How to attribute C letter to booting driver

Microsoft Windows 2000 professional reso...
August 6, 2009 at 06:48:04
Specs: Windows 2000

Here is what I have:
.1 pri,Act partition
. up to 14 logical partition
All the partitions have Windows 2000 as OS.

What I can do:
Using modification of boot.ini I can start any partition

What is my problem:
I would like that the OS starting take also the drive letter C automaticaly.

What I know:
That the letter are attributed in MBR. One solution which I understood would be to delete or modify where the partition letter are attributed. If it deleted it should be recreated automatically.
This basically what is doing a OS selector software as far as I understood.

My Question:
Is possible to do it directly within my pri,Act partition and Windows
Or other solution.

I have backup of my disk which autorize my a lot of test.

Thank a lot if you can help


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August 6, 2009 at 07:29:44
That the letter are attributed in MBR.

You understand wrong. No they are not. The only attributes that are allocated to partitions in the MBR are numbers. Letter are allocated by the Operating system each and every time the computer boots.

Armed with this little bit of information you will realise why you cannot change the drive letter of the Boot and System drive. Windows wont let you as it has complete control over which partitions get allocated which letters.

up to 14 logical partition

There are no such thing as logical partition. There are primary partitions and extenended partitions. Extended partitions contain logical drives. Without third party software each drive can only have a maxiumum of four partitions. Dont make the mistake of confusing partitions with drives. They are not the same although with primary partitions they appear to be the same,

It is clear you do not understand exactly what the MBR is or what it does. Until you do I would stear clear of messing about with the MBR becasue if you get it wrong the whole disk will become unusable and you will have to start again from scratch.


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August 6, 2009 at 10:09:14
"Without third party software each drive can only have a maxiumum of four partitions."

As in, four PRIMARY partitions. Up to three of the Primary partitions can be Extended partitions.

2000 and XP assign the drive letter it sees itself as installed on (the Windows partition - the partition \Windows itself is installed on) while running Setup, according to what other hard drive partitions Setup detects that have already been assigned drive letters.

When Setup detects no other such partitions, such as when you have a single drive and it has no data on it, it sees it's Windows partition as being assigned the C drive letter.

When Setup DOES detect other such partitions, it sees it's Windows partition as assigned the NEXT available drive letter (above C, any up to and inc. Z) AFTER the drive letters for hard drive partitions that have already been assigned, NOT C.

Which drive letter the Windows installation you booted sees itself as being assigned to is shown in System Information.
E.g. Windows Directory - C:\Windows, or D:\Windows, or whatever.

You can change the drive letter (above C) assigned to any drive, for a hard drive partition or optical drive, EXCEPT the one Windows sees itself as being installed on, in Disk Management, to any available drive letter, but sometimes you have to temporarily assign other drive letters in order to free up the drive letter already assigned that you want to use.

It doesn't matter whether Windows sees itself as being installed on other than C.

The only standard way of getting Windows to see itself as being assigned C (when it doesn't otherwise) is to run Setup from scratch, and to remove or HIDE any any other partitions present on the computer that Setup will detect as having been assigned a drive letter.
E.g. - if you have more than one hard drive, only connect one drive's data cable, or set all but one hard drive (the one you want Windows to be on) to NONE in the bios Setup (if it's IDE you may to change the jumper setting on the drive as well) .
- if the other partition(s) is(are) on the same drive, use something such as Partition Magic, or a freeware equivalent, to HIDE the partitionsyou don't want Setup to detect, before you run Setup.

The same applies if you are multi booting two or more 2000 or XP operatings systems on the same computer. If you prevent Setup from seeing the other partitions while running Setup, each Windows installtion will see itself as being assigned C - you can set up the dual or multiboot later - e.g. by using a command in the Recovery Console to make a new version of boot.ini.

You MAY be able to run a "Repair install" procedure, which does not delete the present data on the Windows partition - that MAY change the drive letter to C, if and only if you remove or hide other partitions before running it - however I have not tried that and I don't know if that will change the drive letter.

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August 6, 2009 at 10:28:08
As in, four PRIMARY partitions. Up to three of the Primary partitions can be Extended partitions.

It either a primary partition or an extended partition. It cant be both.

You can have three primary partitions and an extended partition. There is absolutley no point in having more than one extended partition, in fact I dont think Windows will let you create more than one extended partition.


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August 6, 2009 at 11:06:21
"All the partitions have Windows 2000 as OS". I take that to mean you have Win2000 installed on each of those partitions.

As Stuart has stated You probably mean Logical drives in an Extended partition.

If you in fact have Win2000 installed that many times it is unnecessary.

If you DON'T have Win2000 installed on all those logical drives then they are not Win2000 logical drives. They can have anything on them.

Now, I believe that if you use a third party boot manager you can in fact boot to C letter each time.

Google for boot managers.

Using a third party boot program may require re-installing all your OSes. I am not sure of that. I certainly don't understand WHY you would want to do what you are doing.

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August 6, 2009 at 11:08:44
"I dont think Windows will let you create more than one extended partition."

Oops. On second thought and after some checking, that statement is right.

However - an Extended partition is a TYPE of primary partition.

That's not obvious in Windows, but it certainly is in Partition Magic.

And - it seems logical drives and logical partitions are used interchangably.

"PC BIOS partition types

The total data storage space of a PC hard disk is divided into at most four, and at least one, primary partitions. One of these can also be an extended partition. All these primary partitions are described by 16-byte entries that constitute the Partition Table which is located in the master boot record.

The "type" of a partition is identified by a 1-byte code found in its partition table entry. Some of these codes (such as 0x05 and 0x0F) may be used to indicate the presence of an extended partition,..."


An extended partition is a primary partition which contains secondary partition(s). A hard disk may contain only one extended partition; which can then be sub-divided into logical drives, each of which is (under DOS and Windows) assigned additional drive letters."

"The primary partition used to house the logical partitions is called an extended partition ..."

Partition Magic calls them Logical Partitions.

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August 6, 2009 at 12:03:14
Well, the DOS manual doesn't.

When you get into using third party software for partitioning and formatting they can do things the do follow the old DOS parameters. I think you can make more than 4 primary partitions using some third party programs for instance. And PM will allow non standard cluster sizes in FAT32.

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