How to Mount USB Drives in Windows XP

by James Dalton

Microsoft Windows XP mounts external USB drives automatically. When the drive is connected to a USB port and powered on, Windows detects the drive and assigns it the next available drive letter. It is possible to manually mount the drive to a folder on another drive, or assign a different drive letter. The contents of the drive appear when the folder or drive letter mount point is clicked. The contents of the drive can be accessed and modified in multiple locations. Use the Windows XP DISKPART command line utility to manually mount USB drives.

Step 1

Connect the USB drive to the computer.

Step 2

Click the "Start" button, "All Programs," "Accessories," then "Command Prompt."

Step 3

Type "diskpart" then press Enter.

Step 4

Type "list volume" then press Enter. Note the volume number of the USB drive in the list. The entry in the "LTR" column is the same as the letter assigned to the drive by Windows.

Step 5

Type "select volume <#>," where "<#>" is the volume number of the USB drive, then press Enter.

Step 6

Type "assign letter=" and then press Enter to mount the drive to a different drive letter. Replace "" with an available drive letter.

Type "assign mount=" and then press Enter to mount the drive to a folder. Replace "" with an existing path on another drive. For example, "assign mount=c:\usbdrive" mounts the drive to the c:\usbdrive folder, so that the USB drive's contents appear when that folder is opened.


  • Un-mount the drive using the "remove mount=" or "remove letter=" command, where or is the previously specified mount point. USB flash drives cannot be accessed or mounted using DISKPART. Enclose the folder path in quotation marks if it contains a space. The mount point folder must exist before the command is executed, or an error will appear.


  • Exercise extreme caution with this procedure. Using DISKPART incorrectly can cause permanent data loss or make the system unbootable. Ensure that all important data is backed up before proceeding.

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