Assigning a Different Drive Letter to the CD ROM Drive

By default each drive attached to your system is assigned the next available drive letter in sequence starting with C for the first hard disk (A and B are reserved for floppy disk drives). Any further hard disk drives are assigned the following drive letters and then other devices such as CD Rom drives, DVD Drives, Zip drives etc get the next available letters after that. This is all very well if you never change your system configuration but if you ever add any extra drives this sequence will get changed making many of your CD Rom based programs etc. inaccessible because the drive letter is no longer the one expected.

Windows 95, 98, SE, and ME provide a simple method that you can use to reassign the drive letter for your CD Rom drive etc. to fix this problem. All you need to do is to click Start and then Control Panel. Next go into the Device Manager and select your CD Rom drive (or DVD or Zip drive) then click the Properties button. The option that you are looking for is on the Settings page which should look something like this:

CD Rom Settings Window

As you can see there are two enterable fields at the bottom of this panel that allow you to reserve a range of drive letters for use with this particular device. If you set the start and end drive letters to different values then you know that the drive will be assigned a drive letter within the specified range but you still wont know which one it will get if another newly added device grabs a drive letter in the same range. The solution is to place the same value in both fields which forces the system to reserve the specific drive letter specified for use with that device.

By assigning (for example) R to your CD Rom drive, V to your DVD drive, and Z to your Zip drive you will not have any problems in the future with new drives added to your system changing their drive letters.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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