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Removable Storage keeps taking Drive letter G

I have a problem.  I have a mapped drive as G, but every new removable storage device I plug into my system tries to take drive G as well.  If I go into computer management, and then disk management and change it, then it works fine every time after.  But I don't use the same stick all the time, clients bring in information on USB sticks all the time and I don't want to go thru this hassle every time.  How do I change the default drive letter??
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Purple_Tidder
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Purple_Tidder
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1 Solution
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As you've discovered, you can assign a letter for a specific flashdrive, and it will "remember" it, but that doesn't help with new flash drives.

Windows will always map a flash drive to the next letter that's not LOCALLY used (as you've noticed, it can interfere with network mappings).  Don't fight the problem -- just adjust your system so you don't have the problem :-)   Map the drive you use (the one that's currently G:) to a higher letter that's "out of the way" of the drives Windows will use to map USB devices ==> say M: or N:


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Computerguy107Commented:
Map the drive as Z:
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Purple_TidderAuthor Commented:
Can't do that.  It's on a pretty big network, and all computers have the same mappings.  I don't want to go thru that if I don't have to.  My logon script sets up my maps, and I don't want that to change.  Plus, installed programs now know the drive letters as well, and what a killer that would be to go thru and change all that just for stupid usb devices.

Is there any way to reserve drive letters so windows doesn't hand them out to USB devices?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
This is a pretty common problem and I've not found a solution to it -- for most folks the solution I noted above works.   But since you must keep G: as your mapped drive, I think you'll have to just have a "process" whereby when you plug in a new drive you right-click on My Computer, "Manage", and use Disk Management to change the drive letter.   The only "good" thing about that is you won't have to repeat it for the same flash drive.

... perhaps Vista will have a better solution :-)
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Purple_TidderAuthor Commented:
Sheesh, hopefully.   :)

Any way to automate the drive letter changing process?  Maybe so they can just hit a shortcut on the desktop?  Is there any way to change drive letters from the command line?  Maybe a registry key that I can look for and replace?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Well, technically the answer is Yes;  but for your purposes it's NO.   You could automate the process using the DevCon utility -- EXCEPT it requires knowledge of the instance ID of the device ==> which you won't know unless the device has been installed before AND will be different for different flash drives.

I've not "played" with modifying the assignment in the registry -- but if you want to CAREFULLY try remapping this with a registry mod, the enumeration of USB drives is stored in HKLM - System - Current ControlSet - Enum - USB

You MAY be able to modify one of the values there and force a different mapping.  Tread carefully !!

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rindiCommented:
Reduce the number of local drives you already have. C to F might not be necessary. Or if your CD or DVD drive takes drive letter F, reassign that to something real high (I usually use something between X and Z). That way your USB drives will get F as drive letter if it has never been connected before...
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... rindi's idea's not bad => if you simply free up a letter BEFORE G: by changing the drive letter on your D:, E:, or F: devices to something else, then the USB flash drives will default to whatever's free in that range.   Of course you can't change C:, and depending on what D:, E:, and F: currently are they may also be a pain-in-the-neck to change as well.   Too bad Microsoft didn't provide a simple registry key to control where USB mappings would start !!
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nobusCommented:
try this :   http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html      
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Purple_TidderAuthor Commented:
Holy cow, nobus may have the answer there.  I'll load and test today and let you all know.  Thanks guys.  If it doesn't work, I think rindi's idea will be ok.  I could move around some cd-rom drive letter assignments.  Every computer has 2 virtual drives that cannot be changed, or programs would stop working, but I think I can change the physical cd-rom drive's letter.  We'll see.  Thanks a bunch guys.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
USBDLM works fine -- I set it up on a friend's machine back in Jan/Feb and had totally forgotten about it !!  (the mind's the first thing to go)   It's even on my list of shortcuts !!  (I really do have to organize that better)    You can set a specific USB port to always map to a specified letter -- which is exactly what you need :-)

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Purple_TidderAuthor Commented:
Guess that was it, haven't heard any complaints yet.  Thanks a bunch everyone, and thanks, nobus, for that link.
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nobusCommented:
No problem - have a nice day !
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