Vista and XP: Reassign/Change Drive Letters

Posted July 11, 2004 by MickeyMouse in Windows

Explains how to switch drive letters in a XP or Vista system.

When one adds a new hard drive, partition, or CD-ROM, the natural order of the drives may be changed. This will walk you through changing the drive letters to whatever you want.

    1. Open the Control Panel
    2. Select Classic View (if not already setup that way)
    3. Click Administrative Tools Folder
    4. Double-click the Computer Management icon
    5. Computer Management window will open. Click storage in the left page.
    6. Double-click Disk Management
    7. Right-click the drive you want to change
    8. Select Change Drive Letter and Paths
    9. Click the Change Button
    10. Select the drive letter to which you want to assign it
    11. Note the warning and agree if you accept the risks
    12. Close out the disk management


Switching drive letters need an extra step. As two drives cannot be assigned to the same letter, you many need to temporarily change one of the drives to something random.

For example, after installing a new storage hard drive, my system had my main drive as C, CD-ROM as D, and storage drive as E. I switch my CD-ROM to X for a second, switch my storage drive to D, and then assign my CD-ROM to E. The switch is completed.


    1. You should not change drives containing system information or installed programs.
    2. You should not change your CD-ROM drive if an installed program looks for a “run disk” in order to run

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