Removable drive does not get assigned a drive letter in Windows

You may see this issue if you plug in a removable device (such as a flash drive or external hard drive) and:

  1. Windows recognizes the device and installs necessary drivers
  2. Windows reports the device is ready to use
  3. Windows does NOT show an icon for the device in “My Computer”
  4. The device works fine in another computer

Assuming that device drivers are not the issue (see #1 above), you may have a situation where Windows is not assigning a drive letter because the previous drive letter is in use by something else (such as a mapped network drive, etc) or not automatically assigned / configured. In this case, you have to manually assign the device an unused drive letter.

  1. Click Start > Control Panel
  2. Double-Click Administrative Tools
  3. Double-Click Computer Management
  4. On the left pane, expand Storage if not already, and select Disk Management
  5. On the top pane, under the Volume column, locate the device with no drive letter assigned to it and right-click in the space where the drive letter should appear.
  6. Select Change Drive Letter & Paths
  7. Click Add then Assign the following drive letter (select a drive letter) and Ok

Once the device has been assigned a drive letter it should resume normal operation.