How do I permanently assign a drive letter to an external USB drive in Windows 2003 Server?

Posted on 2009-04-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have 5 External backup drives named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, respectively. We run automated backups with these on a Windows 2003 Server machine nightly.

Current drive letters we have in use:

Hard Disk Drives
C: - OS
D: - Data

Devices with removable storage
A: - Floppy
E: - CD Drive

Network Drives

Since we'll never need to use B:\ as a 5.25" floppy drive letter...we've decided to make our backups point to B:\ and we have each USB hard drive set to letter B:\ before the backup runs.

Recently, a couple of the drives have started receiving a letter that's already in use (F:), thus we cannot browse the files that are on it, and the automated backup fails. Since that has begun happening, I know to check the disk management snap in to make sure that it's set to B:. If it isn't I go through the manual process of changing the drive letter to B: and then all works fine.

I always do "Safely remove" on the devices before swapping the disks, even though they are set to optimize for quick removal which doesn't require it. Either way, if I do safely remove or not, the next drive is picking up letter F: (which, remember, is already in use).

This does not happen between all of the drives. For instance, I may be able to go from Monday to Tuesday drives without having to manually change the drive letters. But for instance, today, going from Tuesday to Wednesday drives, Wednesday picked up F: by default. I did some tests and went back and forth between the Tuesday and Wednesday drives, and no matter what I did, the next drive always had to be manually changed from F: to B:.

I've read lots and lots of Google searches on this topic, but none of them actually cover how to set the drive letter permanently. And like I said, for a while it was working flawlessly and we never had to manually change the drive letters. Now all of the sudden we do.

Thank you in advance, Experts.
Question by:columbusdata
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    B: can be a problematic drive letter -- even though you don't have a 5.25" floppy, it tends to be reserved for that anyway when there's a floppy controller present (which I assume there is).

    Try using an out-of-the-way drive letter ==> e.g. X:
    ... I suspect that will resolve this.

    One other note:  I presume you used different labels for each drive when you formatted them [e.g. the "Monday", "Tuesday", etc. are actual partition labels and not just what you're calling the drives.]   If not, you should do so ... you do NOT want to have two different drives with the same name.
    LVL 91

    Accepted Solution

    this can help too :      

    Featured Post

    Better Security Awareness With Threat Intelligence

    See how one of the leading financial services organizations uses Recorded Future as part of a holistic threat intelligence program to promote security awareness and proactively and efficiently identify threats.

    Join & Write a Comment

    I've always wanted to allow a user to have a printer no matter where they login. The steps below will show you how to achieve just that. In this Article I'll show how to deploy printers automatically with group policy and then using security fil…
    AWS Glacier is Amazons cheapest storage option and is their answer to a ‘Cold’ storage service.  Customers primarily use this service for archival purposes and storage of infrastructure backups.  Its unlimited storage potential and low storage cost …
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
    This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…

    754 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    23 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now