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How to change a drive letter

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In Microsoft Windows, different storage media , devices, and partitions on your computer are identified using drive letters . By default, these letters are assigned automatically. However, if you desire to change a default drive letter, may do so by following the steps below.

If you're trying to switch between drives, see: How to change drives in MS-DOS and Windows command line.

Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11

  • CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and other devices.
  • Open the Disk Management utility .
  • Right-click the volume whose drive letter you want to change and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.

Menu for changing a drive letter in Windows

  • In the window, click the Change button.

Menu for changing drive letters

  • In the next window, select the letter you desire from the drop-down menu on the right, then click OK .

Change drive letter window

CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and other devices

In the newer versions of Windows, devices that are not considered to be volumes (i.e., CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) and DVD-ROM (digital versatile disc read-only memory) drives) aren't listed on the same page as hard drives , SSDs , and partitions . However, you can adjust which section you are viewing, allowing you to assign a different drive letter to these devices.

The letter you assign to these devices must come after that of the hard drive. For example, because your hard drive is C:, you may only use D: through Z:. If you have multiple hard drives or partitions and your last drive letter is F:, you can only change your device's drive letter to G: through Z:.

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and 11.
  • Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me.
  • MS-DOS and Windows 3.X.
  • At the top of Disk Management window, click the View menu.
  • In the drop-down menu , select Top , then select Disk List .

Disk list menu in Windows, showing disk drives

  • Right-click the disk drive whose drive letter you want to change and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.

Menu for changing a disk drive letter in Windows.

Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me

  • Open the Device Manager .
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to CD-ROM or DVD/CD-ROM drives .
  • Double-click the disk drive whose drive letter you want to change.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Where the computer lists the Start and end drive letter , make your selection and click OK .
  • Restart the computer.
  • How to restart Microsoft Windows.

MS-DOS and Windows 3.X

  • If you are in Windows, Exit to an MS-DOS prompt .
  • Type cd\ and press Enter .
  • Once at DOS type edit c:\autoexec.bat
  • In the autoexec.bat window, locate the MSCDEX line .
  • On the MSCDEX line, if it's missing /L:x (where x is the drive letter), add /L:D (assigning the CD-ROM to D: and can be anything up to Z:).
  • Once changes are made, click File (if you do not have a mouse, press Alt + F ), then choose Exit and say Yes to save the changes .
  • Once back at DOS, type edit c:\config.sys
  • In the config.sys window, look for anything that says "LASTDRIVE=x" (were x is the last drive letter). If the line is missing, add LASTDRIVE=K (or the letter you want as the ending letter) at the top of the config.sys file.

The LASTDRIVE must be a letter between C and Z.

  • Once changes are made, click File (if you do not have a mouse , press Alt + F ), then choose Exit and say Yes to save the changes .

Related information

  • How to rename or label a disk drive.
  • How to set up a hard drive and partition in Windows.
  • How to merge partitions in Windows.
  • How to delete a partition in Windows.
  • See the hard drive and Windows definitions for related information and links.
  • Operating Systems & Software
  • Windows Technical Mojo

Assigning drive letters to partitions in 98

  • Thread starter Citrus538
  • Start date May 13, 2001

More options

Ars legatus legionis.

  • May 13, 2001
  • Add bookmark

D:

Ars Centurion

No. You can't change the drive letter assignments for Hard drive partitions. Windows does it automatically. Windows assigns drive letters in this order:<P>1 - Primary IDE channel, master drive, primary partitions.<BR>2 - Primary IDE channel, slave drive, primary partitions.<BR>3 - Secondary IDE channel, master drive, primary partitions.<BR>4 - Secondary IDE channel, slave drive, primary partitions.<BR>5 - Primary IDE channel, master drive, logical drives in extended partition.<BR>6 - Primary IDE channel, slave drive, logical drives in extended partition.<BR>7 - Secondary IDE channel, master drive, logical drives in extended partition.<BR>8 - Secondary IDE channel, slave drive, logical drives in extended partition.<P>I believe this is how it works. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.<BR>I'm sure it's in the regisrty somewhere, but Windows 9x does this automatically when it boots, so the changes won't make any difference.<BR> <BR>You can change drive letter assignments in NT and Windows 2000.  

Andrewcw

i think it goes.<P>1st partition on the Primary master.<BR>1st partition on the secondary master.<BR>1st partition of scsi stuff.<BR>then it starts going though the other partitions.<P><BR>It gets to be a pain in the ass if you install anything not on the C drive and do hardware changes.  

Ars Praefectus

I think it also depends on what the boot device order is in the BIOS if you have SCSI and IDE drives mixed.<P>-H  

Ars Tribunus Militum

  • May 14, 2001

In NT/2K the drive mapping can be found in HKLM\System\MountedDevices\, IIRC you need to use regedt32 to change them, or just use the GUI disk manager.<P>For DOS-WinMe, the letter for hard drives are assigned by the <B>BIOS</B> and the only way to change them is to physically switch the connections they are on or changing the boot order.<P>Good luck.  

kalahari bushman

Moonlitknight, ars scholae palatinae.

  • May 15, 2001

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How to Remove and Assign Drive Letters in Windows with Diskpart

Vamsi Krishna

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.

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Vamsi Krishna

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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An archive of early microsoft knowledgebase articles, q51978: order in which ms-dos and windows assign drive letters.

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Assign hard drive ID

  • Thread starter terry
  • Start date Apr 23, 2005
  • Windows Legacy

Distinguished

  • Apr 23, 2005

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) I have a new external hard drive. I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E drive. However, I already have had another device that use driver E as its ID. I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G or H. The driver company say it is Windows do this change. Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? Thanks  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) It's not the drive that gets assigned a letter, it's the partition(s) on the drive. Windows 98 has a fixed method for assigning hard drive letters. Only time you can assign letters is when the drive is a "removable" drive (though that doesn't include floppy drives.) CD drives, memory cards, DVD drives, etc. In other words, the company was wrong regarding Windows 98. In Windows 2000 or XP, you *can* reassign hard drive partition letters, but not in Win95/98/98SE/ME What kind of drive was E:\ before? -- Gary S. Terhune MS MVP Shell/User http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > I have a new external hard drive. > I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E drive. > However, I already have had another device that use driver E as its ID. > > I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G or H. > The driver company say it is Windows do this change. > > Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? > > Thanks  

  • Apr 24, 2005

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) The new hard drive is removable I can disconncet through "safely remove". So if this is what you mean removable, what should I do? te E:\ before is another hard drive that cannot be remove. I want to transfre some file from old one to new, and if both want to be E:\ what is the point to get new one. "Gary S. Terhune" wrote: > It's not the drive that gets assigned a letter, it's the partition(s) on the drive. > Windows 98 has a fixed method for assigning hard drive letters. Only time > you can assign letters is when the drive is a "removable" drive (though that > doesn't include floppy drives.) CD drives, memory cards, DVD drives, etc. > > In other words, the company was wrong regarding Windows 98. In Windows > 2000 or XP, you *can* reassign hard drive partition letters, but not in > Win95/98/98SE/ME > > What kind of drive was E:\ before  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) See if this freeware will work for your situation -- Letter Assigner - Freeware: http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/ "Letter Assigner allows to assign in the system ( with a few non-significant exceptions ). It gives the users of Microsoft ® Windows ® 95, Windows ® 98 and Windows ® ME the freedom to choose drive letters. "Letter Assigner remembers drives by their serial numbers or by the labels, which provides protection against letter changes after repartitioning or connecting new drives. " -- Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+ http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm http://www.microsoft.com/communities/conduct/default.mspx "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > I have a new external hard drive. > I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E drive. > However, I already have had another device that use driver E as its ID. > > I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G or H. > The driver company say it is Windows do this change. > > Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? > > Thanks  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) Hmmm... Gonna have to give that one a try. Almost sounds too good to be true, <g>. -- Gary S. Terhune MS MVP Shell/User http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm "glee" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > See if this freeware will work for your situation -- > Letter Assigner - Freeware: > http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/ > > "Letter Assigner allows to assign in the system ( with a few non-significant > exceptions ). It gives the users of Microsoft ® Windows ® 95, Windows ® 98 and > Windows ® ME the freedom to choose drive letters. > > "Letter Assigner remembers drives by their serial numbers or by the labels, which > provides protection against letter changes after repartitioning or connecting new > drives. " > -- > Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+ > http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm > http://www.microsoft.com/communities/conduct/default.mspx > > > "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message > news:[email protected]... > > I have a new external hard drive. > > I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E drive. > > However, I already have had another device that use driver E as its ID. > > > > I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G or H. > > The driver company say it is Windows do this change. > > > > Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? > > > > Thanks >  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) A drive is a "removable" drive if the media can be removed: CDROM, DVD, flash card reader, USB stick. A hard drive is never a removable drive, regardless of whether or not it's a USB drive that can be "removed". Remember, Windows 98 was developed when USB hard drives didn't exist. The rule for lettering drives in Win9x is as follows: A & B are reserved for floppy drives. C:\ is *always* the partition where the OS loads from. Next come remaining Primary partitions on the Primary IDE/Master drive (except Extended, if present.) After that come remaining Primary partitions on the Primary IDE/Slave drive, the one marked Active, if any, being first. And so forth for all hard drives. Secondary Master, Secondary Slave, then USB drives, all in the order in which they load. After all the Primary Partitions come Extended Volumes (partitions inside an Extended Partition), again lettered in the order in which they load. (To be honest, I can't recall for sure if Primary Slave loads before Secondary Master.) It would appear that your current E:\ drive is an Extended Volume, and your USB drive is a Primary partition. Besides trying Glen's suggestion for a drive lettering assignment utility, you could easily push your USB drive to the end by repartitioning it and making the entire drive an Extended partition, then partitioning the Extended space into Volumes. They would then load last of all hard drive partitions, before removable drives. -- Gary S. Terhune MS MVP Shell/User http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > The new hard drive is removable I can disconncet through "safely remove". > So if this is what you mean removable, what should I do? > > te E:\ before is another hard drive that cannot be remove. > I want to transfre some file from old one to new, and if both want to be E:\ > what is the point to get new one. > > "Gary S. Terhune" wrote: > > > It's not the drive that gets assigned a letter, it's the partition(s) on the drive. > > Windows 98 has a fixed method for assigning hard drive letters. Only time > > you can assign letters is when the drive is a "removable" drive (though that > > doesn't include floppy drives.) CD drives, memory cards, DVD drives, etc. > > > > In other words, the company was wrong regarding Windows 98. In Windows > > 2000 or XP, you *can* reassign hard drive partition letters, but not in > > Win95/98/98SE/ME > > > > What kind of drive was E:\ before  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) Have similar Firewire drive that takes the drive letter "M". It takes second fiddle when I plug in the video camera to recover video/pictures. Then the firewire drive partition takes the drive letter "N". As Gary surmised, the hard drive has an extended partition with a dos logical drive. Hard drives etc. on an external bus, like USB or Firewire, should be taking second fiddle to onboard connected hard drives. Irregardless the history of when a particular hard drive is connected, internally or externally. To answer your question about drive letter assignment, you need to go to device manager under disk drives. (Hard drive IDs are not drive letter assignments) Select the hard drive that is connected to the USB. Then select "removable". This will "ungray" the drive letter assignment below it. Then you can assign a drive letter not already assigned to other devices. Reboot/restart the PC. I have not done this as its obvious from the label name, so I can tell the difference from the video camera and the Firewire drive. To avoid confusion with multiple hard drives with multiple partitions in a PC regarding partition types, put primaries only on the first physical hard drive, followed by one extended partition if you still have empty space remaining. The remaining hard drives should have extended partitions only. The only exception would be a temporarily connected hard drive for cloning, which windows should never "see". This has worked great for years for me. "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > I have a new external hard drive. > I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E drive. > However, I already have had another device that use driver E as its ID. > > I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G or H. > The driver company say it is Windows do this change. > > Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? > > Thanks  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) Terry wrote: > I have a new external hard drive. > I have no problem connect, but it only takes driver ID as computer E > drive. However, I already have had another device that use driver E > as its ID. > > I would like to change this new hard drive ID from E to other say G > or H. The driver company say it is Windows do this change. > > Can anyone tell me how to change driver ID? Use Letter Assigner. It is free and lets you assign drive letters and/or labels as you desire. http://www.v72735.f2s.com/LetAssig/ -- dadiOH ____________________________ dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico  

  • Apr 25, 2005

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) I guess now the problem is not ID assign. I use LetterAssigner assign new HD as H and make new label. When I restart computer with old one, it show up as E individually; or the new one as H individually. But E and H never show up together when I restart with both connected. Only E can show up, and nowhere I can find H. What is the problem now?  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) Just to be sure, before you used the Letter Assigner utility, you could see both the new E:\ partition *and* what was E:\ but got assigned another letter by Windows? Did you assign all the drives letters using Letter Assigner? I think you'd be better off if you simply repartition the new drive as one big Extended Partition. Depending on how large it is, I'd subdivide that into several smaller Volumes (Logical Drives.) How big is the new drive, and what Make/Model? -- Gary S. Terhune MS MVP Shell/User http://www.grystmill.com/articles/cleanboot.htm http://www.grystmill.com/articles/security.htm "Terry" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > I guess now the problem is not ID assign. > > I use LetterAssigner assign new HD as H and make new label. > When I restart computer with old one, it show up as E individually; > or the new one as H individually. > > But E and H never show up together when I restart with both connected. > Only E can show up, and nowhere I can find H. > What is the problem now?  

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion ( More info? ) "Lil' Dave" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... > > "glee" <[email protected]> wrote in message > news:[email protected]... >> >> I generally follow that method myself, but I know a lot of folks who > create a >> primary on the second physical drive also. See for example Bill Blanton's > practice >> of putting the swap file on a primary partition on the second physical > drive ( >> mentioned in his reply in this thread). > > Actually, my swapfile is on a ultrascsi 4GB HD. Its partitioned with one > extended partition with one logical drive taking all the space. Whether its > primary or extended partition with one dos logical drive is not a factor for > the swapfile as long as the partition is the first or only one. No, it's not a factor to the OS. The only reason of putting it in a first primary, is only so the drive letter never changes if other logicals are added/subtracted. Yeah, it's easy enough to reassign if need be, but with multiple OSs (and their pontential restores from backups), it's easier just to configure the "Swap" volume letter to just stay put, by having it in a first primary on the second drive. Personal preference. YMMV. > Can't prove > it, but feel this offload of the swapfile to another physical hard drive has > saved me from alot of grief when unexpected OS lockups etc. force a hard > reboot with the PC controls. Using same location for XPs swapfile as well. I keep TIF and cookies there also, for fragmentation reasons. It's a busy little drive..  

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assign drive letter windows 98

Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How to Reassign Drive Letters in Windows

They aren’t cast in stone..

by Leo A. Notenboom

Change Drive Letter

Drive letters are not assigned at format time, and yes, they can be changed. In fact, it’s quite easy to change them; I do it all the time — for every drive except “C:”, that is. “C:” is special.

First, let’s look at the how.

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TL;DR:

Reassign drive letters

  • Right-click on Start.
  • Click on Disk Manager.
  • Right-click on the drive you want to change.
  • Click on Change Drive Letter and Paths…
  • Click on Remove and Add to remove the existing drive letter assignment and add a new one.

Disk Manager

Right -click on the Start menu and click on Disk management .

Disk Management menu item

This will bring up the Disk Management tool.

Disk Management Tool

You’ll see that I have several disks:

  • C: is my system drive
  • L: is a second internal data drive
  • E: is my DVD/CD drive

Having that second drive assigned “L:” seems somewhat odd, 1 so let’s change it.

Changing an assigned drive letter

Close any programs that might be accessing the drive you’re about to change. Right-click on the drive in Disk Management. In my case, that’s the L: drive. Click on Change Drive Letter and Paths… in the resulting context menu .

Change drive letter on context menu

The resulting dialog will display all the drive letters currently assigned; in my case, L:.

Drive letters assigned to my drive

Click on the drive letter (L: in the example above), and then on Remove . You will get a warning.

Warning about removing a drive letter

It’s not enough that you’ve closed programs currently accessing the drive. Any program configured for any reason to access drives using the old letter will need to be adjusted to use the drive letter we’re about to assign. You may get additional warnings if the drive is still in use. You can proceed and then reboot when we’re done for the changes to take effect, so click Yes .

Right-click on the disk in Disk Manager again (it won’t show a drive letter, since we just removed that), and click on  Change Drive Letter and Paths…  again. This time, click on the Add… button in the resulting dialog. You’ll be presented with a dialog allowing you to select from available drive letters.

Assign letter dialog

I’ve clicked on D — a more sensible assignment for an internal drive. Click on OK to make the assignment.

The newly assigned drive letter

You can exit the Disk Management tool. Reboot if you were warned earlier about the drive being in use.

Multiple letters and paths

You might infer from the interface that you can assign multiple drive letters to the same drive. You cannot. If you try to Add without Removing first, the ability to assign a drive letter will be grayed out.

If you’re dealing with a monster machine with over 26 drives attached (or connected via networking), you’ll need to use the path technique. 26 Drives? Is There a Way Around the 26-drive Limit in Windows?  describes your solution.

Paths, referenced throughout the dialog, are an alternate way to refer to drives without consuming another drive letter. It’s an advanced topic, and I won’t go into detail, but the short version is simply:

  • Create an empty folder on your C: drive. Perhaps call that folder “D-Drive”.
  • Assign the path “C:\D-Drive” to the drive, using steps similar to what we’ve just done.

Now you can access the contents of the D: drive as if it were in the “D-Drive” folder on C:. You can even remove the drive letter assignment, if you like, and only access it via that path.

An important word about C:

Do not change the drive letter of your system drive. In most cases, that is C:.

When Windows was installed, it was installed onto the drive C:, and doing so will have created many, many references to C: that simply changing the drive letter will not update. It’s possible your machine will not even boot if you change the drive letter of C:.

About A: and B:

Use them if you like. Other than feeling a little odd to have disks “before” the C: drive, there’s no longer any reason not to use them.

A: and B: were originally reserved for two floppy drives that were used on the first PCs before hard drives were added. When hard drives came along, they were assigned the next available letter, C:. While floppy drives are no longer common, the default hard drive assignment at C: has persisted, and A: and B: are available for use however you like.

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assign drive letter windows 98

1 : Not unsurprisingly, it’s a side effect of me playing with this feature in preparation for updating this article.

83 comments on “How to Reassign Drive Letters in Windows”

I partition my 300gb drive and have got to n:/ so far. To avoid problems if I increase/reduce partitions I reserve x,y and z for cd and dvd. Sometimes if you change these and try to run a programme installed when the drive letter was F:/ there can be a problem.

How easy was that! – Well done it worked and I have no further problems – Thanks Leo

How brilliant are you! How brilliant is knowledge! I have just spent 4 1/2 hours on the net and speaking to computer buffs searching for the answer to change drive letters (too complicated to explain why). CANNOT BE DONE – CHANGE THE BIOS – ALTER JUMPERS etc. etc. You managed it in under 2 minutes!!! (After I found you)You are wasted and should be as accesable as a screwdriver. You are now No1 Bookmark Thankyou Kindest regards

I just installed a 1X2 TX RAID system using RAID 1 for mirroring. Went I went to install windows it had my drives assigned to J: for the root! Now using disk management under XP told me that I could not reassign the Windows Root Drive (J:) How do I do this without reinstalling windows?

Regards, PJ Baron

Oh my i’m so glad that i found you. I have spent 4 days tring to find out why my computer seen my flash drive but didnt show up when i went to my computer. well to keep it short my dvd drive and my flash drive had the same letter so i plugged in my flash drive and did just what you told me and now it works fine thank you ever so much…

That was great help……….

Thanks you soooo much. I have been strugeling to find a easy to understand explination for 5 days now, your pictures and explinations are awesome. Thanks very much

I have the same problem as the question on your website — My drive letters are inverted C and D, so my computer looks through my D drive which it thinks is C to get to C which is marked as D, how can I fix this? (Posted by Sheila, 9-25-06) Were you able to answer this?

Dude. Thanks for the drive switcheroo help. I never knew this stuff and I really appreciate your help, and all the hard work that you put into this site. But, it shouldn’t be called “Ask Leo.” You could name it something comical like “Ask Beardo.” That would be more memorable and funnier. Beards are awesome to the max.

HI This info was helpful but I’m still having a problem with reassigning the drive letter. For some reason when I installed XP it named my boot drive F: and my second drive C:. Before the change in operatiing systems they were boot: C:, and the second was D:Storage. It let me change my storage drive letter, but won’t let me change my boot drive from F to C. Any suggestions? Thanks

—–BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE—– Hash: SHA1

Did you read the article? It explicitly talks about exactly that.

Leo —–BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE—– Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)

iD8DBQFF7OeRCMEe9B/8oqERAqFLAKCMVvnwnKE/sgEMJmQKQr0w/rF1MQCeMd5f CE6OVOs/3gjO7ouPdDFJBRs= =482d —–END PGP SIGNATURE—–

I appreciate it Leo. You’ve made something that most people make out to be a four hour expedition through cmd a 20 second switch. You are now bookmarked bro.

But my system always forgets the new drive letter assignments on my CDROM & CDRW drives. Everytime I boot up, the drive letters have changed back to the first available letters above my HDDs’ partitions. To match my older computer’s CDROM & CDRW drives’ letters V: and T:, I have done the disk management drive letter change routine over and over, but each time I reboot these two drive come back as M: & N:. Additionally, Roxio’s (EMC8) drag-to-disk will not let you change the non-existent M: to T: so that I can use it to eject, format, etc. It holds on to the erroneous M: even though no M: exists resulting in a rediculous message such as “Drive is Busy” when I try to use it to eject a CDRW. EMC8 “Home” properly shows the CDRW drive as T: but apparently Drag To Disk checks only during it’s startup process and retains what it found at startup — the erroneous M:. Help!

I reassign drive letters to the way i need them. then everytime i reboot they change back??? why??? I just installed new raid sata hard drive. My raptor which has 200 gigs of info and audio/video session files on it needs to be set at drive D!! for some reason the dvd drive wants that letter evrytime i reboot??? help please!!???

HI, I had to reistall my DVD on the “F” drive, and now its missing. Now I only have the “G” drive . Is there anything I can do?

Sincerly Kenny P.S I read the letters above but I don’t understand it too well.

What about the A: (floppy) drive. I have a computer that is only for use with a particular program. In the program it asked to “backup” and dose so on a floppy. It takes forever. If I could assign the USP card as the a: it would make things so much easier.

thanks Leo and all those great people posting helpful information on the internet! Always amazed how easy it is to find info … thanks to those that devote time to helping others!

I have a simular problem… except I have 3 drives in my pc. 1st one is an older ata and the other 2 are newer sata drives. when I re-installed windows it assigned my drives as follows: c: is the older ata d: is the first sata e: is the second sata Now here is my problem. When Windows was installed it went on to the D: drive but C: is my boot drive. All the boot files are on that drive and not on the other two. I would like to remove my C: as it is getting older and does not sound that good.

There is currently nothing on either my C: (except the boot files) and E: drive. I have tried to copy the boot files over to E: and removed C: and swapped the cables around but it still will not boot up.

Is there any way I can swap my C: and D: or C: and E: as I really want to remove my old drive before it fails???

I agree with Mike French. The site should be called “Ask Beardo” because it makes so much more sense and would be funnier than just boring “Ask Leo”. Thanks for the info!

I freakkin LOVE YOU!

My external one day just went from G to N.

Dunno why. It irritated me to know end. And, because that’s one of my photo storage units the Lightroom has assigned to it’s backups and databases…I was looking at a heap of crappy, crappy trouble.

You have saved my A$$.

Thank you again,

I have an external drive which I back up to daily came to back up files and 2 things, the drive id has changed to F: and it states its full and do I want to format it…obviousley NO.

I thought if I renamed it to its previous drive letter in this case G:it would recognise the path and my files would be there, wrong so I have a drive that has heaps of data on it yet it shows it as full disc with no bytes and I cant read it.

Please can you help and advise what I need to do.

Many Thanks Colin Hudson

I tried reassignment but only got letters to change that are after the two that are missing.I have HP M370n Media Center.My Dvd writer Cd writer combo wont recognize cds /Mp3s that I recorded on it and shows up at 0 bytes like nothing is on it but there is.Also both my combo player/record and my other HP CD writer that I installed myself after the factory CD rom player quit has reassigned what was formerly E: 300n and F:HP 8000n to G:compactflashI/II – Cd Drive and H: smart media nad has the icons of both by them yet my smart media and compact flash is still L: and M: I cant figure out how to switch them back with icons and make them E and F again.I tried your method but it wont let me change to E or F as those letters seem to be missing.Any clues?Also I cant find updated drivers for 300n.

I bought a new Toshiba notebook, in order to run some of the old software.. I had to partition the HDD with a D: drive.. so, as required.. I had changed the CD ROM drive to E: drive.. after few days of struggle, everything is working.. all in a sudden.. I lost my E: drive?? now I have removed D: drive.. I mean removed the whole partition.. but I still can’t see my CD ROM drive.. it is really frustrating.. anyone had this experience.. any solution? thanks for all your help. Gs

My problems that I posted on March 21, 2007 seem to have finally resolved themselves. My personally assigned drive letter T: for the CDRW & V: for the read only CD player seem to be staying that way between boots now. Must have been corrected in a Microsoft update or something.

Many thank, you have been a great help. Pesky computers!!!

Thankyou very much, that’s exactly what i needed to do.

ok i got a dell 1100 inspiron won’t read dvd/cd rom i tryed updating driver, roll back,and last but not least changing the drive letter. i was thinking unstilling the software and redownloading from dell s website u got any other methods i could try???

hi i have an ifriends computer and i just installed a super multi dvd rewriter but now its sayin cd drive file system unknown and i have zero bytes on my drive d im not to good with computers so im kind of stuck is there something i have dones wrong please help if u can thanks!!

What a brill web site. After days of worrying your answers solved my problem in minutes.

Thanks! This help tool came in VERY handy!

This is just what I needed to know. Thank you.

I found this article ages ago and it was very useful at the time but I never commented. I’ve searched for the page again because I had a friend with the same issue I had originally and this page easily explained how to change the drive letter with screen shots etc which is really helpful.

Originally I’d been trying to access some files on my USB memory stick and it wouldn’t show up in “my computer” so I searched for why this would happen and because I already had a mapped network drive with the same letter I now know that it will only recognise one drive with that letter at a time… the page in question (no idea what page it was specifically) said change the drive letter assigned to it but didn’t tell me how. This page did :o)

Hi.. I want to install Windows XP on my 80GB external HardDisk..Pls suggest me proper steps for same..also I came to know that even if I do it, the OS when booted frm HDD will be very slow..as it will use processor from PC!! Is it the case ??

hi leo, i have recently been attacted by a worm called ‘silly dc’it changes the drive paths of the c and d drives i think i have cleaned it all up, but i am still getting a reference to ‘ resycled\boot’ as the path for the c and d drive how do i change that??? thanks in advance Alex ps im using xp pro with service pack 1

Your directions to change drive letters is very easy to carry out. I have a problem because my D: drive is shown as (Z)(D) I would like to get rid of the (Z). I am not sure wether to follow what you say or wether I would have problems I have sbsribed to your site and am waiting for the email Thanks for a very good site…Brian

Does not work in my case. I have G: drive and want to change it to D:, it does change my letter but after the boot the paths are the same linked to G so all my programs installed on G: are unaccesible.

i ve a mini laptop wit 2gb HDD.I CANT RUN ALL OTHERAPPLICATIONS COS THE HDD SPACE IS SMALL.I TRIED AN OS ON AN ETERNAL HARDRIVE.AFTER FORMATING AND COPYING OF FILES N BOOTING TO INSTALL THE WINDOWS ITS SHOWING ME A BLUE SCREEN .CAN GO FUTHER THAN DAT.WHAT MUST I DO

Thanks, this works on Windows 7.

Very easy to do. Who knew.

I installed a new c drive but it came up as H How can i get it to C ? I unhooked My card reader and my burner rebooted still comes up as H.What can I do ?

Thanks man! My CD drive came up as Z! Without any drives between it! Strange… But fixed now!

P.S. It really works on Windows 7!

I wiped my hard drive to re-install windows XP. When installing it used the “H” as my system drive. Can I change this to “C” without problems, or without removing windows and starting over? When patitioning the drive, it showed other drives, but it wouldn’t let me delete them. This is my 1st time installing windows.

Leo

Great article, you helped fix a minor emergency. Thanks very much.

I have multiple drives mapped, and it looks like I accidentally remapped the e: (my CD drive) to a file server. I have disconnected e:/ drive, but I still cannot see the CD drive to relabel it. Help.

After selecting a new drive letter for my external hard drive (I want P instead), I get an error message that says “The parameter is incorrect.” Any ideas why?

To clarify, I’m on a brand spankin’ new Asus laptop with Windows 7, and just about the only thing I’ve done is plug in my external hard drive and load Picasa. (I need the drive to stay the same letter for Picasa.) The laptop says the drive is D: for that external hard drive, and I’m I’m used to D being an important internal hard drive but I’m not sure how this laptop’s set up. Could that be why selecting P doesn’t work? (And I tried Z and it doesn’t work either.)

It turns out that I can use M, just not P or Z or Q. Strange. But M works, so I’m going with it! Thanks for this helpful article.

my h drive has been relabelled j but when i go to the drop down box in disk management it opffers me a,b then from j onwards… why has it skipped H ? i need to relabel it H..help im [ID deleted] on twitter thanks

Thank you Leo. You have saved me so much fruitless messing around on my machine to keep my portable hard drive with F assigned. Thank you, your advice was absolutely spot on.

My computer detects the dvd and the cd as different units, and they are the same. One as F and the other as Z but i need to use z as a network connection. The problem is that i can only see the dvd drive in disk management so i can only change the F. How can i change the letter of the Z cd drive?

i had windows vista in my laptop.i put out the internal hard disc and i made to it a format with a docking stasion.the problem now is that i cant give the letter c again in this disc because its allready on the lap top that the docking stasion was on.now i am tyrying to run windows with thios hdd and they stop and message telling me that is not any hdd in the lap top

Hey, I already passed the point where I can stop. Your warning re C:\ drive should be stated early in the document!

Thanks Leo you just saved me a lot of hours M

Brilliant straight forward answer. Saved hours of frustration trying to reset drive letters. Thanks Leo.

Thanks so much, Leo. I have 3 EHDs and my categories in ACDSee are assigned to one of these so when the letters changed, I lost my ability to go to those searched files. Great tutorial! You’re wonderful! PS: I always read through my recipes before starting to make sure I have everything I need. Sorry Cyberpilot. I hope nothing drastic happened.

my c drive is 1.95gb and my d drive is 35.3 thats how much they can hold not how much free storage there is and my pc is crapping out! please help, {email address removed}

@Ben You should be able to combine the 2 partitions into one with a partitioning utility

ask-leo.com/can_i_make_my_c_partition_bigger_by_taking_space_from_d.html

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-express/

It is wonderful and I changed my CD/DVD drives to G: and H: long time ago but Windows-10, creates an artificial drive it calls {system reserved” and as I changed one of my drives holding major data to the same letter it had for System Reserved, I had difficulties getting Image Backups and then Restore from these Backups, as they insisted on using the same letter I had before for the then System Reserved. Now, in my Image Backups, avoiding this confusion, I back up C: Only and forget about E: which is actually replaced by J: and E: is a healthy relatively large HDD of 2 TB. My Backup/Restore uses Acronis 2018. which in its memory always included my old E: as the System Restore for C: and not the current J: Interestingly, and this is something your readers should remember, The “System Restore” is not essential to Restoring from a Backup, although a strange unmentioned notice anywhere, the many icons on the Desktop, do not come completely or perfectly using the C: only for both Backup and Restore. So, I kep separately the Desktop data separately on aa a small USB memory that I update regularly. There is also a free software called “System Restore” and I keep its data which is few bytes on same USB memory stick. It allows the icons to be located on “”Geographically” same location, I has them, not just bundled to the left of the screen (Desktop)!

I do not see what the advantage of the drive letter system is when compared to the UNIX system of mounting somewhere on the / tree. In fact I think the UNIX system abstracts better.

E.g. imagine that you have a certain application that needs to write to some directory a lot and you want to give it a faster disk. With UNIX you just connect the disk and mount it on the right place. With Windows you will have to connect the disk and then change the configuration of the software to use the new path which may or may not be a hassle.

If the software does not care about what physical drive it uses then it should not have to specify it either. And most software does not care. The drive letter system is clunky and should be abstracted away IMO.

It’s a legacy thing, but I tend to agree. You can, if you like, use the mounting approach in Windows, it’s just not quite as transparent.

At some point in your article, you mentioned to click on Removing the drive letter and thereafter to right-click on the same partition without a drive letter now in order to change and assign a new drive letter. Why cannot one just click on “change ” in the first place without removing the drive letter?. I have done it a lot of times in the way I just described without any problem.

Is there a reason for that?. Just trying to understand!.

Mostly just for educational purposes, letting people know that there are two steps.

Thanks a lot, Leo!. You know, nowadays, I am very curious about everything that has to do with procedures and new knowledge in computing. I am trying to absorb as much as I can, for I know one day it would be worth the effort. That was the only reason for my question.

Is there any way, having once assigned a persistent letter to a drive, to unassign it and get Windows to go back to assigning a temporary (available) letter instead? How do I do this? Do I have to reformat the drive?

I’ve not found a definitive answer, but two theories: format the drive on a different machine, or use a 3rd party utility per this post: https://www.techspot.com/community/topics/usb-drive-or-flash-problems-how-to-cleanup-and-remove-old-usb-storage-drivers.145884/

I bought a new Asus Laptop with Windows 10 installed. Switched it on and before it had completed updating windows 10 I got a message to say that it could not finish the updates as there was not sufficient Disk space on the internal 30Gb HDD! I purchased a 2.5″ 250Gb Crucial HDD. which fitted into the spare drive bay. formatted it and using easus, Copied the C drive to D. I am now stuck as it will not let me swap the “c” and d”” drive letters. I suppose that could reformat the c drive, but this also contains two other partitions, EFI System Partition and Recovery partition. What do you suggest?

I have an old computer with one hard drive named C. I just purchased a new computer with a 256 GB SSD, which is designated as C and a 1TB hard drive designated as D. If I use the migration tool that came with the new computer it will transfer all the data to drive C, the 256 GB drive and also the boot drive. I want to transfer the data to the D drive, but my old computer has only one drive called C, so I am assuming that it is also my boot drive. If that be the case how could I transfer the data to my new machine? I originally thought I could change the drive and paths to D on the old computer and then migrate it to the D drive on the new computer. However, if this is s also my boot drive, your article says this is a no-no. Help!

Smile

{link removed}

I’m not sure if this will work, but Easeus Partition Master is a more powerful tool than Disk Management and might be able to do what you ask. It has a free trial version which is great for a one-off job.

Hello Leo and everyone here, my hard drive recently got corrupt and I was asked to format it, so I didn’t format it, I just did a command prompt and I got the drive repaired. But now it moved my drive letter name from E to F and it’s asking me to format the E drive. Can I format it? And if I format it will it affect the F drive? Please help. I don’t know if I should format it or I should change the drive letter back to E and see if it will work

My problem. Small, solid-state C: drive, 200 GB. Large spinning D: drive, 1 Terabyte. Wish I knew how to safely move bulky programs (like Mathematica) from my C: to my D: drive.

The best way is to find out if the program’s setup program has the option to set up to a custom location. IF it does, then uninstall it, and then reinstall it to the new drive/location.

I had a similar issue. I found a program called FolderMove 3.0 Free. It will allow you to do exactly what you asked. It is available from http://www.FolderMove.com – Before I used it for the first time, I made sure I had done a complete backup of my system.

I have a Windows 10 computer with 1 terabyte drive space. Windows has apparently partitioned my drives into a C drive with 119 GB and a D drive with 931 GB. My C drive is totally out of space. I’ve moved all of my picture and music to my D drive. I don’t even know why I need a D drive if I could increase the size of my C drive. I see that I can shrink my D drive using Disk Management, but it won’t allow me to increase the C drive. Is there a way to increase C? Thanks.

There’s an article for that: Can I Make My C: Partition Bigger by Taking Space from D:?

My Disk 0 is marked as the D drive. Disk 1 is the C drive. The Delete Volume is grayed out for the D drive. Do I have to delete all of the data before I can delete the volume? I tried to shrink the D drive, but after doing so, the C drive still shows the extend volume as grayed out. Any thoughts? Thanks.

If I understand you, C: and D: are on 2 different physical drives. You can’t shrink the D: drive to extend the C: drive because a volume can’t span 2 drives. The drive number such as disk 0 and disk 1 indicate physical drives. The letters represent the logical partitions on the drives. On an unpartitioned drive, the logical drive spans the entire physical drive.

In that article Leo linked to, he recommends EaseUS Partition Master for more complicated situations. I find Partition Master much easier for most partition management tasks, easier than Windows Disk Management. It combines all the steps into one set of clicks.

EaseUS Partition Master says their software won’t work since C and D are on different disks. Here’s a screenshot of my drives. I’m at a loss of what to do. D is on Disk 0 while C is on Disk 1 Disk 2 is my external backup drive. Is there no way to increase the size of my C drive, which is totally out of space?

Ah, yes, if you have two different physical disks, there’s no practical way to make one bigger and the other smaller. It’s probably most effective to:

  • Image backup the too-small drive
  • Replace it with a larger drive
  • restore the image to the replacement drive
  • Adjust the partitions as needed to ensure the entire drive is being used.

If they are on 2 different physical disks, they can’t be combined into one. The best you can do is move as many files from C: to D: to make more room on C:.

I had some confusion with getting the drive letter assigned to external drives to stick. I have a set of external drives that I use for off-site backups, using one each month, then at the end of the month I rotate that month’s drive off site and bringing the next drive into use. I set up my backup software, Macrium Reflect, to back up to the G: drive, so I wanted each of these drives to use the letter G: There would never be more than one of these drives connected at the same time so I thought, erroneously, that I could use Disk Management to assign each to G: and that the assignment would stick. However, I learned that, this will not work and I need to assign the drive letter when each drive comes into rotation – or, at least, this is one way to accomplish what I want. This is because Windows remembers that the drive letter is in use and will not automatically use it again although it will let you manually assign it. For example, let’s say, I assign G: to drive #1, rotate it offsite, and then assign G: to drive #2. So far, so good. But when I quit using drive #2 and begin to use drive #1 again, Windows will not automatically use G: for drive #1 because it remembers that letter G is in use. So it will assign it the next available letter, in my case D:. This is simply solved by manually assigning letter G: to drive #1 again.

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harrify

Can't assign a letter for drive in Windows Disk Manager

assign drive letter windows 98

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Greg Carmack

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do i need to provide another screenshot?

assign drive letter windows 98

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Image

(1) If you will drag the bottom pane up, Disk 0 should show up. Also, double-click the divider lines in the Header of the top pane so that we can see the full columns. Drag the right border rightward, if necessary.

(2) I think Disk 0 has just D:partition (465,76 GB) on it. Is that a data partition of your own?

(3) Disk 1 looks like a Legacy installation...

(a) It has a System Reserved partition (50 MB) which appears to be designated the System partition. Normally, though, a System Reserved is at least 100 MB.

(b) The partition that is booted normally gets the letter C:. And that is on Disk 1.

(5) Disk 2 is a removable drive with an EFI on it. That seems strange to me. What is that drive? I hope you don't have it plugged in during a reboot. The presence of two System partitions (EFI & System Reserved) could cause confusion during a reboot.

I hesitate to say how to put a letter on that 12.72 GB partition on Disk 2 because I don't know what it is, but maybe...

(a) Type " CMD " into Search, & click " Run as Administrator ".

(b) Enter the following commands...

DiskPart ...........................<<<Enter DiskPart

List Disk ...........................<<<Is the removable 29.25 GB drive still Disk 2?

Select Disk 2 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,<<<Then select it

List Part ...........................<<<Is Partition 2 still the 12.72 GB partition?

Select Part 2 .................<<<Then select it

Assign Letter=X ...........<<<Give it a letter "X" (or one of your choice)

Exit .....................................<<<Exit DiskPart

To remove the letter...

Select Disk 2

Select Part 2

Remove Letter=X ,,,,,,,,,,<<<Remove letter X

2 people found this reply helpful

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How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10

You can assign drive letters manually, and in this guide, we show you how on Windows 10.

assign drive letter windows 98

On Windows 10, when connecting a removable storage device or an internal hard drive, the system detects and assigns a drive letter automatically to make it usable. However, when reconnecting an external drive (such as a USB flash drive or SD or microSD cards), the system can end up assigning a different letter, which can be annoying.

If you want to see the same drive letter on a particular device, you can manually assign a permanent letter to any drive connected to your computer, and on Windows 10 , you can do this in at least three different ways, using Disk Management, Command Prompt, or PowerShell.

Using this approach will prevent Windows 10 from assigning a new letter or trying to set a letter already in use, which can cause conflicts. Also, it helps to select a drive letter that makes more sense to you.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through several methods to manually assign a permanent letter to a drive, as long as you're connecting the drive to the same device and the letter isn't already in use.

How to assign a drive letter using Disk Management

How to assign a drive letter using command prompt, how to assign a drive letter using powershell.

To manage drive letters with the Disk Management tool, use these steps:

  • Open Start .
  • Search for Create and format hard disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management experience.
  • Right-click the drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.

assign drive letter windows 98

  • Click the Change button.

assign drive letter windows 98

  • Select the Assign the following drive letter option.
  • Use the drop-down menu to assign a new drive letter. Quick tip: To avoid the system trying to assign the same letter to another drive, it's a good idea to start adding letters in backward order. For instance, instead of using D, E or F, it better to start with Z, Y or X when assigning a new letter.

assign drive letter windows 98

  • Click the OK button.
  • Click the OK button again.

Once you complete these steps, the drive will permanently retain the assigned letter, even after reconnecting it. However, if you connect the drive to another device, it may receive a different letter.

While the easiest way to assign a new drive letter is to use Disk Management, you can also use DiskPart in Command Prompt to perform the same task.

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To assign a drive letter using Command Prompt, use these steps:

  • Search for Command Prompt , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to start DiskPart and press Enter : diskpart
  • Type the following command to list all the available volumes and press Enter : list volume
  • Type the following command to select the volume (drive) to assign a new letter and press Enter: select volume 3 In the command, make sure to change "3" to the number that represents the drive on your device.
  • Type the following command to assign a new drive letter, and press Enter : assign letter=Z The command assigns the letter "Z" to the drive assuming it's available. However, you need to make sure to change the letter for the one that you want to use.

assign drive letter windows 98

After completing these steps, similar to Disk Management, every time you reconnect the storage to the same device, Windows 10 should assign the same letter automatically.

Alternatively, you can also use PowerShell to change a drive letter on Windows 10 using these steps:

  • Search for PowerShell , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
  • Type the following command to list the available drives and press Enter : Get-Disk
  • Type the following command to assign a permanent letter to the drive and press Enter : Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter Z In the command, make sure to change "1" to the number that represents the drive that you want to modify, and change "Z" for the new letter that you want to use.

assign drive letter windows 98

Once you complete the steps, the drive will be accessible through File Explorer using the letter that you assigned, and Windows 10 won't try to change it.

Updated March 7, 2019: We revised this guide to make sure it's current with the latest version of Windows 10.

More Windows 10 resources

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

  • Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
  • Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
  • Windows 10 forums on Windows Central

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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Change a drive letter

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

If you want to change a drive letter assigned to a drive, or you have a drive that doesn't yet have a drive letter, use Disk Management to change it. You can also mount the drive in an empty folder so that it appears as a folder. For more information, see Mount a drive in a folder .

If you change the drive letter of a drive that already contains Windows or apps, apps might have trouble running or finding the drive. We suggest not changing the drive letter of a drive that already contains Windows or apps.

The following steps show how to change the drive letter.

Open Disk Management with administrator permissions.

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 .

Screenshot showing the Disk Management window with the Change Drive Letter and Paths feature selected.

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 . It might also be that the drive isn't accessible, which is the case with EFI system partitions and recovery partitions. If you've confirmed that your volume is formatted with a drive letter that you can access but you're still unable to change it, that's beyond the scope of this article. We suggest contacting Microsoft Support or the manufacturer of your PC for more help.

To change the drive letter, select Change . To add a drive letter if the drive doesn't already have one, select Add .

Screenshot of the Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog.

Select the new drive letter and choose OK . Then select Yes when prompted about how programs that rely on the drive letter might not run correctly.

Screenshot of the Change Drive Letter or Path dialog that shows how to assign a new drive letter.

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How to assign a drive letter in Microsoft Windows

Modified on Wed, 18 Oct 2023 at 06:04 PM

Drive letters in Microsoft Windows are essential for accessing and managing storage devices, whether they're internal hard drives, external USB drives, or even networked folders. Assigning a drive letter is a fundamental task for efficient data organization and access. In this article, we'll guide you through the simple process of assigning a drive letter in Microsoft Windows, ensuring your files and folders are easily accessible.

Why Assign Drive Letters?

Drive letters are like labels for storage devices and partitions in Windows. They make it easy to locate and work with your data. By assigning a drive letter, you can create a memorable and consistent path to your files, simplifying tasks like transferring data, installing software, and managing your system.

Step 1: Open Disk Management

To assign a drive letter in Windows, you'll need to access the Disk Management utility. Here's how:

  • Press Win + X keys: Hold down the Windows key and press the 'X' key to open the Power User menu.
  • Select Disk Management: Click on "Disk Management" from the list of options.

Step 2: Locate the Drive

Disk Management will display all the storage devices and partitions connected to your computer. Find the drive or partition that you want to assign a drive letter to. It will be listed as "Disk X" or "Partition X" (with 'X' being a number).

Step 3: Right-Click and Choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths"

  • Right-click on the drive or partition: Right-click on the drive or partition you want to assign a drive letter to.
  • Select "Change Drive Letter and Paths..." from the context menu.

Step 4: Assign a Drive Letter

In the "Change Drive Letter and Paths" window, you can add, change, or remove a drive letter:

  • Click "Add": To assign a new drive letter, click the "Add" button.
  • Choose a Drive Letter: A new window will open. Select an available drive letter from the dropdown menu. Usually, you'll want to choose one that isn't already in use.
  • Click "OK": Confirm your choice by clicking "OK."

Step 5: Confirm Your Choice

A warning message will appear, informing you that some programs might rely on the drive letter you're changing. If you're sure about your choice, click "Yes" to proceed.

Step 6: Success

You've successfully assigned a drive letter to your storage device or partition. You'll now be able to access it using the chosen drive letter.

Additional Tips:

  • Be cautious when changing drive letters for system or boot partitions. It's generally best to avoid this unless you have a specific reason and are comfortable with the process.
  • You can also remove drive letters from partitions or drives if you want to hide them. Just follow a similar process in Disk Management, but choose the "Remove" option instead of "Add."

Assigning drive letters in Microsoft Windows is a straightforward process that allows you to manage your storage devices and partitions efficiently. By creating a clear and consistent path to your data, you'll simplify your file management and enhance your computing experience. Whether you're organizing your files or ensuring that specific software functions correctly, assigning drive letters is an essential skill for Windows users.

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When you connect a new drive to your PC, Windows automatically assigns the next available letter after C, which is normally used for your system drive. So an external hard drive or USB thumb drive could end up as D, E, F, or whatever, depending on how many drive letters are already being used.

This is all well and good, but what if you want to assign the drive a letter? Maybe you want to use M for your music files or X for your top-secret X-Files. Here’s how in Windows 10.

  • Ensure that the drive you’re relettering isn’t in use and that no files from that drive are open.
  • Right-click on the Start button.
  • Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management console.
  • Right-click the volume that has the drive letter you want to change.
  • Click Change Drive Letter And Paths.
  • Click the Change button.
  • Choose from a list of available drive letters. (Don’t use A or B, which have historically been reserved for floppy drives and can sometime confuse older software.)
  • Click Yes if a popup windows appears asking if you really want to do this.
  • Close the Disk Management console.

You may need to restart your machine for the change to take effect, but once you do the drive will use the new letter.

More Windows tips…

  • How to turn on or off hibernate in Windows 10
  • Regain hard disk space by using Windows Update Cleanup in Windows 7 and 8.x
  • Restore a Windows XP backup in Windows 8
  • How to replace SkyDrive with Libraries in Windows 8.1
  • Pro tip: Use an optical Recovery Drive in Windows 8.1

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How-To Geek

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.

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.

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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COMMENTS

  1. How to Change a Drive Letter.

    In the next window, select the letter you desire from the drop-down menu on the right, then click OK. Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me. Open the Device Manager. Click the plus sign (+) next to CD-ROM or DVD/CD-ROM drives. Double-click the disk drive whose drive letter you want to change. Click the Settings tab.

  2. How do I change the drive letter of my extra drives on Windows 98

    Unfortunately, doing this auto-changed the drive letters so that my optical drive is no longer the D:\ drive (it assigned the shrunked HDD to D & E and made the optical drive F) and I'd like to change that one back to the letter it was and assign different drive letters to the new extra drive. Online searching on my part told me to use Disc ...

  3. ‎change drive letters in Win 98

    Open the System icon. Click the Device Manager tab. Open the CD-ROM and CD-RW disk drives icon. Click your disk drive's entry once to select it. Click the Properties button. Click the Settings tab. Choose your new drive letter from the Start drive letter drop-down list. Click OK to close the disk drive's Properties dialog box.

  4. Drive letter assignment

    DOS 5.0 and higher: Assign drive letters to all remaining primary partitions, beginning with the first hard drive and proceeding through successive physical hard disk drives. ... On the Japanese PC-98, if the system is booted from floppy disk, ... they need to be escaped in order to use them as drive letters. Windows 9x (MS-DOS 7./MS-DOS 7.1) ...

  5. windows

    The situation can be even more interesting, if you choose. Not only can you choose to use a drive letter, or a mount point, you can also choose both.You can mount the partition, or even a CD/DVD, as a drive letter, M: perhaps, and on a mount point, say C:\my_cd_drive.And to really have a field day, you can use multiple mount points for a single volume.

  6. Drive Letter Manipulator

    NOTE: In this documentation, Windows means Windows 95/98/ME. In Windows NT/2000/XP, you can use the Disk Administrator, Disk Management or a similar utility of the Control Panel to assign drive letters anyway so this software is not needed. ... If so, assign a drive letter to the first such primary partition (the one with the lowest partition ...

  7. Windows: Swap Drive letters between disks

    Don't change the drive letter of your OS partition [ C: ]: Right-click on This PC → Manage → Storage → Disk Management. Right-click D: → Change drive letter and paths → Change → Assign a third drive letter → OK. Repeat #2 for F:, assigning D: as the new letter. Change drive letter assigned in #2 to F: Share.

  8. Assigning drive letters to partitions in 98

    For some reason Windows 98 decided that the drive letters should be assigned as ... We all know that NT/2000 lets you assign drive letters.. sort of.<P>The recovery console will follow the DOS ...

  9. 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. Once you've made that change, your drive should show up again as ...

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

    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 ...

  11. Q51978: Order in Which MS-DOS and Windows Assign Drive Letters

    MS-DOS checks all installed disk devices, assigning the drive letter A to the first physical floppy disk drive that is found. 2. If a second physical floppy disk drive is present, it is assigned drive letter B. If it is not present, a logical drive B is created that uses the first physical floppy disk drive. 3.

  12. Assign hard drive ID

    It's not the drive that gets assigned a letter, it's the partition(s) on the drive. Windows 98 has a fixed method for assigning hard drive letters. Only time you can assign letters is when the drive is a "removable" drive (though that doesn't include floppy drives.) CD drives, memory cards, DVD drives, etc.

  13. Manually assigning a drive letter using CMD/Diskpart

    For example, this can happen when using a Windows installation media. In that case, you can use diskpart to manually assign a drive letter. NOTE: If your drive doesn't get assigned a drive letter, even though you are in a normal Windows environment, this can indicate a problem with the drive. Please back up your files in that case. Procedure

  14. How to Reassign Drive Letters in Windows

    Click on Change Drive Letter and Paths… in the resulting context menu. (Screenshot: askleo.com) The resulting dialog will display all the drive letters currently assigned; in my case, L:. (Screenshot: askleo.com) Click on the drive letter (L: in the example above), and then on Remove. You will get a warning.

  15. Solved: Change drive letter windows 98

    Hmmm, as you said this is a quite old system ;-) As far as I remember about Win98, you cannot change drive letters so easily. The letter attribution is the following : 1. First, all main partitions are given a letter (C for the first disk, D for the 1st main partition of the second disk, etc.) 2. Then the letters are given to the logical drives ...

  16. Can't assign a letter for drive in Windows Disk Manager

    Disk 1 looks like an old OS drive that was not properly wiped after it was used for WIndows, or else based on having an EFI System partition it held the boot files. There is even a slight chance it still is booting Windows since it was not properly wiped after use, if it was plugged in when you installed Windows to the other drive.

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

    Search for Create and format hard disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management experience. Right-click the drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option. Click ...

  18. Change a drive letter

    The following steps show how to change the drive letter. Open Disk Management with administrator permissions. 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 ...

  19. How to assign a drive letter in Microsoft Windows : Suppoprt Hub

    Step 1: Open Disk Management. To assign a drive letter in Windows, you'll need to access the Disk Management utility. Here's how: Press Win + X keys: Hold down the Windows key and press the 'X' key to open the Power User menu. Select Disk Management: Click on "Disk Management" from the list of options. Step 2: Locate the Drive.

  20. Change and Assign Drive Letter in Windows 10

    1 Open an elevated command prompt. 2 Type diskpart into the elevated command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below) 3 Type list volume into the elevated command prompt, and press Enter. 4 Make note of the volume number (ex: 5) for the drive letter (ex: "F") of the drive (volume) you want to change.

  21. 3 Simple Ways to Assign a Drive Letter in Windows 10/8/7

    Step 2. In the Disk Management window, right-click the volume you want to change or add a drive letter. Then click "Change Drive Letter and Paths". Step 3. Pick "Change" to alter the drive letter. Or pick "Add" to add a drive letter for drives without one. Step 4.

  22. How to assign a drive letter in Windows 10

    Right-click on the Start button. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management console. Right-click the volume that has the drive letter you want to change. Click Change Drive Letter And Paths ...

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

    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."