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Drive letter missing after removing hard drive

    Question

  • I have five hard drives in my system. Recently after a reboot, one of my drives "vanished"

    I rebooted again, it's back. SMART shows the drive is flawless - I suspect a loose connection or something.

    My problem is that before the drive vanished, it was G:. Now it's D: (first open drive letter.) When I go into drive management and try to change the drive letter, it's not there. None of the drives showing have it, but it's not in the list.

    I need this drive to be G: - how do I find where Windows thinks that letter is allocated and release it?


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/
    Sunday, February 05, 2012 4:32 AM

Answers

  • The problem was that the drive letter I needed wasn't in the list.

    A note for anyone who reads this in the future who does support - when working with someone who says "a drive letter is missing" make sure to understand if they mean the drive doesn't have a letter assigned, or if the problem is that the letter they need isn't available. I saw a LOT of this while I was researching this problem - I could tell that the person asking the question was saying that the letter wasn't in the list, but the person trying to help would just point them towards drive management (where they already were, if you read carefully)

    In my case, it turned out I have software running that mounts iso files as CD drives. That's where the drive letter was - it had taken the assignment, but without an iso mounted, it didn't show up in drive management.


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/

    • Marked as answer by Philo Janus Thursday, February 09, 2012 3:20 PM
    Thursday, February 09, 2012 3:20 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    How about using Diskpart command?
     
    Please open a command prompt with administrator privileges, then type:

    Diskpart
    List disk (you will get detail disk info, if you only have one disk, it will show disk 0)
    Select disk 0
    List volume (you will get detail volume info)
    Select volume # (change # to corresponding number)
    Assign letter=G

    More information about Diskpart
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415


    Niki Han

    TechNet Community Support

    • Proposed as answer by sacryde Sunday, December 09, 2012 11:19 PM
    Tuesday, February 07, 2012 7:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Yes, a hardware connection issue would remove the drive and cause the OS to rediscover the drives and reassign letters.

    A bad cable, power or data, bad leg of power supply to drive(if a single), any adapters\converters...you get the idea...check everything.

    Disk Management should be the place to observe the drives and the letters assigned to each.

    Right-clicking a drive from the list at the top offers the context menu with a change drive letter and path option.

    Diskpart will show you also(as Niki suggested)

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012 1:22 PM
  • The problem was that the drive letter I needed wasn't in the list.

    A note for anyone who reads this in the future who does support - when working with someone who says "a drive letter is missing" make sure to understand if they mean the drive doesn't have a letter assigned, or if the problem is that the letter they need isn't available. I saw a LOT of this while I was researching this problem - I could tell that the person asking the question was saying that the letter wasn't in the list, but the person trying to help would just point them towards drive management (where they already were, if you read carefully)

    In my case, it turned out I have software running that mounts iso files as CD drives. That's where the drive letter was - it had taken the assignment, but without an iso mounted, it didn't show up in drive management.


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/

    • Marked as answer by Philo Janus Thursday, February 09, 2012 3:20 PM
    Thursday, February 09, 2012 3:20 PM
  • Has anyone actually provided a correct answer?

    Regedit?

    Best discussion I have found:

    http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6142_102-153317/drive-letters-disappeared-in-disk-management-console/

    • Edited by MarkSad Sunday, August 26, 2012 5:42 PM
    Sunday, August 26, 2012 5:38 PM
  • I had the same issue-had to delete the virtual drive in power iso then diskpart let me assign missing drive letter G back to original external

    HD

    Tuesday, December 04, 2012 11:02 PM
  • This worked for me! You have to reassign the letter of the drive/disc taking up the one you want, but it's a fairly simple and fast solution. :)
    Sunday, December 09, 2012 11:21 PM
  • Using Windows 7 64 Ultimate.  Same issue after I rebuilt my system.  I have 4 HDD and a DVD burner (now switching to BDR.  Anyway My HDD (some multi-part) C, D, E, F, G.  My E became H and my DVD became E (previously H - before rebuilding system).  This had also happened when I first installed Win7x64 Ult but had forgotten what I did to fix it.

    Had removed the DVD drive and BDR now at I, E was gone but couldn't select as a drive letter to reassign for H.  Looked through the Registry and the only thing I could find was the following key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\VolumeInfoCache

    Which lists all the current drive info.  Once I deleted E from the list I was able to reassign the H drive to E.

    If I had noticed this before likely could have played drive letter hot swap like changing H (HDD) to I then E (DVD) to H then I to E (HDD).

    Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:27 PM
  • so what do you do when the letter you want is not avalible?

    Friday, June 21, 2013 12:17 AM
  • Faced the same issue, the required letter was not available Or free to assign to the other drive.

    Resolved:

    ultraISO software was installed on the system. after uninstalling ultraISO the required letter was available/shown. 


    Nawaz

    Tuesday, May 06, 2014 12:07 PM
  • Thank you for useful post. BY follwing these answers,  I have resolved my problems.

    Thank you!!

    Wednesday, May 07, 2014 1:36 AM
  • This is an old post but i ran into the exact same issue. Even the driveletter that Philo was missing (G:) is also the one i am missing. Ofcourse this is just coincidence.

    I am using Virtual CloneDrive which was taking up 1 driveletter. But because no ISO was mounted the driveletter was not visible in Windows Explorer.

    I disabled CloneDrive from it's control panel and the letter G was selectable again in Drive Management.

    Thanks!

    Saturday, October 10, 2015 9:16 PM
  • I have five hard drives in my system. Recently after a reboot, one of my drives "vanished"

    I rebooted again, it's back. SMART shows the drive is flawless - I suspect a loose connection or something.

    My problem is that before the drive vanished, it was G:. Now it's D: (first open drive letter.) When I go into drive management and try to change the drive letter, it's not there. None of the drives showing have it, but it's not in the list.

    I need this drive to be G: - how do I find where Windows thinks that letter is allocated and release it?


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 10:08 AM
  • I have five hard drives in my system. Recently after a reboot, one of my drives "vanished"

    I rebooted again, it's back. SMART shows the drive is flawless - I suspect a loose connection or something.

    My problem is that before the drive vanished, it was G:. Now it's D: (first open drive letter.) When I go into drive management and try to change the drive letter, it's not there. None of the drives showing have it, but it's not in the list.

    I need this drive to be G: - how do I find where Windows thinks that letter is allocated and release it?


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/



    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 10:09 AM
  • The problem was that the drive letter I needed wasn't in the list.

    A note for anyone who reads this in the future who does support - when working with someone who says "a drive letter is missing" make sure to understand if they mean the drive doesn't have a letter assigned, or if the problem is that the letter they need isn't available. I saw a LOT of this while I was researching this problem - I could tell that the person asking the question was saying that the letter wasn't in the list, but the person trying to help would just point them towards drive management (where they already were, if you read carefully)

    In my case, it turned out I have software running that mounts iso files as CD drives. That's where the drive letter was - it had taken the assignment, but without an iso mounted, it didn't show up in drive management.


    Philo Janus, MCP Author: Pro InfoPath 2007 Pro PerformancePoint 2007 Pro SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 Building Integrated Business Intelligence Solutions with SQL Server 2008 R2 & Office 2010 Blog @ http://philo.typepad.com/with-all-due-respect/


    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 10:09 AM
  • Thank you Niki, your diskpart instructions were very usefull to solve my problem.
    Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:01 PM
  • Can you direct me to the answer? I can't find the drive letter I need. The drive has been relabeled and the letter I need is not on reassign option list. Thank you. 
    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 3:09 PM