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kaysee7219 05-18-2008 11:19 AM

Hard Drive Letters
I was wondering if there is a way to attach external hard drives to a desktop and laptop computer and keep the same drive letters on each computer?
I have approx 5 (USB) external hard drives that I use on my desktop and laptop computers (I am a videographer). I normally leave 2 hard drives on the desktop attached. Depending on the project, I may sometimes add or take away a hard drive. By doing that, the drive letters change with each drive added. This can be a problem with video editing programs that look for certain drive letters with certain files. Can a drive letter be permanently attached to an external drive no matter where it is attached? Thanks in advance for your reply.


squirrelnmoose 05-18-2008 12:07 PM

Here are the instructions for assigning drive letters in Win XP (you didn't specify).

How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP

kaysee7219 05-18-2008 02:11 PM

Thanks for the instructions. (It is for Windows XP)


lurkswithin 05-18-2008 04:07 PM

A drive letter CAN NOT be permanately attached to a drive when they are transferred to other computers. In each computer you will have to change the drive letter to that of your choosing .

each windows operating system assigns the drive letter accordingly to the order of such, if you have computer 'A' with a drive configuration of
E.....DVD drive (USB) drive (USB)
note that any memory card slots for cameras will also show up as individual drives in order as well.

and computer 'B' with the following configuration

If you remove 'F' from computer A and install it to computer 'B' then then windows will assign it the 'E' designation as it would be the next progression.

This is what you are experiencing.
SquirrelMoose shows you how to change the designations in the link above and you will have to do this every time there is a computer change.
Sometimes this is confusing as you will have to be swapping drive letters all the time.
With situations like this...I suggest that you (re)name the drives as this will help in identifying them in your situation and the names WILL carry over to each computer. The names are for identification only and as such have nothing to do with pathes to the drives.

to change the name of a drive:
R.clk "my computer" >explore>R. clk the drive you want to change the name on > properties.

The drive's name is highlighted (next to the icon) just change this to what you wish to call it and select the apply tab to instantly change it. Now no matter what computer you insert the drive on it will be identified as to that name.

The other part of this suggestion is to permanately re-assign the drive letters to your permanately installed optic drives on all your computers. (and any permanately mounted memory slots ) I use the X,Y.Z letters for my optics drives so that any installed harddrives will automatically be installed as the first lower end of the alphabet

computer configuration:
X.....memory slot
W....memory slot
notice that the assigned drive letters will always show up as shown. For any add on drives they will be assigned the
D', E,F letters and I don't have to constantly change the optics drive letters.

Hope this helps!

kaysee7219 05-18-2008 05:40 PM

Change Drive Letter
This is exactly the problem that I am having. You articulated it better than I did and gave me the solution.


lurkswithin 05-20-2008 02:01 AM

You are welcome!

I also had video issues as I was into this as well. I had tried many different ways to get things to match up till a friend of mine suggested the same thing.

squirrelnmoose 05-20-2008 09:23 AM

Here's another solution for you. (USBDLM)
USB drive letter manager - USBDLM
and easier instructions for it.
USB Drive Letter Manager « The FS Files

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