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A friend's Windows 7 laptop no longer allows access to the 'D:' Drive. The partition is still there, and contains his data. Booting with Knoppix we were able to mount the partition and access all files!

How can I tell Windows 7 to 'mount' the partition as 'D:' (or any other drive name)?

The Windows XP method of using Hard Disk Maintenance doesn't seem to exist any more. (see Mokubai's answer, his description of how to get to 'diskmgmt.msc' is what I meant.

The option to assign/change a drive name or path is 'active' for the 'C:' drive, but only a 'help' label shows for the 'D:' partition. There is also no mention of the name / structure (Data/NTFS) for drive 'D:'.

Do I need to rebuild the partition table?

The second part (why backup/restore didn't 'work') of the problem is described here: How to preserve diacritics when cross-mounting drives to Windows7 and Linux

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Note that, strictly speaking, assigning a drive letter (which is done via a symbolic link under \DosDevices) isn't mounting. By the time that Windows NT gets to assigning a drive letter, it has usually already mounted the volume. Your problem may not even have anything to do with drive letters. You haven't provided nearly enough information for other people to know what your symptoms actually are. – JdeBP Sep 4 '11 at 17:26
JdeBP: good point, I'll edit – lexu Sep 5 '11 at 5:21
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Click the Start Menu, Right-click Computer then select Manage

In the window that shows up click on Disk Management (under the Storage tree)

In there you should be able to find the disk and partition, right click the partition and select Change Drive Letters and Paths where you will be able to assign a drive letter to the partition.


As you can see the drive in Linux but not in Windows I would hazard a guess that something near the start of that partition has been corrupted and Windows no longer recognises the drive as NTFS, while the Linux NTFS supports is more "fast and loose" about handling corrupt drives.

I would if possible recommend that you fire up the Knoppix CD again, use it to copy all the data you can to an external USB drive or DVD writer (if knoppix supports it) then delete the partition, within Linux. I would then recreate the partition (using the Windows disk management console) and copy all the data back.

It would be the safest way as you may be able to repair the drive somehow in Windows but you do not know what other corruption has occurred that may cause problems in future, recreating the partition is the safest way for Windows to be able to deal with the drive properly.

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I've already used KNOPIX to copy the data to a backup drive, unfortunately this messed up the file names, since there are lot's of umlauts and accents in the file names of a Swiss musik collection, I still hope to be able to avoid the renaming orgie.. But that is a different question I'll ask separately. – lexu Sep 5 '11 at 5:19

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