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Any ideas to have persistent drive letter?

  • Flash Media
  • Windows Vista
  • USB Flash
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
December 19, 2008 5:59:08 AM

I just signed up for this forum hoping someone here might give me some guidance on an issue which has been a bit annoying for me. I have a USB flash drive which I use in multiple locations, sometimes only once. I use the drive at school when in the LRC and it's extremely rare that I am using the same system that I used before (besides not having access to most Services). I know that I can manually assign any drive letter I want using Drive Management under Win XP (& Vista?). Is there some way to perhaps incorporate something onto the USB flash drive (autorun.inf ???) that will tell any Windows based (Xp/Vista) system to use a specific drive letter, perhaps Q:? I would like to use some utilities on the USB key that utilize other files that are also stored on the flash drive. I have been unable to figure out how to tell all of the programs where to find it's files without having to change them every time I go somewhere else.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for any help!

More about : ideas persistent drive letter

December 19, 2008 1:10:22 PM

hmm ive looked around for this, and the options available are either to set something in the bios of each machine or set each machine individually using disk management.

either way, the device doesnt get much say im afraid.
December 19, 2008 1:28:15 PM

Yeah I've found both of those options as well. Unfortunately, most of the machines I'm using currently (ones at school) I don't have Admin privileges to be able to set anything in them. Even if I did, since I rarely see the same machine available each day and all the machines are reformatted/imaged each night, I'd have to make the same changes every time I access a system.

I guess the other way to approach this would be this: Anyone know of any way to have my Apps that are on the USB drive store an environment variable in some form of config file on the USB drive so that it can find the files it needs to run? I know there are some launchers that are available to turn your USB drive into a portable desktop. I have tried out Portable Apps a bit and it seems to cover many things, but not quite everything. Also, if I can find a way to use my Apps without having to run some form of launcher as well, that'd be preferred. Fewer Reads/Writes on the USB key that way.

Once again, thanks in advance for any suggestions! Happy Holidays to All :) 
a b G Storage
December 19, 2008 2:41:35 PM

I'm pretty sure you can't do that. The problem is, there is possibility that the computer already has a drive of the same letter, so this is a per-machine basis.

The good part is, there are ways to tell the programs to get the information from the drive that it's run on.

Create a batch file and set a variable to get the drive letter, for example:


From there you can use that variable in your pathing:

CD %DRIVELETTER%<folder>\<folder>\etc..

Mess around with it a bit and see what you can come up with.