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How Drive Letters are Assigned by Windows

This article applies to (but is not limited to) the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 95/98/Me
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.x
  • Windows 10

Windows assigns drive letters, starting with C, in the following sequence:

  1. The active primary partition on HD0.

  2. The active primary partition (or first primary partition if no active partition) of each other hard drive.

  3. All logical partitions (volumes), starting with HD0.

  4. Any remaining primary partitions, starting with HD0.

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