When you have installed a new hard drive, in order for your computer to recognize it you may need to label the drive by assigning a drive letter to it. So for example if you have installed a second hard drive into your computer, it may need to be labeled so it can be used and show up in my computer with all the other drives. This also applies to a partition of a hard drive. See What is the difference between a partition and a hard drive?
As you can see from the screenshot below I have one hard drive in this computer that is split into 4 sections or partitions. I have c:, a new volume, e:, and 9mb of unallocated space. Now I have created that new volume because I deleted a partition. But now it is not recognized when I open my computer and I cannot store files on it. Therefore I have to assign a drive letter to it which will label it and make it useable.
How to open disk management:
- Go to the start menu.
- Right click on my computer or computer for Windows Vista.
- Choose manage from the menu.
- Then click on computer management.
- Choose Disk Management in the left side menu. Then you see all your drives listed in the right side.
How to assign a drive letter to a partition or new hard drive?
- Go to disk management as per instructions listed above.
- Right click on the volume that has no drive letter next to it. In this example it is New Volume.
- A menu will appear. Choose Change drive letter and paths..
- A change drive letter and paths for new volume box will appear.
- Press on Add.
- Another box will appear. Put a check next to Assign the following drive letter:
- Then choose a drive letter from the drop down menu. I have chosen D: See screenshot below.
- Now press ok.
- Your choice will now appear in the first box. Press ok.
Now when you will see your partition or hard drive with a letter next to it. Now it will be ready to use. It will show up in my computer as a drive to store files on. See screenshot below.
Here is my newly labeled partition with its new drive letter showing up in my computer.
Notes on assigning a drive letter to a new volume:
- The same applies for a newly installed hard drive and a new partition. They both have to be labeled or assigned a drive letter for them to work in Windows.
- You can also change the drive letter of a hard drive or partition but it is only worth changing if it is new. If you have already got files or programs on the volume then it might confuse your computer if you change drive letters. Delete, merge, create, and rename a hard drive partition without formatting Windows