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Windows 7: How can I change EMPTY removable disk letters?

14 Sep 2015   #1

Win7 Ultimate 64bit
How can I change EMPTY removable disk letters?

I've changed external USB hard drives and Windows 7 has reshuffled the drive letters. The old external hard drive was G: and the multi-slot card reader was H: I: J: K: L:

I also installed a second DVD burner, which went into F:, which wasn't being used at all before.

Now Windows has changed the card reader to G: through K: and stuck the hard drive onto L:

I unplugged the card reader from the motherboard, then assigned G: to the external hard drive. Then I went to Regedit and in HKLM/System/MountedDevices deleted all DosDevices higher than G:

Then I shut down, reconnected the card reader, booted up and Windows put all the letters right back to the wrong places.

Even if I plug memory cards into the card reader those drive letters don't show in Disk Management. I only have SD cards so even if they did show I could only change H:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2015   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Hello Galane,

If you are unable to change drive letter using "Disk Management", you can try doing it with command line.
Here you will find all the instruction: Assign, change, or remove a drive letter

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Hi Galane,

From what I have understood,

Each partition/device allocated a drive letter in windows will have two entries (Values) in the HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices key
  • \??\Volume{guid} - e.g. \??\Volume{f95cc040-a528-11de-bbbb-806e6f6e6963}
  • \DosDevices\#:- e.g. \DosDevices\C:
So just deleting the DOS devices alone may not perhaps be sufficient.

Personally, however I would not embark with meddling the registry without first backing it up so that I can undo any changes that proved ineffective or counter-productive.. Did you do that?

Now do this:

Plug out all external storage devices from the USB ports.

I understand that you have two optical drives internally connected. Assign drive letters Y and Z for those drives.

For the Internal disk drives/partitions assign the drive letters in sequence. Say D, E, F. G etc. That would leave the other drive letters free to be assigned for the external storage Devices.

Now reboot your PC and confirm that the assigned drive letters for the internal devices stick.

Now do a drive clean up as below:

Download v 0.8.1 of the from Drive Tools for Windows.

Unzip it to a folder, say drivecleanup.

You will have two folders Win32 and x64 each containing DriveCleanup.exe for 32bit and 64 bit respectively.

Remove all USB storage devices from your system (except your Keyboard andmouse) and reboot.

Right click on the DriveCleanup.exe and run as administrator. (Usethe DriveCleanup.exe file appropriate for your bit version of Windows.).

After the clean up act, reboot and plug in your external devices one byone in the order in which you want the drive letters to be assigned.For each device you plug in the necessary drivers will get installed afresh andit will take a new drive letter in sequence.

And hopefully you will be getting the same drive letters when you plug in an external device in future, if that is your objective.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2015   #4

Win7 Ultimate 64bit

I got the external HD forced to G: using the USB Drive Letter Manager from that site. I'll use the drive cleanup and device cleanup to clear out old and unused entries for things that aren't or won't be connected to this computer again.

Now if he had a safely remove tool that would check to see what handles are open on a removable, then *tell the user* what program(s) supposedly have open files on the drive. If Windows is lying to itself, poke a button to close the open handles (like Unlocker), flush all pending writes and unmount/eject. In other words, a patch to make that part of Windows work how it ought to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How can I change EMPTY removable disk letters?

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