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Changing Drive letter of System Drive

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Changing Drive letter of System Drive

Postby SA on Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:16 pm

ANyone know of a good way to change the drive letter of the system drive. It is currently H (Don't ask why) and many software installers will only intsall to a C drive. I was think about trying Partition Magic but I'm afraid it'll really screw everything up to change the system drive letter. Any Advice ?
Intel P4, 2.4Ghz
MSI NE0 865PE
1GB RAM
Memorex 52X CD-RW
NEC 3500A DVD-RW
Hitachi 160GB SATA
Maxtor 80GB in USB enclosure
ATI 9600 AIW
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Postby CowboySlim on Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:54 pm

What operating system do you have?

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Postby SA on Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:15 pm

XP Pro
Intel P4, 2.4Ghz
MSI NE0 865PE
1GB RAM
Memorex 52X CD-RW
NEC 3500A DVD-RW
Hitachi 160GB SATA
Maxtor 80GB in USB enclosure
ATI 9600 AIW
SA
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:16 pm
Location: Iowa

Postby CowboySlim on Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:10 pm

Ok, after backing up an image of your system drive, you might try this.

1. Put your Windows XP Pro CD in and reboot.
2. On restart, get into BIOS and set boot priority to the drive with the CD with lower priority to the hard drive.
3. When it says hit a key to boot from CD, do that.
4. It will say something about the Repair or Recovery Console, Console is key word, decline and go on.
5. The next screen, or the one after that, will say something like it detected a present operating system and do you want a "fresh install" over that, or REPAIR it.
6. Choose "repair" and let it go - don't do anything until it is all done, really done and take the CD out. It will look like it is going through a fresh install, but all your files and settings will be restored. If you are lucky, it will show up as "C:" drive; if not, all should(?) be the same as before.

If that doesn't work, I have more desperate measures.

You have Partition Magic, we may need that later. Norton Ghost, Drive Image or Nero BackitUp are good for image back up.

A second hard drive would be good to put the back up images on, or they can be burned out to CDs or DVDs.

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Postby SA on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:46 pm

I haven't tried your protocol yet, but that's kind of how I got into trouble the first time. I wasn't paying attention when I loaded XP and it detected every freakin card reader slot as a higher letter drive. Then it installed on the H drive.

I have both Ghost both Partition magic. And the PC has two SATA drives in a Matrix RAID Array. The system partition (H) is striped and the second partion is mirrored. I also have a 36GB SCSI in the case.

I believe Partition Magic will let me rename the drive letter, but will that really jack up the registry, page file, and other OS processes ?

Shane
Intel P4, 2.4Ghz
MSI NE0 865PE
1GB RAM
Memorex 52X CD-RW
NEC 3500A DVD-RW
Hitachi 160GB SATA
Maxtor 80GB in USB enclosure
ATI 9600 AIW
SA
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:16 pm
Location: Iowa

Postby CowboySlim on Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:03 am

Well Shane, that was going to be the second part and maybe part of the first. Supposedly that repair function will also repair the registry and hope fully correct all the registry references from H: to C:.

So if you used Ghost to back up an image of H: to both the other hard drive and CD/DVDs you should be safe and get back to where you are now, if all does not go well.

PM will reassign drive letters, but not to the active drive. You might make the floppies from PM that boot into DOS and then try to reassign the drive letter. Or, boot those floppies and then clean out the drive, reformatting does it, and then the drive letter should go to C:.

Then pull all PCI cards as possible and any other drives but a CD Reader and the hard drive that you want to be C: and the hard drive that has the image. Boot up with the Ghost CD or floppies made from Ghost, if possible, and restore the image. If you have the Ghost floppies, you wouldn't need the other hard drive connected, as the floppies should restore the image from the CDs/DVDs, if you want. If you have the other hard drive with the image connected, go to BIOS and make it the lower boot prioity. I think that the installers always want to make the first priority hard drive the C: drive.

Now when that is all done, it may not boot because the registry is all screwed, so then go back to my first stuff. Try to repair with the Windows CD to see if that fixes the registry references.

If that doesn't do it......................

Do the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in two steps, Files and the Settings seperately, to the other hard drive. Detach everthing that you can but the one hard drive and reader. If you have onboard audio and or video pull those cards and enable the onboard in BIOS. Then fresh install of Windows. Put the cards back in one at a time between reboots (disabling onboard in BIOS), then the other hard drive with Files, make a restore point and/or Ghost image, transfer files back in, restore point and/or image, then Settings which could still have the H: stuff, if so, you'll have to re-settings manually. Then you will have to reload apps and utilities, but you should have all your data, documents and files. After the bringing the Settings back in the shortcuts may be screwed up but something like Norton utilities and its reg fixer should fix those.

Good luck!

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Postby SA on Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:44 am

Thanks Cowboy. I'll think I'll try the Repair protocol, and if that doesn't work. It's probably less work to reinstall everything. The machine is only two months old, so there's not a huge amount to reinstall. But it'll still take about 2 - 3hours to get everything updated again.
Intel P4, 2.4Ghz
MSI NE0 865PE
1GB RAM
Memorex 52X CD-RW
NEC 3500A DVD-RW
Hitachi 160GB SATA
Maxtor 80GB in USB enclosure
ATI 9600 AIW
SA
Buffer Underrun
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:16 pm
Location: Iowa

Postby CowboySlim on Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:56 am

Oh, another thing that you can try after the repair, if it boots into Windows:

Incrementally test your apps. If they don't run because they can't be found due to shortcuts and the registry having H:\............ references still hanging around, try uninstalling and then re-installing them. That should establish C:\Program Files\................ type references.

Keep us informed, regardless.

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