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USB flash drive-assigning drive letters back to dynamic


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#1 sportsfan1

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 11:54 AM

Hi,
I have a USB flash drive that the Media Creation Tool messed up when it was formatting it to create installation media.
Ive worked out how to fix the flash drive. I just have to use disk management to create a new simple volume on it, I then have no option but to assign the flash drive with a drive letter, and format it to Fat32 and the flash drive is recognised again in windows.
The question I have is. It appears that the drive letter I give it then becomes a static drive letter.
I don't really want it to be static. Id rather put it back to the way it was when I bought the USB flash drive so that Windows assigns the drive letter dynamically every time its inserted into the PC. Is there a way of doing this or When you create a new simple volume does the drive letter have to be static?
My PC only has Drive C: (operating system and D: (DVD drive). The removable USB flash drive when inserted has always been Drive E: I have a few flash drives that I use and Id like windows to just assign them all dynamically if its possible. Ive never had this issue before...its just this one USB drive that the Media Creation Tool messed up..the others are fine. I just want to put this USB back to its defaults..as it was when I purchased it if possible
Thanks



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:12 PM

Were I you, I would try zeroing out the USB drive before formatting it again to see if that fixes your problem.

 

This was discussed on this thread, Unable to fix corrupted Micro-sd card, and applies to any USB drive.  I've used the utility included with Memtest, as noted in that thread, and it works like a charm.  It essentially makes the drive as though it's entirely new again so the OS should not recognize it as ever having been inserted before after it is zeroed out and reformatted.  I would imagine it will then have a dynamic drive letter assignment.


Edited by britechguy, 17 December 2017 - 10:50 AM.
Accidental editing of wrong post - corrected

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#3 sportsfan1

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:47 PM

Were I you, I would try zeroing out the USB drive before formatting it again to see if that fixes your problem.

 

This was discussed on this thread, Unable to fix corrupted Micro-sd card, and applies to any USB drive.  I've used the utility included with Memtest, as noted in that thread, and it works like a charm.  It essentially makes the drive as though it's entirely new again so the OS should not recognize it as ever having been inserted before after it is zeroed out and reformatted.  I would imagine it will then have a dynamic drive letter assignment.

 

Hi again Brian. Isnt there any way of doing it manually using Disk Management. I thought there must be some obvious way of doing it that I was missing. I saw an option in there for not assigning a drive letter below where it asked for you to assign a drive letter but the option was greyed out



#4 jenae

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:25 AM

Hi, I had a external drive that I wanted to be H so I modified the autorun.inf file, this keeps the static drive letter no matter what computer I use. To change it to a dynamic, follow this example (my drive is H)

 

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.16299.125]
© 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 
C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart
 
Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.16299.15
 
Copyright © Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: PTOC
 
DISKPART> list disk
 
  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          489 GB  1024 KB        *
  Disk 1    Online          298 GB  1024 KB
 
DISKPART> select disk 1
 
Disk 1 is now the selected disk.
 
DISKPART> list volume
 
  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
  Volume 0     D                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
  Volume 1     E   System Rese  NTFS   Partition    350 MB  Healthy
  Volume 2     C                NTFS   Partition    487 GB  Healthy    Boot
  Volume 3                      FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    System
  Volume 4                      NTFS   Partition    869 MB  Healthy    Hidden
  Volume 5     H   My Backups   NTFS   Partition    298 GB  Healthy
 
DISKPART> select volume 5
 
Volume 5 is the selected volume.
 
DISKPART> assign
 
DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.
 
DISKPART>
 
Windows assigned the next available letter H became F.

Edited by jenae, 17 December 2017 - 05:27 AM.


#5 sportsfan1

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 10:43 AM

Ive just had a thought. If I'm using the flash drive for creating bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive installation media will it make any difference what the drive letter is? My PC has C: (the system drive) and D: (DVD drive)...that's all. So every time I insert a flash drive it uses E:
I'll be downloading the ISO using Media Creation Tool. Then, using Rufus with the ISO to create my bootable USB flash drive. I realise Rufus will format the drive again so will that revert the drive letter back to dynamic anyway?
I don't like messing with things I don't fully understand that's why I prefer drive letters to be left at default because I don't know if changing them can cause me problems. Especially as this flash drive is going to be used to clean install Windows 10 not just a PC Reset. I want to be sure I don't have any more issues after the way the Media Creation Tool messed things up. That's why I don't know what drive letter to choose when I have to create a New Simple Volume on the drive because it just shows it as unallocated space at the moment and I know that part of the process is having to Assign a drive letter. Should I just select the letter E: or something else?
Sorry to trouble you all again. You've all been brilliant in helping me. Its just all above my knowledge level



#6 britechguy

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

The drive letter assigned to the USB drive, whether static or dynamic, is irrelevant so long as it does not conflict with any existing drive on the machine.

 

I've never played with intentionally setting a drive to a static letter that would overlap the letter for an existing drive (and I'm thinking removable storage here).  I would think that Windows would have to force one or the other to have that static choice overridden, since you can't have two drives share the same letter designation simultaneously.

 

Also, if you're doing a clean install the access to said drive would be directly via BIOS/UEFI so Windows itself should not even be involved at all at that point in time.


Edited by britechguy, 17 December 2017 - 10:50 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#7 sportsfan1

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

That's what I was thinking Brian regarding the clean installation. I was wondering if the drive letter was irrelevant in that case. I wondered how it worked in Windows. If , for example, You had two static drive letters the same on two removable drives. I wondered if one of them wouldn't be seen..

When you say as long as it doesn't conflict with any existing drives on the machine. Do you just mean fixed drives there? In my  case that would be C: system drive and D: DVDRW drive. When I insert a removable drive it is seen as drive E:.



#8 britechguy

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 01:46 PM

With regard to having the same static drive letter, which would have had to have been assigned on two different machines, one for each drive, in all probability you'd have to try it to see what happens.  As I said earlier, I have not so I have no idea how Windows might (or might not) resolve that conflict.  If I'm really curious about this sort of thing I rig my own experiment to see what will happen.  My guess is that the fixed letter would be "first come first served" with Windows overriding it for the drive inserted after the initial one.   I would also think that if one were foolish enough to try to assign a drive letter, say D:, to a flash drive on a machine that didn't use that letter, then insert it in a machine that does, that Windows would use the same "first come first served" resolution.   If that's not how it's handled then the most likely alternative is an error message of some sort.

 

Prior to Windows having loaded there are no drive letters, just device identifiers.  You notice when you deal with BIOS it mentions device classes, clearly presuming that only one (or perhaps only one with bootable media within a class) will be available.

 

When you start getting into doing stuff that one is "not supposed to do" one generally has to stage one's own experiments to see what happens.  I have never tried doing an install or upgrade on a machine where I have two USB thumb drives (or a thumb drive and an SD/microSD card) inserted on the box and where some sort of resolution would be necessary to find the first available bootable device within a given device class.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#9 sportsfan1

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 02:21 PM

Thanks Brian for your patience and help. I was just curious to see if you had come across a similar situation before



#10 jenae

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 04:40 PM

Hi, actually millions of computers use a static drive letter for removable drives, especially if you have created a batch file to handle backups, we use it often and Brian is right it creates no problems, if there are no conflicting letters, that's why we usually use a drive letter down the alphabet like P.

 

You asked how to change a static drive to a dynamic one, I showed you how and in response you make no mention of it, not the way to get expert help, you also failed to mention you have posted at an other forum with this problem.



#11 britechguy

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 08:01 PM

you also failed to mention you have posted at an other forum with this problem.

 

Not a problem unless there are two simultaneous posts on Bleeping Computer for the same issue.

 

Any user can choose to participate in as many sites as they see fit.  I often have and occasionally still do.  There are different sets of eyes in different venues as well as differing approaches to solving the same issue.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

     . . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it.  The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.

    ~ Ruth Marcus,  November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story


 

 

 

              

 


#12 jenae

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 11:53 PM

Hi, nothing wrong with looking for help elsewhere, just to protect the OP those of us replying should be made aware of what they may already have tried, just like we request more information, and ask the OP what they may have already tried themselves. It is mostly to protect the OP and therefore in their interest. 



#13 sportsfan1

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 04:52 AM

Sorry if Ive caused offence..it wasn't my intention. I do use a couple of other forums as well in order to get assistance and guidance if I'm having a PC problem. Ive found out that the problem I was having with my USB flash drive being corrupted by the Media Creation Tool was down to once having used Rufus on it to create Windows 10 bootable media. Rufus sets up the USB flash drive with the GPT partition table. A few months later I went back to the Media Creation Tool method. Apparently the Media Creation Tool doesn't work if the USB has GPT partition table and aborts with an error. That was when the drive lettering issue began as I was trying to sort out the problem in Disk Management. You have to put the flash drive back to MBR in order for it to work again with the Media Creation Tool. So I'm going to convert the flash drive back to MBR partition table  and use the Media Creation Tool again. Because of the problem with the Media Creation Tool I was going to go back to using Rufus. It seems to be down to choice and there can be downsides to both methods.

Once again, sorry guys if I upset anyone. Thanks for all your help Britechguy and Jenae and for your patience in assisting me


Edited by sportsfan1, 18 December 2017 - 05:08 AM.





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