Server 2012 USB hard drive will not keep its logical letter assigned properly

Posted on 2013-10-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-11-11
I am not sure what has changed, but on Server 2012 I have seen this annoying issue happen now multiple times and can not resolve.  

If you have say 3 USB drives and you plug 1 in at a time and assign then all to say the M: drive.  The logical assignment will stick for the drive currently connected.  Then when re-connecting the original drive (should be M:) the next logical drive letter is assigned.  This is the the original drive in the set.

So basically the Disk Management does not let you assign the same logical drive to different drives even though they are not connected.  This was not the case before.  I have been able to for years script a backup to say the M:\backup folder and make sure it was on all 3 of the USB drives.  Then you can rotate the drives at will.  Seems Microsoft has taken my logical drive letters and the start menu at the same time :(
Question by:SolutionsHarmony
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39576759
How do you remove the drive? Via Safe Remove or simple unplug?  There is a software designed to maintain USB connections but first we need to find out if you do anything wrong when connecting and disconnecting the drive. Does the drive letter get assigned automatically?
And when you connect the drive which should actually get M drive letter - is the M drive letter free? Check it via Windows Disk Management.

Author Comment

ID: 39577869
Thank you for the response.  In general the testing showed no different when safely disconnected or when just unplugged.  It appears that Windows is just remembering the last drive letter assignment.  

When you plug in the last drive in the set, and set in disk manager to the M: drive, it will maintain the letter assigned of M: yet later when the drive is removed and another drive is connected, the other drives will start to just take the next free drive letter like E: or F: as an example.

The drives are not connected at same time.  Also the M: drive is not taken when connecting.

Hope that helps.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39578038
Ok, just perform the test. Connect the drive, assign a drive letter M:, then safe remove the drive. Wait few minutes and go to Windows Disk Management. Right click on any partition - add remove drive letter - change - see if in list the M: letter is available. No need to assign it.
LVL 93

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 39579028
you can asign a fixed drive letter : http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40436133
Thank you for the great solution.  I hate windows disk management with no options.

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