Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Unable to change drive letter

  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by skyzoomer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
    Looks like the drive letter E got locked to a non-existent drive - Windows not releasing it even after removing the mapped drive which earlier had that drive letter E.

    You may need to do a drive cleanup to get the drive letters released. .... snip ....
    Hi Jumanji,

    Will give drivecleanup a try after trying Brink's suggestion of "This PC > Eject". Will ask my friend to do a full backup of the system drive first as a precaution. Will post results.

    Thanks much for helping out,
    Hi Jumanji (and Brink),

    My friend had a second drive letter locked to a fictitious drive. Her "layflat USB3 drive enclosure" was causing the problem. It was drive E, then became drive J, and now was drive K. Drive letters E and J were locked to fictitious, non-existent drives.

    I went over to my friend's home yesterday. I disconnected all USB cables except the wireless receiver for the keyboard & mouse. I ran the latest version of drivecleanup. I expected it to give me a chance to run a test to determine which drives to clean up but it just did the clean up without operator intervention and removed a whole bunch of drivers. Was worried that it removed drivers that are needed but things turned out OK.

    Connected the USB cables for the printer and a known good USB3 docking station. Tested both plus the internal optical drive that's connected via a SATA cable to the motherboard and all worked fine.

    It looks like drive letters E and J that were locked to the fictitious drive were released. My friend did not want me to connect the bad layflat USB3 drive again so was unable to verify if it could be assigned the letter E. But plugging in a USB thumb drive, it was assigned the letter E so I'm pretty sure the fictitious drive letters E and J were released.

    My friend is going to buy a new USB3 docking station and a new bare drive. When they arrive will see if it can be assigned the drive letter E but I'm confident that it will be OK. Will post if problems persist but if no follow up post in a month, then the fictitious drive letters problem was fixed. (Today's date is 5/12/16)

    Thanks much for your excellent tip. Looks like things are all good now.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12

    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10

    That's great news Skyzoomer. I'm glad it worked out.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13

    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

    Glad to see the solved tick mark on this thread. I am also happy to note that it is going to help many others. :)

    Click image for larger version

    Note: It is only a drive cleanup and not a driver cleanup. It only removes "all currently non present USB Storage Devices, Disks, CDROMs, Floppies, Storage Volumes and WPD devices from the device tree. Furthermore it removes orphaned registry items related to these device types" It is an absolutely safe maintenance tool. Though I do not have any drive letter assignment problems, I have been using it regularly to keep my Windows clean - as far as drive letter assignment is concerned - since it also removes all orphaned registry entries and keeps the registry clean to that extent.
    Last edited by jumanji; 14 May 2016 at 20:42.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Unable to change drive letter
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