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

Posted on 2009-04-29
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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
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A: - Floppy
E: - CD Drive

Network Drives
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F:
G:
H:
I:
J:
K:
L:
M:
N:
O:
P:

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.
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Question by:columbusdata
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Expert Comment

by:Gary Case
ID: 24265040
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.
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nobus earned 1000 total points
ID: 24268840
this can help too : http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html      
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