Changed Boot Drive Letter in Registry, Now XP Won’t Start

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TimmZiv

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Joined
Jan 3, 2006
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3
Hello. I have Windows XP Home Edition, SP2 on two separate bootable hard drives in my Dell XPS B1000r. I have my 80 GB “main” hard drive and a 40 GB “extra” hard drive. I mainly boot from my “main” 80 GB hard drive, and that’s the drive that won’t boot after I changed the drive letter.

I wanted to rename the Drive letters associated with each of these hard drives. I was able to change the “extra” hard drive using the Disk Management option. I was not able to change the letter of my “main” hard drive, because I booted from it. I used Regedit to change the boot drive letter, based on the Microsoft Help & Support article:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q223188

I renamed the “main” 80 GB drive from F: to C:. I then renamed the “extra” 40 GB drive from I: to D:.

This wasn’t a smart move on my part, because after I renamed the “main” bootable hard drive, Windows will not load on that drive. When I boot to my “main” drive, I get the Windows “Welcome” screen that hangs there for hours. When I force restart, I can boot onto the “extra” 40 GB hard drive, though.

Troubleshooting I tried:
I tried starting the main drive in “Safe Mode”, but it won’t load. I also tried starting the main drive with “Last Known Good Configuration”, but get the same “Welcome” screen and it won’t load any further.

I believe I need to get into my registry for the “main” drive. Can anyone help me to get back into the registry for this main drive so that I can change back my “DosDevices” to their original drive letters? I believe this will fix my problem.

I found the following Microsoft article that would probably help if I was using Windows 2000, but doesn't seem transferrable to XP Home:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/

Thanks all. I’m not usually this lame.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
1,429
put your xp cd in your drive,boot from it.enter the recovery consol by pressing R.
Log onto windows in the boot drive and type in "fixmbr" no "" in it.

Fixmbr

Repairs the master boot record of the boot disk. The fixmbr command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console

fixmbr [device_name]

Parameter

device_name

The device (drive) on which you want to write a new master boot record. The name can be obtained from the output of the map command. An example of a device name is:

\Device\HardDisk0.

Example

The following example writes a new master boot record to the device specified:

fixmbr \Device\HardDisk0
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,531
If this is the classic login issue, you can boot an MS-DOS floppy and type:

FDISK /MBR and the drive will forget what drive letter you assigned and the boot drive automagically gets C:
 

TimmZiv

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
3
Thanks! Excuse my ignorance, John - could I also boot into MS-DOS (I think I can do that from the "Set-Up" screen before windows loads, or by pressing F8 on start-up), and then type in FDISK /MBR.

If this didn't work, how could I boot from an MS-DOS floppy? I only have the XP Set-Up Disk.

I just wanted to clarify so that I don't "f" it up any more.

TZ
 
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