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How to Change Device Drive Letters

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Introduction

After physically installing the HP DVD+RW or CD-Writer drive, Windows often assigns the previously installed CD-ROM / DVD-ROM as a different drive letter and gives the original drive letter to the HP drive. Preference or need may arise to have the original CD-ROM / DVD-ROM drive set back to the original drive letter. Below are the steps to assign drive letters to specific drives in Windows.
This document covers assigning drive letters in Window 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000 Pro and Windows XP.

Before you begin

The person making the drive letter assignment changes in Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP must have administrative rights on the system.
CAUTION: Changing drive letter assignments can have adverse effects on a computer system if the letter being requested is already in use by another device. This is especially the case if the computer has network drives that are mapped and given letter assignments. Make sure to verify that the drive letter desired is not in use by another device.

Assigning drive letters in Windows 95, 98, Me

To change drive letter assignments in Windows 95, 98 and Me:
  1. Right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab, and click (+) next to CD-ROM (Figure 1). All CD devices should be listed here.
  3. Double-click the DVD+RW or CD-Writer in the list, then click the Settings tab.
  4. In the lower section of this window, the current drive letter assignment can be viewed (Figure 2) and changed (Figure 3).
If the drive letters are not available to be changed, other software installed on the system may be controlling drive letter assignments. Either uninstall the software or alter drive letter assignments in the controlling software.
Figure 1: Device Manager
Figure 2: HP CD-Writer Properties
Figure 3: Drop-down Letter Selection

Assigning drive letters in Windows NT

Changing drive letter assignments in Windows NT requires administrative rights to the computer system.
  1. Click Start, then Programs, Administrative Tools, and Disk Administrator (Figure 4).
    The Disk Administrator utility provides access to changing drive letters for any device other than the boot hard drive.
  2. In the Disk Administrator window, click Tools then click Assign Drive Letter. (Figure 5)
  3. Assign the DVD+RW or CD-Writer to a free drive letter (Figure 6).
  4. Repeat the previous steps to assign drive of the CD-ROM / DVD-ROM to drive letter previously reserved for the HP drive.
Figure 4: Start/Programs/Administrative Tools
Figure 5: Disk Administrator
Figure 6: Drop-down letter selection

Assigning drive letters in Windows 2000

Changing drive letter assignments in Windows 2000 requires administrative rights to the computer system.
  1. Click Start, then Programs, AdministrativeTools, and ComputerManagement.
  2. From the left window, double-click Storage and then double-click Disk Management. This will launch a utility to change drive letters for any device except the boot hard drive (Figure 7).
  3. Click the icon for the HP drive and from the menu bar, click Action, AllTasks, and Change Drive Letter and Paths (Figure 8).
  4. Click Edit in the next window and the first option that appears will be Assign Drive Letter. Select an available drive letter for the HP drive and click OK. (Figure 9).
  5. Repeat the previous steps to assign the CD-ROM / DVD-ROM to the drive letter previously assigned to the HP drive.
Figure 7: Computer management
Figure 8: Change drive letter and path
Figure 9: Assign drive letter

Assigning drive letters in Windows XP

Changing drive letter assignments in Windows XP requires administrative rights to the computer system.
  1. Click Start, then ControlPanel, and Administrative Tools (Figure 10).
  2. In the Administrative Tools window, click Computer Management. From the left window, double-click Storage and double-click Disk Management. This will launch a utility to change drive letters for any device except the boot hard drive.
  3. Click the icon for the HP drive and from the menu bar, click Action, All Tasks, and Change Drive Letter and Paths (Figure 8).
  4. From the Change Drive Letter and Paths window, click Change. The first option that appears will be Assign the following drive letter. Select an available drive letter for the HP drive and click OK. (Figure 9).
  5. Repeat the previous steps to assign other drive letters as needed.
Figure 10: Control panel

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