Can't get rid of a particular drive

I'm having an issue on a mapped drive.  The issue first occured when this user physically connected a USB drive and took presedence over this particular drive letter.  Now everytime we login after a logoff or restart, the user's network drive is not mapped because it seems to remember the USB mapped drive letter.  How do I fix ?  This is on a Windows XP SP3 machine.
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Try USBDeview it will see all your past and present USB connections, and allow you to remove them.
Giovanni HewardCommented:
If the USB drive is still connected see my solution here to reassigned the drive letter.

If the USB drive is not connected, there shouldn't be an issue using the available drive letter, so long as your mapping is being done properly.
Sorry forgot to say where you can get USBDeview:
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Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
Are you using login script to map your drives? if yes, you might need to us the [/DELETE] | [/PERSISTENT:{YES | NO}]] option with your net use command.

Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I'm a huge fan of NirSoft's (free!) utilities, which I've been using for many years, and agree with pjam's recommendation. To give you a little more info, the link to the specific USBDeview utility is here:

You have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the download links...and note that there are separate ones for 32-bit and 64-bit.

It is a stand-alone/no-install executable...simply run the EXE file that is in the downloaded ZIP file. To see the drive letter, make sure that column is selected via the View>Choose Columns menu pick:
Column settingsTo change the drive letter so that it doesn't conflict with your network share mapping, right-click on the device and you'll see this context menu:
Change assigned drive letterClick [Change Assigned Drive Letter] and you'll get this:
Change Drive LetterPick whatever letter you want so that it doesn't conflict with the mapped network drive. Regards, Joe
uppercut71412Author Commented:
What if I can't use any 3rd party utilities?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Then you may want to try x66_x72_x65_x65's suggestion of using Disk Management, which is built into Windows (run diskmgmt.msc or access it via Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management>Disk Management). But the thing is, if the drive is not connected, then it won't show up in Disk Management, so there's no way to remove the letter. That is, x66_x72_x65_x65 is correct when saying if the USB drive is not connected, there shouldn't be an issue using whatever drive letter it had been previously assigned...the drive letter should be available when the drive is not connected. But since it apparently is not available (and I don't know why), that's the reason I agreed with pjam's suggestion of NirSoft's USBDeview, because it can change a previously assigned drive letter even if the device is not connected (so it gets a different drive letter the next time it's connected). Regards, Joe
Giovanni HewardCommented:
Also in my linked post is a reference to DosDev, which is a Microsoft utility.  This will list all the GLOBAL identifiers and you can delete drive letters, etc.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Clicking on the DosDev link in your other post downloads a file called <mpsreports_x86.exe>. Is this right?
Giovanni HewardCommented:
Yes, files will extract to %temp% folder.  DosDev.exe is part of the package.

Run mpsreports_x86.exe--- wait for files to extract
dir %temp%\dosdev.exe /s/a/b
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Thanks for explaining. Are you saying that DosDev will allow you to delete the drive letter for a USB drive that previously had a drive letter assigned but is not currently connected to the computer?
Giovanni HewardCommented:
Yes, read more about it here.

I was able to reproduce the issue.  Here's the process I'd use when the USB drive is disconnected:

C: = \Device\HarddiskVolume2 [Fixed]
D: = \Device\HarddiskVolume1 [Fixed]
E: = \Device\CdRom0 [CDRom]

We see only HarddiskVolume1 and HarddiskVolume2 are present.  

Search for incremental entries:
dosdev -a|find "HarddiskVolume3"
dosdev -a|find "HarddiskVolume4"

On my system, I have a hit on HarddiskVolume4.  This is a USB HDD I just unplugged.

Harddisk1Partition1 = \Device\HarddiskVolume4
HarddiskVolume4 = \Device\HarddiskVolume4
STORAGE#Volume#{50a31fac-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6}#0000000000100000#{53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} = \Device\HarddiskVolume4Volume{50a31fb7-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6} = \Device\HarddiskVolume4

dosdev -d HarddiskVolume4
Current definition: HarddiskVolume4 = \Device\HarddiskVolume4
HarddiskVolume4 deleted.

dosdev -d Harddisk1Partition1
Current definition: Harddisk1Partition1 = \Device\HarddiskVolume4
Harddisk1Partition1 deleted.

dosdev -d Volume{50a31fb7-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6}
Current definition: Volume{50a31fb7-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6} = \Device\Hardd
iskVolume4Volume{50a31fb7-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6} deleted.

dosdev -d STORAGE#Volume#{50a31fac-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6}
STORAGE#Volume#{50a31fac-1bf9-11e3-be75-e0db55e447c6} deleted.

Now when I run dosdev -a|find "HarddiskVolume4" no entries exist.

When I plug the USB drive back in it maps as \Device\HarddiskVolume5

Interestingly enough when I unplug it no entries exist for \Device\HarddiskVolume5

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Giovanni HewardCommented:

What is the output of running net use from the command prompt?

net use>"%userprofile%\desktop\netuse.txt"

Open in new window

What are your results when running the following?

dosdev -d x:
net use x: /delete
net use x: \\server.domain.local\share\path /user:domain\username password /savecred  /persistent:yes 

Open in new window

Where x: is the target drive share?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Thanks again for the detailed explanation. I was not familiar with DOSDEV. Always good to learn about such tools. Regards, Joe
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