boot , partition letters ..

January 18, 2008 at 16:23:59
Specs: XP PRO SP2, 1.72GHZ/512DDRAM
Hello every 1 ,

I have been searching google for over 6 hours reading all kind of related problems similar to mine but non was the exact same ..
The problem is with an acer laptop , has only 1 HDD with 2 partitions , when i searched google all i could find was ppl with 2 boots or 2 HDDs each with a different operating system so it was a different problem from mine since i only have 1 HDD and 2 partitions and 1 operating system ..

Here is what happened , today i wanted to install the windows on my sisters laptop (Acer) and booted from the bootable xp cd then i deleted the C then recreated it and formated it and it was still C which is normal ( i have done the same hundreds of times on different desktops and never had any problems ) , anyway after i formated it and it was still C and everything was okay and installed the windows .

After the installation was over and the windows was booted i found the the original C became D and the original D became C , means they only switched letters but the size and everything still the same , however the boot files are now in the New C while the windows files are on the New D .
*keywords for you*
New C = Original D
New D = Original C

Now i want to change the New D back to C and the New C back to D , i know i could do that through registry and i already have tried to do that 3 times ( each time ended up reinstalling the d=windows ) , however the problem is the boot files !! , when i change the New C to Original D and the New D to Original C , the boot files still remains in the Original D which leaves the system with no boot files in the Original C and the windows doesn't boot after i restart ..

How can i change the partitions back to their original letters while also moving the boot files from the Original D to the Original C , how can i do that BEFORE restarting in order to apply the changes ??

Let me rephrase that again , i would like to change the partition letters to their original letters along with moving the boot files to the Original C BEFORE doing the "restart" which follows changing the registry , if you are familiar with the way of changing the partition letters through the registry then you know what iam talking about .

PS: i don't have a floppy driver nor an emergency cd , i need a solution that can be made from the windows itself or by using a specific program while operating on the windows itself .
Oh and yes i have tried coping the boot files from the New C to the New D before doing the "partition letter change registry" restart and it didn't work .

See More: boot , partition letters ..

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January 18, 2008 at 16:59:24
You can easily get XP to boot from what is now your D by running bootcfg /rebuild in the Recovery Console, and you might as well run fixboot and fixmbr while you're at it.
See below.

Of course, the bios Setup has to have the D partition set as before any other hard drive partition in the boot order, if it lists D.

I don't know what you are talking about regarding changing the drive letters in the registry, but I do know in Disk Management you can't change the drive letter of the partition Windows is installed on - you can change any drive letter but that one. Another thing you can't do there is assign a drive letter that is already assigned. It's quite possible if you try to do either of those things in the Registry, Windows won't let it "stick".
If the drive letter you want to use is already assigned, you have to change the drive letter of that partition to something else to free up the drive letter you want, then later change the drive letter to the one you want since that drive letter is then available.

Insert Windows CD, start computer, press a key to boot with it, go to the Recovery Console



8. At the command prompt, type: bootcfg /rebuild, and then press ENTER. This command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 2000, or Microsoft Windows NT installations, and then displays the results.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to add the Windows installations to the Boot.ini file.

For example, follow these steps to add a Windows XP installation to the Boot.ini file:

a. When you receive a message that is similar to the following message, press Y:

Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

b. You receive a message that is similar to the following message:
Enter Load Identifier (my note - type something, anything, or you will see no label when you boot)
This is normally the name of the operating system. When you receive this message, type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER. This is either Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.

c. You receive a message that is similar to the following:
Enter OS Load options
When you receive this message, for 2000 or XP, type: /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.

Note The instructions that appear on your screen may be different, depending on the configuration of your computer.

9. Type exit, and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console. Your computer restarts, and the updated boot list appears when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message.

My notes:
Bootcfg does not delete the existing boot.ini - it adds new entries that are listed before (above) the older ones.

You can remove the old entries, at least one of which may now be invalid.
E.g. Control Panel - System - Advanced - Startup and Recovery - Edit - maximize the window - delete the entire lines below the lines below [operating systems] that were not detected by bootcfg.
Choose File in the top left corner - Save.

If after editing boot.ini there is now only one operating system listed after [operating systems] in boot.ini, after you reboot, your computer will now boot without prompting you to select operating systems.

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January 18, 2008 at 17:33:59
T&W is the best way to resolve the issue.

If you just want to change drive letters then right click my computer and select manage. Go to disk management and select the partition you want to change the drive letter on. Right click the partition and select change drive letter or paths. If you don't correctly point the boot.ini file to the correct location, you will end up not being able to boot into windows.

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January 18, 2008 at 18:21:00
I suggest that you start over and watch the screens more closely when doing the install. I have ended up with windows going on the wrong drive a couple of times. I am convinced that it was because I was in a hurry and did not read te screens carefully enough.

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January 18, 2008 at 19:32:18
Your C: and D: are a result of the first bootable active partition. Change it.

I read it wrong and answer it wrong too. So get off my case you peanut.

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January 18, 2008 at 19:36:06
I have a probable explanation of how what was D became C and what was C became D.
You are not supposed to alter the contents of the second partition on a brand name software installation on the drive that came with the computer at all. It is there as a backup and has all the data necessary on it to restore everthing on the C partition to the way it was originally when the computer was new and untouched by the user. Even if you merely add to the data on that partition, a Rescue or Restore procedure may not even run because the checksum of the data on the partition is different from what it should be.

I suspect the data on that partition was modified such that Setup found the drive partition to be a viable Windows partition.
When you deleted the contents of what was the C partition, Setup found enough on what was the D partition to assign the logical C drive letter to it, since the original partition assigned C no longer existed at that point and the logical drive letter C was available.
Setup will not assign C to a Windows partition if that C drive letter has already been assigned to what Setup found to be a viable Windows partition, so it assigned the next available drive letter - D - to what Setup considered to be the the new, second, Windows installation.

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January 19, 2008 at 02:31:52
some hidden recovery partition being the culprit would be my guess too ... if you don't need it you might as well nuke it with active@killdisk.

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