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: No available drive letters for external hard drive

13 Dec 2016   #1
WinDozeUser

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Build 7601 32bit
 
 
No available drive letters for external hard drive

Hello all,
I have this really weird issue where all drive letter seem to be taken, even though there is nothing calling for their use. First issue was when I call a program from an external HDD and resulted in an incorrect path.
Seemed that the "I:\" Drive, in this case was remapped to a different letter. All subsequent drive partitions on this HDD were also remapped. When opening a program to encode audio it listed just about all drives, a-z, even when there was no content. A bit later, not only one of 3 partitions on the external HDD was available, "Z:\" and all other partitions could not find an available driver letter to map to.

I tried DISK MANAGEMENT to assign a permanent letter to one of the letters, but there were no drive letters available. Malware software found nothing, but running MS Security essentials now.

This is a big issue, one I have ZERO experience in troubleshooting, so looking for some expert help here.

Dell Inspiron B130/2MB RAM/1.7GHz/Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
13 Dec 2016   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm not sure I understand your problem but let try this tutorial by Golden so the members can see what you have.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

So we can stay on the same page please understand the drives have numbers and partitions have letters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2016   #3
WinDozeUser

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Build 7601 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I'm not sure I understand your problem but let try this tutorial by Golden so the members can see what you have.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

So we can stay on the same page please understand the drives have numbers and partitions have letters.
Yes,
Drive 0 is internal and has three partitions, letters C: D: E:
Drive 1 H: I am unsure of (does not show up in the left pane of Windows Explorer
Drive 2 is the ext HDD with 4 partitions, letters I: J: M: S:

I had installed 2-3 programs about the time this started to take place, an update to TeamViewer 12 and a small program called "Virtual Clone Drive." Team viewer was already installed and I used to have Virtual Clone Drive before and never had an issue.

All is currently running fine now, and I think it was after a Shutdown/Startup sequence. I'm guessing Windows 7 and/or Virtual Clone Drive got a brain/blood clot and was messing up on me. Since I use Sleep Move often I may have persisted. Team viewer is now resident in memory and I did restarted Virtual Clone Drive with no issues. The audio converter program that was showing 20+ drive letters now only shows the letter above except H:.

So all is well on the home-front right now. I'll give it a few days and post updates or close this post.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Dec 2016   #4
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Hi

It is better to understand how OS assign a drive letter to each partition,

Not external HDD & SSD & SATA & Optical Drive & other connection, including Network drives <-- Do take note.



System normal will issue the same drive to the same partition based on earlier use.

On how this work, it is the same way as USB.
Then you may need to understand when a HDD connect to a USB port, it create a new driver for this HDD.
And if the HDD is removed and later connect back to the same USB port it auto use the same driver.
But if the HDD is removed and later connect to another USB port, it create a new driver.



When you connect in the particular HDD with 1 or more Partitions do have an original drive letter,
But another partition had taken the drive letter, as was connected earlier,
then the particular Partition will be assign next available drive letter not in use, accordingly to alphabet order.

Hence, it all depend on when and how the HDD, SSD, etc, on connecting during power start or while using the computer.


This may be harder for you to understand.

Try to digest it slowly.



Eric.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2016   #5
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

The only thing left is for you to redo the mapping of drive letter of each partition.

Do specify on how you want to group as.

For example.
For Audio Video, you could use from L to P
For Data, from F to K
For Misc, from Q to T
For Dummy, from U to W

Always leave the last alpha Z as system sometime use this drive letter for certain reason.

Once you have separated all nicely, from here onward, there would not have much problem.


Do note that this type of arrangements are not only for drive letter, it do include Folders.

Folders which you save data or video.

For example.
Most Browser will have a setting for preference on which drive & folder to save downloaded files.
Should the drive folder, ex. D:\Download moved or renamed, browser will unable to know, so go to Libraries folders.


I know all these you may think as nothing to do with your question.

But this is the System method, and no manner what you decide, do take note, especially for saving any files.

If not, once you click save, then you may have a problem to look for the file where it save to which folder.

Each has its own way to create folders for specific reason, as to each own methods...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2016   #6
WinDozeUser

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Build 7601 32bit
 
 

Yes, I understand this quite well. I saw this when I had the drive letter issue as the external HDD partitions kept getting renamed lower and lower down the list of available drives.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Eric3742 View Post
Hi

It is better to understand how OS assign a drive letter to each partition,

Not external HDD & SSD & SATA & Optical Drive & other connection, including Network drives <-- Do take note.



System normal will issue the same drive to the same partition based on earlier use.

On how this work, it is the same way as USB.
Then you may need to understand when a HDD connect to a USB port, it create a new driver for this HDD.
And if the HDD is removed and later connect back to the same USB port it auto use the same driver.
But if the HDD is removed and later connect to another USB port, it create a new driver.



When you connect in the particular HDD with 1 or more Partitions do have an original drive letter,
But another partition had taken the drive letter, as was connected earlier,
then the particular Partition will be assign next available drive letter not in use, accordingly to alphabet order.

Hence, it all depend on when and how the HDD, SSD, etc, on connecting during power start or while using the computer.


This may be harder for you to understand.

Try to digest it slowly.



Eric.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2016   #7
WinDozeUser

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Build 7601 32bit
 
 

...am convinced that Windows 7 had just lost a marble or two from successive Sleep-Mode exicutions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 No available drive letters for external hard drive




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Drive letters not assigning to DVDROM or external drives on notebook
I have an ASUS K52Jc running Windows 7 Pro 64bit. My DVDROM and external drives don't show up in My Computer, but are visible in Disk Management with no drive letter assigned. When I manually assign a drive letter it shows up for a second then disappears. Have also tried to assign a drive letter...
Hardware & Devices
Reassigning hard drive letters
My problem: My computer keeps failing to assign letters to two partitions. I can set it up fine in diskmgmt.msc, but as soon as I restart, it loses them again. My setup: I have 2 hard disks. Hard disk 1 has 3 partitions. Hard disk 2 has 2 partitions. However, the hard disk 2 partitions...
General Discussion
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...
Hardware & Devices
External Hard Drive letters
I have 4 external hard drives attached to my Windows 7 system. I need the drive letters to stay constant because of the program access to them. Is there any way to lock that drive letter down, so that no matter which drive I turn on, the letter is constant,
General Discussion
External HD changes drive letters
Each time my computer 'sleeps' my external's driver letter changes. How would I go about preventing this?
Hardware & Devices
Hard drive letters switching
Since installing Windows 7 (build 7100) I have been having a strange issue. I have a system drive (C:, 80GB) and 2 identical 300 GB drives (D: and E: ) used to store media. All my drives are internal SATA drives. Oddly, whenever I restart my computer the drive letters for D: and E: switch. So...
Hardware & Devices


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 01:54.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App