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Windows 7: How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals

18 Aug 2014   #1
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 
How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals

Some people come up with a special and specific requirement. And so it is with pkerr. http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-...ml#post2680332

He wants Windows to assign the same letter for all his external drives which he is using for backups. He will be connecting just one drive at a time.

The solution is simple.

Windows identifies a drive with a Windows unique ID. Each drive in fact has a unique ID.( the general scene)

You give the same unique ID to all the external drives that you want to have the same drive letter and Windows will oblige you by giving the same drive letter when you plug just one drive at a time.

Illustration:

I have two drives one named ZotacBackup and the other GenBackup. Each have their own unique ID and normally these get the drive letters I and J.

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-wdm-i-j.jpg

Unique ID of ZotacBackup I: is F3 64 5D 07 ( highlighted in green )

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-i-drivewuid.jpg

Unique ID of GenBackup J: is AB 3E 68 39 ( highlighted in green)

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-j-drivewuid.jpg

Now I shall change the Unique ID of GenBackup J: to F3 64 5D 07 ( the same as that of ZotacBackup I: using bootice - my favourite program.)

Changing the Unique ID of GenBackup J:

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-j-change.jpg

Changed:

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-changed.jpg

This change will be perceived by Windows the next time you connect the drive.

Now both the drives have the same Unique ID.

I shall plug out the GenBackup J: leaving only the ZotacBackup I: and change its drive letter to R (or any other free drive letter one may want).

Changing Zotac Backup I: to ZotacBackup R: ( Now Windows has associated Drive letter R with the Unique ID F3 64 5D 07 )

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-i-r.jpg

Now I disconnect ZotacBackup R.

Done.

Now whether I connect ZotacBackup drive or GenBackup drive (only one at a time) these drives will get the same drive letter R .

See it for yourself.

ZotacBackup is R:

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-i-also-r.jpg

GenBackup is also R:

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-j-also-r.jpg

And so that is it. Give the same Unique ID to all the drives and Windows will assign the same drive letter when you connect one and only one.

Windows is dumb.

Another innovative idea ( which I haven't tried but what I think should work ) after a break. ( Time for me to hit the sack now.)

Note: The above method will work only in case of all MBR disks with the same "start sector". (Windows by design formats all HDDs with start Sector at LBA 2048; Other partitioning/formatting software may put the start sector at LBA 63)




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18 Aug 2014   #2
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Will only work if partition's "start sector" is the same. You can change the DISK ID using DISKPART as well. How to Change the Disk Signature of a Drive Without Losing Existing Data or Reformatting (howtohaven.com)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2014   #3
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Thanks Kaktussoft for pointing it out. That is yet another condition to be fulfilled for successful implementation of the scheme. So all MBR disks with the same start sector . I have since edited my post to put in that.

And Yes, unique ID can be changed with diskpart.

Laurent Kempé | Windows 7, Disk is offline because it has a signature collision

Two Seagate External Drives, one not recognised
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2014   #4
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Some people come up with a special and specific requirement. And so it is with pkerr. http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-...ml#post2680332

He wants Windows to assign the same letter for all his external drives which he is using for backups. He will be connecting just one drive at a time..........

..........Give the same Unique ID to all the drives and Windows will assign the same drive letter when you connect one and only one......

Another innovative idea ( which I haven't tried but what I think should work ) after a break. ( Time for me to hit the sack now.).........

Note: The above method will work only in case of all MBR disks with the same "start sector". (Windows by design formats all HDDs with start Sector at LBA 2048; Other partitioning/formatting software may put the start sector at LBA 63)
When I was reading pkerr's thread, what immediately struck me was that it can be done by givng the same unique id to all the external drives one wants to have the same drive letter. There was no doubt about.

Simultaneously another idea flashed in my mind.

Everyday when I open my computer a virtual sheep (virtual Clone Drive) strikes my optical nerves. OMG ! Why can't I create as many number of virtual drives as will just leave one drive letter free? Then any external drive connected will always be forced to take the lone left-out drive letter?

( Incidentally in my case I had 16 drive letters free and Slysoft Virtual Clone Drive can create 15 virtual clone drives . And so here it is:

How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals-19-08-2014-23-30-30.jpg

Now any external drive I connect will be forced to take on the only available drive letter X.)

Ok, and then this led me to another thought. Instead of virtual drives, use another external drive with n-1 partitions ( n= number of free drive letters) and one will have that one drive letter left that will get assigned to any other external drive connected.

So that completes this thread. No questions . These are just two thoughts. How practical, let the user decide.


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 How to make Windows assign the same drive letter to all externals




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