Manually Change Drive Letters in Microsoft Windows 8

In Microsoft Windows operating systems, the drive letters of partitions play an important role when identifying the volumes. In earlier days, when the floppy disks were used as the removable medias, the floppy disk drives were assigned with A:. If a second floppy disk drive was attached to the computer, it was automatically assigned with B:. This pre-assignment of A: and B: letters to the floppy disk drives is still used in the latest versions of Microsoft-based operating systems. This is the reason why always the main partition, where the Windows is installed, is always assigned with C:.

Even in Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems, the drive letter for the system drive is by default C:. The drive letter of the system drive may change if two operating systems are installed on the same hard drive to make the computer dual boot.

When Microsoft Windows 8 is installed on a bare metal machine, i.e. a computer with a blank hard disk drive, it assigns C: to the system drive and the next available drive letter, i.e. D:, is automatically assigned to the CD/DVD drive. In case administrators create volumes in the hard disk drive while installing the operating system, the CD/DVD drive is assigned with the next available drive letter, after the assignment of the drive letters to the already created partitions. For example, if an administrator creates three partitions during the installation of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, i.e. C:, D: and E:, the drive letter assigned to the CD/DVD drive would then be F:.

Both the above discussed methods are correct in one way or the other, depending on the administrators’ individual preferences. However, there might be times when the default assignments of the drive letters may not be appropriate as per the organization’s requirements. In such cases it becomes essential for the administrators to manually change the drive letters and rearrange them accordingly.

How to Change the Drive Letters in Microsoft Windows 8 Manually?

In order to change drive letters in Microsoft Windows 8 manually, the steps given below must be followed:

  1. Log on to Microsoft Windows 8 computer with administrator account.
  2. On the Start window, click the Desktop icon.
  3. On the desktop screen, click Windows Explorer from the taskbar.
  4. On the opened Libraries window, from the navigation pane in the left, right-click Computer.
  5. From the displayed context menu, click Manage.
  6. On the Computer Management snap-in, from the left pane, under the Storage category, click to select Disk Management.
  7. From the right pane, right-click the volume, drive letter for which is to be changed.
  8. From the context menu, click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  9. On the opened box, make sure that the desired drive letter is selected and click Change button.
  10. On the Change Drive Letter or Path box, make sure that Assign the following drive letter radio button is selected.
  11. From the drop-down list, select the desired drive letter that is to be assigned to the volume.
  12. Click OK when done and on the displayed warning box, click Yes to confirm the modifications.
  13. Close the Computer Management snap-in.
Author: Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platform. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations.
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