If you are like me, over the years you would have accumulated a large number of files.

I had run out of disk space on my desktop long ago and rather than install an internal drive, I opted for an external USB driven disk of 3TB size.

Disk space is cheap now as compared to before. My first HD was a 20 MB drive for $650. I can buy a complete computer now for that amount and have some change over.

Anyway I have a large number of media files on this external drive - Movies, TV shows, Songs, Tutorial videos etc.

I also have a media player hooked into my TV  and wired into my WiFi router. This way I can access the data from anywhere on the house, even from my iPhone and iPad and other computers. So I created a number of shares on this external disk and the sharing/streaming began...till I rebooted the desktop.

Then all the shares disappeared and I had to re share all the folders. This, I noticed, happened every time I rebooted, and this was extremely frustrating to have to re-share every time I re-booted.

Did a search on Google and found this solution that actually works. I now have persistent shares for my external drive that survives a reboot.

Here is the method I used.

1. Open Windows Explorer and on your C drive create a new folder - e.g. c:\3tbUSB

2. Still in Explorer, Rt. click on My Computer and select "Manage"

3.In the Computer Management Console that now opens , select Disk Management on the left as shown below, and the drives connected to your computer, including external drives will be shown on the right.

4. Select the external drive on the right, Rt. click and select "Change Drive Letter and paths"

5.In the window that opens, click the "Add" button and select  :

"Assign the following drive letter" option and select a free drive letter. I selected H: and click OK to save that option. This means that every time you reboot, this particular drive will always be assigned the drive letter H:

6. Click the "Add" button again and now the "Assign the following drive letter" option is disabled (because you already assigned a permanent drive letter in step 5 above). Now another option is already selected as shown below:

7. Click the "Browse" button and navigate to the folder you created in step 1 and select it. Click OK to save this selection. Your "Change Drive Letter and Paths..." window will now look similar to this, with the permanent drive letter and the selected Mounted folder shown as below. Your settings may be different depending on the drive letter assigned and the folder selected.

8. Click OK to close this dialog and you can now close the Computer Management window as we are done with it.

9. In Explorer, navigate to that empty folder you created earlier and open it. It is no longer empty and displays ALL the files from your external drive in that folder.

9. You can now read/write to any files in this folder and the files being accessed will be those on the external drive.

10. Now is the time to share the folders. First delete any shares you already created on the external drive - H:\ in my case.

11. Next,  navigate to that folder you created in step 1 and browse through the folders/files in that folder and share them as needed.

In my case I made the shares NOT in H:\ but in the C:\3tbUSB folder as shown below.

That is it. Now all the shares created for the mounted external drive will survive a reboot. Happy Days. Back to streaming...

Remember that you must create the shares on the folders that appear on your "mounted" drive in the new folder you created and not on the actual drive itself.


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