How can I change the label name that Windows Explorer displays for a removable drive in Windows 2000 or later?

A. In the FAQ titled "How can I change the icon for drive letters?", I explained how to modify the icons for drives that appear in Windows Explorer. To change the description that appears for removable drives when no media is present in the drive, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, Key, then enter the name DriveIcons.
  4. Select the new key; from the Edit menu, select New, Key; then enter the drive name (e.g., B).
  5. Select the created key; from the Edit menu, select New, Key; then enter the name DefaultLabel.
  6. Navigate to DefaultLabel, then double-click the (default) value.
  7. Enter the text you want to appear for the drive, then click OK.
  8. Close the registry editor.
  9. Restart the computer for the change to take effect.

The figure below shows an example label for the B drive with and without media present in the drive. Notice at the top of the figure that the B drive is labeled ZIP250 Drive but the disk label changes to DATA when I insert a disk, as shown at the bottom of the figure.

Click here to view image

The registry file that I created for this example is

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



@="ZIP250 Drive"

You can use this registry setting only on removable media drives. If you attempt to change the label for a fixed drive (e.g., the C drive), the new setting won't have any effect because the physical drive has a volume label in the registry that overrides the disk label setting.

TAGS: Windows 8
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