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Changing Drive Letters

Windows assigns drive letters to removable drives automatically. However, not all drive choices are perfect:

  • If you attach the removable drive before logging in, and then log in, the network drives mapped during the login process may cause the removable drive to disappear from Explorer.

  • If one user attaches the device, it will be given a drive letter suitable for that user. If another user logs in, the drive letter may not be suitable because the second user may have other drive mappings.

  • Drive letters may be changed if you connect the removable drive to a different port (USB, IDE, Firewire etc) as Windows will consider it to be a different device.

Therefore there is sometimes a need to change the drive letters assigned to removable drives. In Windows 2000/XP/2003 and above, this may be done as follows:

  1. Right-click My Computer on the desktop and choose Manage.

  2. In the left-hand pane, expand Storage if not already expanded.

  3. Click Disk Management. The drives currently attached will appear in the right-hand pane.

  4. In the bottom right-hand pane, right-click the drive in question.

  5. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.

    A dialog showing the current drive assignment(s) will appear.

  6. Click Change.

  7. Choose the drive letter you wish to use and click OK.

  8. Windows prompts: Changing the drive letter of a volume might cause programs to no longer run. Are you sure you want to change the drive letter?

    Choose Yes.

    The drive assignment may take seconds or up to a minute to take place.

  9. Close the Computer Management applet.

  10. Log out and log back in to re-establish any mapped drives.

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