USB drives and mapped drive letter conflicts

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by TechDesign, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. TechDesign

    TechDesign Guest

    In Windows XP, I always had problems with clients who wanted to use USB
    drives in a corporate environment where drives are mapped via scripts to low
    drive letters. USB drives always took the next available PHYSICAL drive
    letter, even if it was already in use by a mapped drive. You have to manually
    go into Drive Management and change the drive letter to get the USB drive to
    show up. After that, it will remember the drive letter, but there were no end
    to the complaints about the process.

    It appears this "problem" still exists in Windows Vista. It was in Beta 2,
    and I just loaded up the July CTP hoping it was fixed. I mapped a network
    share to E: (my next available drive letter), plugged in a USB drive...AND

    I can't believe this issue still exists in Vista. I really hope this is just
    a fluke in this build, and the issue has been resolved in non-public betas.
    It seems such a simple issue for the hardware to check what drive letters are
    actually available, or if mapped drives exists, to pop a prompt asking what
    drive letter you want.

    PLEASE look into this issue, as it does cause a lot of trouble in the
    corporate world where drives are usually not mapped from Z: backwards, but
    from F: on up.

    This post is a suggestion for Microsoft, and Microsoft responds to the
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    TechDesign, Jul 21, 2006
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  2. TechDesign

    TechDesign Guest

    Truly sorry for the multiple postings....the system kept telling me the post
    did not go through, so I kept trying....apparently it lied.
    TechDesign, Jul 21, 2006
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  3. TechDesign

    John Boy Guest

    Are you absolutely sure this is a universal
    Windows problem?

    I have never encountered it. My wife uses a USB
    flash drive frequently at work, on a network
    with mapped drives, and she doesn't encounter
    this problem. I personally used a USB hard
    drive on a networked computer with mapped drives
    John Boy, Jul 21, 2006
  4. TechDesign

    TechDesign Guest

    Happens on every single Windows XP computer I've used. The problem only comes
    to light if the NEXT available drive letter is mapped. In my test scenario I
    just ran through, C: is a hard drive, D: is a DVD, and I mapped E: to ensure
    the problem would happen. It my first mapped drive was F:, G: or higher, the
    problem would not come to light. Once the scenario is set up, I plug in a USB
    drive that the system has not seen before, and it attempts to assign it to
    the next available physical drive my case, E:, which is already
    mapped. I cannot get access to the drive until I go into Disk Management and
    change the drive letter associated with the USB drive.

    From that point on, it won't be an issue, as XP remembers the associated
    drive letter, so the problem does not reoccur. See if you can set up this
    scenario to make it happen, as it does happen on all 6 computers in my office
    (just tested in XP). If it isn't univeral, I'd sure like to figure out what
    is going on!
    TechDesign, Jul 21, 2006
  5. TechDesign

    Kerry Brown Guest

    It's a very common problem. The solution is to map network drives starting
    at Z: and work down. This has been the best practice and recommended for a
    long time. Unfortunately many admins still use drive mappings to lower
    Kerry Brown, Jul 21, 2006
  6. TechDesign

    TechDesign Guest

    Regardless of "best practice", we still shouldn't have to do something
    manually that the OS should take care of automatically. Most of the corporate
    environments I consult in map from A toward Z, and this continues to be an
    issue into the 5472 build of Vista.
    TechDesign, Jul 22, 2006
  7. TechDesign

    TechDesign Guest

    Happy to report back on my own post...THIS IS FIXED!

    Build 5536 fixes this issue. Now, USB drives, and I assume any removeable
    media, finds the next "available" drive letter, avoiding mapped drives.

    Thank you Microsoft for fixing this headache!
    TechDesign, Sep 3, 2006
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