Both internal and external storage devices in Windows 11/10 are supposed to be configured with drive letters automatically. The purpose of assigning drive letters is to give a unique indication. It further helps the Storage partitioidentify the USB devices you connect to your PC. However, several users have stated that Windows 11 cannot assign driver letters, so the device doesn’t appear in File Explorer or anywhere else on the system.
This moment is worse because Windows should assign a drive letter automatically, but you have to give it manually for an external HDD drive. Since Windows should automatically assign a drive letter to an external HDD drive, you need to manually use the Disk Management console to assign the drive letter. To assign a drive letter manually, you need to use the Disk Management console.
For that, open the Computer Management console by pressing
Why my Windows 11/10 PC is not assigning Drive Letters Automatically to External Drives?
Several reasons may be behind not assigning a drive letter to an external USB HDD or SSD. We will recommend checking the following:-
- Check if Virtual Disk is enabled.
- See if Automatic Mounting of New Volume is enabled.
- Ensure to disable “Hidden” and “No Default Driver Letter.”
Windows 11/10: How to Enable Virtual Disk?
If the Virtual Disks service turns off your computer, you may face several disk issues, including letters not being assigned to external disks. Hence, you need to enable it while troubleshooting your Windows. To ensure the Virtual Disk service is running on Windows 11/10, use these steps:-
Step 1. First, open Services Manager.
For that, press
Step 2. Now, when Windows Services opens, look for the Virtual Disk service.
Step 3. Then, right-click on it and select
Step 4. After that, click the
Step 5. Next, click the
If you prefer to use Command Prompt to stop or start a service on Windows PCs, we have an alternate way to perform the above steps:-
Step 1. First, open the Command Prompt with administrative rights.
Step 2. Now, when the elevated Command Prompt opens, check the state of the service by typing and pressing the following command; if you read it as stopped, you need to enable it.
sc query vds
Step 3. To enable this service again, issue the following command:-
net start vds
Once you complete the above commands, remove and connect the device again. Try reinstalling the driver if you have any from your manufacturer and see if the issue persists.
What is the process for checking if Automatic Mounting of New Volumes is enabled?
If the issue persists after executing the first method, you must ensure that Automatic Mounting of New Volumes will enable on your PC; otherwise, letters will not assign to drives.
For that, again open Command Prompt with elevated right and then issues the following command to enter into Diskpart:-
After that, check if automount is enabled. For that, execute the following command:-
If you see that automount is disabled, use the following command to allow it to:-
Lastly, exit Diskpart using the following command:-
So, it would be best if you restart your computer; this issue should not exist anymore.
How to Disable ‘Hidden’ and ‘No Default Driver Letter’ Attributes?
If both methods above could not help you troubleshoot USB driver letter issues, do the following:-
Step 1. First, open the elevated command prompt and issue these commands one by one:-
Diskpart list disk select disk 1
Quick Note: If you can’t guess which disk to choose, look at their respective sizes to get a clear idea and replace ‘1’ with the number associated with your disk.
Use the below command to list all partitions:-
Note: If you have only one internal HDD or SSD installed on your PC, disk “1” should be an external disk. While more than one internal HDD or SSD will install on your computer, the external drive should be disk “2.”
To select your external disk, the command should be either “select disk 1” or “select disk 2.”
When you recognize the disk, issue the command “attributes volume.” If you read the message, “Hidden” and “No Default Drive Letter” attributes are enabled, then give these commands:-
attributes volume clear NoDefaultDriveLetter attributes volume clear hidden
Lastly, issue the “exit” command and then hit
That’s it for the article.
I hope this post will be informative to you.
Good luck & keep learning, guys.