Windows XP displays primary hard drive as drive F: instead of Drive C:

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Smoother

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Aug 4, 2004
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Windows XP Pro displays the primary hard Drive set as the master on IDE 1 as drive F: instead of drive C:. I can not find the cause.....any ideas? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks :)
 
Joined
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Have you tried to go into Disk Management and change it to C:?

Also, has it always done this?
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
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41,375
I am guessing you have a card reader, usb type drive, zip drive, etc that was present during the install. This is a known "feature" of xp and win2k.

While it is "Possible" to change a system drive letter, I do not recommend you do so. The reason is that when you install an app or game, it installs files to the winnt or winnt/system32 folder. The app will look for those files on F:\winnt or F:\winnt\system32; they are now on C. The app will not run or give an error message.

Unless you really want your system drive to read C, I would leave it alone. If you really want it to read C, I would do a clean install. Disconnecting any other drives.

Here are the instructions for changing a system drive letter in xp or win2k. As you can see it is a pretty involved process and you will need to reinstall apps anyway. That is why I recommend a clean install.


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.
 

Smoother

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
14
Thanks.....I tried to change the drive to C: but it wouldn't work......everything seems to work just fine....so I am going to leave it alone until I have to do a clean install in the future. I suspect the USB drive and zip drive that were connected at the time of the install are the culprits. Again many thanks
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
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41,375
You are welcome. Unless you go through the entire procedure that I posted, you cannot change a system drive letter. Even if you do change it, you may have problems.

BTW good decision to leave it alone. For the next install, just disconnect the other drives. Add them in after you install.
 
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