Change drive letter assignment?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader David R. writes:

" Hi Dennis!

A while back, I was playing around with a program and my drive letters somehow got re-assigned. My CD ROM drive (D) became E, and E became F. I am trying to put in a Video input card ... and every time I try to do the driver install, the PC says it cannot access drive D. Since Drive D became Drive E, there is no disk in D and thus installation cannot be performed. Is there a way I can reassign the Drive letters or reassign the default CD Rom?

I posted this message on the message board at Tech TV and here is the response that I got: ' Do you have a burner or removable drive? This is often caused by removing a removable drive or incd/directCD formatted CDRW without "safely removing" or using the software to finalize the session and eject. Get TweakUI [also known as Power Toys: link below] from Microsoft. Read the install instructions carefully. Then use it, under computer / drives deselect all but C and close, then reopen add all drives a thru z back and restart. '

I tried this and was unsuccessful. Can you help in any way? "

My Response:

Instead of using the CD ROM drive to copy the files, I'd try installing the files from the C drive (which hasn't changed) -- just to see what happens. To do this: a) Insert the Driver CD into the CD ROM drive; b) Copy the driver folder onto the hard drive (you may have to search for it, since different drivers are available on the disc, depending on what version of Windows you are running); and, c) Once that's done, go to Device Manager, double left-click the device in question, and reinstall the driver using the directory on your hard drive.

That might work. It might not.

The next thing I'd do is boot Windows into Safe Mode delete any "phantom" CD ROM devices that may be lurking under Device Manager. The phantom CD ROM devices don't normally appear under Device Manager when Windows is booted normally, and it is my guess that deleting these (and all other CD ROM device entries) while in Safe Mode may resolve the issue.

To access Windows Safe Mode, reboot your machine and press F8 on the keyboard (repeatedly) once the computer starts to boot. Choose "Safe Mode" from the menu, and then wait for Windows to load. Once the desktop appears, Go into Device Manager (by right-clicking My Computer, and then select Properties), scroll to the CD ROM devices, and remove every entry. Reboot the machine (in normal mode), have Windows re-detect your devices, and try to reinstall the driver.

If that doesn't fix the problem, you can try a freeware utility I found through Google called "Letter Assigner" by Vadim Burtyansky. The program works with Windows 95, 98 and ME.

From the web site:

" Everybody, who at least once connected a second hard disk drive or repartitioned a hard disk, knows how many problems may arise because of the non-customizable letter assignment performed by the operating system. Letter Assigner allows to assign any letter to any drive in the system ... The easy, intuitive interface offers simple methods to choose letters, to move them from one drive to another and to view the free letter set. "


I also found some instructions on changing drive letter assignments for Windows XP and 2000. For XP, see this Microsoft Knowledge Base Article. For Windows 2000 (refer to this link).

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