Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Will deleting or changing a drive letter mess up a hdd.

  1. #1

    Posts : 26
    Windows 8.1 Professional

    Will deleting or changing a drive letter mess up a hdd.

    Hello Everyone,

    I am trying to get my external hard drives setup from a freshly rebooted installed computer. I recently placed an external hard drive with all my back up files on my computer, but this drive is not going to be my main drive. I have two others I will be using as a main hdd and a backup drive that are brand new.

    So, the question is, if I were to use a utility like the Windows 8.1 disk management feature to either delete the drive letter or even change it to another one, will that mess up the external hard drive or even lose data? Because until I transfer my files to my backup disk I am afraid of losing my only copy of my files.

    Thank you all for your help.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 1,034
    Windows 7 x64/ Windows 8.1 x64

    Drive mapping will not allow it, so it will render one drive missing from the drive list, or simply refuse to read it right. That is why you do not mess with drive letter assignments unless you know all of the ones that reside on the current system set up. when adding an external drive also.

    Now you have to go into windows, click on start, then in the search box type disk man.
    Click on create or format partitions.

    Let the window open and look at a drive with the letter you assigned to right click on it.

    Change the drive letter and push it to for example J or K.
    Once done restart the pc, and all drives should show and be accessed without trouble or being asked to format them.

    You may have to disconnect the external drive first from the computer first to get windowsto load, but once done plug the external drive in.
    It should show up as a device in disk manager, so if it does change the drive letter that way to J or K. then restart the system and all should show and work.
    It is asking you to format it to assign a new drive letter since two assignments of drive letter D: exist
    Last edited by archer; 06 Dec 2013 at 08:40.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,476
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    Windows will usually assign the drive letters automatically when you plug an external drive into your PC. The drive letters assigned will be from the list of available drive letters for that PC. My external drives will get different drive letters depending on what PC I plug them into. It does not affect what data is on the drive, or erase anything. The only time you can run into problems is when messing around changing the drive letters manually for an internal drive. Even then Windows won't let you change the drive letter for the partition its installed on as that would hose your install and make it not bootable. To make life simple unplug the external drives until you have your internal drives the way you want them. I've swapped drive letters for my internal Data Drive and optical drive with no ill effects. Just don't mess with any system partitions or hidden partitions. Once you have things the way you want plug the external drives back in one at a time and Windows should automatically assign them the next available drive letters.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 26
    Windows 8.1 Professional

    Hey Guys,

    Thank you very much for your assistance and help. Just to let you guys know I didn't touch anything until I got a response. So, I Will leave it be, but if I get some courage in the future I will give what archer said a try. Thanks again.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Will deleting or changing a drive letter mess up a hdd.

Similar Threads
Thread Forum
no drive letter for external USB-HD
Hi, I have an external 1TB-USB-HD, which is shown in the WIN adminstration of drives, but the option "assign drive letter" is grey. I use this drive since a year, formerly it was recognized without problems. The device manager recognizes it, the driver is actual. The PC further has one internal...
Drivers & Hardware
specify drive letter to mount vhd
Please let me know to specify drive letter to mount vhd. I made WTG(windows to go) into vhd and copied external hard drive, and registered at BCD as one of pe. The external hard drive is booted as Y: with Y-mount.exe, and at this time I want to mount vhd as W:. The vhd is mounting as L: now....
General Support
RE: Windows mess - questions with Hard Drive
Hello all! I am not sure where exactly to put this topic, so if I've put in the wrong spot, please forgive me. Tis been a stressful week with computer issues and finding out my beloved cat has cancer. Anyhow, I think the easiest way to begin my question is to share a screen shot of what I want...
Performance & Maintenance
How to change the drive letter from H: to G: ?
When I put my usb in my pc I see on my Computer a new drive letter H: So now I have: C: D: E: Floppy: A: and my DVD as F: and a Removeable disk I: but I don't have a any removeable disk on any usb port in my pc. When I put now my other usb it's assigining it as drive H: But I need it to be...
Drivers & Hardware
Hard drive isnt allowed to change the correct drive letter
I'm booting off my SSD which is drive C:\ and I have games and programs on an extra hard drive which was origanally drive H:\ but after a restart it switched to I:\ and when I go into Disk Management to change it Drive H:\ isn't there.
Drivers & Hardware
Windows 8/7 Drive Letter Help
Alright, I just installed my Windows 8 Pro from a USB drive as I was installing it I was installing Windows 8 on the W:/ drive but once it was installed I came to found out that that My C:/ drive which was originally Windows 7's drive letter now belongs to Windows 8, and now the drive that is now...
Installation & Setup
Fix Drive Letter
Hi everyone! My PC has two HDD. And per HDD has three partitions. I installed Windows 7 on the first partition of first HDD, and Windows 8 on the first partition of second HDD. And I have a problem: When I use Windows 7, Drive Letters of first partition are C: D: E: and of second partition...
Installation & Setup

Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook