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Can you force a USB HDD to always keep the same drive letter?

    Question

  • Hi all,

    Is there a way, using GPEdit or otherwise, of forcing a USB attached hard disk to always appear with the same drive letter?  I have two externals HDDs with three partitions each and the drive letters seem to vary when I plug them in regardless of whether they're plugged into the same USB ports they were before or not.

    I use these HDDs for external backup with an automated backup program that relies on drive letters.

    Thanks all,

    Mike

    Thursday, September 23, 2010 2:32 PM

Answers

  • Hi Mike,

     

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    As I understand that you encounter the following scenario:

     

    You want to find a way to force a USB HDD to keep the same driver letter.

     

    I give you a method and I test on my PC it works perfect:

     

    1 Connect your USB HDD and the PC will recognize the driver (For example: Driver E and Driver F)

    2 Go to registry, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    3 You will find some Value named as “\DosDevices\E:” and “\DosDevices\F:”

    4 Renamed them, (For example, you want to force Driver E to Driver P, rename “\DosDevices\E:” to “\DosDevices\P:”)

    5 Disconnect your USB HDD and reconnect, you will find your Driver E become to Driver P and it has forced to Driver P.

     

    Note: You should better backup your registry before you want to change it.

     

    Hope it works.

     

    Best Regards

    Leo Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, September 24, 2010 5:25 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Not sure if this can be configured in Win7, but maybe this tool can help you.

    USB Drive Letter Manager for Windows

    USBDLM is a Windows service that gives control over Window's drive letter assignment for USB drives. Running as service makes it independent of the logged on user's privileges, so there is no need to give the users the privilege to change drive letters. It automatically solves conflicts between USB drives and network or subst drives of the currently logged on user. Furthermore you can define new default letters for USB drives and much more.

    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html

     

    • Proposed as answer by Andre.Ziegler Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:11 PM
    Thursday, September 23, 2010 8:48 PM
  • Hi Mike,

     

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    As I understand that you encounter the following scenario:

     

    You want to find a way to force a USB HDD to keep the same driver letter.

     

    I give you a method and I test on my PC it works perfect:

     

    1 Connect your USB HDD and the PC will recognize the driver (For example: Driver E and Driver F)

    2 Go to registry, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    3 You will find some Value named as “\DosDevices\E:” and “\DosDevices\F:”

    4 Renamed them, (For example, you want to force Driver E to Driver P, rename “\DosDevices\E:” to “\DosDevices\P:”)

    5 Disconnect your USB HDD and reconnect, you will find your Driver E become to Driver P and it has forced to Driver P.

     

    Note: You should better backup your registry before you want to change it.

     

    Hope it works.

     

    Best Regards

    Leo Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, September 24, 2010 5:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Leo,

    I'm having this same problem.

    Thanks for the suggestion, but it doesn't work.

    This is happening on my laptop. I keep One Note Notebooks on my usb key and therefore like it to have the same drive letter every time I plug it in. Your suggestion works to change the drive letter back to what I want - the same as using disk manager to do so, but once I take the drive out and restart my machine then plugging the drive back in almost always gets a different drive letter again.

    The question here is whether there is any way to assign a permanent drive letter to a usb thumb drive that will hold even through a remove and restart.

    Thanks,

    Justin

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:16 PM
  • On Wed, 13 Oct 2010 15:16:46 +0000, Philosopher wrote:

    The question here is whether there is any way to assign a permanent drive letter to a usb thumb drive that will hold even through a remove and restart.

    USB Drive Letter Manager (USBDLM) can do this. Just google for it.

    Wolfgang.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010 6:34 PM
  • Hi Leo

    Great advice, worked perfectly on my computer (Windows Vista Home Premium). Thanks for sharing this information. 

    Regards,

    Bruno

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 10:35 PM
  • As always Microsoft 1st level support couldn't answer the question. The question is/was if there is permanent solution. It would be if the registry ownership for the specific item could be changed only to read and not to write. Which is not possible in this case. So USB drive letter manager does its work. Perhaps you should check Linux, it is completely independent on some letter (in many ways better, you can create mount scripts for almost any events you want). Please next time when you or some of your colleagues wants to answer try to read the question thoroughly and perhaps pass it on the second level support because your scenarios failed in this case miserably. It would be really great from MS developers to make the possibility of permanent assignment.

    I apologize for answering this question so late but I was really fed-up that after every second or third restart I have to remap my discs to have the same letters as before.

    Friday, July 25, 2014 6:29 PM
  • hello,

    the above URL is pretty perfect.

    thanks a lot.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014 7:39 AM
  • nice tweak - works like a charm - thanks mate!
    Friday, May 15, 2015 1:45 AM