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IDEA: automatic card reader drive letter assignment/removal

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 I used to have a toshiba laptop with a built in card reader (but i believe this is how most builtin card readers function) which would not show up until you inserted a card in the slot. With a single slot, especially on a laptop this isn't entirely useful, but I've searched all over for this functionality on a desktop media reader. I have bought 3-4 of them already (not just for this reason, for more reader types, speed, etc) and none of them do it. They all assign a drive letter continually.

 My current multi-reader has 4-5 drive letters assigned to it ALL the time. When you add this to the 8 or so hdds, dvd drive, virtual drives, network drives, etc... its a fustercluck to say the least *chuckle*. I only use my media reader once every couple months, and when i do, its usually for a single port. There is no reason I should give up 4-5 drive letters, and clutter my "my computer" with these unnecessary items.

 First, does any software exist that would remove the drive letters from selected usb drives (wouldn't want this for usb stick / removable hdd) and mount it (yes, i know, not really a windows term) whenever there was a disk inserted? If not, would anyone be interested in coding this?

 One possible way (though i would prefer a better way if anyone knows one) would be to mount each of the drives to a directory thats out of the way. Then have some application scan each directory and mount it to a drive letter if its got something in it. This is not a preferred method, since this would require the card to have at least one file on it. So the card would not work directly out of the packaging when purchased.

you're looking this: USB drive letter manager. :)

Card Readers

The typical 20-in-1 card reader eats one drive letter for each of its slots - if we have a card for or not. USBDLM can remove the reader's drive letter until a media is inserted. This does not work under Windows 2000.

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THANK YOU (sorry for caps) I cant tell you how much I have been looking for this thing.

Ironicly, i think I've seen that page before, it looked familiar. In any case, this is EXACTLY what i wanted. I tried it a couple times, and it is quick enough to assign the drive letter, that autoplay (the stripped down autoplay that windows does for usb drives) runs perfectly, and says the right drive letter. also when ejecting it disappears nearly instantly.

thank you so much for this link, even better that its freeware... i might just donate the 12 dollars he wants for business use :)

This is built into Windows.

Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools >  Computer Management > Storage > Disk Managment

Right-click on the unwanted disk and select Change drive letter and paths...
IDEA: automatic card reader drive letter assignment/removal

Then click the Remove button.
IDEA: automatic card reader drive letter assignment/removal

This should be a lot easier and obvious, because everybody's got those zillion-in-one card readers but only ever use the SD slot, and having all those useless drives in explorer makes it harder to use.

Edit: as noted in the page linked above, you do need to do this again for every device. For a card reader device that's just once, but for thumb drives you'd have to do it for each drive.

Thank you CWuestefeld, I knew of that option too. Unfortunately, while I dont use the device itself often, and i DO use SD more than the others, i DO use atleast 3 of the 4 ports. I use the SD slot for most things, the XD slot for my older fuji camera, and the CF slot for programming my m0n0wall router that boots from a CF>IDE drive for silence.

Also, even if the SD card was the only one you need, this way works better, because your STILL not taking up one drive letter for 3 months while you dont need it. You may still want to try this program out, because it DOES take away the letters until the exact second you need them. you can even assign default drive letters if you have any particular favorites :)


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