StackHowTo

  • How To Assign Letter To Drive In CMD

I n this tutorial, we are going to see how to assign a drive letter in CMD. To assign a letter to a drive such as an external hard drive or a USB flash drive, there is a tool called Diskpart that makes drive letter assignment faster.

In order to assign a drive letter, we will use Diskpart command prompt which also allows you to create a partition, delete a partition, and format a partition, etc. Well, how to assign a drive letter with Diskpart?  

How To Assign Letter To A Drive In CMD

assign drive letter from command prompt

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MiniTool

How to Change Drive Letter with CMD Windows 10

Diskpart is a command-line tool in Windows system that allows you to manage your disks and partitions. This post introduces how to change drive letter with CMD in Windows 10, namely, by using Diskpart CMD tool. MiniTool software provides users a free disk partition manager, data recovery software, system backup and restore software, etc.

If you want, you can change drive letter for a drive with CMD (Command Prompt) in Windows 10. This post includes detailed guides for how to use Diskpart command-line tool to change driver letter in CMD.

How to Change Drive Letter with CMD in Windows 10

Diskpart is a Windows built-in CMD tool that lets you easily manage hard drive and change drive letter. To change or assign drive letter in CMD, you can firstly open Diskpart utility in Command Prompt. Check the steps below.

Step 1. Open CMD in Windows 10

You can press Windows + R , type cmd , and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open elevated Command Prompt .

Step 2. Open Diskpart tool

In Command Prompt window, you can type diskpart command, and press Enter . This will open the Diskpart command-line utility.

Step 3. Change drive letter CMD

Next you can type the command line below to change drive letter in Command Prompt in Windows 10. Remember to press Enter after typing each command line.

  • list volume (this command will list all available volumes detected by your computer)
  • select volume * (replace “*” with the exact volume number of the target partition)
  • assign letter=* (replace “*” with the preferred drive letter like “F”)

Windows change drive letter

After you change or assign a drive letter for a drive or device, Windows will display the same letter automatically next time you reconnect the device to your computer.

If you want to remove the drive letter of a specific drive, you can type remove letter=* command and press Enter . Still, replace “*” with the exact drive letter of the target drive.

How to Change Drive Letter Using PowerShell

Some Windows 10 users might find that Command Prompt is missing from Win + X menu , and instead, it shows Windows PowerShell. Windows PowerShell can do most things that Command Prompt does. Alternatively, you can also use Windows PowerShell to change drive letter in Windows 10.

Step 1. Press Windows + X , and choose Windows PowerShell (Admin) to run Windows PowerShell utility as administrator.

Step 2. Next type get-disk command and press Enter to list all available drives the computer detected.

Step 3. Then you can type the command: Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter F , and press Enter to assign a new drive letter. You should change “*” with the actual disk number of target drive, and replace “F” with the new drive letter you’d like to assign to the drive.

change drive letter PowerShell

MiniTool Partition Wizard – Professional Free Disk Partition Manager

Instead of using CMD or PowerShell to change drive letter for a drive in Windows 10, you can also utilize third-party free disk partition manager like MiniTool Partition Wizard to easily change drive letter and manage disk partitions on Windows 10.

MiniTool Partition Wizard let you easily create/delete/extend/resize/format/wipe partitions, convert partitions formats, migrate OS, clone disk, test hard drive speed , analyze hard drive space usage, check and fix disk errors , and more.

change drive letter with MiniTool Partition Wizard

By following the detailed guides above, you can easily change drive letter with CMD (Command Prompt), PowerShell or MiniTool Partitioon Wizard on Windows 10.

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  • DiskPart Command Line Utility

[Free Guide]: Use Diskpart Assign Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

This post will show you how to use Diskpart assign drive letter in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. In addition, another free GUI software will be introduced to assign or remove the drive letters.

assign drive letter from command prompt

Why use Diskpart assign drive letter?

As we all know, Windows assigns drive letters to all available drives on your computer, such as internal hard drives, optical drives, SD cards, and external USB drives. A drive letter is an alphabetical identifier for a volume, and each drive letter can be used once on a computer.

But sometimes, users want to change the original drive letter to another drive letter. Or due to some operation, the drive letter will not be available and the user needs to assign a new drive letter. So a computer-experienced user might assign drive letter by Diskpart, as this is the faster way. The purpose of this article is to provide you with some methods for assigning a drive letter , including Diskpart, Disk Management, and another easier way.

Step-by-step: Assign drive letter by Windows built-in tools

Windows OS users know they have two amazing tools for managing disks and partitions - Disk Management and Diskpart.

The Disk Management tool in Windows provides you with an easy-to-use graphical interface to manage your disks with a single mouse click. And Diskpart is a command-line tool that allows you to quickly manage your disks or partitions from the command prompt. The next section will show you how to use Disk Management and Diskpart to assign drive letters.

│ Use Diskpart to assign drive letter

Diskpart is a Windows built-in tool that you can use to manage your hard drive, like format disk partition, create partition, delete partition , etc. Well, how to use Command Prompt Diskpart assign drive letter? The following parts may help you a lot.

Step 1.  Press "Windows + R". Then, type "diskpart" and press Enter.

Step 2. Type in "list volume" and press Enter. Now, you can see all volumes on PC.

Step 3. Type in "select volume 7" and press Enter(here take volume 7 as an example).

Step 4.  Finally, type in“assign letter=F” and press Enter.

If you want to remove the drive letter, type “remove letter=X”(X is the drive letter you want to remove).

Actually, you may assign a drive letter when you create a new one. For that, you need to create partition first. After creating a partition, type “assign letter=?” to that partition. Or, if there is some volume hidden, it will not have the drive letter, to unhide it, you need to assign a drive letter for it. 

│ Assign drive letter via Disk Management

In addition to Diskpart, Disk Management may be another good choice to assign drive letter.

Step 1.  Press “ Win + R ” to open the “ Run ” window and type  diskmgmt.msc  in the box.

Step 2 . Right-click the drive you want to assign, and select change Drive Letter and Paths  in the pop-up window.

change drive letter and path

Step 3.  Click  Change  to summon the next window.

change

Notice:  If you want to remove the drive letter of your partition, you can select " Remove " and follow the instructions step by step.

Step 4.  After that, you should choose the new drive letter from the drop list, and then, click  OK .

assign new letter

Now, do you understand how to use Disk Management and Diskpart assign drive letter?

Although it's convenient for most people, you need to be aware that sometimes you can't assign drive letter successfully, because Disk Management and Diskpart only support assigning drive letter with FAT or NTFS. When the drive's file system is another type, you can format it to NTFS or FAT, or use another method to assign a drive letter.

Diskpart assign drive letter alternative

Disk Management and Diskpart are not perfect because they have limitations. Fortunately, there is an easier way to make up for their shortcomings perfectly.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a completely free third-party partition manager. It supports users to assign drive letters through a more friendly interface, which can be done with just a few clicks, much simpler than Diskpart. Also, it can assign drive letter on any file system. More importantly, it has more complete functions and allows you to manage disks flexibly.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, it will show you all storage devices in the main interface. you can see the removable drive doesn't have a drive letter. If you want to assign a drive letter for the drive, here you need to right click it, select Advanced-> Change Drive Letter.

Assign Drive Letter

Step 2. Then, select a drive letter for the drive.

Choose New Drive Letter

Step 3. Click Apply to submit the task.

Apply Assign Drive Letter

Now, do you know how to use Diskpart assign drive letter? If you are a user who has a computer background, Diskpart may be the quickest method to assign the drive letter. However, if you are normal user, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is the correct choice.  After you upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional , there are more advanced features you can try, such as allocating free space from one drive to C, and Move the installed app from one drive to another.

Last but not least, although the system drive letter can be changed, do not do it because that would make the system unable to boot.

Free Partition Manager

assign drive letter from command prompt

  • Resize and Move Partition
  • System/Disk Clone
  • Convert MBR/GPT Disk
  • Check & Fix Disk Errors

assign drive letter from command prompt

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assign drive letter from command prompt

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How to Remove and Assign Drive Letters in Windows with Diskpart

Diskpart is one of the most powerful Windows command line utilities which first appeared in Windows XP. Diskpart is mainly used by Windows administrators to manage tasks like partition management, formatting, creating, re-sizing and getting a detailed information regarding the hard disk or other removable disks attached to the computer. Even though you have a built-in GUI application called Disk Management utility in Windows, Diskpart is much more flexible and works well in a server environment where you need to set up some advanced features like RAID.

Note: This post isn't intended for beginners, and doing something wrong while using Diskpart utility may cause drive failures and data losses, so make sure that you have a good backup before continuing. You have been warned.

Assign Drive Letter Using Diskpart

Assigning a new drive letter to a partition or removable device using Diskpart is really easy. First, search for the command prompt in the Start menu, right click on it and select the option "Run as administrator." If you are using Windows 8, press "Win + X" to open the power user menu and select the option "Command Prompt (Admin)."

diskpart-launch-cmd-as-admin

The above action will open the command prompt window with administrative rights. Here enter the following command to start the Diskpart utility.

diskpart-cmd-diskpart

The next step is to list all the volumes in your computer so that you can clearly see all the volume numbers and drive letters of your hard disk partitions and any other removable devices. Use the command below to list all the volumes.

diskpart-list-volume

Once the Diskpart utility lists all the volumes, take a note of the volume number of the drive you want to assign a new drive letter. In my case, I'm trying to assign a new drive letter to the drive I:\ , so my volume number is 7 . Now execute the following command to select the volume while replacing the # symbol with an actual volume number.

diskpart-select-volume

Once the volume is selected, use the following command to assign a new drive letter. Don't forget to replace the letter "V" with the drive letter you want to assign.

diskpart-assign-letter

That's all there is to do; you have successfully changed or re-assigned a new drive letter to a partition or a removable drive in Windows. In fact, if you open the Windows explorer, you can see that the change is reflected immediately.

diskpart-drive-letter-changed

Remove Drive Letter using Diskpart

Before moving any further, removing or un-assigning drive letter will effectively hide the drive or partition from plain sight, i.e. you cannot see that drive in the Windows explorer. To remove a drive letter, follow the above steps 1 through 4 and then use the below command to remove the drive letter of a drive or partition. Don't forget to replace the letter "I" with the actual drive letter.

diskpart-remove-letter

As soon as you have done that, Diskpart will remove the drive letter for that volume. If you list the volumes again, you will see that the drive you just interacted with will have no drive letter next to it.

diskpart-letter-removed

Moreover, if you navigate to the Windows explorer, you will see that the drive which got un-assigned isn't listed anymore. But again, always be careful while you are messing around with Diskpart utility; it may cause irrecoverable data loss if used incorrectly.

Hopefully that helps, and do comment below if you face any problems while following the steps or to simply share your thoughts.

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

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How to change a drive letter on windows 10 or windows 11.

You can change your drive letters in Windows 10 and 11 using the Disk Management utility.

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What changing a drive letter does, how to change a drive letter, how to fix programs broken by changing a drive letter.

Changing the letter of a drive is easy on Windows 10 and Windows 11, but you should do it as soon as you add the drive to prevent future hassles. Find out how to change a drive letter here.

Windows assigns drive letters alphabetically --- starting with C --- when they're initialized. If you want to change a drive letter, you should do it before you install anything on the drive. Changing a drive letter after programs are installed could break them since there will be references to an installation location that is no longer there.

Windows has gotten pretty smart about updating shortcuts so that programs work after changing a drive letter. Most of your applications' shortcuts will probably be automatically corrected. Unfortunately, Windows isn't as good about updating file associations. You'll have to manually set the default apps associated with files to fix file associations if they were broken by changing the drive letter.

It is possible to change the boot drive letter to something else, but we don't recommend it. Changing C:\ to another letter is likely to result in severe issues, like a PC that cannot boot into Windows at all. Even if it were able to boot, there would be a huge number of programs that would not be able to run.

Technically speaking, while they are commonly called drive letters, each letter actually refers to a partition on a disk. If you have multiple partitions on a single disk, you will need to assign a letter to each partition to make them all accessible. If a disk has just a single partition, it will just have a single letter pointing to that partition. (However, you do not have to assign a letter to each partition. Partitions without drive letters will not appear in File Explorer and elsewhere.)

Changing a drive letter is pretty simple. Click the Start button, type "Disk Management" in the search bar, and then hit Enter.

The program name displayed in the search will not be Disk Management. It will be "Create and format hard disk partitions."

You could also hit Windows+X or right-click the Start button, and then click "Disk Management."

Identify the drive you'd like to change in the Disk Management Window. In this example, we'll change the letter of the D:\ drive to J:\. You can right-click the drive on the text list, or on the menu below. Either works.

Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" in the right-click menu that appears.

In the window that pops up, click "Change."

Select whatever letter you want from the drop-down menu. Then click "Ok."

Two popups will warn you about changing your drive letter. Click "Yes" on both of them, and then restart your computer.

Once Windows has restarted, the drive letter should be changed.

There are a few ways you can fix a program broken by changing the drive letter.

Fix The Shortcut

If you're lucky, the only thing that is broken is the shortcut. Fix a shortcut by right-clicking the shortcut on your desktop, and then click Properties.

You need to change the target of the shortcut to the new drive letter.

For example, if GIMP was previously installed at " D :\GIMP 2\bin\gimp-2.10.exe," and you changed the D drive to J, change the target of the shortcut to " J :\GIMP 2\bin\gimp-2.10.exe."

Finalize the change by clicking "Apply" and then "Ok."

Reinstall the Program

Reinstalling the program will generate new entries in the registry, so everything on the computer will know where to look for the program. Some installers won't like reinstalling directly over existing files, so you may need to rename or delete the old installation first.

Change the Drive Letter Back

If you changed the drive letter of a drive with a lot of programs installed, it might be easier to change the drive letter back. Changing the drive letter back should automatically fix any programs and file associations that were broken.

Edit the Registry

You can break programs, or even Windows itself, by editing the registry. Be careful, and learn about how to edit the registry before you try it. Make sure you backup the Windows registry first. You should not attempt this method unless you have no other options.

Windows, and a lot of programs, track where programs are installed via the Windows registry. It is possible to manually adjust the registry to fix broken programs. Keep in mind that there could be dozens of registry entries you need to edit. A program like GIMP can have registry entries for the context menu, for the "Open With" menu, for any file associations, and for the location of its executables. Other programs may only have a few entries related to where it is installed.

If you're not deterred, here's how you do it.

First, you need to know where the program was previously installed. In this case, the program was installed to the "D:\GIMP 2" folder, and the executables were found the "D:\GIMP 2\bin" sub-folder. It is now located at "J:\GIMP 2" instead.

We need to update the registry to reflect the change in location. Click the Start button, type "regedit" into the search bar, right-click Regedit, and click "Run as administrator."

In Regedit, hit Ctrl+F to bring up a search window. Type in the old location for the program you're trying to fix --- "D:\GIMP 2" for our example --- then click "Find Next."

Once Regedit has found something with "D:\GIMP 2" as part of a path, it'll show it to you. Here is an example from the GIMP search.

To actually change them, double click the name of the registry entry you want to modify. Then change the drive letter to J, or whatever you chose. If you didn't otherwise move the folder, leave the rest of the path alone. Then click "Ok."

You'll need to repeat this multiple times. To find the next result using your search term, you can hit the F3 key. There will be a popup once you've found all of the entries.

Changing drive letters can be a simple way to customize your PC. Do it before you install anything on the drive, however. You'll prevent any problems before they occur, and probably save yourself quite a bit of troubleshooting.

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How to Assign / Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

We show you how to change the drive letter in CMD, DIsk Management, PowerShell, and Registry editor in Windows 10.

https://winbuzzer.com/2020/08/07/bitlocker-for-windows-10-how-to-use-encryption-for-system-disk-partitions-or-any-other-drive-xcxwbt/

  • 1 How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 via Disk Management
  • 2 How to Change Drive Letter in CMD using a DISKPART Disk Management Command
  • 3 How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 with a PowerShell Disk Management Command
  • 4 How to Change / Assign a Drive Letter via the Registry Editor

Windows 10 helpfully assigns drive letters to disks as they're added, but they aren't always the most logical choices. While we all know that C: is the system drive, it doesn't make quite as much sense to have D: as your games drive or E: as your media drive. Luckily it's quite easy to change a drive letter in Windows 10, and we're going to walk you through the process today.

How does Windows 10 drive letter assignment work?

For the most part, Windows 10 automatically assigns letters to drives as they're connected, in alphabetical order. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule that may leave some users confused.

As mentioned earlier, C: is always reserved for the system drive, but A: and B: are reserved too, for rarely used floppy drives. Because of Windows automatic assignment, you may have also noticed that Windows changes the drive letter of your USB stick if you've connected another before it.

If you want letters that are easier to identify in bios or don't want your USB letters jumping around, it's quite easy to permanently change a drive letter in Windows 10 to something of your choosing. We're going to cover a few different ways today, including how to change the drive letter in CMD.

How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 via Disk Management

The most user-friendly way to assign drive letters in Windows is through the Disk Management interface, which is relatively easy to use.

Start - Disk Management

How to Change Drive Letter in CMD using a DISKPART Disk Management Command

Though it's not quite as user-friendly, it can be much faster to change a drive letter with Command Prompt.

Windows 10 - Open Elevated Command Prompt

How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10 with a PowerShell Disk Management Command

Those more familiar with PowerShell can use this method instead to achieve the same result.

Windows 10 - Open PowerShell as Admin

How to Change / Assign a Drive Letter via the Registry Editor

Alternatively, if none of the above methods worked or you're just feeling brave, you can modify the drive letter via the registry. Just be sure to read our safe registry editing guide first.

Windows 10 - Open Registry Editor

If you enjoyed this guide, you may want to consider enabling or disabling disk caching or turning on BitLocker for your newly customized drives.

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assign drive letter from command prompt

Assign, change or remove Drive Letter with Diskpart

Diskpart is very powerful Windows Utility, which allows certain number of operation with hard disk. In this article we will show you how to assign, change or remove drive letter with Diskpart using.

Windows-10-x64-Original-2016-09-05-14-24-29

You bought hard drive for Backup, but it has automaticaly gained letter D . You want to change it to E . First we need to open Command Prompt with Administrator Rights.

Type cmd into the search box, and then right-click and choose Run as administrator. If you have Windows 10 use the CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER keyboard shortcut on Screen 1 , or click on Start with right click and choose Command Prompt (Admin) on Screen 2 .

cp001

When Command Prompt pops up, run the diskpart command.

run_dpt

Now we type list volume to list our volumes, we need to know the number of our volume.

list_vol

In our case our hard drive is Volume 3 and that number is 3 .

Now we use command select volume 3 to make changes to that volume. If your volume number is different, you need to replace number  3 with the number from your volume. After we have selected our volume we use command assign letter E , to assing letter E to our volume.

asn_let

Now you know how to change or assign another letter to your volume, also if you need you can remove volume letter with command remove letter E

rem_let

For security reasons you cannot change or remove your current system disk letter (esp C ), it will not work.

To exit diskpart type in exit .

exit

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assign drive letter from command prompt

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How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

By default, Windows 10 automatically assigns drive letters to connected drives, including internal and external drives. You might want to change these letters. Here is how it can be done.

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Windows 10 assigns an available drive letter to a new drive connected to the computer. The operating system goes through the alphabet from A to Z to find the first available letter to assign it to various drives. Historically, it reserves the drive letters A and B for floppy drives.

Modern Windows versions assign the C letter to the system partition which Windows is installed on. Even in a dual-boot configuration, Windows 10 displays its own system partition as C:.

USB Drive Icon In This Pc With Setup

Changing drive letters will allow re-arranging drives in the This PC folder. This can be useful after you add an extra drive or create a new partition. For example, you might want to change its drive letter to display it before the DVD drive. Also, when you change the drive letter of a USB drive, it will be assigned permanently. Often Windows 10 randomly changes the drive letter for external drives when you connect them, so this way you can make this process more predictable.

Tip: Show drive letters before drive names in This PC / Computer folder .

There are a number of methods you can use to change the drive letter of a drive in Windows 10. Let's review them.

To change the drive letter in Windows 10 , do the following.

  • Press the Win + X keys together.

Win+X Menu Disk Management Command

You are done. The drive will appear in File Explorer under the letter you've chosen.

Change the drive letter in the command prompt

  • Open an elevated command prompt .
  • Type diskpart .

Windows 10 Diskpart List Volume

You are done.

Change the drive letter in PowerShell

  • Open an elevated PowerShell instance .

Windows 10 PowerShell Get Partition

For example, the command can look as follows:

PowerShell Assign Drive Letter

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram , Twitter , and YouTube . View all posts by Sergey Tkachenko

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Mount a drive in a folder

  • 8 contributors
Applies To: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016

You can use Disk Management to mount (make a drive accessible) in a folder rather than a drive letter. It looks like just another folder. You can mount drives only in empty folders on basic or dynamic NTFS volumes.

You must be a member of the Backup Operators or Administrators group to mount a drive or remove a mount point.

Mount a drive in an empty folder

You can mount a drive in an empty folder using Disk Management or the command line.

Before you start

Create an empty folder . You need to create a new empty folder and store it on an NTFS or ReFS drive.

Review the terms . To help you navigate the steps, here are terms used throughout this article.

Mount a drive as a folder with Disk Management

In the search box on the taskbar, enter Computer Management , and select Disk Management .

Choose the partition or volume that has the folder you want to mount the drive.

Go to Action > All Tasks > Change Drive Letter and Paths , then choose Add .

Select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder option.

Select the Browse button to locate the folder.

After you select the folder, choose select OK .

Select OK in the Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box to finish.

Mount a drive as a folder with the command line

Open a command prompt and type diskpart .

At the DISKPART prompt, type list volume , and select Enter . Make note of the volume number of the drive you want to mount to the folder.

At the DISKPART prompt, type select volume <volumenumber> , and select Enter . Make sure to specify the volume number in the command. For example: select volume 5

At the DISKPART prompt, type assign [mount=<path>] , and select Enter . Make sure to specify the full path in the command. For example: assign mount="C:\Users\Smith\Desktop\Demo Drive"

Close command prompt.

Remove a mount point

To remove the mount point so that the drive is no longer accessible through a folder, do the following steps.

Open Disk Management. In the search box on the taskbar, enter Computer Management , and select Disk Management

Choose the drive mounted to the folder, then choose Change Drive Letters and Paths .

Go to Action > All Tasks > Change Drive Letter and Paths .

Select the folder from the list, and then choose Remove .

Additional considerations

  • If you're administering a local or remote computer, you can browse NTFS folders on that computer.
  • Mount point folder paths are available only on empty folders on basic or dynamic NTFS volumes.
  • To modify a mount point folder path, remove it, and then create a new folder path using the new location. You can't modify the mount point folder path directly.
  • When assigning a mount point folder path to a drive, use Event Viewer to check the system log for any Cluster service errors or warnings indicating mount point folder path failures. These errors display as ClusSvc in the Source column and Physical Disk Resource in the Category column.
  • You can also create a mounted drive using the mountvol command.
  • Command-line syntax notation

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How to assign a drive a letter using Diskpart

Industries top insights, delivered to your inbox.

Introduction:

Windows volume drive letters can be altered from the command line using Diskpart.

Requirements:

Access to the Windows command line.

From your taskbar, start a search for

Enter the command:

Example output:

but replace “2” with the desired volume number. Enter the command:

but replace the “q” with any desired letter that is not already being used by another volume.

More Information:

within  diskpart  for more information.

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How to format a USB flash drive on Windows 10

You can format a USB flash drive to delete its contents or resolve problems quickly, and here's how on Windows 10.

USB flash drive format

  • File Explorer
  • Disk Management
  • Command Prompt

On Windows 10 , the ability to format a USB flash drive can be helpful in many scenarios. For instance, sometimes, you may need to reformat a removable storage device to ensure it does not contain malicious code. Or when the thumb drive is not accessible because of data corruption, you received a flash drive using a file system incompatible with your platform, or you plan to get rid of the storage device and want to make sure you are not leaving behind any personal information.

Regardless of the reason, Windows 10 includes several tools to format all kinds of storage (such as USB flash drives) using File Explorer, Disk Management, Command Prompt, and PowerShell.

This guide will walk you through the steps to format a USB flash drive to quickly erase its contents or fix problems when the device isn't recognized.

Warning: These instructions will erase everything on the selected drive. If you have any important files, you should back them up before proceeding.

How to format USB flash drive from File Explorer

To format a USB flash drive from File Explorer on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Open File Explorer .
  • Click on This PC from the left pane.
  • Under the "Devices and drives" section, right-click the flash drive and select the Format option.
  • Use the "File system" drop-down menu and select the NTFS option.
  • Quick tip: If you plan to use the removable storage on Windows 10 and macOS systems, you may want to select the "exFAT" option for compatibility. However, if you think you might use the device on a Linux machine, "FAT32" is the best option, even though you will be limited to 4GB file sizes.
  • Use the default selection in the "Allocation unit size" drop-down menu.
  • In the "Volume label" field, confirm a drive name that will appear in File Explorer. For example, workUSB .
  • Under the "Format options" section, select the Quick format option.
  • Quick note: The "Quick format" option only deletes the file system table and the root folder, but the data may still be recoverable. If you do not check the setting, a full format operation will be performed, and it will scan for bad sectors and write zeros in all sectors deleting the data. As a result, this process can take a long time, depending on the drive size.
  • Click the Start button.
  • Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, the flash drive will be ready to store documents, pictures, videos, and other files.

How to format USB flash drive from Disk Management

On Disk Management, you have at least two ways to format a USB flash drive. You can format the storage to rebuild the file system table and erase the content, or you can delete the partition that comes in handy to fix storage problems.

Format flash drive

To use Disk Management to format a USB drive on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Open Start .
  • Search for "Create and format hard disk partitions" and click the top result to open the Disk Management app.
  • Right-click the removable drive and select the Format option.
  • In the "Volume label" field, confirm a name to identify the storage in File Explorer.
  • Use the "File system" drop-down menu and select the NTFS option. (You can also choose the "FAT32" or "exFAT" option.)
  • Use the Default option in the "Allocation unit size" drop-down menu.
  • Check the "Perform a quick format" option.
  • (Optional) Check the "Enable file and folder compression" option.
  • Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the drive will be erased and reformatted to store data again.

Clean and format flash drive

When the USB drive is experiencing problems, it's best to clean it and start again from scratch with a new partition and file system.

To clean and format a USB flash drive on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Search for "Create and format hard disk partitions" and click the top result to open the Disk Management tool.
  • Right-click the removable storage and select the Delete volume option.
  • Right-click the "Unallocated" space and choose the "New Simple Volume" option.
  • Click the Next button.
  • Click the Next button again to use all the available space.
  • Select the "Assign the following drive letter" option.
  • Use the drop-down menu to select one of the available letters.
  • Quick tip: If you assign a letter manually, it is best to select a letter in reverse order (Z, Y, X, and so on).
  • Select the "Format this volume with the following settings" option.
  • Use the File system drop-down menu and select the NTFS option.
  • Quick note: Using this method, you can only use "NTFS" or "FAT32." If you need to format the drive using "exFAT," you will need to use Command Prompt or PowerShell.
  • Use the Default option for the "Allocation unit size" setting.
  • Type a label in the "Volume label" field to quickly identify the flash drive on File Explorer.
  • Check the "Perform a quick format" option. (If you clear the setting, a full format will take place that can take some time, depending on the storage size.)
  • Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the process will create a new partition and set up the file system, fixing common problems with the flash drive, including data corruption.

How to format USB flash drive from PowerShell

PowerShell is another tool that allows you to format a USB flash drive to delete its contents. In addition, the command-line tool can be used to clean and format the storage to resolve corruption and other problems.

Format flash drive using PowerShell

To format a USB flash drive using PowerShell commands on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Search for PowerShell , right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to perform a quick format on the flash drive and press Enter : Format-Volume -DriveLetter DRIVE-LETTER -FileSystem FILE-SYSTEM -NewFileSystemLabel DRIVE-NAME

In the command, replace DRIVE-LETTER with the correct letter reflecting the drive you want to format, FILE-SYSTEM for FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS, and DRIVE-NAME with the name you want the device to appear in File Explorer. 

This example performs a quick format of the "F" drive with the NTFS file system: Format-Volume -DriveLetter F -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel workUSB

  • (Optional) Type the following command to perform a full format of the USB flash drive and press Enter : Format-Volume -DriveLetter DRIVE-LETTER -FileSystem FILE-SYSTEM -Full -Force

In the command, replace DRIVE-LETTER with the correct letter reflecting the drive you want to format and FILE-SYSTEM for FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS, depending on the file system you want to use. If you do not know and are on Windows 10, you should use NTFS. The Full option tells the command to perform a full format, and the -Force option specifies the override switch.

This example performs a full format of the "F" drive: Format-Volume -DriveLetter F -FileSystem NTFS -Full -Force

After you complete the steps, PowerShell will format the storage with the settings you specified.

Clean and format flash drive using PowerShell

To clean and format a removable drive with PowerShell commands, use these steps:

  • Type the following command to view the flash drive you want to fix and press Enter : Get-Disk
  • Type the following command to delete the volume and press Enter : Get-Disk DISK-NUMBER | Clear-Disk -RemoveData

In the command, change DISK-NUMBER for the correct number for the flash drive you are formatting. 

This example selects and cleans disk number 2: Get-Disk 2 | Clear-Disk -RemoveData

  • Type Y to confirm the action and press Enter .
  • Type the following command to create a new partition and press Enter : New-Partition -DiskNumber DISK-NUMBER -UseMaximumSize

In the command, change DISK-NUMBER to the correct number for the storage you are formatting. 

This example creates a new partition using the entire space available on drive number 2: New-Partition -DiskNumber 2 -UseMaximumSize

  • Type the following command to perform a quick format and assign a drive label, and press Enter : Get-Partition -DiskNumber DISK-NUMBER | Format-Volume -FileSystem FILE-SYSTEM -NewFileSystemLabel DRIVE-NAME

In the command, change DISK-NUMBER for the number that identifies the storage in the system, FILE-SYSTEM for "NTFS," "FAT32," or "exFAT," and DRIVE-NAME with the name you want the device to appear in File Explorer. 

This example selects, and formats drive number 2 using the NTFS file system: Get-Partition -DiskNumber 2 | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel workUSB

  • Type the following command to assign a new letter to the drive and press Enter : Get-Partition -DiskNumber DISK-NUMBER | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter DRIVE-LETTER

In the command, replace DISK-NUMBER for the number that identifies the storage in the system and DRIVE-LETTER with the letter you want the device to appear in File Explorer. 

This example sets "E" as the drive letter for disk number 2: Get-Partition -DiskNumber 2 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter E

After you complete the steps, PowerShell will delete the data on the removable USB storage to fix problems, including corruption, write protection, and unrecognized drives. Then it will create a new partition and configure a file system to store files.

How to format USB flash drive from Command Prompt

You can use the Command Prompt to clean the drive and start fresh with a new partition and file system table.

Format flash drive using command-line

To perform a quick or full format on a USB flash drive with Command Prompt on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Search for Command Prompt , right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to perform a quick format of the USB flash drive and press Enter : format VOLUME: /v:FLASHDRIVE-LABEL /fs:FILE-SYSTEM /q

In the command, make sure to replace the VOLUME with the correct drive letter of the storage, FLASHDRIVE-LABEL with the name you want the drive to appear in File Explorer, FILE-SYSTEM with one of the available file systems, including "FAT32," "exFAT," or "NTFS."

This example performs a quick format of the E drive: format E: /v:workUSB /fs:NTFS /q

  • Press Enter again to continue.
  • (Optional) Type the following command to perform a full format of the USB flash drive and press Enter : format VOLUME: /v:FLASHDRIVE-LABEL /fs:FILE-SYSTEM

This example performs a full format of the E drive: format E: /v:"workUSB" /fs:NTFS

After completing the steps, the thumb drive will be formatted with the specified settings.

Clean and format flash drive using command-line

To clean and format a flash drive with commands on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Type the following command to launch the DiskPart tool and press Enter : diskpart
  • Type the following command to view a list of the available drives and press Enter : list disk
  • Type the following command to select the flash drive you want to delete and press Enter : select disk DISK-NUMBER

In the command, replace DISK-NUMBER with the number for the drive you are trying to format. 

This example selects the flash drive listed as disk number 2: select disk 2

  • Type the following command to delete all the partitions on the storage and press Enter : clean
  • Type the following command to create a primary partition and press Enter : create partition primary
  • Type the following command to perform a quick format and press Enter : format fs=FILE-SYSTEM label=DRIVE-NAME quick

In the command, make sure to replace FILE-SYSTEM for your preferred file system, including "FAT32," "exFAT," or "NTFS." Also, replace DRIVE-NAME with the name you want to give the device. If you do not specify the "quick" option, then a full format will be performed. 

This example quickly formats the removable storage using the NTFS file system and applies the "workUSB" name: format fs=NTFS label=workUSB quick

  • Type the following command to assign a drive letter and press Enter : assign

Quick note: You can append "letter=E" in the command to assign (in this case) "E" as the drive letter. Otherwise, the system will assign a letter automatically.

  • Type the following command to close DiskPart and press Enter : exit

Once you complete the steps, the DiskPart tool will remove any information from the USB flash drive. It will create a new partition and configure a compatible file system to store files from your Windows 10, macOS, or Linux machine (depending on your configuration).

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
  • Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

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Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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assign drive letter from command prompt

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command prompt question-assign letter to a disk

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Hi lizzie299,

Welcome to Microsoft Answers!

I would suggest you to run the command prompt as an administrator and then execute the commands.

You can refer the below mentioned link.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc757491(WS.10).aspx

To change, add, or remove a drive letter

1.       Open Computer Management by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel , clicking System and Security , clicking Administrative Tools , and then double-clicking Computer Management . If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

2.       In the left pane, click Disk Management .

3.       Right-click the drive that you want to change, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths .

4.       Do one of the following:

·          To assign a drive letter if one has not already been assigned, click Add , click the letter that you want to use, and then click OK .

·          To change a drive letter, click Change , click Assign the following drive letter , click the letter that you want to use, and then click OK .

·          To remove a drive letter, click Remove , and then click Yes to confirm that you want to remove it.

For further information, visit the below mentioned links:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Change-add-or-remove-a-drive-letter

 Hope this information helped!

  Thanks and regards

  Fouzan – Microsoft support

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Click the Start button . In the Search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, double-click Command Prompt. Type: diskpart Then type: list disk That will give you a list of all your drives with their drive numbers (not letters). Find the drive number for the drive you want to assign a letter to. Then type: select disk={number} (no brackets, just the number assigned to your IDE drive) Then type: assign letter={letter} (no brackets, just the letter you want to assign to the IDE drive - be sure it is not used by another device such as a CD drive) The response to all this was: "you did not specify a volume.  you need to specify a volume. But diskpart cannot see any volumes on it. I tried the list volumes command and the response was: "0 volumes".

3 people found this reply helpful

1 person found this reply helpful

if you're still checking, I had to reassign while attempting to do a system recovery and my USB drive which has the backup file was being assigned C: by default and the recovery wanted to make the unformatted system disk C:.  I have to change the drive letter of the USB.  Long story long:

list volume

select disk = #

select volume = #

assign letter = {x}

hope this helps

29 people found this reply helpful

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  1. How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10

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COMMENTS

  1. Manually assigning a drive letter using CMD/Diskpart

    Open up a command prompt (CMD/PowerShell). Type "diskpart" to start up diskpart. You will see the prompt change to "DISKPART>". Type "list vol" to list all available volumes. You can identify the drive by size and file system. Additionally, the volume doesn't currently have a drive letter. Select the volume using "sel vol <number>".

  2. How to Use the Diskpart Utility to Assign and Remove Drive Letters

    select volume 3. You should see a message that the volume is now selected. At this point you can easily assign a new drive letter. Just type in this command, substituting R for the drive letter you'd like to use: assign letter=R. Make sure to hit enter once you're done, of course.

  3. How To Assign Letter To Drive In CMD

    How To Assign Letter To A Drive In CMD. Step 1: There are two ways to open the command line. Click on the Start menu, type CMD in the search box, then right-click on it and select Run as administrator. Or press WIN + R, type CMD, and press Enter. Type diskpart in CMD to start it. Step 2: Type list volume and press Enter.

  4. How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10

    To assign a drive letter using Command Prompt, use these steps: Open Start. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option. Type...

  5. How to Change Drive Letter with CMD Windows 10

    To change or assign drive letter in CMD, you can firstly open Diskpart utility in Command Prompt. Check the steps below. Step 1. Open CMD in Windows 10. You can press Windows + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open elevated Command Prompt. Step 2. Open Diskpart tool.

  6. [Free Guide]: Use Diskpart Assign Drive Letter in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

    Step 1. Press "Windows + R". Then, type "diskpart" and press Enter. Step 2. Type in "list volume" and press Enter. Now, you can see all volumes on PC. Step 3. Type in "select volume 7" and press Enter (here take volume 7 as an example). Step 4. Finally, type in"assign letter=F" and press Enter.

  7. assign

    Reference article for the assign command, which assigns a drive letter or mount point to the volume with focus.

  8. How to Remove and Assign Drive Letters in Windows with Diskpart

    If you are using Windows 8, press "Win + X" to open the power user menu and select the option "Command Prompt (Admin)." The above action will open the command prompt window with administrative rights. Here enter the following command to start the Diskpart utility. diskpart.

  9. diskpart

    To start the diskpart command interpreter, at the command prompt type: Windows Command Prompt. diskpart <parameter> Important. You must be in your local Administrators group, or a group with similar permissions, to run diskpart. Parameters. You can run the following commands from the Diskpart command interpreter: Listing available objects.

  10. Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10

    Option Two: To Change Drive Letter in Command Prompt. Option Three: To Change Drive Letter in PowerShell. Option Four: To Change Drive Letter in Registry Editor. Option Five: To Change Drive Letter in Settings. OPTION ONE. To Change Drive Letter in Disk Management.

  11. How to Change a Drive Letter on Windows 10 or Windows 11

    Quick Links. What Changing a Drive Letter Does. How to Change a Drive Letter. How to Fix Programs Broken By Changing a Drive Letter. Changing the letter of a drive is easy on Windows 10 and Windows 11, but you should do it as soon as you add the drive to prevent future hassles. Find out how to change a drive letter here.

  12. How to Assign / Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    We show you how to change the drive letter in CMD, DIsk Management, PowerShell, and Registry editor in Windows 10. FacebookLinkedinPinterestTwitterYoutube. AI. All about AI. Chatbots. ChatGPT....

  13. Assign, change or remove Drive Letter with Diskpart › Knowledge Base

    When Command Prompt pops up, run the diskpart command. Now we type list volume to list our volumes, we need to know the number of our volume. In our case our hard drive is Volume 3 and that number is 3. Now we use command select volume 3 to make changes to that volume. If your volume number is different, you need to replace number 3 with the ...

  14. How to Change Drive Letter in Windows 10

    Change the drive letter in the command prompt. Change the drive letter in PowerShell. Change the drive letter in the command prompt. Open an elevated command prompt. Type diskpart. Type list volume to see all drives and their partitions. Look at the ### column in the output. You need to use its value with the command select volume NUMBER.

  15. 3 Simple Ways to Assign a Drive Letter in Windows 10/8/7

    This post covers three ways to assign a drive letter by using Disk Management, a partition manager, and Diskpart in CMD. Free Download. Windows 11/10/8/7 100% Secure. Updated by Cici on Jul 20, 2023 . Written by Cedric . What Is a Drive Letter. A drive letter is an alphabetic character identifying a physical computer disk or drive partition.

  16. Diskpart

    Diskpart - Assign drive letters from command line. eKiwi-Blog Tutorials English. 825 subscribers. Subscribe. 22. 2.6K views 1 year ago. More on the blog: https://bit.ly/31NoF4G Assign...

  17. Change a drive letter

    In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) the volume on which you want to change or add a drive letter and select Change Drive Letter and Paths. Tip. If you don't see the Change Drive Letter and Paths option or it's grayed out, the volume either isn't ready to receive a drive letter or it's unallocated and needs to be initialized.

  18. Assign a mount point folder path to a drive.

    Go to Action > All Tasks > Change Drive Letter and Paths, then choose Add. Select Mount in the following empty NTFS folder option. Select the Browse button to locate the folder. After you select the folder, choose select OK. Select OK in the Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box to finish. Mount a drive as a folder with the command line.

  19. How To Manually Assign Or Change A Drive Letter Using Command Prompt

    How to change drive letter using cmd/Diskpart on Windows 10/11 Type "diskpart" Type "list vol" ...more. ...more.

  20. How to assign a drive a letter using Diskpart

    Windows volume drive letters can be altered from the command line using Diskpart. Requirements: Access to the Windows command line. Procedure: From your taskbar, start a search for. cmd. Enter the command: diskpart. Enter the command: list volume. Example output: DISKPART> list vol.

  21. How to change Drive letter in Windows 11/10

    🔴 Follow TheWindowsClub 🔴. Rename or assign a Drive letter using Command Prompt, Disk Management, PowerShell, Registry Edito or Drive Letter Changer software.

  22. How to change drive letter from command prompt or powershell in windows

    1 Answer. Sorted by: 7. Assuming when you said "computer disk" you do not mean the System/Boot Disk, here is a solution using PowerShell. Note the variables. You can either replace them with the actual Drive Letters, or set them ahead of time. Get-Partition -DriveLetter $old | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter $new.

  23. How to format a USB flash drive on Windows 10

    Disk Management. PowerShell. Command Prompt. On Windows 10, the ability to format a USB flash drive can be helpful in many scenarios. For instance, sometimes, you may need to reformat a...

  24. command prompt question-assign letter to a disk

    In the Search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, double-click Command Prompt. Type: diskpart. Then type: list disk. That will give you a list of all your drives with their drive numbers (not letters). Find the drive number for the drive you want to assign a letter to.