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Windows 7: drive letter designations

4 Weeks Ago   #1

Win7 Home Premium x64
drive letter designations

Are drive letter designations stored on the computer, the drive, or both? For example, I have external hard drive designated drive letter "X". If I plug that drive into a different computer, assuming there is no drive X, will that computer recognize this device as X? If it matters, assume both computers are Win7 X64 Pro.


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4 Weeks Ago   #2
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

No, I don't think so. Windows assigns drive letters according to drive hierarchy.
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4 Weeks Ago   #3

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot

Drive letters are stored in the [HKLM\System\MountedDevices] registry key. Note that means they're valid only for the booted OS, as other booted OSes would not use the same registry. If you multi-boot or boot from a bootable CD or USB stick, those don't use the same registry so drive letters can appear to be different in those environments.

Note that if you swap USB ports for a given USB device, it may appear to the system under a different device ID, in which case Windows may issue it a new drive letter because it may not recognize the device as having been seen before.

You can read more about the process of how drive letters are assigned and remembered on my webpages here and here. Note the same process is still used by Win 10.

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