Windows 7 External Hard Drive Partition / New Simple Volume / Assign Drive Leter or Not?

Posted on 2012-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-09-22
It seems that lots of questions deal with assigning drive letters to external hard drives that will *stick*.   That's NOT what this question is about.... :-)

I am partitioning external hard drives to less than 2TB to support Windows 7 disk imaging.
When I do this, I Shrink the volume and then select New Simple Volume.

In the New Simple Volume wizard, it gives the opportunity to assign a drive letter or not.
Since this is an external drive that will move around between computers, which is the better selection or does it matter?  I don't think that I care what drive letters are assigned when it's plugged in.
Question by:Fred Marshall
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    It makes no difference -- if you assign a drive letter, it will apply ONLY on the PC you assign it on (this is stored in the registry - not on the actual drive).    But I assume you want to "see" the drive in Explorer -- so I'd assign a letter.
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    Alot of times when your computer has numerous mapped drives, you will not be able to view your external HDD or USB flash drive when you first plug it in.  When this happens, you'll need to manually assign a drive letter through disk managment utility.

    start > run > compmgmt.msc
    under storage > disk management, you'll be able to right click on your disk and choose a free letter that's not being used.

    So it doesn't really matter what you assign in the beginning.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    by:Brad Bouchard
    What I would do is come up with a standard so that it's more of a policy and have you/your IT team follow it.  Say that all externals that move between computers are drive letter M for mobile external or something.  Then you could find the registry key gary mentioned above and write a simple script that creates that entry with all the correct mappings on each computer, or every computer for that matter.  Just a suggestion.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    The assigned driv letter is valid on the machine that you assign it on only. On the oher machines it will get the first vacant drive letter automatically. So yes assign it.

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