Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've noticed that the drive order (when viewing through computer management) on my Windows 7 box is not consistent between reboots. More often than not, the drive order is maintained across a reboot, but every once in a while, the SATA drives (I have 6 installed) are shuffled on a reboot.

By drive order, I mean this. Let's say I have 6 physical SATA drives, a-f. If I boot up once, a-f maps to 0-5 in disk management. Then on another reboot, a-f maps to 1 3 0 2 5 4, etc.

I am not sure if this is a Win7 or motherboard issue. Looking for advice from the experts on how to keep this from happening. When the physical hard drive ordering is hard-coded to RAID configurations in VMWare Workstation, shuffling the order of drives across reboot can be a serious issue.

I'm also trying to solve this problem by having VMWare Workstation not hard-code drive numbers, and use the UUID of the drive instead. But that's a separate question: How to use UUID for Physical Drives When Bypassing Host: VMWare Workstation on Win7

share|improve this question
Are the drives all pluged into the intel south bridge socket (red ones) or are some of them connected to the silicon image chip? –  billc.cn Feb 11 '12 at 8:58
@billc.cn All 6 are plugged into the ICH10R Southbridge. One is a CDROM drive; the other 5 are HDDs. –  Clayton Stanley Feb 11 '12 at 16:47
That's quite weird. Windows should enumerate the drives in a fixed order. What I can think of is that some of your drives may have firmware problem or some bad blocks that prevents them from reporting to the OS's query in time. It is also possible that a particular output of your PSU is under-powered and cause some drives to take longer to spin-up. –  billc.cn Feb 11 '12 at 19:46
I would think that if Windows enumerates the drives in a fixed order, then the OS would not depend on a time-to-report race condition to order the drives. –  Clayton Stanley Feb 11 '12 at 19:54
I think the enumeration is always handled asynchronously. –  billc.cn Feb 11 '12 at 20:03
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.