9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2014 1:50 PM by Tomster2

    Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters


      Working in Windows 7 Pro x64 and Adobe Lightroom


      I have a user that has multiple external USB drives... At times he actually runs out of drive letters.


      We have used "computer management" to assign fixed drive letters at the end of the alphabet for the most frequently used devices... and recently assigned two of the USB drives to "A" and "B". This has worked fine in Windows Explorer. They show up and he can cut and paste, save, etc successfully.


      However, he is also using Adobe Lightroom, and when he selects "view devices" he can only see C and higher. Any idea why this would be so and if there is a workaround?


      Thanks for any suggestions.

        • 1. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
          dj_paige Level 10

          As far as I know, there is no workaround, Lightroom cannot use drives with letter A and B.


          I have never tried using two different physical drives with the same letter, for example, unplugging the S: drive and then plugging in a different drive and forcing it to be S:, but I suspect Lightroom would work, it would just label some photos with an exclamation mark (LR 5) or question mark (LR4 and earlier) as not being found (easily fixed by plugging in the original S: drive). As I said, I never tried it, but its an easy experiment for you.


          You could also get bigger drives so you don't need so many of them.

          • 2. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
            Tomster2 Level 1

            Bummer.  The user likes to compartmentalize his projects on different USB drives.  I know, I know... but that is the way he wants to work.


            Using the same drive letter for two drives does not help as he wants them all accessible.


            Right now he has an internal card reader that takes up about six letters.  I was hoping to avoid having him remove it... but that may be our next step.


            Thanks for the reply.


            If anyone has any other ideas please chime in.



            • 3. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
              hsbn Level 3

              You can use Mount Point instead drive letters.

              For example, you can create a folder in C drive and name it "External HDD", then create a bunch of sub folders named HDD1, HDD2, HDD3 etc... Then assign each of them to a corresponding external HDD of your choice. Now the external drive become a "folder" on drive C and Lightroom or any other program can see it just fine. This way, you won't have to worry about running out of Drive letter. Now the external HDD1 directory will be "C:\External HD\HDD1"

              • 4. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                Did you not see my reply to your message in the feedback forum? Can LIGHTROOM on Windows recognize a USB drive mapped as A or B? It links to a very simple solution...

                • 5. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                  Tomster2 Level 1

                  No I did not.


                  Thank you for pointing me there.  I have to connect remotely to try that... user shut down at the moment.


                  Will have to try that, or the mounting option.


                  Thanks John.

                  • 6. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                    johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                    For others reading this thread in the future, the simple solution discovered by Ron White is to click Select A Source in the upper-left corner of the Import window and then navigate to the A or B drive.

                    • 7. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                      Tomster2 Level 1



                      I was able to access the machine again. We are working with Lightroom 5.6.


                      I followed the steps in the thread you pointed me to. In the import window I clicked on the arrow to the right of the source... and selected other source.

                      I selected the USB drive assigned "A" and selected one folder.  I returned to the program. I then selected other source again... but the item "Recent" was grayed out... no choice could be made. This doesn't seem right.


                      Then in reference to your post 6 Re: Use of A and B as drive letters, I want to make sure we are seeing the same thing.  My user was hoping that he would be able to see the entire set of folders and subfolders displayed in Adobe, as they are for drives C and higher in the alphabet.


                      But there does not seem to be a way to do that.  You can "select other source" and drill down to a specific folder and import only that content.  If you want to see something else on the "A: drive, you have to drill down all over again. Is that as good as it gets until Adobe ever decides to fix this?

                      • 8. Re: Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                        johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                        On my LR 5.6 / Windows 8.1, the B: drive (or any folder, in general) doesn't appear in the Recent list until you actually import at least one pic from there into the catalog:

                        Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 12.36.49 PM.png

                        But as you allude, when you select B: from the Recent list, you'll be selecting the root folder of B: and you won't get a chance to navigate to subfolders.  The most you can do is to select Include Subfolders to see all the pics on the drive.    This is adequate for many use cases, e.g. importing pics from memory cards inserted into a card reader.  But if you want the ability to browse subfolders, I think you'll need to drill down from "Other..." again.  


                        Based on experience over the last several years, I think it is unlikely that Adobe will ever fix this.  In the last several years they have made very few changes to the Library features, and of the changes they have made, almost all are either bug fixes or introducing new features -- they've made very few changes to correctly operating but inconvenient features.


                        A couple more options:


                        - You can create a network share on the B: drive and then add that network volume to LR's source list by clicking on the "+" to the right of Source:

                        Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 1.06.45 PM.png

                        Now the B: drive will permanently show up as a browseable network share in the Source list:

                        Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 1.06.29 PM.png

                        - You can mount the USB drive to a mount point on the C: drive, e.g. C:\SANDISK64GB (see my first reply in this thread for how to do that).  But it appears that you need to create a separate mount point for each different drive that might be connected, so this approach may not work if you're frequently re-connecting lots of drives.


                        Hope these help.

                        • 9. Re: Use of "A" and "B" as drive letters
                          Tomster2 Level 1



                          Thanks for the detailed replies to this thread.  Much appreciated.


                          We assigned A and B to the two USB drives the user accesses the most... because we needed to maximize the letters we had, and if you access something frequently, the top of the alphabet makes the most sense.


                          We are going to juggle the drive letter designations.. and move the two drives at A and B to Y and Z.


                          We could mount the drives as folders, but I think that would be hard for the user to understand and takes him to drive management which is not the safest place for a user to be.


                          Thanks again.... and thanks to others who have contributed to this and the other threads on this topic.