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Since this is something I've had to look up twice so far, I thought I'd blog it as much for myself as for anyone else that might be interested :)

I have multiple logical drives defined on my system(s) using the DOS command Subst in a batch file that runs at startup. I just think better when I have drive X: instead of having to always point my editor or explorer window out to e:\dave\code\silverlight\Beta01\latest.

The problem arose again last night when I inserted a new 1G USB drive and it claimed Drive G:, because G: is already assigned to something. The only way to make the USB drive usable is to "subst g: /d" from a command line, and then subst it back when I'm done. And of course I'll forget, and then try to use something on Drive G:, and have to have a talk with myself about why it's not working!

The solution is to map the USB drive to somewhere else and here's how that's done:

Open an explorer window, and right-click "My Computer", then select "Manage"

On the left-hand side, you'll find "Storage" and under that will be, among other things, "Disk Management" ... select that.

This will show your drives and partitions. This looked very familiar to me, but I can't remember the reason I had to be out there before, maybe next time I'll remember how to get there quicker!

In the upper part of the right-hand display, right-click the USB drive you have installed, then select "Change Drive Letter and Paths..."

On the dialog that comes up, select "Change..." then select your drive letter of choice from the combo box and press OK.

You'll get a warning message, but that's just in case you are changing the drive letter of a disk that you have software installed to, so press "Yes" on that dialog. You are back to the Disk Management dialog now, and your newly selected drive letter is showing for your USB drive. Close this dialog, and you're done.

If you now uninstall the USB drive, and then reinstall it, it will come back up as the same drive letter as you assigned. As I was typing this, I reassigned two USB drives, one as drive O: and one as drive Q:, and both come alive at their designated drive letters, which are the same as the drive letters I have assigned them as at home, so life is now back in balance :)

Posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 11:26 AM Productivity , General Technical | Back to top


Comments on this post: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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A handy tip, but one that we shouldn't need to know about. The way in which local drives (such as USB sticks) install themselves on top of an existing logical or network drive is a blatant bug. Why have Microsoft never bothered to fix this bug?
Left by David Arno on Jul 16, 2007 11:53 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks. My external hard disk wasn't showing up on a new work computer as they were trying to use the same drive letter. This was what I needed.

Left by Bill on Jul 20, 2007 12:43 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Excellent tip! You just saved me a lot of trouble. I was about to return a USB card reader device because it was assigning drive letters over some of my network drives (I thought it wasn't reading it at all). Thanks again bro!
Left by Emad on Jul 20, 2007 10:55 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I have a backup program that backs up at night to removeable USB Drive. The scheduled backup goes to G: drive (USB Drive).
However, if I swap drives....disconnect and connect a diff. drive, the new drive becomes something else..H:.
This kills my scheduled backup which is looking for G:.
Tried the "change drive letter", set both to G: but MS still assigns the second drive as H:. Subst command won't work here, tried all day. Wonder if there is a way to permanently fix a drive letter for a USB drive.
Ramon
Left by Ramon on Aug 30, 2007 1:31 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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When i plug in my ipod or usb it doesnt show up in my computer. i have assigned a different letter path to my USB and ipod however, it doesn't show up in My Computer and whenever i remove it and plug it back it, it resets itself and i have to re-assign the letter drive. Can you help?
Left by will on Sep 01, 2007 12:01 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Will...

This is the same symptom I have, for instance, with my camera. I believe it's the same problem I've had in the past with USB drives, but after having set the drive letters for them as I said in the blog message, I see them consistently with the same drive letters on both machines ... I had to set the drive letters on both machines, but once that was done... it just works.

Over the weekend, I plugged my camera in, and it didn't show up anywhere obvious. I took a guess that it was wanting to come in as G: because my external drive is F:. So I did a Subst G: /d to get rid of the substituted drive G, and sure enough, now I had my camera as Drive G.

If you have any subst drives, you may need to play with it to figure out where they're coming in. Once you have connectivity to it, you should be able to assign a letter as I explained.

-Dave
Left by Dave on Sep 04, 2007 1:15 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Ramon...

I'm doing backups to an external USB drive as well, although it's not one I remove.

The problem with trying to change the second drive to be the same drive letter is one I finally had to give up on as well. The OS must attch the drive letter to some signature on the USB drive and won't allow you to do two of them the same, unfortunately.

I don't know of a 'hard' fix for what you're trying to do. In that situation, I think I'd probably run a batch file to do a subst to either G: or H: and then have my backup go to the substituted letter. If you can't do Subst I: G:\ , you should be able to Subst I: G:\Backup. That way your backup software would always go to I:, but the reality is it's hitting one of two USB drives depending upon which you've got inserted.

Unfortunately, that means when you switch them, you have to remember to run the correct batch file, or at least run a batch file of some sort.

-Dave
Left by Dave on Sep 04, 2007 1:22 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks much - this was driving me crazy for the past few minutes. I just bought a 4gig flash drive and it just kept mapping itself to a drive letter used by one of me network mappings.

Wil G.

Left by Wilgeno on Sep 10, 2007 11:46 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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thanks, that's excellent. just what i needed - my parents were bugging me about a hard drive i put on, saying it kept interfering with their flashdrives & they didnt know which were which. i found this, thought it was excellent, and now think i can solve a couple of problems on my own pc.
by the way, the ipod thing - in itunes, you need to tick the box saying 'enable disk use' to see it as a drive. whether this helps the person i dont know, but it may help someone.
ciao, simeon
Left by simeon on Sep 12, 2007 12:47 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thank you so much for the trick!
I have been frustated with my WDC My Book just because it detected on "Safely Removed Hardware" but no letter was assign to it.

Thank you very much :D
Left by Effendey Qiu on Sep 15, 2007 11:29 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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The option to change/assign a drive letter is not available for my external hard drive. The drive appears in the disk management window, but is inaccesible. Why would this be? I'm running Vista
Left by Dave on Sep 15, 2007 1:18 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks! This was excellent.
I have an external USB hard-drive which i turn off with my computer every night and its usually the first thing i turn on in the morning. But this morning i put in a flash drive first and it "stole" the drive path G: so when i turned on the hard-drive that came under H:, therefore none of my music files and shortcuts would work. This solved all my problems and helped me learn something knew.
Thanks again.
Left by Adam Smith on Sep 25, 2007 11:10 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks for the instructions.....Helped me !!!
Left by Angela on Oct 26, 2007 6:09 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Awesome. Thank you soooo much....saved me a tone of time.
Left by Aman on Dec 20, 2007 6:27 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I have a problem with a Western Digital My Book external hardisk and I think someone here maybe can help.

The My Book uses USB2 and has worked fine on my computer until I changed some hardware, which caused some drive letter reconfigurations. Now the problem is I cannot get the My Book to be accepted by Windows. It asks for a driver and nothing I offer is accepted. After playing with some more hardware changes, yesterday the My Book was indeed recognized and I could see it in the explorer, with a new drive letter (I added a device which pushed things down).

I thought my problem solved. But today, the same occurs. The My Book cannot connect. The hardware configuration and drive letters are the same for the other hardware.

I believe that Windows is somehow looking for something using the wrong drive letter when the My Book connects to the USB port. But I cannot change the My Book drive, that is fix it to something, because it does not connect!

Can someone help? Maybe this subst command can be used to somehow force Windows to look in a correct location?

Thanks for any help!

Steve, Denmark
Left by coolsti on Dec 24, 2007 6:22 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks!

I *knew* this. I figured this out myself when I got bit maybe a year or so ago. And, of course, now that I need it again, it slipped my memory... I was even in the disk/storage manager, looking around and I didn't "re-figure" it out...

And I agree with David Arno... it Microsoft should address this. And in XP, too... Sigh...

Don
Left by Don Lind on Jan 10, 2008 12:18 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thank you so much.. I have all my songs saved in an external drive, but itunes was having problem finding it because the drive letter was different from when I first imported it. iTunes is now able to find my songs and I dont need to re-import all the songs again =)
Left by Ruby on Jan 14, 2008 9:34 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Is it possible to fix the drive letters used by USB memory in a 7 port USB hub? I'd like to allocate eg M to S for the 7 ports .

The application is multiple copying of files to many USB memory sticks.
Left by Peter on Jan 21, 2008 7:14 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Great Information. Saved me a ton of time and resolved an ongoing issue we had at several sites that were recently upgraded to new hardware. Since the USB Drive was showing as F:, and we had a mapped Drive that was designated F:, we could not figure out why it was not showing in My Computer.
Left by D Lo on Feb 05, 2008 1:56 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks so much, for some reason my usb changed to H:/ from its original G:/, Concidering that at my university drive H is asociated to my documents it could have caused havoc with my subversion repository.

Thanks for that your a life saver.
AJ
Left by AJ on Mar 17, 2008 4:05 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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You really are a lifesaver. Your tip is greatly appreciated and saved me from going crazy. I wish for you to get back 100x what you have given all of us on here with this solution. Thanks so much.
Left by Joe E on Apr 10, 2008 8:41 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks so much, these are the directions I needed! They were simple and precise. It sure made it easy. Thanks alot!
Left by Paula on May 07, 2008 5:51 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I ditto Paula's message above. Thanks much!
Left by Bridget on Jun 17, 2008 11:46 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Funny of all the posts, this one has generated the most feedback!

Glad to hear it helps so many folks. To be honest, I've referred back to it myself at least once :)

-Dave
Left by Dave on Jun 17, 2008 1:07 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Hi,

I have a external hard drive which was working normally. Once I had to change the drive letter and it has stopped working. It is seen on device manager but on disk management. I dont know how to make this drive appear on my computer. can u please help me
Left by sridharan on Jun 25, 2008 11:54 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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For those who would like an automatic method to assign the drive letter to the USB, here is the batch file that I use:

@echo off

REM ...

REM USBDRVNM.BAT by Paul J Crown

REM

REM Use SUBST to assign P: to the USB drive. Then use P: for all programs on

REM the USB drive.

REM ...

REM



REM I like to use P as the drive letter for programs on my USB drive (P for portable).

set pdrive=P

set udrive=X

if .%1. == .. goto readdrive

set udrive=%1

goto setdrive



REM ...

REM I wrote a quick COM file to return the drive letter as

REM an errorlevel. You can create this file using DEBUG.COM.

REM ...

REM Instructions to create DRVLTR.COM:

REM > DEBUG

REM -a 100

REM mov ah, 19

REM int 21

REM mov ah, 4c

REM int 21

REM [enter]

REM -n DRVLTR.COM

REM -rbx

REM 0000

REM -rcx

REM 0008

REM -w

REM -q

REM ...



:readdrive

drvltr.com

if ERRORLEVEL 3 SET udrive=D

if ERRORLEVEL 4 SET udrive=E

if ERRORLEVEL 5 SET udrive=F

if ERRORLEVEL 6 SET udrive=G

if ERRORLEVEL 7 SET udrive=H

if ERRORLEVEL 8 SET udrive=I

if ERRORLEVEL 9 SET udrive=J

if ERRORLEVEL 10 SET udrive=K

if ERRORLEVEL 11 SET udrive=L

if ERRORLEVEL 12 SET udrive=M

if ERRORLEVEL 13 SET udrive=N

if ERRORLEVEL 14 SET udrive=O

if %udrive% == X goto nodrive

goto setdrive



:setdrive

subst %pdrive%: /D >nul

subst %pdrive%: %udrive%:\

goto done



:nodrive

echo Try USBDRVNM D

echo where D is the drive letter you want assigned.



:done

set pdrive=

set udrive=

Left by Paul Crown on Jul 01, 2008 12:43 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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i have vista with 6 usb ports and i hooked up flash drive to download some photos - did not know which letter to use when prompt came up for drive - did not know letter for port where flash drive was plugged in
Left by jan sterling on Aug 19, 2008 11:51 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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bless you - this is a problem that has been plaguing me for a year.
Left by Lloyd on Sep 02, 2008 6:23 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thank you so much for this great solution to my problem. I too had a hard time with my iTunes trying to locate my music. And it was such a hassle having to import thousands of music files everytime. I even bought another WD Portable drive hoping it will come out as my F drive. Woo hoo... now I know the workaround.
You are such a blessing.
Thanks again.
Peace and God bless!!!

ps: The faster way I got there was right-click My Computer from my desktop shortcut.
Left by Rosagin on Sep 03, 2008 1:26 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I use "USBDLM" for assigning drive letters to specific external drives / devices.

http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

A little bit tricky to setup the first time but easy from the second time.

All instructions are in the help file or on the site.
Left by Mark on Sep 05, 2008 5:34 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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For me this a major life saver you are a F'N hero Dude! I have Gigs upon Gigs of Video Information to encode and transcode etc.... So when I restart or turn off one of my 7 external drives (2.8 TB Total) XP would randomly move them around destroying anywhere from 4-8 hours of linked rendering. This is very cool. Thank you very much. I'm goin have to see what that flashing box on the top right side is all about....thanks
Left by Lesliemedia.com on Sep 16, 2008 10:53 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thank you. My computer decided to reassign my USB port a different letter (I guess it didn't like it's name), so iTunes decided it couldn't find my music. I called customer support for my laptop who told me I was not covered under warranty and did not know how to reassign the port, but he did know how to tell me to go back and restore my system to a time when the port had the right letter. "Very interesting". Again, thank you for your article
Left by CAF on Sep 17, 2008 7:59 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Yep Win XP has is always not assigning drive letters to USB devices even when it is installed, this thread should help you get the thing working http://www.nettechguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1979435
Left by blogger on Oct 03, 2008 6:41 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Brilliant my friend. Thanks for posting!!!
Left by Frank Camp on Oct 08, 2008 8:47 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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thanks for this clear solution to the problem
Left by keith on Oct 17, 2008 12:17 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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suppose i fix drive letter v:\ for usb drive. but suppose i map the another pc and gave the same drive letter it will change. i dont want it . i want to fix drive letter for usb drive. which can not be change. pls help me.
Left by jags on Dec 03, 2008 3:59 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Hi Jags...

I have two USB drives that I carry back and forth to work. they are both set to a specific drive letter at home and the office with no problem. One is Drive O:, the other is Drive Q:

I also have a large external USB drive that is drive X: on my desktop and laptop, but drive W: at the office, and that has no problems either.
Left by Dave on Dec 04, 2008 6:59 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Can this be done : What I want to do is to be able to give someone a USB Flash drive, and ensure that it will always be assigned the same letter, no matter what PC it is placed in. Is that possible ?
Left by davidL on Dec 18, 2008 8:03 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks ... most helpful.
Left by Jake Leyte on Jan 06, 2009 3:59 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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DavidL...

Sorry I don't believe that's possible. I have two small ones and two large external HDs I use on two machines here, and also carry back and forth to work. The two small ones I've setup as Drive O: and Q: on both machines, but the main external 120G is drive Z: on both my machines here, and Z: is used at work by the system, so it is drive W: there. Causes no difficulty as long as I remember it :)

But, if I take one of them to some new machine, it tries to come up as F: or G:, or whatever.

-Dave
Left by Dave on Jan 06, 2009 10:08 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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my problem is near your solution.actualy my device fm37 ipod is being displayed in device manager but its drive is not present in disk management utility.
all mess hapened when i disconected ipod when the data was transferring.
i want to know how its drive could be find then i will try to change the drive letter.
plz help. your post is the best of all i searched for solution..
Left by nsg on Feb 07, 2009 5:21 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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thanks for the help! i really needed this for my external harddrive
Left by Quad on Feb 07, 2009 11:22 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I don't believe that's possible, Rookie...

I have 4 USB drives that I move from PC to PC and I've set them all up on each PC to have their own drive letter so I know right away which it is.

-Dave
Left by Dave on Feb 21, 2009 8:24 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Ok, so I'm running Vista, and I just updated yesterday, and all of a sudden my USB HD is no longer recognized as drive Z:\. It's been fine up until now, even when I turn it off and back on it has stayed. Now it just grabs the next drive letter alphabetically that is not in use (it's been G, H and K). I've tried several times to reassign the drive letter to no avail, as every time I do, it suddenly doesn't show up in My Computer, and when I try to open it, I get an error message that says Location Is Not Available. So from there I can either change it back to the letter it picked up when I plugged it in before I changed it, or reset it and let it pick a new one. Is it something wrong with Vista, or am I forgetting to do something?
Left by Tenlaven on Feb 28, 2009 9:40 PM

# Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I'm running Vista, and I just updated yesterday, and all of a sudden my USB HD is no longer recognized as drive Z:\. It's been fine up until now, even when I turn it off and back on it has stayed. Now it just grabs the next drive letter alphabetically that is not in use (it's been G, H and K). I've tried several times to reassign the drive letter to no avail, as every time I do, it suddenly doesn't show up in My Computer, and when I try to open it, I get an error message that says Location Is Not Available. So from there I can either change it back to the letter it picked up when I plugged it in before I changed it, or reset it and let it pick a new one. Is it something wrong with Vista, or am I forgetting to do something?
Left by Tenlaven on Feb 28, 2009 9:43 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Solution worked for me. The problem caused is when i used multiple USB drives simultaneously.
Left by Srini on Mar 10, 2009 6:56 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Bless you! I was wondering how this was done.
Left by Tony Z on Mar 26, 2009 9:47 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I am a high school student and always use many random different computers in one day. Also, the settings and files are reset each day so if I want any shortcuts to work, I have to change the setting each time. Is there any way to either automatically set the drive letter or configure the shortcuts to point to the specific drive letter? this would really help
Left by fjyster on Apr 11, 2009 3:40 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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It worked perfectly, thank you!

Philip
Left by Philip on Jun 10, 2009 3:22 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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My USB Drive doesn't have a letter at all, and when i go to right click on it, it only shows me help. The other options are there but i cannot click on them. Any suggestions????
Left by Jorge Sanchez on Jul 06, 2009 8:14 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I work at a public library. We have 16 public computers. I am having trouble off and on with patrons who use their thumb drives. What happens is that the thumb drive gets assigned a drive letter, it can be accessed through command line, however, not through "My Computer".

I'm using XP SP3. What I need is a way either through a GPO or local setting to force the flash drive to use certain drive letters or NOT use certain letters.
Left by LibraryTech on Sep 08, 2009 1:27 AM

# Thank you!
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thanks very much! this has solved the problem of my backup program backing-up to the wrong USB drive/s!
Left by Rene on Sep 13, 2009 9:13 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Great...Than you so much very helpful indeed....
Left by Junnjun013 on Sep 22, 2009 3:39 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks so much, solved my problem
Left by Kritiker on Sep 25, 2009 8:09 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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The solution proposed is great, but does not always work on my XP. It just sometimes goes crazy and assing a different letter to my drive. What does work always (at least for me, at least so far) is to mount the drive whatever letter it gets to a folder in the internal HD. Then just point your backups, media libraries etc to that folder.

In My PC / Management / Disk Management right click on the external drive and choose " change access letters ...". Select "Add" and then "mount to a folder". Pick up a folder and that´s it. The contents of the drive will be accesible by going to that folder. Changing your scripts, reimporting a media library can be a pain in the neck, but it will save you a lot of time afterwards.

Have fun.

Left by Ricpermar on Sep 25, 2009 8:15 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thank you! This has been a problem for sooo long.
Left by roy on Sep 29, 2009 5:21 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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The solution proposed is great, but does not always work on my XP. It just sometimes goes crazy and assing a different letter to my drive. What does work always (at least for me, at least so far) is to mount the drive whatever letter it gets to a folder in the internal HD. Then just point your backups, media libraries etc to that folder.
Left by corvette car seats on Oct 31, 2009 6:09 AM

# Your the Best
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Thank you very much. Wonderful.

Can not tell you how much this info help me

Your the Best
Left by Eric Gjerde on Nov 05, 2009 2:47 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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My problem was 2 drive letters assigned to the same USB device, a HDD. This would not allow the device to load which brought a lot of different headaches for over a week. Thanks to your suggestion I was able to delete the ghost "I" partition that was creating the problem. Thank you.
Left by Pablo on Nov 05, 2009 1:28 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks for your tips on USB drive.
Left by cleaner reviews on Nov 16, 2009 7:02 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I am trying to assign a drive letter to my canon camera in order to use file recovery software on the memory card - the camera just comes up as powershot sd1000 in My Computer (XP-SP2) and does not get assigned a drive letter. If I use the card reader the SD card is not even recognized - possibly because of the way Canon format it? The camera does not even show up in disk management. ANYBODY????
Left by dan on Jan 09, 2010 1:23 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I have an external USB hard drive which I'll talk to my computer every night and usually the first thing I turn in the morning. But this morning I put on a flash drive first and that he "stole" the road drive G: So when I turned on the hard drive that came under H:, therefore, none of my files music and shortcuts would work. This solved all my problems and helped me to learn something knew.
Left by free xbox live on Feb 18, 2010 1:14 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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many thanks - changed USB drive letter upset my 2nd copy utility
Left by d nairn on Feb 24, 2010 4:01 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks for the tip - my external hard drive sometimes came up as G and other times as E - and it was entirely unpredictable! But now it's always the same, and you've made my headache go away!!
Left by Russell on Mar 22, 2010 10:41 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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How do I get my camera to appear as a logical drive. I tried the above advice the camera is recognized by name below my control panel and not as a logical drive. I wanted to retrieve some lost photos with a program I installed but the camera must be recognized as a logical drive. HELP! Thanks
Left by Bill on May 15, 2010 2:24 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks a lot man. You saved my time.
Left by Sanga on Jul 10, 2010 4:03 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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THANKS! It drives me nuts that we have to tweak systems to do the bleeding obvious, but as they say, software only goes through two phases: Beta and obsolete. Thanks again.
Left by Paul on Jul 14, 2010 3:55 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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I have a windows 2003 R2 server that we backup to five USB Hard drives on a rotating basis (one per day), but only have two USB Ports. Some of the drives appear to always assign themselves the same letter but one or two will occasionally also use the same letter reserved for a drive not plugged in and the backup will be queued waiting for the correct drive (letter).

Has anyone else had this problem? I'm thinking of trying out a USB Hub.

Thanks
Left by WWilliam50 on Aug 20, 2010 12:14 AM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Great idea but the drive my material is stored in is drive (I) and that drive does not show up on my disk management list of options to change to....now what? If you can help I would appreciate it....thanks
Left by Sam on Nov 24, 2010 7:31 AM

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Hi Sam...

I'm a little confused I think.

Typically the problem is something like mine where I have extra on-board and external drives that stay connected 24/7, and take up the low drive letters.

I plug in a USB drive and instead of it taking the next letter, it tries to *also* take one of the low ones, like "E", so I can't see it.

Using the info in the blog post, I can then change that drive from "E" to some other letter so it's visible.

You're saying you have a bunch of data on a drive "l" ... if you can already see that drive, it's not going to let you assign some other drive to "l" unless you eject it.

USB drives that are problems for me... i.e. they come up behind another drive ... I try to assign them a letter no other drive is using, just to keep it all from becoming confusing.

Feel free to write back

-Dave
Left by Dave on Nov 25, 2010 4:56 AM

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Thanks Dave,

I have a MY BOOK external hard drive with music, pictures, etc. stored on it in the letter drive (I) now when I had to restart my computer it shows up as (M) (N) (L) anything but (I). I tried to change the drive to (I) but the (I) drive was not listed as an option....If I change the drive letter to something else will I be able to access the music and pictures?

Or in a perfect world how do I get it back to (I)? Thanks
Left by Sam on Nov 26, 2010 1:49 AM

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Interesting that I doesn't show up as available. I'd be curious what the system may think is Drive I:... a memory card, or a camera maybe.

What do you get if you open a command prompt and type

I:

does it come up looking like something is there, and if so, can you do

dir

to get an idea what it is?

On the other hand... if that drive is purely data, you should be able to switch it with no problem.

If, however, something on your system, like a music player, is referencing the files on I, then that would have to resync at the new letter, or maybe it wouldn't work at all.

For HardDisk reasons, I recently renamed my USB drive Y: to be X:, and it took the Zune software 10 hours to straighten it all out and in the process lost a large playlist.

Let me know what you find out...

-Dave
Left by Dave on Nov 26, 2010 2:43 AM

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Thanks for your time and input...very much appreciated.
Left by Sam on Nov 26, 2010 3:30 AM

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So helpful, now i can download the software i wanted
Left by Someone on Dec 24, 2010 1:13 PM

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I could kiss you! Thankyou - i have even remembered to make a copy to keep because i know this will happen again and i'll be sitting here going...it wasnt hard last time, know where do i go...
Left by Aimee on Jan 25, 2011 1:36 PM

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Aimee...

You're very welcome... to be honest, I've looked back here a couple times myself to setup drives ... blog posts are as much help for the authors as for readers :)

-Dave
Left by Dave on Jan 26, 2011 2:34 AM

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Thanks for the posting. Saved me a lot of trouble when Picasa had difficulty recognizing the USB Hard Drive.
Left by Sreedhar on Feb 26, 2011 12:08 PM

# re: Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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If we got warning massesge but that's just in case you are changing the drive letter of a disk that you have software installed to, so press "Yes" on that dialog. You are back to the Disk Management dialog now, and your newly selected drive letter is showing for your USB drive. Close this dialog, and you're done.
Left by nuru massage on Feb 28, 2011 8:12 PM

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This looks like is it going to save me the headaches of the randomly moving drive letters for an external USB hard drive. Thanks.
Left by Tom on Mar 06, 2011 5:57 AM

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Thank you very much for posting this blog. It must get a lot of visits, as it was the first place Google found for me.

It definitely resolved my issue tonight!
Left by David on Mar 16, 2011 4:01 PM

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Thanks for taking the time to post this, helped me out today.
Left by David on Mar 22, 2011 1:42 AM

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Thanks for sharing such great piece of information. I was searching online for changing my drive letter and stumbled across your great blog. Thanks a lot. Keep posting such useful information.
Left by window usb driver on Apr 29, 2011 5:17 AM

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Thank you so much actually I forgot what to do and your details helped me to regain this tips.

Thanks again
Left by Senthil Kumar on May 15, 2011 9:56 PM

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Thank you so much for your great article.
It worked for me and I am very happy that at last I have a permanent letter for any of my two thumb drives :)

Thanks
Left by Nader on May 18, 2011 8:23 AM

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heyy..so i have a WD my book 1130 external hard drive which worked fine until a few days ago when it stopped showing up on My Computer. when i connect it, i can see the "safely remove hardware" icon in the bottom right corner and it shows up in device manager as well but when i opened disk management to reassign a letter to it, a message popped up saying "the device is not ready"! i have windows 7 installed and all my movies music pictures everything is on this drive and i really dont wanna lose it! i dont know what to doo can anyone please help?:(

also i tried connecting the drive to my laptop which has windows xp installed. over here again it showed up in device manager but disk management completely ignored it. it doesnt show up at all..
Left by nimra on Jun 06, 2011 1:56 AM

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Oh my gosh... this just saved me from so much frustration and headaches. Thank you, thank you, thank you! By the way, yours is the very first link that appears when I searched for "usb hard drive letter", so you must be doing something right. It's nice that the very first result is the one that actually leads you to the easy, workable solution. What a concept. :)
Left by Christopher on Jun 09, 2011 9:20 PM

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Thank you very much for this tip! Really found it handy after returning from vacation and discovering my external hard drives swapped drive letters!
Left by Chrissy on Jul 19, 2011 4:25 AM

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Golden nugget. Very clear and helpfull. ...and needed!
Left by Niccienic on Aug 29, 2011 7:16 PM

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Thanks Dave! This was very useful indeed.

My usecase was that I had some virtual machine disk images on an external drive and the virtualization software expects the files to always be available on the same path.
Left by Abhik on Sep 05, 2011 7:53 PM

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Thanks. This was a quick help.
Left by Swapnil Khire on Nov 01, 2011 4:10 PM

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thanks so much my external hard drive screwed up and i have 5001 songs fomr there on my iTunes and i didnt want to have to put them all back on andsync my ipod and blah blah. thanks!
Left by Mark on Nov 03, 2011 5:45 PM

# Assigning a Drive letter to a USB drive
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Thanks, just what I was looking for. I use SyncToy to synchronise two memory sticks and the drive letters must be known ( i.e. I copy from drive G: to N: ).
Left by jo lewis on Mar 31, 2012 9:16 PM

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You're a life saver ! I've been looking for this answer for days. Why doesn't Microsoft have this findable on their web site?
Thank you very much.
Left by John Bartas on Apr 10, 2012 5:57 PM

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Thanks al lot, you saved me a lot of (Backup reconfiguration) work!
Left by PaulO on Jun 06, 2012 7:00 AM

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I'm having the same problem as Jorge, where on my Windows 7 laptop, I'm in Disk Management, but my storage device does not have a letter listed at all. The only option I have is "help", so I do not have the option to change letters or device paths. Anything else I can try? Everything seemed to work smoothy...until that point.
Left by Julie on Jun 29, 2012 2:40 PM

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