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Reassigning drive letters in XP

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by 8biosdrive, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. 8biosdrive

    8biosdrive Thread Starter

    Sep 30, 2014
    During the process of recovering files from my corrupted, primary hard drive, I swapped it with my original hard drive, which became the primary C: drive. After reinstalling XP and files to the slave (the formerly corrupted drive, now recognized as the D: drive), I swapped their positions again, making the D: drive the primary. Now when I boot up, I get a DOS window asking me which version of XP I want to boot from, instead of the computer booting directly to the primary (D) drive. I then select the first reference to XP in the list to boot from the D: drive. I had thought that since I made it the primary drive, the system would refer to it as the C: drive, but it kept C: for the old (now slave) drive.

    The boot sequence is the 1) cd rom drive 2) floppy drive and 3) C: drive. It looks like XP does not offer any drive letter, other than C, to boot from. So it appears that the only way to boot directly from the D drive, and to avoid the extra DOS window that appears, is to swap the letters for the C: and D: drives in the registry. Is there any simpler and less risky way to accomplish this, or is not so risky after all?
  2. 8biosdrive

    8biosdrive Thread Starter

    Sep 30, 2014
    What if I disconnected the slave drive so that D: was the only drive to boot from. Would XP then reassign the letter C to that drive? If so, when I reconnect the slave, will XP assign the letter D to it? That would solve my problem without going in to the registry.
  3. SpywareDr


    Mar 30, 2014
    Might work. Give it a try.
  4. RT


    Aug 20, 2000
    Hello, welcome to TSG!

    First of all, if you have any access to the files you're after, back them up to an external device, be it DVD-ROM, a USB memory stick, or an external HDD.

    Have you tried assigning letters from Computer/Disk Management via Control Panel?
    It might work, if as you said, if you have only the drive you want to be C: connected.
    Of course, XP will have to be installed on the drive you prefer to be C: to boot.
    I'm thinking the install of XP on your "slave" is why you're getting the option to boot from 'which version' of XP.
    Windows sees that both drives have an OS installed, if I'm reading your post right.

    I don't have an XP machine up and running atm, so I can't verify all that 100%.
    A registry edit will work, and is not all that risky - if you follow MS instructions exactly as written.
    #1 being backup the registry.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    8biosdrive likes this.
  5. 8biosdrive

    8biosdrive Thread Starter

    Sep 30, 2014
    I had replied to RT's post a few days ago from my phone, but it looks like it didn't go through. No I haven't tried to change the letters from Disk Management and will take a look at that, although I suspect that XP won't allow a change of C drive letter unless done through the registry. Both drives have XP installed, and so, yes, I think that's why I am being asked to choose one at boot-up. I'll report back on my attempts to change this. Thanks.
    RT likes this.
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