Drive Letter - Add, Change, or Remove

How to Add, Change, or Remove a Drive Letter in Vista
This will show you how to add, change, or remove (hide) a drive letter to organize them how you like.
How to Add, Change, or Remove a Drive Letter in Vista

information   Information
This will allow you to either add, change, or remove (hide) a drive letter to organize them how you like.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.
Note   Note

  • You can assign the letters D to Z to each drive on your computer. A and B are usually reserved for floppy disk drives, but if your computer does not have floppy disk drives, you can assign A and B to volumes. C is reserved for the drive Vista is installed on. You can see which drive letters are used on your computer by clicking on Computer in the Start menu.
  • If you want to have all drive letters set to show or be removed from being displayed instead, then see: How to Show or Remove Drive Letters from Displaying in Vista
  • If you dual boot, or with multiple operating systems, the OS that you boot to will always show as the C: drive in Computer. You will need to look in Disk Management to see how the true drive letters are partitions are positioned on the drive.
warning   Warning
Many MS‑DOS and Vista programs make references to specific drive letters in the registry. If you change a drive letter, some programs that you have already installed on that hard drive letter might not work correctly anymore. It is best to do this on a new drive or partition before installing anything on it.

Through Disk Management

1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
A) Click on the Administrative Tools icon.​
B) Click on Computer Management.​
NOTE: If the Computer Management shortcut is not here, then you can navigate to C:\Windows\System32\compmgmt.msc and click on the compmgmt.msc instead.​

2. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
3. In the left pane, click on Disk Management under Storage. (See screenshot below step 4)​
4. Right-click on the partition or drive that you want to change, and click on Change Drive Letter and Paths. (See screenshot below)​

5. To Change a Drive Letter
NOTE: You cannot change a drive letter if the drive is either a system partition or a boot partition, like the partition that Vista is installed on. If you get an error, the partition or drive you are trying to change might be in use. Close any program or window that is using the partition or drive and try again.​
A) Select the drive letter, and click on the Change button. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: If you are dual booting (Ex: Vista and Windows 7) and you want to change the drive letter for the Vista partition so you can see it in Windows 7, then click on the Add button if this screenshot below is empty.​

B) Select (dot) Assign the following drive letter. (See screenshot below)​
C) Select a drive letter that you want that is not already being used and click on OK.​

D) Click on Yes to confirm the drive letter change. (See screenshot below)​

E) Go to step 8.​

6. To Add a Drive Letter
NOTE: This is to assign a drive letter if one has been removed or not already assigned to the drive or partition.​
A) Click on the Add button. (See screenshot below)​

B) Do the same steps in step 5A to 5C above.​
C) Go to step 8.​

7. To Remove a Drive Letter
NOTE: This will only remove the drive letter and not the partition or drive. This can be useful if you are getting a low disk space warning for this drive letter.
A) Click on the Remove button. (See screenshot below step 5)​

B) Click on Yes to confirm. (See screenshot below)​
C) Click on OK to close window. (See screenshot below step 5)​

8. Close the Computer Management window.​
9. Click on Computer in the Start Menu to confirm the changes.​

Manually in Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.​
3. In regedit, navigate to the location below.​

4. To Change a Drive Letter
WARNING: Do not change the C: drive letter.​
A) Right click on a listed /DosDevices\(drive letter) (Ex: /DosDevices\D: ) that you want to change the drive letter of, then click on Rename.​
B) Rename it with a drive letter that you want to use, and is not already listed here, and press enter.​
For Example: If I wanted to change it from D: to K: , then I would rename it to /DosDevices\K: instead.​

5. To Remove a Drive Letter
WARNING: Do not remove the C: drive letter.​
A) Right click on a listed /DosDevices\(drive letter) (Ex: /DosDevices\D: ) that you want to remove the drive letter of, then click on Delete.​
B) Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.​

6. Close regedit.​
7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.​
That's it,

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


What if the letter you want to change it to is not there in the drop down? I am not sure what even changed it but it went from K to M and now the K is not in the drop down.
Please help .

I have C and D
(HP normal Main drive and restore stuff on the d)
and I have A Dvd E
I J K And L are all sd card reader,sd/mmc compact flash and picture usb and my two external HD moved to M and N
I want my M back on K where it was...and the N back to L
But following these instructions it wont work as there is not a K or L even though nothing is on them?

Hello TheBat, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I will look into this for you and try to post back something for you later tonight on this. :)
Ah, that's great. If you don't mind the Texas heat in the summer, it's a great place to live. What part of Texas if I may ask?

Now for you issue. This will replace the K letter for the removable device with another letter to be used for it instead, and allow you to be able to select it again in the tutorial above.
  • Go to the registry location below.
  • Right click on /DosDevices\K:, then click on Rename.
  • Change the drive letter (in the example is K) for this entry to a unused drive letter that isn't listed here, then press Enter.
    • For example: /DosDevices\Z:
  • You can now repeat this to change your /DosDevices\M: entry back to it's original /DosDevices\K:
  • Repeat this for your L and N drive letters as well to change it back.
  • Close regedit, and restart the computer.
Hope this helps,
YEAH thanks so much for this help.
Is so much appreciated.
I had found the infromation but some reason I did not get it.. your explanation of it and I got it fine.
WHEW.. glad that is done.

Thanks again..

I have another issue since you were so great on that but will take me a while to type it up...LOL and need to figure out the correct palce to post it..

I tried to send you a private message but I am guessing I did not have enough posts to do so is that correct?

Any way thanks again..

Houston .. are you close to that?
That's great news. I'm happy to hear that you got that sorted.

I'm about 5 hours due north of you.
hi! another newbie, ok here's my problem. As you probably know with HP C: is the prime and D: is usually recovery and CD would be E: I tried doing a complete back up of files becauase i never did and afterwards my D is now E and D became the dvd drive. Also what has happened is that i am now not getting any System restore points on C: ive tried many times to create a manual but when i check again its gone. In the system protection box the E recovery keeps showing that i have a restore point, but if i try to restore the SR tells me i have no restore points. Ive been looking high and low with no avail. I must say of all the places i searched for help this site and you Brink seem to be the only good help available. So thanks in advance if you can help me.
Hello Denise, and welcome to Vista Forums.

You could try changing their drive letters back to how they were originally to see if that may help. You could say change D to Z to free up D, change E back to D, then change Z back to E.

Afterwads, check in System Protection to see what drive letters you have turned on for restore points. Normally, it is just turned on for the Windows drive letter by default.

Hope this helps, :)
Thank you for your response. I just want to make sure... i should do this in the registry? You posted above, ofcourse with which applies to my situation. Also i jumped ahead and looked at this key in the registry and im just wondering if something more serious is going on with my disk? Above the \DosDevice C D E F G there are 10 listings of mounted devices that start with \??\Volume is that right?
You should be able to use either option to do this with. If for some reason you do not see the drive letter available after changing it in OPTION ONE, then you will be able to in OPTION TWO.

Yeah, that's normal for the \??\Volume.... listings. You would only want to change the \DosDevices\ ones for the affected drive letters. :)
Ok i changed my letters and just to check out if system restore would work i made a restore point on C: (checked) and left D: (unchecked) a sucessful point was made. Then i rebooted as you suggest doing after drive letter change and i had a little problem. After everything loaded up and i was on my desktop all looked well but then a black screen like commant prompt popped up on the screen with the heading taskeng.exe and then disappeared...ok so i then tryed to open taskmanager to see if anything was running that might have caused this but nothing happened everything frooze on the screen i waited a good while because it seemed like taskmanager was trying to load but it just didnt. So with no choice i just shut down with power button. On restart i did the system startup repair just to be safe it didnt report any error just message that if i recently installed hardware or driver remove them. That was not the case so i just restarted and all seemed ok :) I then check out system restore and there it was again C: no restore point :( and D: HP Recovery with a fake restore point. I also noticed that my system restore default shortcut in accesseries or is it sys tools is missing. That doesnt bother me so much but no restore points does. Any suggestions?
Last edited by a moderator:
taskeng.exe is for Task Scheduler instead. Did you have task set to run at startup?

If you like you could use a "Create Restore Point" shorcut below.
You could also create a new System Restore shortcut using the location below.
Just to be safe, I would recommend that you do a full scan of your system with Malwarebytes free to see if you have any malware of virus on your system.
hello :) sorry for the delay. I created the system restore shortcut and so far it seems like restore points are sticking :D. I also ran Malwarebytes and no malware was found. :party: Thank-you. If i may ask one more question pertaining to the C: drive... who should i put as owner. I think this is where i caused alot of my present problems. I messed around with this a little too much not really being sure what i was doing. Are there any tutorials on how to set all default permissions on all folders?:o
That's great news Denise about your original issue.

You shouldn't change the ownership of your C: (Vista) drive and all of it's contents though since it may cause unknown permission issues. If you did change it, then the only way to restore it back to default properly is with another system restore using a restore point dated before you changed it, or to reinstall Vista.

Anytime you try anything that you are not sure about, it would be best to create a restore point first to help be safe. This way if a mistake is made, the restore point may be able to undo it through a system restore.
This post is completely awesome, I realized it just after I spend more than two hours in trying to restore the letter in my Windows 8 x32 and well, I found the solution here.......!
Great work team, Be up;-D