SOLVED Windows 10 will not assign a drive letter when connecting a USB Drive or release when disconnecting


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Nov 28, 2018
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Hi,

I have a very strange problem. I just purchased a new Western Digital My Passport 2 TB USB drive. I have formatted the drive in Fat32 (Required for my device).

  1. When I connect the drive the Disk Management application sees the drive but no Driver letter is assigned.
  2. Disk Management reports the drive as a Healthy Active Primary partition.
  3. I right click on the drive and assign a drive letter which works as expected. I can now access the drive via file explorer and read and write files.
  4. If I disconnect the drive, the drive letter remains visible in explorer and changes to "Local Disk"
  5. If I reconnect the drive once again a drive letter is not assigned (original drive letter remains listed as "Local Disk" and is inaccessible).
  6. I can reassign another drive letter as I did in step 3 above and the issue repeats over and over. Of course each time I have less and less drive letters available to me since the assigned letters never release.
  7. In order to reclaim the drive letters I have to reboot (after disabling fast startup in power options, so hardware is re-initialized during reboot). Once reboot is complete all the "Local Disks" created during this process are removed and the drive letters are once again available for assignment.
  8. This process repeats over and over
Other Observations:
  1. I have another 4TB Western Digital My Passport Ultra drive (formatted in Fat32), that does NOT exhibit this behavior. It works normally
  2. The problematic drive works fine when connecting to my Mac.
  3. All other USB drives and sticks I own do NOT exhibit this behavior.
  4. I confirmed in Diskpart that Automatic mounting of new volumes is enabled
  5. I contacted Western Digital and after working with them for a while their assessment was since the drive works when a drive letter is manually assigned and works fine in a Mac they suspect this is an issue with Windows 10.
  6. As a test I also reformatted the drive using NTFS and the issue still happens
Any assistance is appreciated
 

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Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
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This was resolved by disconnecting the drive, uninstalling my USB drivers. Rebooting with fast startup disabled. After reboot connecting the drive resulted in the drive being auto-mounted (drive letter auto-assigned) and once disconnected the drive letter is released as expected.
 

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