Why Do Windows Drive Letters Always Start With C?

Windows Local Drive, Local Drive C, Windows History, Hard Drive, Floppy Disk

You've probably been using the Windows operating system on your desktop for almost a year now. Almost all the functions of Windows are very familiar to all of us. 

But after using Windows for so long, have you ever wondered why as many removable drives connected to your desktop are shown after clicking on This PC in Windows, these drives always start with the letter C. 

Why are Windows drives separated by different drive letters C, D, E, F, whereas Mac and Linux operating systems do not have such drive letters? Let's talk about all these things today!

🠺 C Drive

You may have noticed that Windows drives don't just start with C, but all the external drives you connect to the desktop, such as SSDs, extra hard drives, or pen drives, are automatically assigned to the letters after C.

However, without further ado, let's explain it directly. We usually never connect floppy disks from previous eras to the desktop as external drives. That's why we never see A or B drives in Windows.

What are the Windows A and B drives used for?  

If you connect a floppy disk to your desktop, you will see that the disk is assigned to the letter A or B. If you have an old working floppy disk at home, you can try it!

This is because A and B have been reserved for floppy disk drives since the beginning of Windows. Because at that time only floppy disk was available as external drive. 

Early IBM desktops also supported hard disk drives, but then connecting external hard drives to computers was very expensive. So floppy drives were basically used in computers. And this is why floppy disk as an external drive was the highest priority.

At that time, all the floppy drives you connected to the desktop were assigned to the letters before the hard drive. However, this system is slightly changed in the MS DOS 5 version. Hard drives were becoming more mainstream then, so the letter C was specifically reserved for hard disks. 

No matter how many floppy disks you connect. If you connect hard disks at the same time, the first two floppy disks would always be assigned to drives A and B and then the hard drive to C drive, and all the other floppy disks would be assigned successively after C. 

And this system is still going on and will probably continue to do so in the future.

If you want, you can manually assign any letter to any drive you want in Windows Disk Management. If you want, you can change the letter of your D or E drive to A or B drive, although changing the letter of C drive is not an easy task, but it is possible.

Since Microsoft itself has been automatically assigning drive letters in this way, it has now become the standard convention. And that's why no one bothers with it anymore or wants to change it.

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