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Drive Letter Assignment -- Big Issue

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by WiseMan, Jan 16, 2005.

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  1. WiseMan

    WiseMan Thread Starter

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    Hi all. Cloned my main HD [C:] to my new hard drive, which was detected on my system as [F:]. All went well, except I encountered a small problem and did a Windows XP Repair Install.

    Now, my problem is, I removed the [C:] drive and booted from the [F:] drive as my main drive was failing. However, all of my programs are not working because of the fact the drive is [F:] and their roots still say the files are on [C:].

    So, I go into Disk Management and attempt to change the letter of F: to C:. However, Windows tells me "Windows cannot modify the drive letter of your system volume or boot volume."

    I need this drive to be C:. Anyone know how to bypass this at all???
     
  2. agpilot

    agpilot

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    Hi WiseMan: IF I explain my system it might help you sort it out??

    If XP asigns drive letters on a cold boot the same as Win 98 then that will be an automatic function starting with master of first IDE port as "C.".
    Then what ever is plugged in master location of second IDE port as "D." The next letter goes back to slave of first IDEport and then slave of 2ed IDE. The partitions of your drive would follow similar. I hope that came out clear.
    I have two physical HDD's and a CDRom drive. "C" is first partition of the HDD plugged into master of 1st IDE port. "D" is first partition of the second physical HDD plugged into the 2ed IDE port. Then letter is "E" which is second partition of first physical HDD plugged into 1st IDE master location. "F" is second partition of second physical HDD plugged into 2ed IDE master port.

    Last item is CDRom which I've plugged into slave location of second IDE port and the letter is "G."
    You might have a letter to your CDRom causing a problem..
    Did you move the new HDD into the removed failing-"C" location?
    Do you have same number of partitions?
    If one of the regular experts comes along then go by his help as I was just
    passing thru and decided to try and help... good luck. agpilot
     
  3. WiseMan

    WiseMan Thread Starter

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    I appreciate your post.

    Yes, I did that. I put the new harddrive, which has no partitions (same as the old one) the exact way the old HD was. I used the same (primary, black) plug on the cable, and set the jumper settings to master (or cable select, which should not matter). Even after that, it still booted up and was seen as F:
     
  4. WiseMan

    WiseMan Thread Starter

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    Someone told me I could "uninstall" the C: drive after booting from the clone, thus it would force my computer to rename my clone to C: after the reboot. Is this possible, and how would I go about doing this?
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Changing a system drive letter is an involved process. I have instructions as to how to do this, however I do not recommend doing this. You have found out one reason [apps will not run until reinstalled]

    I am going to guess that you used Norton ghost to do this. I have seen a number of problems using ghost. I just finished doing this task on one of my systems here at home. I used acronis true image to clone the disk. It does a perfect job; all partitions were copied and all drive letters were correct. I would do this over using true image. They have a trial version that you can download. I think the trial is a full function version. In any case, here are my instructions for changing a system drive letter. As you can see it is an involved process.


    Change the System/Boot Drive Letter
    WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

    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.
     
  6. WiseMan

    WiseMan Thread Starter

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    Hey there, and thanks a ton for your advice.

    I actually used Western Digital Lifeguard to do it. It includes a drive to drive clone.

    However, how can the program you talked about rename my drive as C: , when the current C: drive is active and running windows on it??
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    It clones one drive to another all drive letters, etc are copied. After you are finished, you shutdown and remove the old drive; replace it with the new drive. It takes only a few min to clone the drive [depending on how much stuff is on the disk. The one I did today took 5 min for about 15 gig of data.
     
  8. WiseMan

    WiseMan Thread Starter

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    Ok, lets scratch this idea. I just hooked up my new hard drive with the clone on it. I run into the log on log off problem, but I had found a solution for it on microsoft.com.

    However, an interesting fact, I went into the recovery console after booting from teh cd-rom with ONLY the new drive in there, and it told me to select which version of windows i want, and the only one to appear said C:/WINDOWS.

    So it is detected as C: . I just need a fix for the log on off problem, as microsoft.com's solution did nothing.

    I log on the splash screen by entering my username/password, then it says "Loading Personal Settings.."...then that is gone and the splash screen stays but is still loading because the color bar is still moving. Then about a minute later, it says Logging off and logs me off...
     
  9. commander

    commander

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
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    This is an interesting thread, I have certainly learnt something about the way drive letters are allocated. I wonder if someone can tell me what will be the case in the following scenario.

    I have bought a new hard disk, which I will install as Master on IDE 1, then load with Windows XP Pro, then reinstall my applications.

    I would then like to put back my old disk which had Windows XP Home, on IDE 1, as a slave drive so that I can access the data on it (as opposed to the OS).

    Will this work?

    Peter
    UK
     
  10. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Yes, the slave drive will be assigned a letter after the last cd drive. You can format the slave drive and use it for storage / backup after copying the data. This will remove all of the windows files, etc from the slave drive.
     
  11. commander

    commander

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
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    Thanks for the quick response CR.

    Peter
    UK
     
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