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External Hard Drive loses drive letter

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am using Win 7 and have an external Hard Drive for backup connected through the USB port. I assign a drive letter but when I reboot I have to go back in disk management and reassign the drive letter

Shouldn't it boot up with that drive letter?
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Question by:BobMc7771
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9 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33694206
Windows should assign the next available letter to the external drive since it is a removable disk.
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che6ausc earned 500 total points
ID: 33694240
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Author Comment

by:BobMc7771
ID: 33694242
I would like that but it did not

When I first attached it I had to go to disk management and assign the drive letter

When I reboot and look at My Computer it does not show

When I go to disk manager I see it but it has no drive letter

I re-assign and it works fine

??
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33694329
Have you seen my secon d post about USBDLM?
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Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33694491
Take a look at this key in the registry to see what letters have been assigned to what devices: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
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Author Comment

by:BobMc7771
ID: 33694589
The attached shows the My Computer Hard Drives

The drives M and N (both mapped to same physical drive are the ones that disappear when I reboot

The registry entries are in the word document as well

What are all the ?? entries

I do have a SATA docking slot that I rotate backup drives through

THank you for looking at this
Hard-Drives.doc
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LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:SysExpert
SysExpert earned 500 total points
ID: 33694989
Control USB drive letters changing USB drive letters
USB Drives are not retaining assigned drive letters

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

or

Create permanent folders and share over a network

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1676&page=9

The storage manager in Windows XP
, like Windows 2000 before it, allows you to mount a partition (which would normally be represented with a drive letter like c: or d:) as a directory inside a different partition. Using this method, you could add a new hard drive to your computer and mount it in a directory on your existing c: drive called 'new drive,' for example. The target drive (where the directory is located) must be formatted with the NTFS file system to do this.

This is already a cool feature, but it takes on a new twist when used with USB drives, especially if you use more than one drive on your system or network. While drive letters are assigned dynamically, drive mount locations as we described above are not. The upshot of this is, if you give your USB drive a folder location, that particular drive will be associated permanently with the disk location. Every drive can have its own 'home folder' which will be active and available whenever that drive is plugged into the system, and inaccessible when it is not.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33695008
Make sure you don't have automount disabled using the diskpart command:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766465(WS.10).aspx
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Expert Comment

by:che6ausc
ID: 33700619
If you can tolerate having your drives reassigned letters by windows, you can delete all the entries in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices.

There should be one volume guid assigned per device:http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365248%28VS.85%29.aspx.

Adding and deleteing drives causes this area of the registry to become disorganized with obsolete entries making it more difficult to assign letter values to drives in sequence.  By deleting all the entries and rebooting, the drives are assigned new letters in sequence making it much more manageable.

If this is a problem, you may be able to arrange the letters as they were through disk management.
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