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Changing Drive Letter Issue on External Backup Disks

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

We are using 5 external usb hard disks and handy backup software in order to do differential backup of our data.
We have labeled the disks for every day from Monday to Friday.
Our issue is that sometimes (rare but happens) the drive letter of the disk is different than the previous time (or what we have assigned to it).
This has as a result that the backup software cannot find the appropriate labeled disk to start writing on.

i.e Today is Monday so the backup should run on disk with driveletter X:. However for some reason the driveletter is now Z:. So the backup process wont start.

Any advice?
Maybe if there was a way to guarantee permanent change of drive letter?
Or any other solution should be useful.
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Question by:AJKBOC
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by:xmlmagician
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what backup program do you run?
I think you should focus on resolving the change of letter issue, did you have a look at the logs?
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by:AJKBOC
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as stated earlier, am using Handy Backup
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Expert Comment

by:Little_K
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Hi AJKBOC,

If you need to change the drive letters this can be done manually by
right clicking my computer, select manage, go to disk manager and right click the disk that you want the drive letter to be changed on and select "change drive letter and paths".

Hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:expone
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Go to Control Panel ==> Administrative Tools ==> Computer Management

Select "Disk Management" in the left panel and then right-click on your Z:drive (in the right panel) and choose "Change drive letter and paths" where you can change it to X: drive.

It should remember this setting from there onwards and always mount that drive to X:
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by:AJKBOC
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Dear sirs,
i will monitor this for one week and let you know.

Thanks
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by:subhashchy
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also, you can add a secheduled task (Batch file) in windows task scheduler which willl run before the backup runs and make sure your USB got correct drive letter,if not it assigns correct one..backups will run smoothly.

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by:AJKBOC
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can you provide such a batch file?
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by:subhashchy
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i guess so..can i know the volume lable of the USB drive ?
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by:subhashchy
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so basicly you have 5-6 disks and you use ths eem one by one for each day. is that correct ?
If so then can you give me the drive leteer of each disk that you want like

monday= X:
tue = Y


something like that
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by:AJKBOC
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Monday = P:
Tuesday = Q:
Wednesday = R:
Thursday = S:
Friday = T:
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by:subhashchy
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thanks for that.one last question.can you run below on command prompt and give me the output.

echo %date%
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Author Comment

by:AJKBOC
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This is the output I get.

C:\>echo %date%
01/03/2011
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Assisted Solution

by:subhashchy
subhashchy earned 250 total points
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alright.. I tested this code on my system and seems to be working.
here is the condition.
. It assume you have 5 drives labled as MON - FRY (First 3 alphabets from date).

It basicaly scan for the drive labled for that day and assigned the drive letter you provided.


@echo off
set day=%date:~0,3%
if /i %day% == mon set ADL=P
if /i %day% == tue set ADL=q
if /i %day% == WED set ADL=r
if /i %day% == thu set ADL=s 
if /i %day% == FRY set ADL=t
echo today is %day% and so Drive letter will be %ADL%

echo list volume >%temp%\dskprt.txt
diskpart /s %temp%\dskprt.txt | find /i "%DAY%" >Volume.txt
for /f "tokens=3" %%a in (volume.txt) do (
echo USB drive current volume letter = %%a
set DL=%%a
)
echo. Checking drive letter ..
if /i %DL% == %ADL% (
echo Drive letter already assigned ..good to go..
echo Press enter to exit
pause 
)

if /i not %DL% == %ADL% (
echo. drive letter mismatch..attempting to assign new one
echo removing existing drive letter and assiging required one
echo select volume %DL% >%temp%\dskprt1.txt
echo remove letter=%DL% >>%temp%\dskprt1.txt
echo assign letter=%ADL%>>%temp%\dskprt1.txt
diskpart /s %temp%\dskprt1.txt
)

Open in new window


note then when i run echo %date% on my system the output is
Tue 03/01/2011. I m taking first 3 alpha from this output so it depends on date format.
you should also get the same not sure why..any idea ?
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by:AJKBOC
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dear sir,
this is because of the regional settings -> formats.
if i set the format to English(United Kingdom) then the result is as i stated earlier.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kode99 earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
If you can send your backups to a path/directory you can mount the USB drives to a directory.  This is 100% always going to associate the drive to the same directory.  No batch files or anything special required.

This is done through disk management,  you just select the mount to folder option instead of the drive letter.

So you could have a c:\Backup\ directory then create a empty folder for each day which you then assign to the respective USB drives.

If you must have a drive letter for the backup software to work you can use a SUBST command to assign these directories to the drive letters you want.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/subst.mspx?mfr=true

Non free but inexpensive option is a program that manages the letters for you,

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

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Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
Comment Utility
Can you chnge your settings to united states or if not then i guess you willl have to schedule the batch file for each day.... like on monday it should be scheuded to run as "Mybatch.bat MON".

Will that work for you? You will have to scheudle the batch file in task scheudler for each day
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