Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Windows is mucking around with my HD drive letters

02 Oct 2015   #1
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Windows is mucking around with my HD drive letters

I have 3 external USB hard drives/partitions: J & K which are two partitions in a Western Digital 2 TB USB3 HDD; L & M ditto on another identical WD 2 TB HDD; and occasionally N which is a 465 GB LaCie USB2 HDD. When the two WD drives are disconnected, N changes to I. Another variation is with the J and K drives connected but not the N, J is re-lettered to I.

This caused a potentially serious problem recently when I went to make a test clone of my 256 GB SSD (my C: drive) on to N. In the confusion I actually started the cloning to my X, a 1 TB internal which contains all my documents, Pictures etc. etc. and had been re-lettered to N (I am a little hazy about the lettering now). My X (now re-lettered to I masquerading as N) was immediately wiped (cloning does that) and I had to spend many hours copying back all those files (857 GB) from J (my backup of X which fortunately was up to date). I have noticed similar behaviour before at various times.

To avoid this in the future, I have renamed all my HDDs with their correct drive letters. For example, C: to CCCCC and X to XXXXX. Being the name of the HDD rather than its letter, it (hopefully) will not change, so I can ignore those pesky drive letters. (Image attached.)

-- But why does Windows play around like this? (Whenever I change a drive's letter I am warned that software that relies on letters might get confused, so there must be a reason for letters.)

-- Can I get it to stop changing drive letters?

Thanks.




Attached Images
Windows is mucking around with my HD drive letters-post-secenfor.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
03 Oct 2015   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Steve for starters mate if you haven't already I would run these

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1538-sfc-scannow-command-system-file-checker.html

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html< if necessary include the /f and /r in the command line as per Option2

http://www.superantispyware.com/

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

ADW download from bleeping computer delete any rubbish found with themalware scans

(NBIf one is running Kaspersky security it may rant about ADW - just ignore it ordisable Kaspersky while the ADW is being used)
just to eliminate a few possibilities
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #3
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I have run 433-disk-check (no failts found), adw cleaner (no problems). I dontknow about computers enough to risk command line commands (a wrong key-press han produce havoc), Iam waiting for Malwarebytes to confirm that it is compatible with my brand of AVG (AVG CloudCare). I haven't heard of superantispyware and would need to be assured that it is known to be safe. (I assume it is otherwise you would not have recommended it!.)

Is it a well known and more or less industry standard?

I have investigated more and found that I cannot now use my backup program (Second Copy which was recomended on this forum) because it relies on drive letters to identify source and destination drives. The worry is that some other drive will have its letter changed and Second Copy will assume it as a source or destination drive with disastrous results. Here is what happened today:

This has escalated from an inconvenience to a real nuisance and a danger. Now, one of the partitions in my external backup drive (J: ) has had a new drive letter assigned to it (I: ) by Windows and I cannot change it back again (in Disc Management > Create and format hard disc partitions). My backup program (Second Copy, a respected software) relies on drive letters to identify the drives involved in a backup. It no longer recognises my J: partition and will not work. To get it to work I need to change many of its backup profiles (instructions about source and destination drives), from J ti I, a real chore, and Windows might meddle again with drive letters.

This problem started when I connected an ext. USB HDD (5), see below) which I have done occasionally before to access a certain text file, with no other ext. drive connected. Windows assigned it the drive letter I: No problem there.

Here are my discs (not all are connected at the same time):
(1) C: 256 SSD. Windows and some programs. No documents, pictures.
(2) X: 1 TB internal spinning HD. Documents, Pictures etc. etc. and a couple of simple programs.
(3a) J: 1TB partition on a 2 TB Western Digital Elements ext. USB3 HDD
(3b) K: 1TB partition on the same 2 TB Western Digital Elements ext. USB3 HDD that has J: on it.
(4a) L: 1TB partition on another 2 TB Western Digital Elements ext. USB3 HDD
(4b) M: 1TB partition on the same 2 TB Western Digital Elements ext. USB3 HDD that has L: on it.
(5) I: 500 GB, on a LaCie ext. USB2 HDD
----------------------------------------------
(1) and (2) are always running, and with no changes to their drive letters.
The letter for (3b) is always KK and the letters for (4a and b) are always L: and M:. No changes (yet) to these three.

With (3a+b), and (5) running, (3a) has I: (it should have J: ) and (5) has L.

Then I shutdown, wait 15 secs., restart with (3a+b) only connected.

(3a) has I:. I try to change (3a) to J: but Windows refuses to offer it. It should be available, no other HDD is presently connected using the letter J. (please see attached clip).

How can I permanently assign J: to my partition (3a) please? (and letters permanently to the other partitions in case this happens to them also). This is bizarre and screwing up my backups.
Thanks.


Attached Images
Windows is mucking around with my HD drive letters-snip.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Oct 2015   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

SAS (SuperAntiSpyware) is definitely safe. MBAM (MalwareBytes AntiMalware) is compatible with pretty much all AVs but, should it conflict with yours, just list your AV in MBAM's exception list.

I doubt you have a malware issue causing your HDD letter changing issue. Windows will often assign the lowest available drive letter to a new drive when you plug it in, usually when the drive letter is already in use.

I had a similar problem with HDD letters changing on my backup HDDs. I useFreeFileSync to back up my data. It has a feature that will allow it to recognize the drive name instead of the letter so it no longer matters what the drive letter is, FreeFileSync will always find the correct drive. You might try checking to see if Second Copy also has that feature or consider switching to FreeFileSync.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #5
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
SAS (SuperAntiSpyware) is definitely safe. MBAM (MalwareBytes AntiMalware) is compatible with pretty much all AVs but, should it conflict with yours, just list your AV in MBAM's exception list.

I doubt you have a malware issue causing your HDD letter changing issue. Windows will often assign the lowest available drive letter to a new drive when you plug it in, usually when the drive letter is already in use.

I had a similar problem with HDD letters changing on my backup HDDs. I useFreeFileSync to back up my data. It has a feature that will allow it to recognize the drive name instead of the letter so it no longer matters what the drive letter is, FreeFileSync will always find the correct drive. You might try checking to see if Second Copy also has that feature or consider switching to FreeFileSync.
Thanks. That's really helpful. I have contacted Second Copy again.

It's a relief to know that changes to HD drive letters have been know to occur on other Windows 7 besides my own setups.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2015   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Well Lady Fitz has got you going mate the things I suggested were as I said just a process of elimination and for starters because it could have been a simple file corruption or malware.

I am glad that someone who knows that problem has picked it up

Just one thing I have to mention is that I am not a fan of AVG to be brutally honest - having used it years ago I found then to mess with the system too much though I wasn't that aware of such stuff at the time. As soon as I switched to something else the problems disappeared. There are quite a few members here that will agree with me on this AV but the choice is always yours my friend I am not trying to influence you in any way to use something else. Plus I am not that impressed with stuff in the cloud - not that I know much about it but I do like to keep my data particularly in a dedicated space in my system not some forsaken spot somewhere out there

I am just wondering though what would happen if you disabled it and also disconnected form the net how changing the drive lettering would be. This is just a thought and as I sad I am in no way trying to get you to change what you do and how you do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2015   #7
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ICIT2LOL View Post
Well Lady Fitz has got you going mate the things I suggested were as I said just a process of elimination and for starters because it could have been a simple file corruption or malware.

I am glad that someone who knows that problem has picked it up

Just one thing I have to mention is that I am not a fan of AVG to be brutally honest - having used it years ago I found then to mess with the system too much though I wasn't that aware of such stuff at the time. As soon as I switched to something else the problems disappeared. There are quite a few members here that will agree with me on this AV but the choice is always yours my friend I am not trying to influence you in any way to use something else. Plus I am not that impressed with stuff in the cloud - not that I know much about it but I do like to keep my data particularly in a dedicated space in my system not some forsaken spot somewhere out there

I am just wondering though what would happen if you disabled it and also disconnected form the net how changing the drive lettering would be. This is just a thought and as I sad I am in no way trying to get you to change what you do and how you do it.
I agree about AVG. It was installed by the person who built my computer 6 months ago, free for 12 months. I am rather busy just now but soon I will change to another program, probably one that was recommended on this forum (I forget its name).

Incidentally, despite "cloud" being in its name, my AVG is not up there. I agree about keeping things close to Earth. I have absolutely no need for the Cloud (nor generally for the many fancy features now available for everything, like being able to find a recepie for Tanzanian duck soup while standing on Ben Nevis and checking my mail while taking a selfie on the edge of a cliff!).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2015   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote:
Incidentally, despite "cloud" being in its name, my AVG is not up there. I agree about keeping things close to Earth. I have absolutely no need for the Cloud (nor generally for the many fancy features now available for everything, like being able to find a recepie for Tanzanian duck soup while standing on Ben Nevis and checking my mail while taking a selfie on the edge of a cliff!).
I lie that also my sense of humour too

PS If you just want a freebie for now check this site out plenty of real time but avoid the AVG, Trend if I were you Free Windows Desktop Software Security List | Gizmo's Freeware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Windows is mucking around with my HD drive letters




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
windows 7 drive letters messed up, cat
hi guys i have a very, very frustrating problem. until recently I had a ubuntu/win7 dual boot. i got a laptop with ubuntu so i decided to remove it from my pc. after that i had tremendous problems as grub decided to delete my partition table. anyway i got that fixed. so i have 3 hdd's in my...
Installation & Setup
Why would Windows 7 assign drive letters oddly on an internal drive?
I've spent several hours doing searches trying to find a reason for the way drive letters have been assigned on a new system I put together today. Every system I have ever configured (starting in the late 80's) with 2 internal drives the first partition on the boot drive is C: and first partition...
General Discussion
Help with changing drive letters in Windows 7
Hello, I am recently recovering from a BSOD and I had to start over with a new main hard drive. I am trying to make my second hard drive letter D. The computer made it E. There is not a drive labeled D that I could change the drive letter to something else to free up D. I have followed the guide...
General Discussion
Windows Explorer: Display Drive Letters Before Drive Names
Pretty useful modification if you have long drive names, or are just particular about your layout. http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3265-drive-letters-show-before-after-name-computer.html
General Discussion
Drive letters get swapped in windows 7?!
OK, i got a strange one fellas. My partition drive letters get swapped in windows 7, although the information on the partition doesn't get affected. I got dual OS, xp and 7. XP>7 C > E, D > C, E > D :mad:
Hardware & Devices
Show Drive Letters First in Windows 7
In XP and Vista following registry fix made the drive letter of all drives appear first, in front of the drive label: "ShowDriveLettersFirst"=dword:00000004 Unfortunately this setting doesn't seem to work any longer in Win7's Explorer, and the drive letters remain at the end. Does...
Customization


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App