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I have a desktop PC which I use to play videos and movies on my TV, as well as play music. Storage is an issue so I have the following Icy Dock hard drive cage installed which allows me to swap in multiple drives.

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Is there an easy way to keep track of what files are on all my removable hard drives with out actually swapping them in and out? Also is there anyway to ensure that each drive always has the same drive letter so that the paths to the files are always the same? I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For cataloging your disks I recommend the free Gentibus CD.
It works very well and has a good and quick search function (that you can see in the image below):


For keeping drive letters I recommend the free USBDLM:

USBDLM is a Windows service that gives control over Window's drive letter assignment for USB drives. Running as service makes it independent of the logged on user's privileges, so there is no need to give the users the privilege to change drive letters.

Basically, one puts a small text file on the root directory of the disk, which dictates the drive-letter to use for this disk.

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Does USBDLM work for SATA disks as well? – aireq Jun 25 '10 at 9:02
@aireq: AFAIK it works for all removable drives. – harrymc Jun 25 '10 at 10:10
Nice proggy harrymc, thanks! – Moab Jun 29 '10 at 20:33

A simple way would be to do

dir [drive:] /b /s > [drive]-contents.txt

"/b" - bare format - no heading or summary
"/s" - recurses down all sub directories

This will produce a raw list of the contents of all folders you can then search that using Notepad (or other plain text editor). Store this file on your permanent hard drive and refer to it when you need to find something.

This does list folders as well so won't be very readable.

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