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

Posted on 2012-09-21
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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.
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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garycase earned 1200 total points
ID: 38422470
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.
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by:Raymond Peng
Raymond Peng earned 400 total points
ID: 38422494
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.
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by:Brad Bouchard
Brad Bouchard earned 400 total points
ID: 38422501
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.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38424732
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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