Lightroom: External Drive Frustration

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Windows 7 users frustrated with changing drive letters when using external drives. How can we PERMANENTLY assign a drive letter that will stay with that drive that Lightroom will identify with? I understand how to change the drive letter, but cannot get it to stick. Can this be fixed with Lightroom 4. Please work with Microsoft and come up with a joint solution that will once and for all resolve this issue in Lightroom 4.
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Steve Merritt

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Posted 8 years ago

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Steve Merritt

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Lightroom 3 and Windows 7 are not working well together when it comes to having a fixed drive letter with an external drive - changing drive letters which results in the dreaded (?). I know how to change drive letters, but they do not stick. Of the 4 people I know who have windows 7 and Lightroom 100% have the same problem. This needs to be fixed as it is not a user friendly experience. If Adobe has to call Microsoft to fix this problem then make the call and work it out.
Will this be corrected in Lightroom 4?
What can be done now?
If 4 out of 4 people (100%) that i know are having the same problem then statistically the number of users using external drives are experienceing the same frustration. I think the problem would be serious enough that Adobe would put together a task team and solve it.
Thank you.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
External Drive Frustration.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Lightroom cannot influence in anyway the drive letter that the OS assigns to a drive that is plugged into the system.
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Ben Zibble, Lightroom Engineer

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Official Response
You can usually use Disk Manager to assign a specific letter to a drive yourself. If it doesn't stick after rebooting or reconnecting the drive it may indicate the device doesn't fully conform to the USB spec, which requires devices to report a unique serial number. Without that information the OS has no way of knowing that the same drive has been reconnected. If that's the case you could try renaming the drive that Windows is choosing to assign to devices.

Both approaches are described here:
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Steve Merritt

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Thanks Brett.
This is why the suggestion of Adobe working with Microsoft to make it happen was made. The number of users experiencing this problem is large and the frustration level is high.
I love the product and what Adobe is doing with the product, but there has to be a way to solve this or publish a workaround on how to marry external hard drives and have lightroom recognize this drive no matter how many times the drive is disconnected or what sequence the drive is reconnected to the computer.
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This is such a massive problem that it needs to stay at the top of Adobe's bug list. I have a client who has 2 identical Lacie TB drives, 15 other USB devices, a laptop and a docking station. Drive letters are always changing and its Lightroom's responsibility to keep track of these things. For example if the drive letter changes and you remap the collection inside Lightroom but happen to have an identical drive that's also plugged in the computer, then Lightroom will place the collection online BUT change the path so it reads like its mapped to the wrong disk. (The identical disk now has the original collection disk drive letter). My clients go ape sh&t crazy when this happens and it's hard to blame them. Blacklist the companies that don't pass USB spec and paste their names all over the Lightroom website, sue, yell, scream, do what ever it takes to fix this bug. What's the point of Lightroom if it can't keep track of a person's collection?
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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This is not a bug.
This is not an Adobe issue.
It is a known behavior of a Windows environment.

Your client needs to take care to assign unique drive letters to all drives so that one doesn't occupy the slot of a Lightroom expected drive location. At any given time, I have 8-10 USB storage devices attached and have at least half a dozen that are attached intermittently. I never have this issue.

Adopt a strategy that keeps Lightroom Drives' in an upper range P, Q, R so that transient devices don't ever get into that range would help immensely.

Bottom line- this is an OS maintenance issue not an application issue. If you take 20 minutes and set things up properly you, and your clients won't see this happening.