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Change the Drive Letter for External Drives in Vista

Change the Drive Letter for External Drives in Vista

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I use Virtual PC a lot, and it stores the full path, including drive letter, to saved state and hard disks.  This is a real pain in the arse when you plug in multiple thumb drives and USB devices, and Vista changes the drive letter... unless you can get back to that drive letter, you lose your saved state.

Thanks to this post, I was able to change the drive letter for external drives in Vista and get my saved state back.

To change the drive letter or paths in Windows Vista, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Right click on Computer and select Manage to open and access Computer Management Console.
  2. Navigate to and expand the Storage section, and click on Disk Management to access Disk Management Console.
  3. Disk Management Console display the details of all available volumes and disk drives in the computer configuration in the right pane.
  4. Right click on the volume or disk drive that you want to change the drive letter, and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths).
  5. Then click on "Change" button.
  6. Use the drop down list to select the new and your desired drive letter to assign to the disk volume.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Yes to confirm.
  • It's worth mentioning that this process is the same all the way back to Windows 2000 I believe. But not only is it good for changing the drive letters - but also REMOVING drive letters. Like many people I have a computer that has like 100 different card reader slots, most of which I'll never use. If that wasn't bad enough, I also have two Dell 24" monitors that also have card reader slots. Hook it all up to Windows and you wind up with drives F-Q or whatever. So opening up disk management I can remove those drive letters so I don't have to wade through them in "My Computer".

  • Interesting that it's been there so long.  

    I guess I just haven't managed this many external devices before.  I used to have just 1 external USB drive, and now I have 4 USB sticks, 2 external drives, a camcorder, and an audio recorder that all use USB... which exacerbated the problem of renaming my "F" drive and causing headaches with VirtualPC saved state.

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