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why does windows install to C:\ by default? why not A:\? and why use letters at all? (medium-long, serious) 

CP/M, a very old operating system for very old computers, used drive letters to distinguish between each drive on a computer. the first drive would be drive A, then drive B, and so on. CP/M computers typically had two floppy disk drives (drive A and B). when a CP/M machine was given a hard drive, it would assign it the letter C, so A and B could be claimed by the two floppy disk drives.

microsoft's MS-DOS operating system aimed for some backwards compatibility with CP/M, to make things more convenient to port and to provide users migrating from CP/M with some familiarity. they kept letters A and B reserved for floppy drives, and labelled the first hard drive as drive C.

this behaviour was never changed as MS-DOS became windows. windows still labels the first hard drive as drive C, holding letters A and B aside for when you connect two floppy drives. windows still treats drives A and B differently from the other letters, even if you manually assign a hard drive (or optical drive, or USB stick...) to use it - it's still running some compatibility code to make sure floppy drives work just right. even if what you connect isn't a floppy drive.

why does windows install to C:\ by default? why not A:\? and why use letters at all? (medium-long, serious) 

@lynnesbian I'm betting most of the people reading this have never seen a real floppy drive, nor even a floppy disc.

Then again, even in my youth, there were people stupid enough to literally fold up a 5.25“ floppy to fit into a shirt pocket... And then wonder why they couldn't retrieve the data afterwards.

why does windows install to C:\ by default? why not A:\? and why use letters at all? (medium-long, serious) 

@shivvi
@lynnesbian
Na, I'm 21 and I've used floppys before. Not much, but we had them for sure when I was a kid alongside CDs

why does windows install to C:\ by default? why not A:\? and why use letters at all? (medium-long, serious) 

@CornishRepublicanArmy @lynnesbian Give it another 10 years and most will have never seen a CD/DVD/BD either.

why does windows install to C:\ by default? why not A:\? and why use letters at all? (medium-long, serious) 

@lynnesbian I thiiink Amigas assign the hard drive to C too, but I'd have to double check to confirm

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