Windows

Change drive letters in Windows 2000 Professional

If you're dealing with an application that's hard-coded to expect a particular drive letter but you're using a different one on your Windows 2000 Professional system, all is not lost. Here's how to change a volume's drive letter.

You can easily change drive letters of drives in Windows 2000 Professional through the Disk Management node of the Computer Management console. You might need to do this in situations where an application is hard coded to expect a particular drive letter but you're using a different one.

To change a drive letter for a volume:

  1. Right-click My Computer and choose Manage to open the Computer Management console.
  2. Click the Disk Management node. In the right pane, right-click the volume you want to modify and choose Change Drive Letter And Path. Windows 2000 Professional will display a dialog box with the ID currently assigned to the volume.
  3. To change a drive letter, click the letter and choose Edit, then select the drive letter you want to use. To add a drive letter to a volume currently mounted to an NTFS folder, click Add instead.

You can't change the drive letter assigned to the boot or system volumes with this method. You can change them through a registry hack, but changing them there can lead to additional problems that have to be fixed in the registry, such as the inability to log on.

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7 comments
mark-yount
mark-yount

Changing the physical drive letter via Drive Management will affect every other program that expects and uses the original drive letter. By using the old DOS SUBST command, you can keep the original drive letter, and add what amounts to an alias or virtual drive letter to the physical drive. In other words, your boot C: drive can be assigned another drive letter, e.g. E: and both coexist. The syntax is: SUBST [drive1: [drive2:]path] SUBST drive1: /D For the full syntax, open a Command Prompt window and enter: subst /h

robwaybro
robwaybro

Other than programs that are specifically loaded on, or looking for that drive letter, this is not dangerous. Here is a situation in which I needed this capability: Computer came with: 1 hard drive (C:) 1 CD-R drive (D:) 2 SD/MMC slots (built-in) (E: & F:) Then I installed the Netware client for file and print sharing (several drive letters MAPPED with this) Now, when attempting to insert a USB drive Windows cannot figure out the network drive mapping and assigned a USED drive letter to the USB drive (so I now had 2 devices with the same drive letter assigned) and therefore I was unable to use a USB drive on these machines while logged into the network. By using the method described, I reassigned the drive letters for the 2 SD/MMC slots (which then left E: open), and now Windows CORRECTLY assigns drive E: to the USB drives. Using SUBST or a Map would not easily or silently work in this case because the SUBST and Map commands will only work WHILE the USB drive(s) are attached. Dangerous, not really as long as you do understand the consequences.

wwarshaw
wwarshaw

It only saves the drive letter until you log off/restart (I don't recall which one at the moment, but it's definitely at least one of them).

Senior Program Analyst
Senior Program Analyst

Its always nice to have alternatives, I agree though not a good idea for registry hacking nor for other apps on that drive. Subst is a good alternative also, but I might suggest in some cases its just as easy and quick to use the Map persistant from the My Computer menus. The Map Persistant would be User based of course and you could set up a batch file or other alternative to make the subst work for ALL.

ehicks
ehicks

In Windows 2000: Entering SUBST /h at the command prompt may give a message stating ''Invalid parameter - /h'' Try using HELP SUBST at the command prompt to get more help about the DOS SUBST command Edited to add the O/S referred to.

Kiltie
Kiltie

I think you are referring to a specific version of an operating system This does not apply to all versions of M$ OS and DEFINITELY does not apply to Linux or other OSs (ever heard of REAL32?) I have a 10 computer home network, with multiple OSs, your tips only apply to a singular OS, which you don't specify Edited to add the last 4 words