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How To: Assign Specific Drive Letter to USB Drive

Sometimes you need a USB stick to always use the same drive letter.  Whether it’s backup software needing to point to a specific storage device, or you use a Windows Office application which requires a specific drive letter – sometimes it is just needed. Given that Windows will assign a drive letter as a first-come, first serve basis to removable media it can get frustrating to always try for the same drive letter.  Here is one way to assign a specific drive letter to a USB drive. Before you can assign a drive letter to a USB device, take a look at what drive letters you have available.  This will vary depending on what’s connected, networked drives and mapped drives in your system.  Simply go to START > MY COMPUTER and take a look. Next, plug in your USB drive to your computer and let Windows enumerate it [see it]. Navigate to:  START > CONTROL PANEL > ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS > COMPUTER MANAGEMENT > An alternate way to get to the same spot is START > RUN > “diskmgmt.msc”

assign drive letter to USB

In the left panel expand the Disk Management icon.  On the right side you’ll see all the drives available.  Right click on the Removable drive and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths” Click the Add button and choose a drive letter not already in use from the drop-down list.  Click OK. Now exit or close all the dialogue windows and you’re set.  Now, each time this specific USB stick is plugged in, Windows will assign it the same drive letter. Note:  Windows is associating the serial number of the device to the request you’ve entered above, SO, you’ll need to perform this same process for different flash drives. Spread the word and enjoy.

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Rich Gates

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