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Usb Driver Letters Not Released When Drive Disconnected


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#1 bobchmara

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 06:48 AM

When I remove a USB hard drive from my computer, the drive letter is not released. It appears as if the table (the registry I assume) where the drive letter assignments are stored is not being properly updated.

Dell Latitude D810
2GB Memory
XP Pro SP2
PC-cillin
Spyware Doctor
Three USB drives connected to powered USB hub connected to docking station
No mapped network drives

A couple of observations:
- If I use disk management to change a drive letter, the original drive letter then shows up in the list of available drive letters, but if I try to use it, I get an error stating that the drive letter is already in use.
- If I use disk management to change a drive letter, the list of drives that appear in the Safely Remove Hardware system tray icon does not change. The old drive letter is displayed, but the new one is not.
- If I disconnect a USB drive and then reconnect it, and it is assigned a new drive letter, neither the old nor the new drive letter will show as available in disk management.

Your suggestions would be most welcome!

Bob Chmara

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#2 ThorXP

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 08:01 AM

In the task bar there s an icon called Safely Remove Hardware. You should click on this to release the drive letter assignment form the device you are removing. This also should be done so the drive gets turned off so it can be safely removed.

#3 bobchmara

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 09:16 PM

I'm aware of the Safely Remove Hardware icon, as mentioned in my original post. My apologies for not making it clear that this problem occurs despite using the Safely Remove Hardware icon or when using the Undock Computer option which incorporates the same functionality.

I also had a new wrinkle today. I rebooted, and then manually connected the three drives, changing the letter of each drive as it was added so that I had drives E, F, and G as I prefer. Then, for reasons I don't yet understand, drive E was also assigned the letter D, and drive G was also assigned the letter H. So D and E both referenced one drive, F referenced a second drive, and G and H both referenced a third drive.

I also tried a new USB hub today thinking that it could be a hardware problem. That did not correct the problem.

Bob Chmara

#4 ThorXP

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 10:28 PM

Sorry about that misque on the safely remove.

It does not say whether or not you are using USB1 or USB2 but for this one post I am just going to suggest deleting the USB ports and reinstalling them. Have you tried that?




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