Changing drive letters in Windows 7

  tallboy 18:15 01 Dec 2009

I have a new Windows 7 PC. The drive letters have been assigned by the builder (Eclipse) and are not what I'd like them to be - especially since I have now added a partition to the primary hard drive (which I'd like to be D but is currently I) and an external hard drive which I'd like to come before any memory sticks.

Obviously the primary OS / apps drive can stay as C:, but before I start loading docs & pictures from my old PC (which will be referenced from programs on the C: drive) I'd like to change the drive letters to a more logical order.

How do you do this in Windows 7?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:54 01 Dec 2009
  BurrWalnut 18:57 01 Dec 2009

Click the Windows Orb (Start), type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter, then right-click the graphic of the drive to be changed > Change Dive Letter and Paths. If possible, try not to change any optical drives.

  tallboy 14:57 02 Dec 2009

Many thanks for the quick responses Fruit Bat & BurrWalnut. Changing the drive letter was easier than I thought it would be!

Fortunately the letter 'B' had not been allocated to anything, so that is fine for all my data files.

I'm intreagued to know why you should not change optical drive numbers, since I guess disk-creation applications should be able to locate the optical drives that are present.

  BurrWalnut 15:15 02 Dec 2009

I’ll answer your intrigue!

Not only is it a bad idea to change optical drive letters, which I’ll come to, but it’s not a good idea to use drive letter B.

Drive B was originally allocated as the second of two floppy disks, which in older motherboards with an older BIOS would expect drives A and B to be floppy drives. It is unlikely it would affect you but for the sake of using a different letter and spending a few seconds doing it, use a different letter.

In the registry are a number of pointers to the original location of installation executables which in most cases point to an optical drive. Once you start uninstalling and running system programs like sfc, you will get mismatches. So, again, for the sake of a few minutes don’t change the optical drive letter(s).

Here endeth the lesson!

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