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USB, Drive Letters

Posted on 2014-02-21
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Last Modified: 2014-02-25
I am trying to ensure that a usb device is always assigned the same drive letter.

Can this be done and how?
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Question by:Alyanto
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14 Comments
 
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 250 total points
ID: 39876414
Go to Disk Management, right click on the usb device and choose "Change drive letters and paths".

Change the letter to something like X so it's not pushed by adding other devices.

After you're done, every time you plug in that usb drive Windows will assign the letter X to it.

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39876520
You'll have to do the above for every USB disk or stick you have though, and you'll have to repeat it on every PC.
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Accepted Solution

by:
engmgs earned 250 total points
ID: 39876548
Do you have an external USB hard drive or flash drive that you use frequently for backups or for use with applications? Every time you plug it in you may get a different drive letter for that drive.

There is a way to assign a static drive letter to an external USB drive so you always get the same drive letter for that drive.

1- To begin, select Control Panel from the Start menu.

2-If you have selected the Category view on the Control Panel, click the System and Security link.

3- If you have selected the Small icons (or Large icons) view on the Control Panel, all the available items display. Click the Administrative Tools item.

4-A separate window displays containing shortcuts to the various Administrative tools available. Double-click the Computer Management shortcut.

5-The Computer Management dialog box displays. In the tree on the left, select Disk Management under Storage.

6-All your drives are listed in the top pane of the middle section of the dialog box, including removable media. To change the drive letter for a USB external or flash drive, right-click on the drive in the list and select Change Drive Letter and Paths from the popup menu.

7-The Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box displays for the selected drive showing the current drive letter. To change the drive letter, click Change.

8-On the Change Drive Letter or Path dialog box, select the Assign the following drive letter option. It may be the only option available. Select the desired drive letter from the

NOTE: It is best to select a letter between M and Z (inclusive). If you pick a letter like E, F, or G, the drive letter may still change frequently because these letters may be used for other drives, like CDROM drives, that are not always connected.


9-The following warning displays. If you have some programs that rely on an absolute path to your USB external or flash drive, be sure to change the drive letter on the path to the drive in the program to the letter you selected.

10-The new drive letter displays next to the drive on the Computer Manager dialog box.


11- Select Exit from the File menu to close the Computer Management dialog box.

12-Close both the Administrative Tools window and the Control Panel window by clicking the X button in the upper, right corner of the window.

13- Now, absolute file paths used by programs, such as backup programs, won’t have to be changed every time you plug in your USB drive.


for more information find bellow reference with photos:



http://www.howtogeek.com/96298/assign-a-static-drive-letter-to-a-usb-drive-in-windows-7/
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Alyanto
ID: 39876559
FYI
The device is a bar code scanner.  The intent is to sync files between it and a laptop each time it is connected.  The users are off site and not expected to be IT / Windows experts.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39876662
As long as Windows sees it as an external USB drive, the instructions above apply.

HTH,
Dan
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Author Comment

by:Alyanto
ID: 39876698
Spot on and fast too :) Cheers
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:frankhelk
ID: 39876702
Then it would definitely make sense to set it to a fixed drive letter.

The way outlined by the other experts would work well, I use them by myself, too.

A convenient addition: Since amost nobody uses floppy drives anymore, the drive letter A and B are usually somewhat neglected - anybody thinks about the letters at the end, and nobody thinks of the letters preceeding C. I use A & B for my USB sticks and that works well all the time.

If you want to intercept the drive letters from your software, you might find these articles helpful:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188/en-us
http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.shtml

With assistance of these, you might just
stick the device in,
check if the expected letter is assigned
if not, enumerate the drives from A-Z
check on each letter for the existence of a drive
if it exists, check for the existence of the desired file (or a unique marker file) to ensure that you fix the correct drive
use the procedures outliend in the docs mentioned above to shove the device tothe correct drive letter
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39876726
Why have you accepted that comment as the only answer? It is the same as what Dan said in his first comment. You should accept the first correct answer(s), and not later ones that say the same thing an earlier comment already said.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39881828
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Alyanto
ID: 39881920
I selected this one because it was the most complete answer.  I have tried it over the weekend and it worked for me.  I was certain this was the one I selected last time, but perhaps I miss-clicked in some manner.  I hope all parties are happy with this.

Kind regards

Aly
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39881999
@rindi: This is a case where size does matter.
The OP probably did not even read my answer, skipped to what appeared to be the most complete answer.
And while knowing the answer vs. copying it from the web might make a difference for you and me, it does not for the OP.
He/she simply wanted an answer from a reputable source.

Dan

PS: there's a big difference between Craciun, which means Christmas, and Cranium, which means skull :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Alyanto
ID: 39883110
Please, please stop my ear and head now royally hurts.  Yes size always matters but so does clarity of communication.  Big words aside I will split the points to keep the piece and after taming the brief text from Dan I accept he did make the correct diagnosis too.

Now if I could think of a good joke I would add it, to just to salve everyone's big sticks!

Boys!
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