Why did my drive letters disappear when I added them to the Cruise Control configuration?

Or, as some have asked: “Holy sh*t what is this Cruise Control thing doing to my drives!?”

The new FlexRAID Cruise Control interface takes control of your drives in order to automate a lot of things for you. Indeed, FlexRAID dismounts them from their letter, and mounts them as a folder in a protected path. As a result, you won’t see them anymore in the “My Computer” window.

There are many reasons for that.

The first reason is that, once the drive is pooled, you should be accessing it only through the pool. Indeed, accessing the same files from the pool and directly from the drive can create locks and contentions. See here.

Second reason is to prevent your drives to spin up each time an explorer window is opened, just because it displays them in My Computer.

See this article for more reasons as to why folder mounts are more appropriate when used with FlexRAID. This process was recommended with previous versions, it is now automatically done by the Cruise Control mode.

It can be a little daunting at first as it starts to take control over your drives, but fear not. The new interface channel the same data safety with minimal intrusion as before (the only intrusion is controlling the mount point of your drives). Dismounting the letter and mounting the drive as a folder is an easy process that is perfectly reversible, and does not impact a bit of your data.

In particular, when you remove a drive from the pool, its original letter is automatically restored. And when you delete the Cruise Control configuration, all letters are restored as they were before pooling the drives. You can also remount them as letters manually using Windows storage management console.

Note that, if for some reasons you still do not like your drive letters to disappear and want to continue controlling your drives, the Expert mode will let you control it.

This article explains how to mount them as folders, and dismount the letters. You can follow the same steps to re-mount the letters.

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2 Responses to “Why did my drive letters disappear when I added them to the Cruise Control configuration?”

  1. Matt January 11, 2012 at 1:19 AM #

    Hey,
    Thanks for all your awesome work by the way.
    Just had to state something, when you open explorer and your drives are mounted to letters, you say they all wake up? That doesn’t happen for me. I have 6 hdds In way too small of a case, and I rely on the sleep feature to keep things cool. When they do get accessed, I can hear it. I’m even starting to recognize which one makes what noise (sad, I know). It’s mostly media/backups so I rarely need more than the OS hard drive and whatever other harddrive I’m using. I can even access some of the tree before it turns on.
    As for the other advantages of mounting them to a folder, none of them seem to apply since cruise control unmounts them regardless. Even before this feature, I hid them from My Computer using a little registry edit magic, while keeping the letters mounted for emergencies. Once in a while I like to clean up what is on which hard drive in case I bail on storage pooling.

    Question: Can I force the storage pool to be in the hard drive group/section of my computer as opposed to removable disks?

    • xliv January 11, 2012 at 3:06 AM #

      Hi,
      about waking up the drives: windows alone will decide about that. In my case, it happens in most time, just to update the space left…
      About your other question: yes there is a setting under Preferences and Settings -> Run-Time properties -> Advanced properties -> “Removable”, which allows you to configure the pool as a removable or normal drive. It’s set to removable by default, probably to disable windows stuff (such as recycle bin management).

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