I found a great tip in PC Plus this month (April 2009 edition) in an article about Registry hacks that allows you to give meaningful names to your removable drives in Windows; (UPDATED 10 January 2010) I’ve tried it with both Windows XP and Windows 7, so on those grounds I would imagine that it should also work with Windows Vista.
I’ve got a SanDisk multi-card reader attached to my PC via USB, and by default it displays four Removable Disk icons in My Computer with the generic label “Removable Disk (X:)” where X is the letter assigned to the drive.
The problem is that I can never remember which drive is which. Is Q: for SD cards? Which drive is assigned to Compact Flash cards?
This Registry hack allows you to customize the label.
- Make sure you create a System Restore point before you start, just in case!
- Start RegEdit (Start > Run…, type regedit, click OK)
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
- Within the Explorer key create a new key called
- Within that create a new key with the drive letter you want to customize, e.g. Q
- Within that create a new key called DefaultLabel
- Double-click this key’s (Default) value entry and give it the name you want, e.g. Compact Flash, and click OK
- Refresh your Explorer window to see the change.
- Repeat for as many removable drives as you need to customize.
Now that’s much easier.
Of course, if you don’t fancy poking around in the Windows Registry you can create a plain text file in Notepad (or another plain text editor) and create the settings there. An example file is below.
Simply change the letters of the DriveIcons and the @ values.
Then save the file as driveicons.reg, and double-click it to merge the values into the Registry.
Then remember to press F5 to refresh your Explorer window to see the changes.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\Q] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\Q\DefaultLabel] @="Compact Flash" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\R] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\R\DefaultLabel] @="xD Picture Card" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\S] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\S\DefaultLabel] @="Secure Digital" [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\T] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\T\DefaultLabel] @="Sony Memory Stick"