No Drive Letter Appears when Hooking PiDrive to Win PC

When I try to hook the 314 PiDrive to my Win 8.1 PC in order to install the Raspbian Op Sys, I can not get the PC to give it a Drive Letter in order for the Win32 Disk Imager to find it.

Inside the Win Disk Management tool it shows up as Disk 1 (Basic 292.47 GB Online) and in the window to the right it shows 292.47 GB and Healthy (Primary Partition)

When I right click on the partition left panel and go to Properties, then Volumes, it tells me that the partition style is Master Boot Record


Are you able to right-click the partition and select “Change Drive Letters and Paths”?
Alternatively, if this is happening for all devices, you could try the following:

  1. Open a command prompt in administrator mode
  2. Type ‘diskpart’ to enter the DiskPart prompt
  3. Type ‘automount enable’

Let me know if this works, or if you need clarification!

Thank you for your help,

If I try to right click the ability to assign a Drive letter is greyed out in the pop-up window.

I have used several USB type drives, and a piece of manufacturing equipment, that all would instant show up with a drive letter automatically assigned to them. After I wrote this initial help request, I went over to try it on a Win 10 computer, but the behavior was identical: no drive letter gets assigned to the device.

I am at home now and when I go back to work I will try your suggestion.

I went back and re-read your instructions and saw your condition clause, and no, it isn’t happening for other USB devices, they automount just fine.

Apologies, I misunderstood the issue.
I think what’s happening is that this is a partition with a filesystem that Windows can’t recognize (e.g. ext4). Therefore, you can’t mount the existing partition with a drive letter.

If you’re okay with wiping the data on there (which should be okay if you’re installing a new OS), you should be able to do the following:

  1. Right-click the partition and hit “Delete Volume”
  2. Right-click the Unallocated space and hit “New Simple Volume”
  3. Follow the prompts and make sure a drive letter is assigned.

This will reformat the partition as NTFS (or whatever filesystem you chose), but that’s irrelevant because I believe Win32 Disk Imager will wipe it anyways when you re-image with Raspbian. The important thing is that it is able to access the disk at all via a drive letter.

I’ll talk with the rest of the team about reproducing this issue to make sure there’s no confusion in the future. Let me know if it still isn’t working!

Thanks for all your help.

I followed the instruction of deleting the volume, then recreating it and I was then able to assign a drive level. I think it went fairly smooth after that. I brought everything home and hooked up to my RPi and I am now running on the PiDrive.

I am curious as to why my PiDrive was configured differently OR responded differently versus the original instructions - have other customers had a similar experience?

I might be interested in the Pi drive, but am concerned about what file system it is formatted with.
Will the Raspberry recognize an NTFS formatted drive? Ernest seems to say it will, but I would like confirmation.

I am glad I got it to work, but it seems that I had to do a lot more steps in order to have a hard drive on a RPi versus previous work I have done installing hard drives in the Microsoft world. I wound up getting instructions from a variety of places in order to make it work. It would be nice if the all instructions were centralized to make the process more foolproof and less frustration. With the fragility of SD cards the PiDrive looks like a great way to go. I am on my 2nd Raspberry Pi, arrived yesterday, and this time I am going with the Raspberry Pi 7 with a touchscreen device and play with relays and the GPIO breakout board. My next adventure is to incorporate UPS into the power supply, and get another PiDrive going.

Hi Douglas_Moody,

The Raspberry Pi itself should be agnostic to filesystems, because it’s just hardware. It’s all up to what operating system you stick on it. That said, Raspbian (which is based on Debian Linux) should have NTFS support, I believe through the ntfs-3g driver. Anecdotally, I don’t recall having to install a separate driver to get my external drives working, but even otherwise it’s just a matter of installing what you need from the repository (if you are using Raspbian).

I checked this topic manually and discovered your reply, but I noticed that I did not receive a notification even though I have it set to “Watching”.