Windows 10: Trouble Assigning Drive Letters

  1.    04 Jan 2018 #1

    Trouble Assigning Drive Letters


    Okay, I recently moved my complete MAME set to an external hd, which my computer designated "D."
    I also backed up my computer to a separate external hd, which my computer designated as "K."

    I want the backup hd to be "D" and the MAME hd to be something else.

    I selected Disk Management from Win + x Power Menu, but I can't re-assign "D." (I think because it is already taken).

    Is there a workaround for this?

    I'm thinking I may have to plug in my HDs and juggling around the letters. That's the only thing I can think of. But is there a simpler way?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 4,621
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       04 Jan 2018 #2

    The usual method is to move one drive to another letter such as change your D: to M:, re-letter your desired drive to D: then change M: to whatever you want. With External drives the downside would be the possibility of the letter changing when plugging into a different port, I leave mine connected.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    04 Jan 2018 #3

    Also, if there are file paths or executable paths, they might get broken.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 21
    windows 10 pro x64 and multpile Linux distros on VMWare
       04 Jan 2018 #4

    The reply given by Berton is correct. I would like to offer you an explanation of how Windows handles drive letters. Knowing this can be of value to you in the future.

    When no drive letter has been assigned, Windows assigns the next letter available to the device (external drive, flash drive, SD card, etc.). A: and B: are rarely used, and C:\ is reserved for your default boot drive. If you have an additional internal drive or an optical drive (CD/DVD for example) it is assigned the letter D. Windows' pool of drive letters is A-Z.

    Here is how I do this.
    First, I always perform changes of this type from an account with Administrator privileges. It is not absolutely necessary for everything, but it bypasses entering administrator passwords and many "not allowed" types of messages. I usually start with Z: and move backward from there when assigning miscellaneous devices. This is helpful to avoid any conflicts with previous assignments. For example all external drives for all backups for each individual computer/device receives a designation of Z: . Any external drive used for storage not needed or wanted on C:\ receives a designation of S: to indicate STORAGE. Miscellaneous drives get backward assignment (Y,X,W,...) for drive letters.

    How does this work? In my experience the drive letter assignment applies only to the computer which assigned the letter. All other computers will default to the next available drive letter defaults.
    How can the drive be identified on other computers? Under This PC all recognized drives are listed. If you right click the drive you wish to be easily identified, and choose rename, you can name the drive. It is exactly the same process as renaming a folder or file. The result is that you have assigned a volume label to the device. This will not change when the device is plugged into other computers.

    I hope you find this helpful.

    Edwin's post beat mine. Yes, change any existing paths for links as necessary. Be mindful of the new designation when creating new paths for anything.
    Last edited by caffeine; 04 Jan 2018 at 10:19. Reason: additional info
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    05 Jan 2018 #5

    Possibly useful note: you can assign a drive letter to an external disk- but only one per letter.
    Example: plug in your external drive. Say it's allocated E:

    Now change its drive letter to T:

    When you next plug it in, it should be assigned T:
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 21
    windows 10 pro x64 and multpile Linux distros on VMWare
       05 Jan 2018 #6

    Thanks for adding that. I assumed that to be a given, but it is better to include it just to make sure.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    05 Jan 2018 #7

    caffeine said: View Post
    Thanks for adding that. I assumed that to be a given, but it is better to include it just to make sure.
    Especially for moi! Lol.

    Thanks everyone! Working on re-assigning letters now. Reputation spread, if possible.

    Have a great 2018!!! Can't wait to see new developments in the PC community!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 984
    Windows 7/64 Professional
       05 Jan 2018 #8

    Just a reminder of a couple of things that you might run into.

    Windows does not want you to use A, B, C, or D as your selected partition letters.
    A and B are from many years ago when computers used other devices.
    C of course is used for the partition you are booted into.
    D is for you first inline CD/DVD player.

    When you mess with them Windows 10 can be confused.

    The other 22 letters are your choice to organize as you see fit.

    Another problem you might run into is other programs seeing your drive/partition.
    Some time the letter you designated will be change with some 3 rd party programs.

    **The way I solve that problem is to rename every partition to something I understand.**

    If another programs sees your "E" as "G" the name of the partition will let you know what it is by the name.
    If you move the drive to another computer the name of the partition will allow you to know what it is, because the computer you moved the drive to will probably not use the same letter.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jack
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  • Posts : 4,621
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       05 Jan 2018 #9

    I have C: and D: assigned to the 2 usable partitions on the only HDD, E: as the ODD, F:, G: and H: for the 3 External USB HDDs. The 2 NAS drives attached to my Router are Y: and Z: as some time back an earlier Windows started lettering network-attached drives beginning with Z: and working back up the alphabet.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 21
    windows 10 pro x64 and multpile Linux distros on VMWare
       06 Jan 2018 #10

    Thanks for the rep, RadCazz.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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