Macrium Reflect assigning letters question  

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  1. Posts : 288
    windows10 home v22H2 OS Build 19045.3516
       #1

    Macrium Reflect assigning letters question


    When I use diskpart in cmd promt, I only have 2 volumes listed: D for my rewritable dvd drive and C for my OS volume. When I open disk management in windows only C and D is listed. When I open Minitool Partition Wizard, I only have C listed. When I open Macrorit Partition Expert, I only have C listed. But when I open Macrium Reflect 7, I have 4 volumes listed: volume 1, labeled ESP (fat32), is assigned the letter E; volume 4, labeled winretools, is assigned the letter X; volume 5 is my OS and assigned the letter C; and volume 7, labeled PBR, is assigned the letter Y.

    Can someone explain why only MR7 shows these assigned letters? I've had Macrium for quite a while and never experienced this before.
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  2. Posts : 2,798
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64
       #2

    This is the problem that I found in the past between third party partition manager and windows diskpart. When using diskpart to assign a letter to a partition, the partition manager won't see them if they are special types of partitions and vice versa. In your case the 3 partitions E,X and Y should not even have letters assigned to them. They are Boot partition, Recovery Partition and the last one is from the manufacture. PBR stand for: Push Button Recovery.

    The 3 partitions are marked as hidden except software like Macrium can see them so you can make backup/restore those. It's not unusual.

    Did you let anybody working on your PC before ?
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  3. Posts : 1,621
    Windows 10 Home
       #3

    My MR also has been assigning drive letters during its backup operations. My work around was to label my C and D partitions S02(772)C and S02(772)D respectively, My other laptop is S03. 772 is part of the laptop model number. Those names help me to find and act on the desired partitions during backup and restore operations, regardless of MR assigned drive letters.
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  4. Posts : 2,798
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64
       #4

    RolandJS said:
    My MR also has been assigning drive letters during its backup operations. My work around was to label my C and D partitions S02(772)C and S02(772)D respectively, My other laptop is S03. 772 is part of the laptop model number. Those names help me to find and act on the desired partitions during backup and restore operations, regardless of MR assigned drive letters.
    Then it's also wrong. It should be like below, No letters should be assigned to hidden partitions.
    Macrium Reflect assigning letters question-2020-01-19_052951.jpg
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  5. Posts : 288
    windows10 home v22H2 OS Build 19045.3516
    Thread Starter
       #5

    It's confusing to me. It only started happening since the last MR update to 4601. When I copied my pc to a usb via MR, it would show the volumes in file explorer. I would have to use Minitool to unassign the letters and they would disappear from file explorer.
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  6. Posts : 1,621
    Windows 10 Home
       #6

    topgun, you're probably right, I'm probably miss-remembering just where and when I saw these temporary assignments. I've been fighting two failing HDDs, which just replaced. Next time I do backups, will pay close, fresh, attention to all displays - and report back.
    Richard, are you noticing drive letters only with MR explorer, or other places too? The display topgun is showing, like my displays at home, also have never shown me drive letter assignments.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 21 Jan 2020 at 00:26.
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  7. Posts : 288
    windows10 home v22H2 OS Build 19045.3516
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Roland, thanks for replying. I've been using MR for a long time and I've never experienced the assigned letters before. But after I did a backup, I noticed them in file explorer. I had to use a third party partition tool to get them removed. Check the image below.

    Macrium Reflect assigning letters question-screenshot-54-.png

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just an update. As stated in my initial post, there was no listing anywhere until I did an MR backup. After the backup was done, I noticed the added letters E, X and Y. In cmd prompt, it said that I couldn't add or remove a letter designation to the boot volume. Makes since, but Minitool removed all three. I can't find them listed anywhere except when I open Macrium Reflect.
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  8. Posts : 2,798
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64
       #8

    Just an update. As stated in my initial post, there was no listing anywhere until I did an MR backup. After the backup was done, I noticed the added letters E, X and Y. In cmd prompt, it said that I couldn't add or remove a letter designation to the boot volume. Makes since, but Minitool removed all three. I can't find them listed anywhere except when I open Macrium Reflect.
    Those partitions are marked as hidden. You'll not see in Disk Management. The same as for Recovery and MSR partitions.

    Just for future reference: You don't need a 3rd party software to remove the letters. In your case, letter E,X,Y.

    Open Admin command prompt and type:
    mountvol E: /D
    mountvol X: /D
    mountvol Y: /D
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  9. Posts : 288
    windows10 home v22H2 OS Build 19045.3516
    Thread Starter
       #9

    thanks for the reply Topgun.

    Last night I updated some major drivers. This morning I did a full backup with MR. As you can see in the 2 images below, the volumes in question are listed in disk management and in my file explorer.

    Macrium Reflect assigning letters question-screenshot-58-.png

    Macrium Reflect assigning letters question-screenshot-57-.png

    With regards to mounting the volumes and deleting in admin cmd prompt, are you sure E should be deleted? That volume is a boot volume. And are you sure it's okay to delete winretools and PBR? I thought these were needed for recovery and/or repair? But I guess using MR makes these volumes unnecessary?

    Please reply to my queries. I can easily remove the letters, but I'm hesitant to remove the 3 volumes especially the boot volume.
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  10. Posts : 2,798
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64
       #10

    The answer is YES. The only time you assign a letter to it is if you have problem booting, otherwise it should be marked hidden and no letter assigned.
    Your partition layout is also unusual and I think it originally came from the manufacturer of your PC which they cusromize to allow recovery from PBR partition. Lots of peope in this forum have been advising others to use diskpart to assign a letter which is fine. However, if you have a need to assign a letter to this ESP partition, the proper command is: mountvol E: /S

    A normal Windows Installation would have: 529MB Recovery partition, 100MB EFI partition, 16MB MSR partition and the rest is your C drive. The first 3 's are hidden and no letters assigned, Yours is completely different. Your ESP partition is 500MB then you have 3 Recovery partitions: 40MB, 400MB(X:) then then another 400MB Hidden.

    Since you use MR for backup/Restore so you are safe to try unmounting X: and Y: with mountvol command then reboot.

    Another thing I can assure you that MR never assign letters to those partitions. Been using it for at least 10 Years now, never heard/happened of MR doing this.
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