Get Your Missing Drive Letter Back in Windows 11/10/8/7
If the drive letter disappear, you will be unable to access the partition or volume. Here you can learn how to get your missing drive letter back in Windows 11/10/8/7.
Drive letter disappers!
"For various reasons, I have reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch. When I got to the point where I am telling the installer what I want to do with my hard drives (I have two huge ones) I formatted both hard drives. Now, after I have installed the Operating System, it only recognizes the one hard drive that I put the Operating System on, (the C drive). I guess it does not read from a reformatted drive that it has not written to. Besides, its drive letter disappered. Does that causes the drive not showing up and not accessible?If so, how do I fix it so that I can use the second drive?"
Overview of drive letter missing
When you divided your hard disk into several partitions, you’ll give it a letter from A to Z. That is drive letter. It can be used to physical disk partition, floppy disk drive, removable device, CD-ROM, or network drive. Each storage drive should be assigned a drive letter. Once the drive letter missing, you cannot access the drive to get any information.
There are many situations of drive letter missing, and here we have list the top 5 situations:
1. Drive letter missing from Windows Explorer or My Computer
2. Drive letter disappear in Disk Management
3. Drive letter missing from the list of available drive letters
4. Drive letter disappear after reboot
5. Drive letter missing in map network drive
Actually, in many cases, drive letter missing is the main reason of hard drive is not showing up. Thus, it is necessary to find drive letter back.
How to get missing drive letter back in Windows 11/10/8/7?
It is urgent to get the drive letter back when you find it disappeared. For the case we mentioned above, you can try the following methods.
1. Drive letter missing suddenly in Windows Explorer
If you find the drive letter suddenly missing in Windows Explorer or My Computer, you need to check whether it is hidden. If the drive letter is hidden, here you can do as following steps to get it back (take Windows 10 as an example):
Step 1. To configure your Folder Options in Windows 10, you’ll need to begin by opening up a window in File Explorer.
Step 2. Then, click on the top left hand File menu, and select Change folder and search options to get the Folder Options.
Step 3. Then, select the "View" tab, scroll down the slide handle to find the Show drive letters option in Advanced settings and check it, click OK.
After that, we can see the missing drive letters in Windows Explorer again.
2. Drive letter disappear in Disk Management
In Disk Management, every drive is assigned a drive letter. If the drive letter missing, you can reassign it a drive letter in Disk Management.
Locate Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management You will find every hard disk in the list below with names like Disk 0, Disk 1, Disk 2 etc. Find the missing Disk and add a Drive Letter, after this you will see your missing hard drive in My Computer.
- It is important to assign the drive with its original drive letter. Otherwise, the programs relying on the original drive letter might not work correctly. Thus, if the original drive letter has been taken by a new drive, you need to change the drive letter of the new hard drive for a new letter to get the drive letter back.
- If you find the Change Drive Letter and Paths grayed out, you can also use some professionl partition software to assign drive letter to the partition.
3. Drive letter not showing up in the available drive letter list
If you want to reassign it with the original drive letter in Disk Management, but find it is missing from the list of available drive letters. This usually happen on the drive letter D. That's because the D drive letter is always occupied by the CD or DVD, which is used for installing the updates. In this case, you can rename the DVD drive with other drive letter first, and then reassign D drive letter to the required partition.
In addition to, the missing drive letter may aslo be reserved for a removable device that was removed or is hidden. For this situation, you can get the missing drive letter from Registry. Do as followings:
- It is recommended to backup Registry before doing any modification in case of data loss or system crash.
1>. Launch Regedit, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. Check whether there is a device is shown as being mounted at the specific drive letter.
2>. Then, right-click the drive letter that you want and choose Rename from the list menu, and change the letter to any other used letter to free up it.
Reboot the computer to assign the released letter to the drive you want.
4. Drive letter missing because the partition is hidden
If a partition is hidden and you cannot find it and access it, it is a good choice to turn to a free partition manager for help. The AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard should be a great choice. If your computer is base on Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition can help you settle all partitions problems.
Install AOMEI Partition Assistant to your computer based on Windows 11/10/8/7. it will show you all partitions on your computer no matter it is hidden or not. That means here you can clearly see whether your partition is hidden.
To unhide the partition, here you can do as follows:
Step 1. Right-click the hidden partition, select Advanced-> Unhide Partition.
Step 2. Click OK to unhide the selected partition. If the partition has no drive letter after unhiding, please restart your computer.
Step 3. Click Apply-> Proceed to execute the task.
After that, the missing drive letter will be back and you can access to the drive successfully.
5. Drive letter missing after reboot PC
Part of users may meet the problem that after reboot their PC, the drive letter missing. If the drive letter missing after every reboot, you can consider to wipe the hard drive and recreate partitions. And you can also use AOMEI Partition Assistant to wipe hard drive.
- Wiping hard drive will delete all data on the disk, thus, please copy disk or make a backup in advanced.
- If you are using the SSD and need to erase it, please upgrade to Professional edition. Here we take wipe hard drive as an example:
Step 1. Right-click the hard drive that needs to be wiped, select Wipe Hard Drive.
Step 2. Here you can choose a wiping method. There are four methods you can choose, and here we choose Fill sectors with Zero. because besides this way, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional for the other three ways.
Step 3. Finally, click Apply->Proceed to execute the progress.
After the whole progress, you can recreate partitions on the hard drive with Disk Management or AOMEI Partition Assistant.
6. Settle drive letter missing in map network drive
Sometimes, you may find the local drive letters may disappear in Windows Explorer suddenly. That may because of the drive letter missing in map network drive. You may not check the option “Reconnect at logon”. For this situation, you just need to remap the network drive and check Reconnect at logon.
There are many reasons would cause drive letter missing. Hope that this article can help you to solve your problem. If you have any other good methods for settle this kind of problem, welcome to share it in the comments area.