Changing drive letter assignments is useful if
you have added a second hard drive to a Windows NT/2000/XP/Windows Server 2003
system. Suppose you start out with a hard drive as drive C:. The
CD-ROM drive is automatically assigned as drive D:. A second hard
drive added to this configuration would become drive E:, which is not
what you might expect if you think hard disk drives are supposed to
flow in logical, alphabetical order. What we have learned to expect
from the days of DOS is for the second hard drive to become D: and
the CD-ROM drive to become
drive E:. You can make your new NT-2003 systems appear more like old
DOS systems with a few simple drive-letter changes.
It may be more convenient now (and for later on if you add more hard
drives or partitions) to move the CD-ROM drive letter up to a value
far out of the way from any anticipated hard drive assignments. You
can do the same for other removable media, such as
digital cameras and
USB FLASH drives that come and
go—connecting the devices and then assigning them permanent
drive letters so they will always show up as the same drive letter
Reassign CD-ROM and DVD drive letters before installing or
using any application or game that depends on the presence of a CD or
DVD to run.
Although many programs can search for their respective CDs and adapt
to a drive letter change, a change in drive letter may cause some
applications or games to fail.
Follow these steps to shift the hard drive and CD-ROM drive letters
to a more intuitive and predictable order:
Access the Disk Management console from StartControl
PanelAdministrative ToolsComputer Management.
In the left pane of the Computer Management console, select Disk
Management from the list.
Right-click on the drive whose letter assignment you want to change.
In this case, start with your CD-ROM or DVD drive, D:, and then
select Change Drive Letter and Paths...
Click on the Change button and change this to an
"out of the way" drive letter like
R: (for CD-ROM) or another unused
letter, then click OK twice.
Right-click on the new hard drive and then select Change Drive Letter
Click on the Change button and change this drive letter to D:, then
click OK twice.
If your PC connects to one or more network- or server-based disk
drives that have drive letters mapped to them, be sure you do not
assign local drive letters that are the same as predefined network