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Drive Letters

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,979
Thanks: 631
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Drive Letters

Having recently obtained another computer the  drive letters are all over the place.
I: Local Disk
N: New Volume
CDEF: Removable Drive
G: DVD Drive
H: DVD Ram Drive
JKLM: Removable disk
Can I Just rename the drive letters or will I need to swop internal sata cables around ?
I Just assumed C: would be the Local Disk & D: The new volume ?
Thanks
7 REPLIES
KenA
Grafter
Posts: 92
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Drive Letters

Hi Gleneagles,
Yes, there's a utility for doing this.
In XP, Control Panle / Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management.
I think Vista will have a similar function, though I've ot checked.
You can also start this from the Run or Command prompt: diskmgmt.msc
This utility lets you rename drive letters.  But...
Don't change the system drive - i.e. the one the PC boots from - normally C:
And beware that if an installed program refers to one of the other drive letters, it may not work correctly if you change the letter.
Changing removeable drives such as CD/DVD is usually ok.  It's usually also ok to change a fixed disk drive letter (other than CSmiley if there's no programs or data on it yet.
Just click on the drive or partition and right-click, and you'll see "change drive letter" in the context menu.
Hope this helps
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,305
Thanks: 971
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Drive Letters

in Vista right click on the Computer icon and select Manage then Disk Management then right click on the drive you want to change
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Drive Letters

To do it you have to play hop scotch you cant rename one to drive d: as its assigned so you have to move d: to another letter and then move the other over to d:. You would have to do that with any that are in use but its simple enough
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,979
Thanks: 631
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Drive Letters

Guys I am still stuck on this one.
No problem in getting into disk management and finding the drive letters and option to change them but the problem is that my system is showing as Drive I: and no way will it let me change this as I just get the message the system drive can't be changed.
I Think this has come about as I installed windows on a new computer and assumed windows would be installed on to C:
The Sata lead from my hard drive goes into the sata 1 connection on my P5QL board so I cannot understand why this does not show as C:
Am I looking at a complete reinstall of everything... ie unplugging everything except a single hard drive or is there a work around for this problem ?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Drive Letters

You can change the drive to drive c: as detailed below but your system then wont boot but if you boot from cd and run repair it should fix it but dont try it unless you have a full backup. Other have done it on the forum and its worked ok once you run repair there was no need to reinstall
Change the System/Boot Drive Letter
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Make a full system backup of the computer and system state.
  2. Log on as an Administrator.
  3. Start Regedt32.exe.
  4. Go to the following registry key:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
  5. Click MountedDevices.
  6. On the Security menu, click Permissions.
  7. Verify that Administrators have full control. Change this back when you are finished with these steps.
  8. Quit Regedt32.exe, and then start Regedit.exe.
  9. Locate the following registry key:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
  10. Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
  11. Right-click \DosDevices\C:, and then click Rename.
      Note You must use Regedit instead of Regedt32 to rename this registry key.
  12. Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:".
      This frees up drive letter C.
  13. Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
  14. Right-click \DosDevices\D:, and then click Rename.
  15. Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
  16. Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".
  17. Quit Regedit, and then start Regedt32.
  18. Change the permissions back to the previous setting for Administrators (this should probably be Read Only).
  19. Restart the computer.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,979
Thanks: 631
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Drive Letters

Samuria,
Many thanks for your detailed reply.
I will certainly give this a go over the week end but just out of curiosity am I likely to come across any problems if I leave things as they are ?
The only thing I have noticed that on booting up a brief message appears saying no hard drive detected ! but everything continues to boot up and run normally after that.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Drive Letters

It wont do any harm or cause any real problems just annoying. The no disk detected is the bios not finding a disk on one of the controllers and normal