Cannot Change the Drive Letter of Removable Drives

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Article ID: 142635 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q142635
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SYMPTOMS

Disk Administrator will not allow you to change the logical drive letters of removable media drives such as an Iomega Zip, Jaz drives or Media Optical (MO) and recordable cd-rom drives.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

WORKAROUND

To ensure that the logical drive in question receives a certain drive letter:
  1. With a disk in the removable drive, start Disk Administrator and look at how the devices have been identified.
  2. Change the drive letters of the hard disk drive and CDROM devices to their desired locations. If a desired letter is being used by the removable drive, decide what letter the removable drive should use and make sure it is available.
  3. Shut down the computer and disconnect the removable drive.
  4. Restart. Use Disk Administrator to make any changes to drive letters. Any drive letter previously used by the removable drive should be available for use. Be sure to leave the desired letter available for the removable drive. Make the drive letters statically defined in the registry by highlighting each partition in turn and clicking Assign Drive Letter... from the Tools menu. Then placing it at the drive letter you want it to be clicking the OK button.
  5. Shut down the computer, reconnect the removable drive, and restart.
CAUTION: If the Windows NT system files are installed to a logical partition, and a removable drive is added to the system, the boot partition for Windows NT will be given a new letter. A message stating that the "ARC Path Needs To Be Changed" will appear. Until this correction is made in the Boot.ini file, Windows NT will not boot. When this correction is made, there are many registry entries that will not be changed and will still refer to the old location of the Windows NT system files. Therefore, it is recommended that the Windows NT system files be installed to a primary partition on a drive, not a logical one.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.

MORE INFORMATION

Windows NT assigns drive letters first to physical devices, then to logical subdivisions/partitions. Therefore a removable drive such as JAZ and ZIP will receive a letter before any logical partitions.

For example, if there are two hard drives, each with two partitions, and a removable drive, the drive letters will be assigned as follows:
  • First drive, first partition = C:
  • Second drive, first partition = D:
  • Removable (ZIP, JAZ etc ..) drive = E:
  • First drive, second partition = F:
  • Second drive, second partition = G:

Properties

Article ID: 142635 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
Keywords: 
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB142635

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