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Changing the drive letter.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by perseous, Feb 11, 2004.

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  1. perseous

    perseous Thread Starter

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    I just re-did a computer and put XP pro on it. It had a 10GB 5200 rpm drive as the C: drive and 1.5 GB of that was used for the D: drive. I took out that drive and added a 40GB 7200 drive to it. The 40GB is the master on the primary channel and the 10GB drive is the slave on the same channel. When the format and install was done on the new drive it had a drive letter of G: and the 10GB drive had a drive letter of C: and D: respectfully. This configuration caused severe problems. I removed the 10GB drive and rebooted the machine and the problem is now gone. But I still want to use the 10GB drive for paging and music storage and so forth and so on. But the problem with that is that when ever I add a new drive it automatically grabs the first available drive letter and this brings back the problem from before. Is there a way to change the drive letter on the system drive? I tried it through disk management utility and it told me that it can not change the drive letter of the system disk. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. sampson2269

    sampson2269

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    try downloading partition magic 8.0 it will let you change your drive letter.
     
  3. perseous

    perseous Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the tip but will this cause any damage to the system partition?
     
  4. LONGHAIR

    LONGHAIR

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    So when it boots with the second drive installed, it is booting to G ? and shows C & D as the storage drives?

    And when it boots w/o the slave, the Master is seen as C?
     
  5. KingElvis

    KingElvis

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    Boot up normally, save any data u need from the 10 GB on the 40 GB.

    Use fdisk to delete the partitions of the 10 GB and format the whole drive. That should get rid of that problem.
     
  6. perseous

    perseous Thread Starter

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    When it boots up with out the 10GB drive it still boots off of the G: drive. And yes it does use the C: and D: drives as storage, but trys to use them as the system partition as well.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    It is possible to change a system drive letter, however I would not recommend doing so. The reason is that any installed software will look for files that it wrote to the windows or windows/system32 folder in the path in which it was installed. IE G:\windows\windows\system32; if the path has changed, the app will not run.

    There is a mskb article on how to change a system drive letter, I cannot access it now since I am on a trip. You can do a search and find it.

    I would just do a clean install and solve the problem; since any software that has been installed will need to be reinstalled anyway.

    As to fdisk / formatting, why would anyone use fdisk [a win9x / dos utility] to delete / create partition in an nt based os? NT based os use disk management to delete / create / format drives and partitions.
     
  8. KingElvis

    KingElvis

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    "I removed the 10GB drive and rebooted the machine and the problem is now gone."

    "When it boots up with out the 10GB drive it still boots off of the G: drive."

    Kinda confusing.

    "As to fdisk / formatting, why would anyone use fdisk [a win9x / dos utility] to delete / create partition in an nt based os? NT based os use disk management to delete / create / format drives and partitions."

    Just to clarify on why I suggested this, I took from the first statement above that everything was fine without the 10GB Hd. Therefore it is the 10 GB Hd that is causing the problem and because this statement is true,

    "It is possible to change a system drive letter, however I would not recommend doing so. The reason is that any installed software will look for files that it wrote to the windows or windows/system32 folder in the path in which it was installed. IE G:\windows\windows\system32; if the path has changed, the app will not run."

    IMO, It is better to use fdisk/format to get rid of any remnants of OS on the 10 GB Hd since Windows is having trouble.
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You are missing the point. Fdisk has limitations in regard to ntfs; that is why you do not use dos / win9x utilities for nt based os. Fdisk cannot delete a logical ntfs drive; only a primary ntfs partition can be deleted with fdisk.

    If you like the command prompt rather than disk management's gui, boot into the recovery console. From the rc you can delete / format / create / format without the limitations of fdisk. In short there is no need for dos utilities in nt based os.
     
  10. KingElvis

    KingElvis

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    Alright point taken, well said..but...if the os' disk management is not functioning properly, he did in fact have both partitions as primary on the 10GB and before doing a fresh install as a last resort, could he try what I suggested and does it not make sense?

    Btw perseous have you resolved your issue and what did you do?
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    As long as the os loads, [and you are logged in as admin or an account with admin privileges] disk management will work. It can delete primary, logical, and extended partitions; both fat32, and ntfs.
     
  12. KingElvis

    KingElvis

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    I understand what you're saying about dm and I now agree that it is much better than fdisk / format, I guess I'm just used to doing it that way.

    Anyways with regards to this thread and perseous' problem where the os won't load properly, not assigning proper drive letter. It seems that it's booting of the 10Gb drive when it is installed.

    "I tried it through disk management utility and it told me that it can not change the drive letter of the system disk."

    I thought that fdisk / format the 10 Gb would solve this as disk management would not let you change any system drive's letter.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing with you anymore, I'm just clarifying for myself and maybe others as well. This is a good learning thread for me. :D
     
  13. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You can change a system drive letter as I posted, however it is somewhat involved and I do not recommend doing so becaused of the reason posted above. There really is nothing "Wrong" with having the system partition on the E or G or whatever drive; it does no harm. Here are the instructions for changing a system drive letter; as you can see it is an involved process. I would just do a clean install due to the fact that installed apps will most likely not run after this is done.

    Make a full system backup of the computer and system state.
    Log on as an Administrator.
    Start Regedt32.exe.
    Go to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    Click MountedDevices.
    On the Security menu, click Permissions.
    Verify that Administrators have full control. Change this back when you are finished with these steps.
    Quit Regedt32.exe, and then start Regedit.exe.
    Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
    Right-click \DosDevices\C:, and then click Rename.

    Note You must use Regedit instead of Regedt32 to rename this registry key.
    Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:".

    This frees up drive letter C.
    Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
    Right-click \DosDevices\D:, and then click Rename.
    Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
    Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".
    Quit Regedit, and then start Regedt32.
    Change the permissions back to the previous setting for Administrators (this should probably be Read Only).
    Restart the computer.
     
  14. KingElvis

    KingElvis

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    Well thanks for that crjdriver. That does look very involved. A fresh install would definitely be better.

    Perseous i hope you got your problem resolved.
     
  15. perseous

    perseous Thread Starter

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    Thank you all for all the advice that you have given me. But I think what I will do is just reinstall the drive the 10GB that is and just change the drive letter of that drive to H: and that should fix it. That way the first drive letter will be G: which is the new 40GB and then H: which is the 10GB drive. But I am going to print this thread for future reference. Thank you again.
     
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