Microsoft KB Archive/101960

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Knowledge Base

Problems During Setup on Systems with Optical Drives

Article ID: 101960

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q101960


You may encounter the following problems with Windows NT if you have an optical drive:

  • Mismatched drive letters. For example, the letters Setup displays during the text mode portion of Setup do not match the drive letters the system assigns to the drive when Windows NT is running.
  • Phantom free spaces or partitions on the optical drive during the partitioning portion of Setup.
  • Incorrect reporting of partitions on the optical drive. (These are usually off by a factor of 2.)
  • Problems formatting optical media, coping files to optical media, and so forth.


These symptoms usually occur when the optical media in the drive is using 1024-byte sectors instead of the 512-byte sectors (as expected). In this case, you should ignore partitions on the optical media and avoid selecting, creating, or deleting them (these operations may not be harmful in some cases, however this has not been fully tested).


Ensure that your hard-disk-type removable media drives contain media before you run Windows NT Setup. Setup treats hard-disk-type removable media drives as ordinary hard disks; that is, an input/output (I/O) error resulting from no media in the drive appears similar to a general I/O error from a hard disk. These errors are usually considered fatal by Windows NT Setup, which prompts the message:

An error occurred reading from or determining the configuration of a hard disk drive attached to your computer. This may indicate a hardware or configuration problem with a disk drive, disk controller, or SCSI adapter.

Check cabling and ensure that all disk controllers and SCSI adapters installed in your computer are correctly configured and terminated.

If you have a SCSI device that is not a hard disk, ensure that it is properly configured. For example, some SCSI adapters scan for hard disks at SCSI IDs 0 and 1. If you have a CD-ROM drive set to SCSI ID 0 or 1, try setting it to a different ID. Consult your SCSI adapter documentation for more details.

Additional query words: prodnt

Keywords: kbhardware kbsetup KB101960