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Releasing drive letter that gets assigned when opening a backup on client machine to restore files

    Question

  • I would like to know if there is a way to free up the drive letter (typically Z:) that is used by WHS after opening a backup to restore individual files on the client machine.  I have only been able to reclaim the drive letter by restarting my computer.  Is there another way?

    Thanks for your time.
    -Jeff
    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:48 AM

All replies

  • I would like to know if there is a way to free up the drive letter (typically Z:) that is used by WHS after opening a backup to restore individual files on the client machine.  I have only been able to reclaim the drive letter by restarting my computer.  Is there another way?

    Thanks for your time.
    -Jeff

    It should automatically release the drive lettter once you close the backup.
    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 3:02 AM
  • I would like to know if there is a way to free up the drive letter (typically Z:) that is used by WHS after opening a backup to restore individual files on the client machine.  I have only been able to reclaim the drive letter by restarting my computer.  Is there another way?

    Thanks for your time.
    -Jeff

    It should automatically release the drive lettter once you close the backup.

    Thank you for the quick response.  However, the drive letter does not get released when I close the backup.  Since I've been running WHS (well over a year now), I've never seen it do so.  I've seen consistent behavior across Windows XP Pro, Vista Home Premium 32-bit, and Windows 7 64-bit client machines.  In every scenario, the Z: drive letter remains occupied by the backup until I reboot the client machine that opened the backup.  I am running the latest version of WHS with Power Pack 2 and all latest updates.
    • Edited by Daboodah Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:21 AM Added WHS version info
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 1:18 AM
  • Hi,
    I also have not seen that behavior before - as soon as I close the Explorer window for Z:, the drive letter disappears.
    Do the machines have some stuff they share (like the same security suite)?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:35 AM
  • Hi,
    I also have not seen that behavior before - as soon as I close the Explorer window for Z:, the drive letter disappears.
    Do the machines have some stuff they share (like the same security suite)?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    The Z drive letter disappears, however the drive letter will remain reserved until next boot. If you mount another backup this will get another drive letter, generally Y. If you go into compmgmt.msc, defrag you will see the drives listed. Also if you go into device management, storage volumes you will see a generic volume for each consecutive backup mounted. If you reboot these disappear. AFAIK there's no way to remove / change the reservations without reboot since the disks do no appear in diskmgmt.msc (at least that's what I remember)

    EDIT: Removing (uninstall) the generic volumes from device management console releases drive letters. You will get message you need to reboot, however that's not necessary. If the device is still in the list after removing you may need to log off/log on.
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 10:26 AM
  • I also have not seen that behavior before - as soon as I close the Explorer window for Z:, the drive letter disappears.
    Do the machines have some stuff they share (like the same security suite)?

    The Z drive letter disappears, however the drive letter will remain reserved until next boot. If you mount another backup this will get another drive letter, generally Y. If you go into compmgmt.msc, defrag you will see the drives listed. Also if you go into device management, storage volumes you will see a generic volume for each consecutive backup mounted. If you reboot these disappear. AFAIK there's no way to remove / change the reservations without reboot since the disks do no appear in diskmgmt.msc (at least that's what I remember)

    EDIT: Removing (uninstall) the generic volumes from device management console releases drive letters. You will get message you need to reboot, however that's not necessary. If the device is still in the list after removing you may need to log off/log on.

    I cannot spot such device in Windows 7 (and Z: looks to be gone), however I cannot mount another backup just now (but have not the PP3 Beta installed yet on that WHS).
    Rebooting now is not an option.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:46 AM
  • Thank you brubber and Olaf.  On both of my machines that I currently use (Vista Home Premium and Win7 64), the Z: drive letter doesn't even disappear (as brubber described).  I can close all open windows and apps, then open Windows Explorer and it still remains.  It really isn't a large annoyance, I was merely curious if there was some way to release it to avoid a reboot.  I appreciate you both taking time to provide your input.  I will try brubber's suggestion to use the device management console to remove the generic volumes.  If that works, I'll come back and mark that post as my answer.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:21 PM
  • Out of curiosity, why do you want to reclaim the drive letter? do you do so many single file restores that you run out? Do you have some other infrequently-attached device that must map to a particular drive letter, like Y:? Or do you never reboot?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:33 PM
  • Out of curiosity, why do you want to reclaim the drive letter? do you do so many single file restores that you run out? Do you have some other infrequently-attached device that must map to a particular drive letter, like Y:? Or do you never reboot?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    I simply don't reboot very often.  As I mentioned, it's not a significant annoyance for me...it has just been something I've always wondered about.
    Thursday, September 17, 2009 6:12 PM
  • I simply don't reboot very often.  As I mentioned, it's not a significant annoyance for me...it has just been something I've always wondered about.

    Simply log off / log on will also release the drive letter.
    Friday, September 18, 2009 8:51 AM