General Question

bomyne's avatar

Why is C: still the default drive letter in windows?

Asked by bomyne (639points) February 1st, 2012
12 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I was thinking recently and now that floppies are obsolete I’m curious why Windows never assigns A and B to the internal harddrive(s). Why is C: still the default?

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syzygy2600's avatar

I can’t confirm this but my guess would be simply because that’s what most people expect, so that’s what they call it.

sevenfourteen's avatar

Probably for the same reason we’re still using the original format of the keyboard which was designed for typewriters

Blueroses's avatar

It’s familiar and we know it. It’s become a generic term. Bootable drives were the A:floppy and B:floppy. C: was the hard drive.

Might as well ask why we call all tissues Kleenex? :)

bomyne's avatar

We don’t call all tissues Kleenex.

Thanks guys.

ragingloli's avatar

we call them “tempo”

saint's avatar

Because too many people, if they saw the A or B designation, would look for a slot, and not finding it, would bitch that they had been ripped off and sue the manufacturer. Etc.

Charles's avatar

A lot of software and software documentation has been written based on the operating system residing on the C: drive. Changing the default operating system to the A or B drive would make Y2K look like a case of the sniffles.

Neophyte's avatar

As far as I can tell, Microsoft’s main model for software development includes the idea that if a piece of code has ever run on a Windows machine, it will run on all future versions of Windows. They like to stay consistent. I’d imagine that this idea holds true for the hardware interfaces as well.

Nullo's avatar

IIRC the industry is content to leave well enough alone. We gain nothing in renaming the drive, and may actually lose clientèle.

YoBob's avatar

It’s mainly historical. Back in the olden days of floppy drives, most systems were equipped with an “A” drive (generally where your boot disk was placed), a “B” drive (generally a second floppy disk slot for your larger temporary scratch pad storage, and a “C” drive (the larger hard disk where you put your larger files for long term storage).

The “A” and “B” drives have been swept away by time and there has been no real motivation to refer to your primary hard drive as anything other than the “C” drive.

YoBob's avatar

“Microsoft’s main model for software development includes the idea that if a piece of code has ever run on a Windows machine, it will run on all future versions of Windows…”

pardon me while I fall out of my chair laughing! Microsofts whole business model is based on incompatibilities (although often subtle) that will force one to upgrade whether they bloody well want to or not.

bomyne's avatar

I’ll admit, when i was writing this question, i was thinking that either MS’s code is bad or they’re reserving it for something in the future. I never thought along the lines that we’re just too used to C being the windows drive so MS never changed it :P

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