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Windows 7: Windows 7 does not assign drive letters to external HDDs


20 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 
Windows 7 does not assign drive letters to external HDDs

Hi

I'm having some problems with some of my external HDDs. I have a 500Gbs WD Caviar Green and a 500Gbs Seagate ST350032, both using a Cooler Master XCraft 360 enclosure. A few days ago, I decided to move 50GBs from D to C using Paragon 2010. I already did this on my laptop without any problems. When I first restarted the PC after all this, I was asked to install some Win Updates. Since then my 2 external HDD stopped being visible in Windows Explorer. At first I thought there's something wrong with my HDDs but then I noticed that there were both visible in Computer Management but had no drive letter assigned. I assigned the letters manually everything went fine till my 1st reboot. Every time I reboot my system, those 2 HDDS have no drive letter assigned and I have to do it manually so that I can use them. Also, if I insert a USB memory stick that is assigned with a letter assigned for my HDDs, if I try to connect them, same thing happens. I also noticed that after moving those 50GBs from D to C, between C and D I have about 95Mbs of free space visible in Computer Management. The partition table looks something like this: C, 95Mbs Free Space(not unallocated), D,E,F,G.Another thing that happens lately (for about 3 months) is that I cannot safe remove my WD My Book Elite. Since I couldn't find a way to fix this, I switched to Quick Removal Policy (Better Performance was set by default for this one). Could this happen because I have too many partitions and driver, although this never happened before, not even on XP or Vista. I have 6 partitions (C-H), 2 Optical Drives and 2 Virtual Drives (I-L) and an internal card reader that has 4 slots permanently assigned (M-P). Also I have 2 network drives (Y-Z). I tried to unmount the Virtual Drives and the network drives and also removed all other external drives without any luck. I have 2 internal HDDs, with one primary partition each. Also, My Book Elite has 2 partitions (one is for storage and one caries the embedded software, both seen as primary partitions). Also, all my other external HDDs are seen as primary partitions. Don't know what's the limit for partitions and primary partitions for Windows so I thought I should point this out. Off Topic - After installing Win Updates on both, my desktop PC and my laptop I had to reactivate Windows twice since I was notified that I'm using a non genuine version of Windows (this thing keeps happening from time to time).
I noticed that every time I connect a HDD I get this error in Event Viewer: Encrypted volume check: Volume information on \\?\Volume{e87200fe-4968-11df-a541-001e8cc96001} cannot be read.
Also this appears when I enter Computer Management: Unexpected failure. Error code: 490@01010004

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Sep 2010   #2

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Now that's a long, long paragraph.

I'll be honest, I only skimmed because my feeble mind just can't sort that much out without some help.

Now to your disk drive letter problem:

Try using DiskPart to assign a drive letter.

Let's see what notes I have on using DiskPart

________________________________________
VIEW DRIVE LETTERS
Type following commands. Hit ENTER key after each command.
DISKPART starts the DiskPart program
LIST VOLUME shows drive letter assignment
________________________________________

You are going to want to view the drive letters used by DiskPart.
You are going to use DiskPart's Assign command to assign a drive letter.
type HELP Assign to get help on using the assign command.

You are going to want to run DiskPart from an elevated command prompt.
________________________________________
Command Prompt - Elevated command prompt

Elevated command prompt = Run CMD.EXE as administrator
• WIN key
• Type CMD.EXE (do not hit Enter key)
• In the Programs list, Right-Click on CMD.EXE
• Click on Run as administrator
• YES button

OR for keyboard fans:
• WIN key
• Type CMD.EXE (do not hit Enter key)
• Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER key combo
• Press ALT + y in response to UAC (User Access Control) prompt asking to “allow program …”
________________________________________
________________________________________
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Sorry for the late reply. I had some network problems due to chipset drive update.
OK so long story short you said I should use an elevated command prompt to view the drive letters used by DiskPart and assign a letter for the HDDs.
I did so and everything is fine till I insert a removable device with the HDD unplugged.
Windows assigns the removable device with the first unused letter and the HDD receive none. Even if I remove the device and try to connect the HDD Windows will not assign a letter for it so I have to do it all over again.

Code:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7600
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: SKYNET

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     J                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     I                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 2     K                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 3     L                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 4     Q   WD SmartWar  UDF    CD-ROM       668 MB  Healthy
  Volume 5     H   Media        NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy    System
  Volume 6     C   System       NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 7     D   Games        NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 8     E   Downloads    NTFS   Partition     99 GB  Healthy
  Volume 9     F   AcasA  Prog  NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 10    G   Virtual Box  NTFS   Partition     46 GB  Healthy
  Volume 11    M                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 12    N                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 13    O                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 14    P                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 15                            Partition    465 GB  Healthy    Offline  //the HDD
  Volume 16    R   daydr3am3r@  NTFS   Partition   1396 GB  Healthy

DISKPART> select disk 6

Disk 6 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

DISKPART> remove noerr

The selected volume has no letter or mount point to remove.

DISKPART> assign letter=S noerr

DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     J                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     I                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 2     K                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 3     L                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 4     Q   WD SmartWar  UDF    CD-ROM       668 MB  Healthy
  Volume 5     H   Media        NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy    System
  Volume 6     C   System       NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 7     D   Games        NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 8     E   Downloads    NTFS   Partition     99 GB  Healthy
  Volume 9     F   AcasA  Prog  NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 10    G   Virtual Box  NTFS   Partition     46 GB  Healthy
  Volume 11    M                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 12    N                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 13    O                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 14    P                       Removable       0 B  No Media
* Volume 15    S   daydr3am3r@  NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy  //the HDD
  Volume 16    R   daydr3am3r@  NTFS   Partition   1396 GB  Healthy

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     J                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     I                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 2     K                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 3     L                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 4     Q   WD SmartWar  UDF    CD-ROM       668 MB  Healthy
  Volume 5     H   Media        NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy    System
  Volume 6     C   System       NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 7     D   Games        NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 8     E   Downloads    NTFS   Partition     99 GB  Healthy
  Volume 9     F   AcasA  Prog  NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 10    G   Virtual Box  NTFS   Partition     46 GB  Healthy
  Volume 11    M                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 12    N                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 13    O                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 14    P                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 15    S   DAYDR3AM3R   FAT32  Removable   3822 MB  Healthy  //new removable device
  Volume 16    R   daydr3am3r@  NTFS   Partition   1396 GB  Healthy
  Volume 17                            Partition    465 GB  Healthy    Offline  //the HDD has no letter again

DISKPART>
As far as I could see every time I connect the HDD I get a BitLocker-Drive error in event viewer: Encrypted volume check: Volume information on \\?\Volume{e87200fe-4968-11df-a541-001e8cc96001} cannot be read.
I did some research and I found this: Event ID 24620 & BitLocker Startup
It seams to be the same problem except it's affecting internal HDDs and causing the system not to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


22 Sep 2010   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

A disk and a volume are not necessarily the same.

Do following go to diskpart

Examine the output of list disk

Examine the output of list volume
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #5

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Also you do realize that NOERR is only in effect when your scripting.
And if you are scripting then you better be very very sure that you are correct because with noerr, the script continues.

are you aware that diskpart has a help command, for example, help remove
or
help detail volume (after you have selected a volume)
help list
help list volume
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

You are right. The disk it's the device(HDD, flash drive etc). Volume refers to the partition. In my case I have only one volume on disk 6. Also the disk is visible and running OK even if the volume is offline.
Here is the output.
Code:
Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7600
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: SKYNET

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          465 GB     9 MB
  Disk 1    Online          596 GB    95 MB
  Disk 2    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 3    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 4    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 5    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 7    Online         1396 GB      0 B

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          465 GB     9 MB
  Disk 1    Online          596 GB    95 MB
  Disk 2    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 3    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 4    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 5    No Media           0 B      0 B
  Disk 6    Online          465 GB     9 MB
  Disk 7    Online         1396 GB      0 B

DISKPART> list volume

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     J                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     I                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 2     K                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 3     L                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 4     Q   WD SmartWar  UDF    CD-ROM       668 MB  Healthy
  Volume 5     H   Media        NTFS   Partition    465 GB  Healthy    System
  Volume 6     C   System       NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 7     D   Games        NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 8     E   Downloads    NTFS   Partition     99 GB  Healthy
  Volume 9     F   AcasA  Prog  NTFS   Partition    149 GB  Healthy
  Volume 10    G   Virtual Box  NTFS   Partition     46 GB  Healthy
  Volume 11    M                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 12    N                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 13    O                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 14    P                       Removable       0 B  No Media
  Volume 15    R   daydr3am3r@  NTFS   Partition   1396 GB  Healthy
  Volume 16                            Partition    465 GB  Healthy    Offline 
DISKPART>
Did I get it right? Or you meant something else?

Sry I didn't see your second post.
I didn't know noerr requires the script to be continued.
And yes I know it has a help command.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

And if you
Select volume n
detail volume
you will see the disk where the volume resides.

The help will also indicate to you that you cannot reassign the boot volume.

So now what would you like to do?

What is your end objective?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

OK now I am confused.
Indeed if I do this
Select volume n
detail volume
I will see where disk where the volume resides.
And I know I cannot reassign the boot volume.
I never said I want to do that.
My objective is to make Windows assign a letter for that volume EVERY time I connect the external disk containing the volume, like it should, so that I don't have to assign the letter manually every time I need to copy something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

I had a similar problem with a certain 4GB stick under Vista Home Premium. Whatever I tried...when the stick was connected I had to assign a drive letter. Never found out what was the real reason behind that...(faulty driver/port wasn't an issue since all other sticks/external drives worked just fine) maybe that stick didn't operate 100% conform to the specifications or it got sold because the company lowered their QA guide lines...who knows.
No matter...what finally solved the problem for me was this software:
USB Drive Letter Manager basically a service that assigns Drive letters based on specifics you set (like the drives serial number or its identifier)so that a certain drive or stick always shows up with the letter you want it to have. A neat side effect: you could hide the 4-8 drive letters for card readers until you actually inserted a card.
Just check it out

-DG
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks I'll give it a try. At first I thought it's the HDDs and then that the enclosure has some problems since I sometimes use it for both HDDs(switch the HDD when need it) but since on my laptop everything works fine I don't think that's the problem.
LE: I just discovered that this si happening to other 2 portable HDDs(2.5").
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 does not assign drive letters to external HDDs




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