Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Seagate USB 3.0 backup unit doesn't get a drive letter

  1. #1


    Posts : 1
    Win 8.0

    Seagate USB 3.0 backup unit doesn't get a drive letter


    That is, I can allocate it one through drive management but it still doesn't show next switch on in My Computer, so I must go in an allocate it one. Otherwise it works fine. Bit tedious after a while.

    Do I have to reformat it completely to regain auto allocation of a letter?

    Used to be fine, but not now. A USB 3.0 Toshiba 500 gig external drive (sealed unit) doesn't have this problem.

    Thnx

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Did any software come with the drive? I had a couple of Seagate FreeAgent USB 2.0 externals and I found a download link on Seagate's site for the utility software. It may hold the drive letter if you set it to never spin down.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    win 8 32bit


    Ah.. it is actually a Samsung STORY 1TB ext drive, my mistake.

    But I only use that drive occasionally to make Acronis True Image backups of the all the partitions on my 3 internal, permanent spin (hard to apply that SSD, but..) but then the Toshiba 500 Gig isn't always attached either, yet doesn't lose it's ability to accept the next available letter.

    As far as I can see, the two drive units are practically identical in function, one a 3.5: Sata, the other a 2.5" Sata. both on USB 3.0 and connected to USB 3.0 ports,so they should behave in the same way.

    The issue would see to be why the Samsung does not seek or be given a letter upon connection.

    Oh, BTW, I couldn't login for some reason as "Stumped" and the Captcha string refuses to be accepted. I found I have a much earlier account which works. As poor as I might occasionally be in deciphering the image I usually get it right the next try, not on this Forum. I do observe case and a space between the two groups. Anyone else had trouble? or just me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I've had a hard drive do that, that previously had a Windows to Go install on it. I had to do a diskpart clean all on it to get it back to normal.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    win 8 32bit


    Yup.. pretty much what I'm thinking.. as soon as I get the backups off to another drive I'll remove the partition and repartition/format it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I hate captcha'. Once I get my login credentials I try to keep the cookie to bypass the login altogether, for forums.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5
    win 8 32bit


    Ah.. I think I've found the answer.

    If you give an external drive a letter and you turn off or disconnect that drive later, followed by adding other partitions or drives that take up that progressive available letter (in the current boot session) then the drive in question cannot take it's original letter, so waits until you give it a new one.

    However, if you assign it a letter well above the alphabetical sequential order, such as "R" or "Y" it will retain that letter, and more importantly, be seen in My Computer from that time on unless you somehow remove it or assign that letter to another drive.

    This also explains why the Toshiba ext .drive was booting in with it's Letter, which , it seems, I chose "T" for "Toshiba", unwittingly ensuring it's place in My Computer at any time it was connected.

    Now we know..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    It didn't occur to me as I've been assigning drive letters leaving a big gap for so long. Also if I map network drives using batch and net use statements I put them down around x y z.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5
    win 8 32bit

    Probable answer


    Yes, that would explain it in your scenario.

    Probably not uncommon but goes unnoticed by those who may only come across it rarely.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    The whole drive letter mechanism is hack upon hack because it was thought that 2 floppies and one HD would be the setup. And 26 letters sure seemed like enough for any contingency when many PCs didn't even have a HD.

    The needed break with backward compatibility is being staved off indefinitely since all block device code would have to be rewritten. It would be a new version of Windows indeed if the drive letter code was revamped to another system. It must be the white elephant in the room at MS that everyone pretends isn't there.

    It's just an old Window/Dos thing that won't go away. All you can do is work around it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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