XP. Drive letter assignation that stays assigned!

  montyburns 15:45 11 Aug 2004

I have had help on here before to change drive letter assignation (Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Disk Management etc)

Thing is, for some reason these assigned letters don't stay.

We're using laptops connected by USB to various peripherals, but drive-wise, they are linked to Zips and external 250Gb Maxtors (as an archive)

Most often they have both in together, but sometimes it's just the Zip and sometimes just the Maxtor

There's shortcuts, macros and program elements pointing to the Maxtor as "E" and the Zip as "F"

Problem is, when you are using just one peripheral, this can get messed up and can throw things off badly

So, is there a way to PERMANENTLY assign a drive letter so that no matter what combination of USB items is attached, they still read correctly?

Thanks for any help!

  Stuartli 16:30 11 Aug 2004

I would have offered the same advice as you list (CP, Administator, Computer Management, Disk Management), which should work providing you or someone else is the administrator.

In fact I had the same problem with my D and E drives - they were reversed in operation although the drive letter was correct.

Swapped them round and nothing worked, particularly when using Nero.

So I had to swap the letters around again so that once more right clicking, for instance, on D to eject opens the E drive's drawer...:-)

  Gemma 16:56 11 Aug 2004

Just a general point, whenever Windows sees a USB connect or disconnect event, the attached peripherals are "re-enumerated" i.e. the attached devices are polled and re-assigned communication addresses to avoid holes in the sequences. Note that USB was planned to handle a large number of devices hence the need to conserve addresses. I don't know how Windows then maps this to drive letters but suspect it is "first seen, lowest letter". This only applies to devices that identify themselves as "mass storage"
I have just had a play by inserting / removing a pair of USB pen drives. Windows behaves as advertised....

  buscrew 17:16 11 Aug 2004

There is a workaround posted click here that talkes about pendrives, but from looking at it it should work for USB & Zip drives. It seems a bit convoluted, but see what you think, (scroll down towards the bottom for the fix)

  Gemma 17:55 11 Aug 2004

Nice find buscrew! Step forward a volunteer to try it? These drives do have a unique USB serial number (hidden from we mere mortals) which could help. I have had a look in click here but fell asleep.

  montyburns 18:44 11 Aug 2004

Oh dear! Seems well complicated......

As Gemma said, volunteer needed!

Maybe we'll just have to make sure that the drives both always stay plugged in

(actually in a few weeks we should have new office PCs and therefore no need to take the laptops anywhere)

Just one thought though. We plug the Zip and the Maxtor archive in via a USB hub. Will this always read the right order?

  Gemma 19:21 12 Aug 2004

"We plug the Zip and the Maxtor archive in via a USB hub. Will this always read the right order?"

If the Zip is plugged first it will take the next available drive letter and the Maxtor will take the next. Remember to always use the "safely remove hardware" icon in the tray and remove the Maxtor first. Given that nothing else is used that creates drive letters, this could serve you until you stop using the laptops.

  nick_j007 19:39 12 Aug 2004

bookmarking for my ref. thanks.


  THE TERMINATOR 00:28 13 Aug 2004

get tweakui from Microsoft, it's a free download and will enable you to change drive letters....TT

  montyburns 12:10 15 Aug 2004

I already have Tweak, but can't find anything in it to "tweak" the drives, other than choosing which are displayed in "My Computer"...........


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