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Choose Your Own USB Drive Letter

flash-driveIn a previous article we explained how to Save Procare Data to Your USB Drive. Today we’ll tell you how to choose a drive letter (like W, X, Y, Z, etc.) for your USB drive that will always be the same. This is known as a “persistent” drive letter. The reason this matters is because drive letters can change, making them unavailable as a backup option in Procare. By choosing a letter for your USB drive you’ll know it should remain the same on that computer.

Why do Drive Letters Change?

USB drives are assigned a letter when you plug them in based on the next letter available. Your hard drive is assigned to letter C while your CD/DVD drive is often drive D and if you have other devices plugged in those might be E, F, G, etc. This means the letter assigned to you USB drive could change each time you use it. Sometimes it might be drive E, or other times, F or something else.

Choosing a Letter for your USB Drive

Just plug in your USB drive as you normally do. Windows will assign it a letter, but you can then change it by following the steps below. There is also a YouTube Video on Changing Your USB Drive Letter.

We recommend choosing a letter toward the end of the alphabet (like W, X, Y, Z). Your computer is unlikely to need those letters since Windows starts at the beginning of the alphabet when it assigns letters.

  1. Plug in your USB drive.
  2. For Windows Vista click Start and Right-Click “Computer”. For XP just right-click on “My Computer”.
  3. Select “Manage”.
  4. On the left side, you’ll find “Storage” and under that click on “Disk Management”. This will show your existing drives. One of these will be your USB Drive.
  5. Right-click the USB drive and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths…”
  6. Then click “Change…” and select your drive letter of choice (like drive W) and click OK.
  7. You’ll get a warning saying this might cause a problem for some programs. Are you sure? Click Yes. Then close the “Computer Management” screen.

Configure Procare to Recognize the New Letter

Now that your USB drive has a new letter you’ll need to let Procare know about it.

  1. Disconnect the USB drive. The proper way is by using the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the system tray (lower right corner of your computer desktop).
  2. Then run the Procare Flash Drive Wizard. Follow the on screen instructions so you’ll know when to reinsert your USB drive.

Now you should always be able to backup to the same USB drive on this computer. If you use the USB drive on another computer, that computer will assign a different letter. If needed repeat these steps so both computers recognized it as the same letter.

Thanks to Michael Meyer, of the Procare Tech Support team, for his input and for suggesting this article.

Good luck with your USB drive and until next time, cheers!

-Phil

P.S. You may also like to Follow Me on Twitter.

If you have questions or comments about this article (or suggestions for another article) I’d be pleased to hear from you. Drop me at note at phil@procaresoftware.com.

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