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What Is a USB Connector?
A universal serial bus (USB) connector is an essential piece of equipment for pairing tech devices with one another. USBs allow you to transfer data and power between devices and can be useful in almost any office setup. Read on to learn more about USB connectors and how to use them.
The History of the USB Connector
USB connectors were initially developed as standard pieces of hardware for connecting different electronic devices to one another. Prior to the release of the USB, different devices had varying connection points, which made it difficult to pair devices across platforms. For example, some devices had plugs or ports with four pins inside them, and they couldn’t connect to devices that had five-pin ports or plugs. The goal of the USB connector is to simplify technical connections and minimize the number of ports and accessory cables you might need for making connections between your different devices when you need to transfer data or charge the devices.
Connect Computers to Peripherals
Originally, one of the primary purposes of the USB connector was to connect home computers with peripheral devices, such as printers, keyboards and scanners. In general, a home user might not have had the time or know-how to rig together various wires and connection points to do something simple like send a document to a printer. The goal of the USB connector was to eliminate this type of hassle by making sure one main wire could let computers, printers and other devices all communicate data to one another.
USB Connectors by Type
For being a universal connection, the USB connector has undergone a surprising number of changes throughout the years. Older USB connectors include A-Type and B-Type, which relied on pin connectors. These had an elongated rectangular shape. A newer addition to the USB lineup, USB-C, is a more compact type of USB connector. Its plug is shaped like an oval, and it can work with a variety of different USB signals that different devices transmit.
Another newer addition, the Micro-USB, is typically used for smaller peripherals and smartphone devices. It has added another layer of variety to the array of USB connectors on the market. You can determine which USB connectors your device requires by consulting your owner’s manual. Larger devices like computers and printers usually use the larger USB types, while smaller electronics like cameras or GPS units.
Keep Track of Your USB Connections
Every time you sit down in your home office or at your desk at work, you’re probably using devices connected via USB. Next time you interact with your computer and a peripheral, for example, check to see if the connection utilizes USB. Additionally, take stock of your device connectors, like your phone charging cable, to see if you’re using a USB or Micro-USB connection. If you lose a charging cable for your digital camera, for example, it’s important to know beforehand what type of USB connection it utilizes so you can choose the right replacement. Because there’s such a variety of USB types, you might not otherwise know right away which one to pick.
Choose a New USB Connector
Now that you know what a USB connection is, you can confidently choose one for your next tech cable or storage device. If you’re shopping for a specific device, consult your owner’s manual to understand which USB connectors are compatible and make a selection based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Always make sure you choose the proper model for your device, whether it’s a standard USB connector or Micro-USB.
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Change a drive letter
- 2 minutes to read
- 3 contributors
Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012
If you don't like the drive letter assigned to a drive, or if you've got a drive that doesn't yet have a drive letter, you can use Disk Management to change it. To instead to mount the drive in an empty folder so that it appears as just another folder, see Mount a drive in a folder .
If you change the drive letter of a drive where Windows or apps are installed, apps might have trouble running or finding that drive. For this reason we suggest that you don't change the drive letter of a drive on which Windows or apps are installed.
Here's how to change the drive letter:
Open Disk Management with administrator permissions. To do so, select and hold (or right-click) the Start button, and then select Disk Management .
In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) the volume for which you want to change or add a drive letter, and then select Change Drive Letter and Paths .
If you don't see the Change Drive Letter and Paths option or it's grayed out, it's possible the volume isn't ready to receive a drive letter, which can be the case if the drive is unallocated and needs to be initialized . Or, maybe it's not meant to be accessed, which is the case of EFI system partitions and recovery partitions. If you've confirmed that you have a formatted volume with a drive letter that you can access and you still can't change it, unfortunately this topic probably can't help you, so we suggest contacting Microsoft or the manufacturer of your PC for more help.
To change the drive letter, select Change . To add a drive letter if the drive doesn't already have one, select Add .
Select the new drive letter, select OK , and then select Yes when prompted about how programs that rely on the drive letter might not run correctly.
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Windows Tip: Assign Permanent Letters to Removable Drives
Each time you plug in a USB drive or SD card in a PC, Windows gives it a dynamic alphabetic letter. Here’s how to give your drive(s) a permanent letter.
Windows will assign drive letters to external flash drives, SD cards, and other removable storage devices dynamically as you plug them in. If you use many different external storage devices throughout the day, having different letters assigned each time can become annoying and make things feel unorganized. Here’s how to assign permanent letters to each device to make things easier.
Add Permanent Drive Letters to Removeable Storage
Windows progresses through the alphabet (sans A and B) to assign drive letters to devices as you plug them in. So if you plug in a USB flash drive to get data from it, it might be F: but the next time you plug it in, it might be E: or G: depending on the order you plug them in.
The neat thing is you can assign a permanent letter to a USB drive directly with Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows 10. It’s an easy process, and there’s no need to install any third-party utility.
Assign a Specific Drive Letter in Windows
1. To set this up, plug in the drive that you want to assign a permanent letter. Then open the Run dialog ( Windows Key+R ) and type: compmgmt.msc and hit Enter or click OK.
Or, right-click the Start button to bring up the hidden quick access menu in Windows 10 or 8.1 and select Computer Management .
2. Once that’s open, choose Disk Management in the left pane under Storage. It will take a few seconds while Windows looks for the drives currently connected to your PC and displays them in the right pane.
3. Right-click the drive you want to assign a permanent letter to and then choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the menu.
4. A dialog box will open up, and here you need to click the Change button. Then make sure that Assign the following drive letter is selected and choose the letter you want to give it. Click OK and close out of Computer Management.
Now, each time you plug that drive into your PC, it will register with the drive letter you gave it.
This IS NOT permanent. Windows will still change them randomly. Again I repeat THIS IS NOT PERMANENT
this tutorial is rubbish. i have done this many times, windows still changes the drive letter. this is not permament at all!!!
Same experience as the other two users. I had changed my drive letter for a USB drive through disk management and it was working great for quite some time when suddenly today the drive letter was changed.
What I did notice is I had my e-reader connected before I turned on the USB drive (which had the letter assigned). Suddenly my e-reader has the assigned letter from the USB drive.
So… NOT PERMANENT AT ALL unless you turn on your drive with the “permanent letter” first.
Thanx, this helped me a lot.
For a while …
Nope. Windows 10 changes it if I plug in a different usb drive first.
This doesn’t work at all. You can change the drive letter from there, but if you unplug your unit and plug another one, windows will assign the previous letter to the new unit nonetheless. This is so annoying.
I usually have to use the Disk Management utility to correct the mess that Windows makes with drive letters. The most annoying thing is that Windows even changes the drive letters of those external disks that haven’t been unplugged.
Plugged to my laptop I always have an external diskdrive that always should be E: But if I have a SD card inserted in the SD drive and boot up the computer then the SD card is assigned E: and the always plugged (never unplugged) diskdrive is re-assigned as G: which is annoying since I have an application that looks for its overlays and databases on drive E:
Is there a way to say Windows that a used drive letter (like E:) is not available for dynamic drive letter assignment?
Try assigning a letter well away from ABCDEF, like Z. This way windows won’t automatically reassign your letter when more drives are connected.
Exactly what I do Will. Great tip.
This is a great point, Will. I’ll upgrade the article to include your tip. Thanks!
It worked for a while. Then letters were changed after some days… again! :-(
What Will says is true. If you assign the last letters of the alphabet to your external drives Windows will ALWAYS REMEMBER AND NEVER OVERWRITE THEM. Just don’t assign two of your external drives the same drive letter and this will work 100% of the time for you. Peace!
((( NYM ))) after 30 years, still solving the world’s problems! another perfect answer. worked grrrrrreat! thank you my dear! see you in one of your forums helping folks soon! thank you thank you❗❗❗❗ zack
Unless you have more than 26 external drives.
It is too late to assign a drive letter near the end of the alphabet. I have done a lot of work that uses drive letter E: I would have to redo all of this to change it to Z:
Surely, Microsoft would have a tool to assign drives permanently.
John, change your other drives to z,y,x, etc. then when the PC boots or you insert another drive/flash, it will be at the end and not take your E: drives spot.
With all the cracks in Windows I don’t see why there isn’t another “standard” OS that’s just as easy (or easier) and plug-n-play, that actually uses “memory” to remember stuff like drive letters. Or window size and placement. Or “Yes I’m sure” and “Yes I did click on ‘yes i’m sure'” and “No, I’m not a Robot…you are” and not to ask me to not ever show something again, every time…etc.
There is a shareware application which addresses this, though it’s intended for computer engineers and system administrators, not regular users. You can configure it to map drive letters according to DeviceIDs and other really permanent data. It runs as a service, to it autostarts with Windows. However, there’s no graphical interface. Everything has to be coded on an INI file, which is highly technical.
The software is called USBDLM is it’s free for private and educational uses. It’s available at Softpedia and other software archives.
The first 2 replies here are annoying. This works 100% unless you have gone and relettered multiple devices to the same letter. In that event only 1 (one) of the devices will acquire the desired letter and always the first. When the second device is plugged in Windows sees that the desired letter is use and uses the next available letter. You cannot give 2 devices the same letter, ever. Get over it.
Sheesh. I despise idiots.
If you’re using flash drives, think about reassigning them to A or B; these letters are still available and never used because no one has a floppy drive anymore. This way they can never get in the way of a letter you desire for an external drive.
For the idiot who programmed access to a database on an external drive, something that should never be done precisely because of drive letter changes, you either need to make sure the external drive is always assigned that letter or mount the drive into an empty NTFS folder to eliminate drive letter access. The only other thing you can do is manually assign a letter to the SD drive so it doesn’t take your precious E.
Computers should be more like cars and require an operator’s license, there’d be so many less morons trying to use a computer.
Some people at this forum really need a sex life, learning some manners, or probably both.
Hey Annoyed, your communication skills are annoying. Your tack is repugnant unless that is who you are as you go through life. Also, having a mobile drive that is being plugged into different employee’s computers does not make it practical to assign it under the user’s NTFS folder – especially if ACL’s are used for data security. One never sounds professional when they’re yelling/insulting.
This is why they invented File Servers, and NAS. Anyone you allow on your network can access, permissions always the same. Mobile hard drives are subject to Shaking, Shocking, Possibly dropping, and possibly locking.
Tact* and once upon a time it was understood that highly technical people have put most of their education and self-education into making their computer work instead of making people feel good about the way that we talk.
Annoyed set his name to Annoyed for good reason. It’s blatantly obvious to anyone willing to peruse that 6 out of the first 7 commentators DID NOT READ THE ARTICLE, in which the author specifically explains that drives like E:\ and F:\ will get rewritten as part of windows norm so you should “Permanently” set on letters far away from those so they don’t get reset:: ” When assigning your drive letter, make sure to choose a letter toward the end of the alphabet list. For example, X, Y, or Z — otherwise Windows has the tendency to eventually assign a different letter. Also, keep in mind that it will only be the assigned letter on the computer you changed it on. If you take your external drive to a different PC, Windows will give it a different dynamic letter. ” – The article you should have just read.
Being annoyed about people using computers badly is valid. Some of us work really hard to be professional and do things by best-practice so that solutions work long-term and no one has to guess at the state.
Then you read an article like this where most of the comments did not even bother to read the main text before complaining, and everyone else is doing backwoods duck-tape solutions.
ALSO WTF happened to the internet where now we’re all supposed to sound professional?
Finally I too fought this for years on many machines that I work on and finally I decided I would try this::::::: I decided I would go into safe mode and as administrator allocate a certain letter Z or x or y for these external SSD drives that I have to work with and then I rebooted and it never ever ever ever came back .
that was the solution I did a couple years ago and I’ve done it to all the machines I work on since and it’s perfect. Forever gone.
Thanks so much for the clear instructions.
This seems to work for me. I’ve assigned permanent letters a while ago and so far they’re not changing. I did assign only one of the four drives a letter towards the end of the alphabet, but the others are from A to E. Also, I gave each of the drives unique names.
I have three computers and three USB HDs. On each computer I have assigned these drives (for historical reasons) the letters G:, M: and O: respectively. D: is a partition on the internal HD and E: is the optical disc burner, so if I plug in any other USB device it usually comes up as F:. I find that these drive assignments stick . . . most of the time! Very occasionally one of the USB HDs comes up as F:. There appears to be no rhyme nor reason; but, hey!, it’s Windows, isn’t it, so that’s no real surprise. I just have to go into Disk Management to change it back and it usually behaves itself well for the next few weeks or months. Nothing, really, to get hot under the collar about.
That is exactly my experience, except I also have P and Q drives. I assigned these letters at a time when I had a multiple card reader occupying drive letters H to L. Goodness knows why the G drive occasionally gets reassigned as F, but it happens so infrequently that it’s no real inconvenience.
Change drive letter is grayed out on my system. I am an administrator on the PC
You can use the command line program diskpart to change the driver letter: 1. open command prompt 2. type “diskpart” (in these instructions do not type the quotation marks), press Enter 3. type “list volumes” , press Enter 4. identify the volume number associated with the drive whose letter you wish to change – assume this is volume “N” 5. type “select volume N” (replacing N with appropriate volume number) then press Enter 6. type “assign letter=L” (replacing L with the appropriate new drive letter) then press Enter 7. type “exit” then press Enter to close diskpart and return to command prompt.
This works fine for me, even if changing Drive Letter is greyed out by our IT
You never said what to do if its when you try to change it its grayed out. I cant give it a letter. What do I do?
Jay, when a drive letter is grayed out, it has already been assigned to another drive. Find out which drive has the letter you want to use and then change it’s letter to Z. This will free up the old drive letter and it will no longer be grayed out.
This annoying problem could easily be avoided if the whole concept of drive letters was abandoned. Each drive should have a distinctive drive name (or number) assigned by the user. Drives should then optionally be listed alphabetically or numerically by Windows. I don’t know who started this drive A:\, B:\, C:\, etc. concept but in today’s computing world, it’s obsolete and unnecessary. As it stands now, you can choose to not assign a drive letter during formatting but if you do that, they will not list when you click “This Computer”. It makes you wonder what they are smoking.
Would really like to know how to assign a drive letter PER DEVICE, please
example. (this) thumb is always K (this thumb drive) is always L.
not the drive slot itself, but device.
For years I’ve been using A: for my built-in SD Card reader, and E: through K: for specific external hard drives and specific thumb drives. I went through computer management to set all that up and it worked for years. For reasons that I cannot work out, my SD Card reader is automatically assigned E: whenever I put in any SD card, including the exact same SD card and/or reboot my computer. Even when I change the drive letter on the SD Card reader back to A: and reboot my computer, the drive letter is once again reset to E: by the computer even when there are no other drives of any kind attached to the computer before or after attempting to assign the SD Card reader to A:. I’ve since tried updating all the drivers, a couple of which have updated, and the problem persists. While I have upgraded one of my external drives recently, I cannot see how that would cause the problem especially since it is not the first time that I’ve replaced an external drive and assigned the new drive to the drive letter of the drive it replaced. I am not running any new software, so as far as I can tell it isn’t a software conflict. My system is set up such that the drive letters I have been assigning need to remain what I assigned them. (I’ve already assigned my DVD-ROM drive to Z:, and even that isn’t working properly now.) Once up a time using Computer Management might have “permanently” reassigned the drive letters, since 1/25/2020 that is apparently no longer the case. I need to find another solution that works.
Being old school and having started out on DOS computers with 5.25″ floppy drives, the lettering of the drives is not a problem to me in and of itself, and it makes no particular difference to me if the lettering of drives is ultimately done away with, but until that time we must work with the tools we have. So any help would be appreciated in resolving this.
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How to Assign a Persistent Drive Letter to a USB Drive in Windows
Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He's authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O'Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He's also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years. Read more...
If you use multiple USB drives, you’ve probably noticed that the drive letter can be different each time you plug one in. If you’d like to assign a static letter to a drive that’s the same every time you plug it in, read on.
Windows assigns drive letters to whatever type of drive is available—floppies, internal hard disks, optical drives, SD cards, and external USB drives. This can be annoying—especially if you use backup tools or portable apps that prefer to have the same drive letter every time.
RELATED: What's the Best Way to Back Up My Computer?
To work with drive letters, you’ll use the Disk Management tool built into Windows. In Windows 7, 8, or 10, click Start, type “create and format,” and then click “Create and format hard disk partitions.” Don’t worry. You’re not going to be formatting or creating anything. That’s just the Start menu entry for the Disk Management tool. This procedure works the same in pretty much any version of Windows (though in Windows XP and Vista, you’d need to launch Disk Management through the Administrative Tools item in the Control Panel).
Windows will scan and then display all the drives connected to your PC in the Disk Management window. Right-click the USB drive to which you want to assign a persistent drive letter and then click “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
The “Change Drive Letter and Paths” window the selected drive’s current drive letter. To change the drive letter, click “Change.”
In the “Change Drive Letter or Path” window that opens, make sure the “Assign the following drive letter” option is selected and then use the drop-down menu to select a new drive letter. When you’re done, click “OK.”
NOTE: We suggest picking a drive letter between M and Z, because earlier drive letters may still get assigned to drives that don’t always show up in File Explorer—like optical and removable card drives. M through Z are almost never used on most Windows systems.
Windows will display a warning letting you know that some apps might rely on drive letters to run properly. For the most part, you won’t have to worry about this. But if you do have any apps in which you’ve specified another drive letter for this drive, you may need to change them. Click “Yes” to continue.
Back in the main Disk Management window, you should see the new drive letter assigned to the drive. You can now close the Disk Management window.
From now on, when you disconnect and reconnect the drive, that new drive letter should persist. You can also now use fixed paths for that drive in apps—such as back up apps—that may require them.
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- TECHNOLOGY Q&A
How to change drive letters in Windows 10
Q. How difficult is it to change drive letters in Windows 10?
A. Changing a drive letter in Windows 10 is relatively easy, as follows. Right - click the Windows 10 Menu button and select Disk Management to display a list of all available hard drives. Right - click the specific hard drive letter you want to change, and select Change Drive Letter and Paths . Click the Add button, select a new drive letter, and then click the Change button, as pictured below.
- Letters A and B are reserved for floppy drives.
- The drive letter for the system volume or boot partition (usually drive C) cannot be modified or changed.
- Any letter between C and Z can be assigned to a hard disk drive, CD drive, DVD drive, portable external hard disk drive, or USB flash memory key drive.
- If you change the drive letter for drives where applications or programs are installed, those applications or programs may or may not function properly after the change because they might refer to the original path used to install those products. In this case, you would likely need to reinstall those applications or programs for them to work properly.
About the author
J. Carlton Collins ( [email protected] ) is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.
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Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to [email protected] . We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.
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Windows OS Hub / Windows 10 / Windows Doesn’t Automatically Assign Drive Letters
Windows Doesn’t Automatically Assign Drive Letters
How to manually assign a permanent drive letter in windows, changing drive letter via cmd or powershell, windows doesn’t save an assigned drive letter for connected usb drives.
If the drive doesn’t appear in Windows Explorer, it will have to manually assign a drive letter through the Disk Management snap-in ( diskmgmt.msc ). To do this, open the Computer Management console (via the Win + X menu) and go to the Storage section -> Disk management . In the list of drives, locate the connected removable USB drive. As you can see, the disk is online, it has one healthy partition with the NTFS, but it is not assigned a drive letter. To assign a drive letter to it, right-click on the partition and select “ Change Drive Letter and Path “.
In the window that appears, click the “ Add ” button, select “ Assign the following drive letter ”, select the letter you want to assign to the drive (for example, H: ) in the drop-down list, and click OK.
Make sure that Windows detects the partition (s) on the connected USB drive and the partition is formatted with the NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT file system. If the file system is detected as RAW , or the disk is not partitioned, most likely the USB flash drive is just a new one, or the partition table is damaged and you have to repair the file system first.
If the disk is new and no partitions have been created on it, it appears in the console as Not initialized with an Unallocated area. To initialize such a disk:
- Select the partition table for your disk: MBR or GPT; You can convert MBR-disk to GPT without data loss .
If the disk is offline, right-click on it and select Online .
You can assign or change a drive letter from the command prompt using the Diskpart tool or using PowerShell.
Open the elevated command prompt and run the command:
List the volumes on the disks:
In this example, the TestDisk volume is not assigned a drive letter (empty in the Ltr column)
Select this volume (Volume 4 in our example):
Assign a drive letter Q: to this volume:
DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.
End the diskpart session:
You can also change or assign a drive letter using the PowerShell cmdlets from the built-in Disk Management module .
List partitions on the specified disk:
Assign the letter Q: to partition 2 on disk 1:
Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 -PartitionNumber 2 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter Q
After that, the connected USB disk appears in the File Explorer with the assigned drive letter.
Sometimes after disconnecting a USB device or restarting the computer, a drive letter is not automatically assigned to it. I have to assign the letter again manually through Disk Management, and that becomes annoying.
It seems that some feature of automatic detection and mounting of new partitions on the external storage devices is not working in Windows. How to solve this problem?
First of all, make sure that the Virtual Disk service is running. You can check the status of this service in the services management console ( services.msc ).
Or check the service state using PowerShell :
Check if the problem persists. If it does, make sure that the automatic mounting of new volumes is enabled.
Open the command prompt as administrator and run the following commands: diskpart Within diskpart , make sure that the automatic mounting of new volumes is enabled: DISKPART> automount
As you can see, the auto-mounting is disabled. Let’s enable it: DISKPART> automount enable
Exit diskpart DISKPART> exit
You can also enable automatic mounting of new partitions using the command:
Make sure the NoAutoMount DWORD parameter (with a value of 1) is not created under the reg key HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\mountmgr . If this registry parameter is created, Windows doesn’t assign drive letters to newly connected devices.
Restart your computer and verify if the drive letters are assigned to the external USB devices.
If not, check if the “hidden” and “do not assign a drive letter” attributes are set for the partition on the USB drive. Run the Diskpart command prompt and enter the following commands:
- List the disks: list disk
- Find the disk number assigned to your USB flash drive (in this example 1) and select it: select disk 1
- List the partitions on the disk: list part
- Select the desired partition: select partition 2
- Check the partition attributes: attributes volume
- End the diskpart session by typing: exit
After that, this partition on the USB flash drive should be automatically assigned a drive letter on any computer.
Please note that the old Windows versions only see the first partition on USB sticks with multiple partitions. The ability to create multiple partitions on removable USB drives appeared only starting from Windows 10 build 1703. Previously, in order to make second and subsequent partitions on the USB flash drive were accessible in Windows, you had to use a trick to make Windows detect removable USB flash drive as an HDD .
If your USB flash drive doesn’t appear in the Disk Management console, try using a different USB port or cable. Try to connect the USB flash drive directly to the computer (without the USB hub), check whether the power is on and whether it is detected on other computers.
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Thanks, this worked great!
Finnally something that worked. 4 of my 9 USB keys no longer mount on my computer but worked on my wife’s so I knew it was a Windows problem. Gave up a year ago trying to solve the problem because none of the solutions on the web worked – and there are tons of them. So after loading Win 10 thought I would see if my keys worked they still didn’t so I did a google and this solution pooped up.
This fix worked like charm. Thanks for posting friend.
Great help! Thank a lot!
Very helpful! Thank you very much!
You rock!!!! Been fighting this on a SBS 2011 server. Enabling automount did the trick. Thanks SO much!!
Well done – automount worked like a dream in Windows10 Anniversary edition (on my laptop). Many thanks.
Good Job. Thank you verry much.
Virtual Disk service is running aoutomount is anabled already disk drive is showing in device manger but drives still not shown in my computer
win 7 ultimate service pack 1 fully updated
I had exact problem and this solution helped me.
Thanks a lot! It solved my problem!
every thing checked and correct but nothing is working for me windows 10 64 bit pro and USB flash drive is 16 GB Sandisk 3.0
And USB Drive is showing in Disk Management with its full capacity.
After reinstalling Windows my Data disk for some reason became hidden.. I couldnt figure out why it wouldnt auto mount but this solved it. Literally the only page on the internet that had the solution thanks fellas 🙂
Thank you, mine was fixed in diskpart
Thank you very much! I resolved my issue by setting the attribute of my disk. Thanks!!!
Thanks for the post, the part about the hidden drive attribute helped. No idea how it got set to Yes but I cleared it and it mounts fine again.
Thank you very much!. I was also able to resolve this by changing attributes of the external SSD.
Thank you very much. It solved my issues with the windows media creation tool
Excelent way of dealing with this issue!, Thank you very much!
Thanks, It’s working! It solved my problem!
Widows is the stupidest OS I have ever used. (For some reason I have to use it sometimes.) I formatted a brand new SSD on Windows (NTFS). Then I used this SSD on my Linux Mint without any problem for weeks. My colleague copied some data from it to his MAC. There were no problems. And now I plugged in again to that Windows shit, and it sees RAW fs. Why anybody pays a dollar for this OS, I really do not understand.
Great article! But all the measures above were fine and not the problem with my USB, a S$47 SanDisk 64GB stick (bought in Singapore but no warranty as I don’t live in Singapore and can’t get there at the moment….) My problem was that it just wouldn’t assign a drive letter. I was about to throw it in the bin. It said Healthy in Disk Management, you just couldn’t browse it. I assigned a drive letter and then the stick immediately opened in File Explorer. I restarted the computer, plugged in the stick and it again automatically recognised!
This solution does not work when i connect my tablet (Samsung Galaxy, model SM-T580, Android 7). Windows 10 sees it, I can transfer files between tablet and pc but only manually. If I want to use XCOPY in a .bat file, to copy hundreds of pictures every week, I can’t because there isn’t any Drive letter assigned to tablet. Any thoughts???
Worked fine for Seagate External 1 gb drive accidently formatted.
Thanks for the awesom tips. It worked. My external Hard disk’s volume was “hidden”!!!!
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How to assign permanent letters to drives on Windows 10
You can assign drive letters manually, and in this guide, we show you how on Windows 10.
On Windows 10, when connecting a removable storage device or an internal hard drive, the system detects and assigns a drive letter automatically to make it usable. However, when reconnecting an external drive (such as a USB flash drive or SD or microSD cards), the system can end up assigning a different letter, which can be annoying.
If you want to see the same drive letter on a particular device, you can manually assign a permanent letter to any drive connected to your computer, and on Windows 10 , you can do this in at least three different ways, using Disk Management, Command Prompt, or PowerShell.
Using this approach will prevent Windows 10 from assigning a new letter or trying to set a letter already in use, which can cause conflicts. Also, it helps to select a drive letter that makes more sense to you.
In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through several methods to manually assign a permanent letter to a drive, as long as you're connecting the drive to the same device and the letter isn't already in use.
How to assign a drive letter using Disk Management
How to assign a drive letter using command prompt, how to assign a drive letter using powershell.
To manage drive letters with the Disk Management tool, use these steps:
- Open Start .
- Search for Create and format hard disk partitions and click the top result to open the Disk Management experience.
- Right-click the drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.
- Click the Change button.
- Select the Assign the following drive letter option.
- Use the drop-down menu to assign a new drive letter. Quick tip: To avoid the system trying to assign the same letter to another drive, it's a good idea to start adding letters in backward order. For instance, instead of using D, E or F, it better to start with Z, Y or X when assigning a new letter.
- Click the OK button.
- Click the OK button again.
Once you complete these steps, the drive will permanently retain the assigned letter, even after reconnecting it. However, if you connect the drive to another device, it may receive a different letter.
While the easiest way to assign a new drive letter is to use Disk Management, you can also use DiskPart in Command Prompt to perform the same task.
To assign a drive letter using Command Prompt, use these steps:
- Search for Command Prompt , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
- Type the following command to start DiskPart and press Enter : diskpart
- Type the following command to list all the available volumes and press Enter : list volume
- Type the following command to select the volume (drive) to assign a new letter and press Enter: select volume 3 In the command, make sure to change "3" to the number that represents the drive on your device.
- Type the following command to assign a new drive letter, and press Enter : assign letter=Z The command assigns the letter "Z" to the drive assuming it's available. However, you need to make sure to change the letter for the one that you want to use.
After completing these steps, similar to Disk Management, every time you reconnect the storage to the same device, Windows 10 should assign the same letter automatically.
Alternatively, you can also use PowerShell to change a drive letter on Windows 10 using these steps:
- Search for PowerShell , right-click the result, and then select the Run as administrator option.
- Type the following command to list the available drives and press Enter : Get-Disk
- Type the following command to assign a permanent letter to the drive and press Enter : Get-Partition -DiskNumber 1 | Set-Partition -NewDriveLetter Z In the command, make sure to change "1" to the number that represents the drive that you want to modify, and change "Z" for the new letter that you want to use.
Once you complete the steps, the drive will be accessible through File Explorer using the letter that you assigned, and Windows 10 won't try to change it.
Updated March 7, 2019: We revised this guide to make sure it's current with the latest version of Windows 10.
More Windows 10 resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:
- Windows 10 on Windows Central – All you need to know
- Windows 10 help, tips, and tricks
- Windows 10 forums on Windows Central
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Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.
- Scenario: I have four 16GB USB flash drives that I use for various OS installs. I typically work on one at a time, plugged into the same USB port. Sometimes I connect two at a time. I just accept that Windows will assign the next available letter to the current connected drive. So, if I manually assign a letter to one flash drive, will it get that letter every time, but the other three will not be assigned that letter?
- Yes, that's how it should work.
- Unfortunately this won't work with the same letter assigned to multiple drives. Only the most recent is remembered. They really need to get away from drive letters and switch to using the actual name of the drive.
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