Almost all my drives are encrypted, I have like 5 encrypted partitions (I'm using TrueCrypt). I don't want those to have assigned drive letters: it's useless (they are encrypted !) and dangerous (some soft could try to access them and ruin them - only TrueCrypt should access them when mounting them). Besides, it messes "My Computer".. When I boot on a disk having Windows XP, I can mount them (even though they don't have assigned drive letters). When I boot on the W2k3 disk, I can't ("The device is not ready"). Unless I assign them drive letters (so, they ARE ready, after all !!). Regardless, what I'm seeing under W2k3 is that a volume without an assigned drive letter somehow becomes "not ready". I can't reformat the second partition of the system disk (hosting the system on it's first partition) if I remove it's drive letter ! That doesn't happen under XP ! And it doesn't make sense (how can the disk the system is booting from not be "ready" ?!). I hope that's clear enough.