Hit a really weird problem today and I knew was related to some repartioning I did to my laptop.

I was going through my external hard drives, looking for one with space to backup my laptop.

I plugged the first one in and it never mounted a drive.

But I could safely unmount it from the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” tray icon. But no disk appeared mounted.

I right clicked on My Computer and said “Manage.” Under disk management, a hard drive was listed but no drive letter was assigned. And I couldn’t do much to it.

I mumbled: This is not how I want to spend my free Saturday time. And I walked away.

Every one of my external drives acted the same way. The only big difference from the last time I had used the drives: I had repartioned my laptop’s hard disk to have a new partition for Windows 8.

Eventually, within the disk management console I right-clicked on the drive and assigned it a letter. This is where I realized that they all probably used to be E: and now E: was my new Windows 8 partition, and for some reason Windows 7 didn’t auto-assign it a new drive letter. Now it’s F: and I had to go through each drive and manually mount with the new drive letter (maybe I should have chosen M: or something further down the line) and then move on to the next drive. When replugged back in, the drive is mounted as F:

And of course it ends up that none of them have enough space to backup my computer. At least I didn’t burn all of my Saturday’s free time on the mystery. I hope this might help the next random person save some time.