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Is there any reason not to map a network drive with a high drive letter?

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi All,

A habbit we have frequently seen is that mapped network drives gets given a low driver letter in the alphabet.  Is there any reason NOT to give a mapped network drive a high drive letter?  For instance, the site we work with wants to use E and G as the drive letters would correspond with the name of the data they are going to be used to hold on those drives.  Right now any flash drives or external drives plugged into those machines grabs those letters.  Is there any reason it's a bad idea or bad practice to (after removing all external media) assign a mapped network letter to the higher letters?  

Thanks!
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Question by:Jsmply
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GregArnott earned 84 total points
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No.

Have been working comfortably with mapped network drives Q to Z for many years.
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by:kpltechgroup
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No on the contrary its good practice for that exact reason... the only way it could be bad is if you virtual drives running in the high letters but that would be something you were aware of.
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by:Adjroth
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It's always good practice to assign network drives with a high enough letter so that a flash drive or external hard drive that's left plugged in won't grab the drive letter first. If this happens, the network drive will fail to mount. Other than that, it's really all about preference.
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by:andoss
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I would not suggest assigning a mapped drive to a letter before G. Precisely for the reasons you've mentioned, you have no way of knowing how many external drives a user is running or how many HDD's etc.

We use G Drive and don't have issues but i certainly would not recommend using E: Drive as you will have almost constant issues.
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by:Jsmply
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What issue would occur if its mapped to a letter an external drive tries to grab?  Wouldnt the external just grab the next available letter?

Anyone know what windows assigns first, external drives or network?
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by:andoss
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So long as it's mapped before you connect an external drive then the external drive just takes the next letter.
However if you try to map the drive when an external drive is already connected the drive won't map.

External drives get assigned before network drives.
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by:Jsmply
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What about upon reboot?

You said as long as mapped network drive is done before the drive is connected the ext takes the next dirve letter.  But what happens if for example you give the mapped drive E with the external connected, but then when booting up the next time you connect the external while booting up?  Which will get what first?

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by:andoss
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Sorry thats what i mean, if you have mapped a network drive to E: Drive and then you reboot with an external drive attached E: Drive will be given to the external drive and you won't get the network drive.
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by:nobus
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you can also use FIXED usb drive letters  : http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html            
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by:RootsMan
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I try to map network drives above L:. Usually O:, P:, U:, V:, X:...

Another thing to think about is changing the drive letter of your optical drive(s) to a higher drive letter so you have more letters available for USB drives. I usually map my optical drives to R: and S:.
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by:Jsmply
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Thanks.  Related question, is there anyway to keep external drives from taking a certain letter?  We have an old legacy database program that is rarely run but when it does it's coded to attempt to map a network resource on drive G  (and doesn't seem to be easily changeable and it's run on several workstations, only option to easily change is the server destination it maps TO).  Problem is, the machine gets several external drives plugged in (and flash drives) and sometimes they have G.  Is there anyway to keep an external or flash drive from grabbing a certain letter?  Thx.
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by:andoss
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You can manually assign different drive letters to a particular USB drive.
To do so go to Disk Management under Computer Management then click the USB drives and choose "change drive letter and paths.."
Your computer will remember to assign that particular USB drive the same letter every time it's connected.

Otherwise you could setup a script to unmap/disconnect G: Drive before the legacy database program is run. But depends how it's launched.
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by:Adjroth
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You can create a batch file or VBS using devcon (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272) to unmap/disconnect USB devices as described by andoss.

This page illustrates a few examples to get you started:
http://www.osronline.com/ddkx/ddtools/devcon_86er.htm

You may also try having the network resource permanently mapped to drive G if possible. In some instances this will work, but can cause errors/exceptions in the program when it tries to map it.
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by:nobus
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i posted  how to use FIXED letters...
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by:Jsmply
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Well the fixed drive letters would only work if you know what's being plugged in right?  In the case where new flash drives are introduced regularly how would that work?
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by:RootsMan
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Fixed drive letters for USB drives only works for previously identified drives. Each new device will be assigned the next currently available drive letter.
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by:Jsmply
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That's what I thought, hence why I asked if you can ban a drive letter from external drive assignments.
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by:nobus
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ok - it seems i misunderstood ..
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by:Adjroth
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Here's an application that may do what you need:

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

It's freeware with licensing for commercial use.
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by:nobus
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adjroth - is that nit what i posted?  plse read the thread before posting..
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by:Adjroth
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Apoligies, did not notice the link :)
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by:Jsmply
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I think everyone's answer was correct in a way and were all helpful.  Divided up the points, hope that's okay with everyone.  If I missed anyone please let me know.
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by:kpltechgroup
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Thanks for the points! Glad we could help Jsmply
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