Why does Windows install to the C Drive?

From OS/2, to MS-DOS, then to Windows, and yet, C Drive is default

Steve Smith explains how the C Drive became the default installation place for Windows, and many applications.

Episode #6-07 released on October 19, 2015

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The C drive, default install location of all Windows, and many applications, too. We simply accept the C drive as being the place to install Windows, and many of the applications, but what people don't know is, we can install Windows to any drive letter we want, but why C?

First, let's talk about OS/2 and MS-DOS, operating systems that had no modern graphic user interface, and drives had a single partition. This allowed all volumes to be assigned a drive letter based on the type of drive. For example, traditionally, Drive A, and B, are for floppy drives, and if the second floppy drive wasn't present, it was converted to a phantom drive for the first drive. We still had access to these kinds of computers in the mid-1990s.

When computers finally got internal hard drives, the hard drive by default was assigned the C letter for the hard drive, because floppies already occupied A and B. And, this practice was continued through all versions of Windows, to date.

Now, mainboards that no longer support floppy drives, do technically allow people to name their drives to any character they wish, so today, if you wanted to break tradition, you could name your Windows drive, the A Drive, the X Drive, heck, even the D Drive, which I have done by accident in Windows XP a few years ago.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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