Thank you Windows

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The "Merging Cellar" is the place where you can share your tasting experiences and discuss everything from technique, artistic matters or even business practices, but not necessarily about Pyramix. Feel free to pick the brains of the talented Merging forum users. Enjoy.
Perfect Record
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Thank you Windows

Postby Perfect Record » Tue Apr 05, 2011 07:04

Tonight I had a silly and annoying problem. Late this afternoon I started formatting a drive for an upcoming project. It was taking forever, and I had to leave, but there was a producer coming in to edit later tonight. I had an open eSATA port, so I hooked up the drive for the evening edit and walked out the door, confident that the producer would be ready to go when he showed up.

Later tonight I got a call from the producer saying that Pyramix couldn't mount any of the sound files that he had been working with on Friday, and that he was giving up on editing tonight.

When I got in to the studio, I found that Windows had kindly changed the drive letter for the drive the producer needed- no warning prompt, it just changed it. It didn't dawn on me that this would occur. Other than this afternoon, these drives would never be on the machine at the same time.

I'm no expert, and certainly no fan of Windows, but that seems like very user un-friendly behavior. I can understand that the OS might have a problem with 2 drives with the same letter (completely different names though), but no user prompt seems like trouble waiting to happen.

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fl
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby fl » Tue Apr 05, 2011 17:47

When juggling lots of drives on a Windows system, I too have encountered this issue. Unlike the Mac OS, which identifies individual drives by name, Windows will assign a free drive letter for each drive/partition when it's mounted. If something has grabbed the letter that drive used previously, Windows will go right ahead and assign a new one. What probably happened is that the drive you were formatting snagged the drive letter that had been used for your producer's project in the past, so that when the Pyramix Session drive got mounted, it had a different letter.

There is a way to associate a particular partition with a particular letter in the Properties (however the letter you want has to be free), and this is what I have done with all my drives. Once this is done, every time I mount a drive it uses its correct letter(s), rather than the first available free one.

On the other hand, had your Producer had a look at "My Computer" in the "Open" window in Pyramix, he might have been able to locate his project drive and opened the project. I've found that Pyramix is pretty good at figuring out what's happened when a project shows up on a different drive than what it's expecting. Of course, if you have sound files and libraries scattered all over different drives and servers, things can get a little more complicated.
Frank Lockwood, Toronto, ON, Canada
http://LockwoodARS.com
• Pyramix Native 11.1.6
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Perfect Record
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby Perfect Record » Tue Apr 05, 2011 18:19

Frank,

I see exactly why Windows changed the drive letter. I just think that it's really bad design from a user standpoint, that the OS does that.

When I got back to the studio, it took me 10 seconds to figure out what happened. I've learned that Windows does this without warning and I won't be likely to make that mistake again, but for a user that is not very computer savvy, this could be a real problem.

The producer that was planning to edit last night is a brilliant producer and editor, but he's the kind of user that could really be thrown by this kind of issue.

There's a lot if industries that shuffle a lot of drives. I'd hate to be the guy that made this kind of mistake and walked away from an unattended web server site, or a radio music server or a TV playout system, or a company database server, or......

And before I put this rant to bed, from what I observed, If I walked into a facility and handed you a disk from my shop to mount on your machine, and there was a drive letter conflict, Windows would change the drive letter before I had an opportunity to open the drive to see that there was a potential problem. Just seems like a recipe for un-necessary head scratching when an error prompt would be a far better answer.

I just wanted to mention this so that others would be aware of the issue. There must be 40 swappable drives in my studio. I'm amazed that it took me this long to get bitten by this one.

Rant over.

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fl
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby fl » Tue Apr 05, 2011 18:48

Oh, no argument about anything you've said - it's dumb. Windows dumb. I could really use another alphabet or two for drive designations...
Frank Lockwood, Toronto, ON, Canada
http://LockwoodARS.com
• Pyramix Native 11.1.6
• Mac Mini 6.2 (Quadcore i7) - Bootcamp 5.1.5621 - Win7 Pro SP1 64
• HP 7100 Mini-tower - Win10 Pro 64 1809
• RME Fireface 800 ASIO driver 3.125 or ASIO4All 2.13

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Graemme
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby Graemme » Wed Apr 06, 2011 09:39

Graemme Brown
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"A Horus, A Horus; My Kingdom for a Horus!"

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mpdonahue
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby mpdonahue » Fri Apr 15, 2011 00:31

To be honest, I cant imagine how you haven't seen this issue before now.
The secret is to manually assign the drive a letter from the end of the alphabet. Then you'll only have a problem if you have 2 Z:\ drives mounted.
If you have network drives, you'll notice that Windows automatically assigns the highest unassigned letter when you map a network drive.

All the best,
-mark
*********************
Mark Donahue
Soundmirror, Inc.
Boston, MA
mark@soundmirror.com
www.soundmirror.com
*********************

Perfect Record
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby Perfect Record » Fri Apr 15, 2011 05:49

mpdonahue wrote:To be honest, I cant imagine how you haven't seen this issue before now...

-mark

Thanks Mark, good tip.

Reason I haven't seen this problem before is that all small to medium size projects run from internal drives. Bigger projects run on a client specific external drives that get swapped out day by day. Just got caught short on this because I was trying to format a drive for the next client and set up for another. All a learning adventure.

David Jacques
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Re: Thank you Windows

Postby David Jacques » Fri Apr 15, 2011 09:41

Hi Guys,

You might also mount your drives as NTFS folders, to avoid confusions with drive letters assignment :

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307889

That's not as pretty as MacOs, but that can do the trick.
Same applies to XP, Vista and Win7. Note that you have to be logged as Administrator or be part of the Administrator Group to do this.