I'm using a WD Passport external hard drive with my notebook, and have a folder on this drive I need to share on my Windows network.

Occasionally, when the drive is not plugged in, Windows appears to lose the shares, and I have to go in and share again after it's plugged in again.

Does anyone have a good way to avoid losing the shares?


  • Vista Home Premium, SP2
  • WD MyPassport USB-powered portable hard drive

Well, here's what I arrived at (the long way round):

  1. Mount the drive to a shared NTFS directory - in this case


  2. Assign a drive to the folder. SUBST would do it, but I prefer via the Registry:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\DOS Devices]

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The base of the problem is that Windows remaps drives on reconnections.

To make certain that the drive always uses the same drive letter or path, I use USB Drive Letter Manager (freeware) to ensure that when a drive is connected, it always maps the same way.

From there, you can either:

  1. Manually share the drive after you reconnect it;
  2. Run a cron job in the background to continually check for the drive, and share it; or
  3. Use the Windows autoconnect service to share it when the drive is attached.
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Try to assign permanent drive letter to Hard Disk. From Control Panel click on Administrative Tools then Computer Management. In Disk Management right click on the drive, then click "Change Drive Letter". Choose one drive letter and click ok. Now you have to try if it works.

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  • Thanks, but sorry - that is what I was doing... – Brent.Longborough Mar 13 '10 at 17:12

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