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.
To begin, select Control Panel from the Start menu.
If you have selected the Category view on the Control Panel, click the System and Security link.
On the System and Security window, click the Administrative Tools link at the bottom.
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.
A separate window displays containing shortcuts to the various Administrative tools available. Double-click the Computer Management shortcut.
The Computer Management dialog box displays. In the tree on the left, select Disk Management under Storage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new drive letter displays next to the drive on the Computer Manager dialog box.
Select Exit from the File menu to close the Computer Management dialog box.
Close both the Administrative Tools window and the Control Panel window by clicking the X button in the upper, right corner of the window.
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.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 10/28/11