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xp reinstall on drive E (formerly drive C) or change system volume letter

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Omin, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. Omin

    Omin Thread Starter

    Feb 8, 2011

    Ok, here's the situation, I want to install XP Pro on a former XP HE (I say former because there are so many corrupt/damaged system files that no Win DVD, or live CDs can recognize it..), on a Vaio VGN-A617B laptop.
    I would prefer to do a factory recovery from the recovery partition but there seem to be some problems too, it can't set up properly.

    In short:
    I got the error "unmountable drive" after a system crash.
    After trying unsuccessfully to repair it with the recovery console doing chkdsk/fixboot/fixmbr, I tried to replace the files using the repair option on a Win DVD (not from the recovery console) but it couldn't see any previous Windows installations and only listed the partitions leaving me with set up/create/delete options.
    I made a BartPE DVD to copy and save some personal files on an external drive.
    Unfortunately, BartPE completely messed up the drive/partition letters and gave the letter E to the external drive, but E was the hidden vaio recovery partition, so C was assigned to it...
    After restarting the laptop and unplugging the external drive, the vaio recovery partition kept the letter C, and E was given to the system volume...

    So, now I am left with a laptop that tries to boot from the unworking recovery partition (it worked before the letter change), and a useless system volume that doesn't work.

    I tried to change the letters and give back the E to the vaio recovery partition hoping that it would work but I can't,I tried diskpart using ERD commander, seemed to work but when I rebooted nothing was changed. I can't load the registry since windows isn't recognized so I can't change them from there either.

    So now I think that all I'm left with is using the XP DVD to reinstall the OS, but I can't install it on C since it's the recovery partition (7000MB in size), so I don't have many options, I must install it on E... (there's D too but I wish to keep it intact).

    Would it be a problem?

    Does anyone know of a way to change the partition letters? (knowing that I can't load the registry in a live CD and that doing diskpart from a cmd prompt in a live CD didn't change anything).
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