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USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue

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  • USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue

    Hi there,

    In Windows XP is it possible to assign a USB key a dedicated drive letter when it plug's into the computer and shown in 'My Computer' ? I have an issue where by the machine has multiple drivers etc and the drive letters populate from C:\ up to H:\

    When the USB key is plugged in it will automatically assign itself what it thinks is the next available driver letter (this being the H: which is a network drive) Is there a way that the key can be permanently assigned a different drive letter? I can't really move the whole network drive to a different letter for this one user and I am aware of how to get around this each time but don't have a permanent solution.


  • #2
    Re: USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue

    If you use the "Disk Management" MMC on the affected PC, you can assign a particular drive letter to your USB key - it SHOULD be remembered on that PC for that user. However it is not stored on the USB key, it's stored in the User hive of the regsitry on that PC - so it will only be remembered for that user, that PC.

    If it is NOT remembering, then I don't know what the problem might be.

    For my own and your protection, I do not provide support by private message under any circumstances. All such messages will be deleted and ignored.

    Anything you say will be misquoted and used against you


    • #3
      Re: USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue


      Thanks that is what I have been doing each time, but it appears that it doesn't remember this action.



      • #4
        Re: USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue

        Does this happen for every USB drive that is plugged in or just this one?

        After a brief Google search, I came across some possibilities. Here are some:

        A "My Digital" article spoke about this issue, but the most interesting part was actually a comment by a fellow named "Anthony Maw". I'll repeat the last half of his comments here:

        The other possible cause of the problem is that the volsnap.sys driver does not recognize the external USB device volume and thus does not assign it a drive letter. The solution is to open Device Manager, click View and then Show Hidden Devices. Down the list under Storage Volumes there is an Unknown Device. Right click on it, select Update Driver and let it automatically search. It should reinstall the drive as a Generic Storage device and then correctly assign a drive letter after that.

        A thread from "Tech Support" includes a post by a fellow named "Moral Terror" that suggests checking to see if the thumbdrive is write protected (maybe a physical switch on the drive?) and even formatting the drive.

        This thread at "Technology" includes a suggestion from a fellow named "Eric Dycus". I'll reproduce it here for our benefit:

        In the past when I have ran into this I have went to Device Manager removed
        my USB enties. THen reboot he computer and le the computer find them again.
        This refreshes everything and then my USB starts showing up like it's suppose


        Finally, at "" there was a thread about a similar problem on a Vista machine (Vista problems asked on an Ubuntu forum?). The fellow mentions that it may have been due to a MS update and that SP1 for Vista fixed it. Hmmm... could it be an update that is thwarting you? Are you feeling up to uninstalling updates to figure this out?

        Of course, a stopgap solution could be to make a batch file that maps this flash drive to the desired letter. Just tell the user to double-click it whenever they insert the drive. Yeah, not elegant but it might help in the interim.

        Let us know what happens.
        Wesley David
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        • #5
          Re: USB Key / Drive Mapping Issue

          Originally posted by UKG View Post

          Thanks that is what I have been doing each time, but it appears that it doesn't remember this action.

          I know exactly what you mean.
          Go to for the perfect solution.