANNEL 1 (Parent's Data): 0 = drive number :: 2 = partition number

IDE CHANNEL 2 (Kid's OS): 1 = drive number :: 1 = partition number
IDE CHANNEL 2 (Kid's Data): 1 = drive number :: 2 = partition number

My intent is to hide the ENTIRE Parent's drive when booting into Kid's OS. So, this is the code I came up with and conversely, unhide it when booting into the Parent's OS:

# NeoSmart NeoGrub Bootloader Configuration File
# This is the NeoGrub configuration file, and should be located at C:\NST\menu.lst
# Please see the EasyBCD Documentation for information on how to create/modify entries:
# [URL][/URL]
default 0
timeout 30
title Kid's Windows Vista Home Premium
# Optionally repeat the above entry for all the Vista drives
chainloader (hd1,1)/ntldr # BOOT KID'S SYSTEM PARTITION
# Optional section
#  If you include this section, you will see a second bootloader menu!
title Parent's Windows Vista Home Premium
# Optionally repeat the above entry for all the Vista drives
chainloader (hd0,1)/ntldr # BOOT PARENT'S SYSTEM PARTITION
What am I doing wrong? I am getting an Error 17: File not found which I searched and found out that it means I'm pointing to the wrong volumes.

If anyone with a firm grasp on how this works would like to share your knowledge, it would be greatly appreciated! :smile:
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Super Moderator
Staff member
Well you can go through the geekish methods or if you want to get simple you could just remove the letter mappings in disk management on the kids OS. It shouldn't map the partitions on reboots.

The disk sequence looks correct, but it is not unusual as well for the system to see the drives differently regardless of thier physical setup depending on how an OS is booted and which one is used. Try booting each Vista and referring to disk management to see if the drives are listed in different orders from each OS. If so, change the hard disk numbers in neogrubs config file and see if that helps.
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New Member
Hi, thanks for the quick reply so late in the night. I tried using the simple method where you remove the drive letter in disk manager but that won't work on system or boot volumes which the parent OS is.

But, I'll try your suggestion and see if it works. Thanks!

EDIT: Both the parent's and kid's OS's assign the parent's and kid's drives numbers in the same fashion.

You know what's interesting though? I also tried setting the permissions for the default/admin kid's OS user so that it could not read/write to the parent's OS volume, but when you boot into the parent's volume, the default user for the parent's volume couldn't read the parent's volume either...even though the default user for the parent OS is a completely different name.

Any other ideas?
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Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Your problem is that you've copied the stuff from the "hiding Vista from XP" advice, which ends by booting XP (thats the NTLDR chain.)
You don't want to call NTLDR, you're not booting XP.
See my first ever post here and follow the links.
You need to be booting via the Vista bootmgr, not NTLDR.