How To Fix Windows Not Assigning Drive Letters


macrium-logoI don’t mind saying I’ve been backing up since day one. My first computer was a 486SLC. It only had a floppy drive and that’s what I originally used. They would only hold about 1.4 MB of data. At the time, you really didn’t need more than that. For files too large to fit on a floppy I used a program called Axeman (no longer available), and HJ-Split, which is still available.

These days, with DVD burners and flash/external hard drives, there isn’t much need for splitting files. For document backups I still use CDs and DVDs. For full system image backups, I have a Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go external hard drive. I also have a few laptop drives and two desktop SATA hard drives. It doesn’t hurt to have a few backups.

No Drive Letters

I use both Macrium Reflect and the Windows 7 built-in backup. Normally, I would just plug in my backup drive and run the backup program, but this time when I plugged it in, the drive did not show up in Windows Explorer. I tried the other hard drives and had the same problem. Flash drives worked perfectly.

So, I went to the Start Button and Right-clicked on Computer in the Start Menu, then clicked on Manage. Then I clicked on Disk Management in the Computer Management window. The drive(s) I plugged in were listed but, for some reason Windows did not automatically assign a drive letter.

Disk Management - No drive letters

AutoMount

So, online I went and found this simple solution:

Open up a Command Prompt (Run as Administrator) and type the following and press Enter after each line:


  • diskpart
  • automount enable
  • exit

diskpart - automount enable

If done properly, you should get the message: Automatic mounting of new volumes enabled.

I don’t know why or how this happened, but luckily it was easy to fix. If your drives still don’t show a letter, then unplugging and re-plugging them in should work.

Note: Be certain the drives aren’t active when you unplug them. That’s a good way to lose data.

About the Author

Terry Hollett

Terry is a self-taught computer aficionado, who after being exposed to Windows 3.1 in the early 1990's devoured every book and magazine on the subject he could get his hands on. A published author with over 20 years' experience building and servicing computers for friends and family he started his first website in 2002 and continues today at Hit Any Key.

There are 3 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *