Solved Getting C Drive back

January 16, 2014 at 04:45:32
Specs: Windows XP
My wife bought me a new PC that had Windows 7 on it. I wanted XP so I deleted the hidden partition it was on and installed XP. Most everything works fine but my C Drive is now H Drive. It might not seem like a big deal but I want it changed back, I have everything I need backed up but don't know how to put XP on and have a C Drive.

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✔ Best Answer
January 16, 2014 at 18:13:19
Mmm if you have deleted the hidden partition then the alt + F10 routine won't work.

You will need either full version of win7 (retail) or go to Acer and get the recovery disc set - which is likely much cheaper. That disc set will also have all the drivers - inckuding any that are specific to your Acer; and whatever add-ons Acer usually include (although personally I can do without those).

If you get a retail win 7 it can be used on any compatible computer. It can also be installed on a second one (typically a laptop) unless the info that come with it specifically says not. MS allow that option these days with win 7 etc... If you get an OEM win 7 disc, it's essentially the same as retail - but is only valid for one computer; and if that pc dies... so does the OEM disc (it cannot be be easily transferred to use on another pc).

OEM are out there variously as downloads, and you buy a key to validate the installation. Retail is out there similarly too; and also as an actual MS retail disk - eBay etc...

Personally I'd go the Acer recovery disk set path on this occasion. It will likely talk you through the whole process very simply.

Based on what you say in your post 16 I understand what you did, and thus why xp is in "H". The " C " partition will still have the xp boot/startup files there; and quite possibly some win 7 residuals too. But when you reset using the disk from Acer... the whole system will be rebuilt as was (possibly may even rebuild the hidden partition too? But not sure biut that bit.)

message edited by trvlr



#1
January 16, 2014 at 04:55:19
mmm… I am fan of XP - after a long journey to get there. But win-7 has gained a level of respect from many of us too. XP would have happily lived in a VM in your win-7 installation… And with support for XP scheduled to end later this year (2014) replacing win-7 with XP may not have been the best path to follow?

Regardless… Does this computer have a single drive? How did you set about removing the hidden partition. How did you remove win-7? How many other partitions are there on the drive (besides the "H" partition)?

Typically if you wanted to change the drive letter for the installed OS… it's not generally recommended, nor is it a a straightforward process… Lots of registry entries alone to attend to amongst other issues.

Would be easier (wiser too?) to re-install XP and this time ensure it does go into C: . Even better I would suggest is to return to win-7 and then run XP in a VM (Virtual Machine)


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#2
January 16, 2014 at 05:13:48
I wanted XP so I deleted the hidden partition it was on

No you didn't you just deleted the Windows 7 system files. Window 7 is still on drive C:

When you installed Windows 7 is installed with the next available drive letter which is H

If you really do want XP on drive C: you need to reinstall Windows XP after deleting the partition containing the existing drive C:

Stuart


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#3
January 16, 2014 at 05:38:29
At first I couldn't find Win 7 because it was shipped with it on the PC (From walmart) But after searching I found a thread that showed me how to find a list of partitions on the hard drive and delete the one with Win 7 on it, then used an XP disk. when everything finally installed H Drive was the main drive and C Drive is now a USB drive when plugging other things into the PC. I partitioned (foolishly) about 1gb to H Drive and the rest to what is now D Drive. My PC wouldn't let me just get rid of Win7 I had to completlely delete the partition it was on. If getting Win 7 back is an option I'm not above reinstalling it. But How?

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Related Solutions

#4
January 16, 2014 at 06:52:53
Based on your information thus far, I'm inclined to agree with Stuart. You have wiped the windows installation itself and likely left a blank C: partition. Hopefully the recovery partition is still intact…; but...

"If" you have deleted the recovery partition information - which is normally "hidden" - and may actually be at the physical start of the drive... Then you will not be able to simply run the factory reset/restore routine. Which key(s) to press at boot up to achieve a factory reset depends on the make and model of the computer. I have a feeling that that "hidden" partition - if at the start of the drive - may actually be intact… And if it is… then you may be able to run the default reset/restore to factory status routine OK… But note my comments further down about saving files first…!

(On some current systems that recovery partition is actually further into the drive - after the " C: " partition (and may even be designated " D: " - if visible - from what I have observed occasionally…)

If you post back with the make/model of your computer folks here can/will advise/help you re' restoring to factory gate status.

If you have lost that recovery partition info. then it is quite possible (in most cases today) to either download an ISO file - which save to a hard drive and then burn it to a DVD. You then boot with that DVD and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have to go this route - make/model is specific to the ISO file you will use. And also it will be very wise to read (carefully) any information/instructions that come with it.

Also "be aware" that any recovery/reset routine "will wipe/erase" all your personal files etc. So first - while the system is running XP - copy anything you don't want to risk losing - to external media - typically DVD; and/or an external hard drive too. Two different media is a safer way to go when possible as either one can fail at any time… Check the copies are accessible/OK on the XP system that makes them - and ideally at least one other working system too. Then put them away safe. You can restore those files later to the rebuilt win-7 installation.

It's generally wise(r) in any case to safeguard those personal files first - anytime you are about to make any software changes to a system… Likewise if making any major hardware changes - just in-case…!

Make and model of computer is needed…

message edited by trvlr


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#5
January 16, 2014 at 08:32:28
Your best bet is to reinstall Win7. Fortunately you can download an official version. It's a huge download of approx 3GB
All you need to know should be in the PCWorld article at the very bottom of this post.

Choose the same version as came with your laptop. You will need to register it with the original W7 product key (hologram label on laptop). Hopefully you have a full product key, not a cheapo OEM version, though you may not find out until it comes to registering it.

Certainly sounds like you screwed the means to reinstall Win7 from within the laptop.
Why the reluctance to use Win7? In my opinion it's the best version of Windows to date. It's solid as a rock and I find it superior to XP in every way. Heck - it's not even new: Win7 is now in its 6th year!

In addition; XP is incompatible with the hardware on many newer PCs, hence no driver support.
Not to mention that; Support for XP ends April 4th this year. After that date XP is likely to become a security nightmare.
From the antimalware site below:
"No matter how many firewalls, anti-virus scanners, or other security programs are installed.
Any XP machine that is online after that date will get infected repeatedly, and any useful information on it will likely be stolen. It will NOT be fixable."

http://www.malwareremoval.com/forum...

Windows 7 downloads and other relevant links and info:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2044...

During install see what partitions are present. Install it on the largest partition. This will become the C drive.
If need be, you can sort out the other partitions later.

Good luck :o)


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#6
January 16, 2014 at 09:15:20
Any XP machine that is online after that date will get infected repeatedly, and any useful information on it will likely be stolen. It will NOT be fixable."

That is a bit of an overstatement. While it is true that after support is withdrawn, security might become a problem but to put it such definitive term is nothing more than scaremongering.

Why should a system that is fine an the 4th April suddenly become vulnerable on the 5th April. A silly assertion that makes no sense.

The only way a Windows XP could be come vulnerable is if virus-writers discover a problem that was not addressed prior to 4th April.

Stuart


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#7
January 16, 2014 at 10:29:36
Not my statement, StuartS. So, don't shoot the messenger - even if I do agree with the author of that post.

Read it in context of the post on the forum I linked to.

No one is suggesting that XP users will be infected the day after MS drop support,
but, it's an unarguable fact; those continuing to use XP after that date, present as a very large and very soft target for the bad guys.

The fact is, MS will continue to update and patch Vista, Win7 and Win8.
XP will no longer get these system patches.
As such, sooner or later, XP will become a serious security risk; or are all those regular updates and patches unnecessary?

Whatever... Time will tell.


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#8
January 16, 2014 at 11:20:50
I like XP too but clearly in the long term with no security updates it will become vulnerable. There is little difference in using Win 7 to using XP and you would soon get used to it. I would seriously consider putting Win 7 back on.

If you are going with XP these will help towards its security:
http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...

http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#9
January 16, 2014 at 15:54:37
Acer Aspire AX1420G-U5832 Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz 4GB 1TB DVD±RW DL W7HP Small Form Factor

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#10
January 16, 2014 at 16:11:27
My PC came with Win7 on it I do not have a disk, if that helps or means anything.
I do remember after I deleted the hidden partition that the only way to get my PC to do anything was to have my XP disk in when I reset. I don't remember what I did to get it to stay installed, the first few times I thought it was I would restart and take out the disk and get a blank black screen.

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#11
January 16, 2014 at 16:26:55
I'm presuming you're in USA/Canada?

The links below refer to the USA Acer support areas.

The first one discusses the default reset/recovery routines (alt+ F10) as it boots up... This uses the recovery partition. Follow on-screen prompts... Read carefully any info presented...

Second link talks about using recovery discs - if you have lost the recovery partition, or changed the actual hard drive.

The third is where you to obtain the necessary recovery disc set if you need it.

As earlier - first safeguard anything on the computer as is that don't want to lose; however you return to win-7

http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answer...

http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answer...

http://store.acer.com/store/acerame...

This the support area for your model. The manual is in the documents section.

http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content...

message edited by trvlr


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#12
January 16, 2014 at 16:45:19
If the alt F10 solution doesnt work will everything still work as normal?

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#13
January 16, 2014 at 16:45:55
Thank you to everyone by the way for your help and attention to my problem.

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#14
January 16, 2014 at 16:47:19
It seems you don't really know exactly what you did which makes life tricky. Windows will not just let you delete its files, so you must have messed up the partitioning somehow.

Maybe I shouldn't be saying this but you could return it under warranty (just say it stopped working - which is kinda true).

If they replace or repair it, leave it alone and just get used to Windows 7 - it's easier than doing what you've been attempting. You will also have security updates to 2020. If you really must have XP then add it as a virtual machine (as already suggested) but frankly I wouldn't bother.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#15
January 16, 2014 at 17:44:44
Can't say or predict for certain what will be the outcome if/when you use alt+ F10 and it doesn't reset to win 7.

If you can bare the wait... I'd obtain the recovery disc set from Acer first. Then try the reset routine using the default method as above. If it doesn't work... try the recovery disc set - after checking the instructions on Acer support first.

As Derek observes, it's difficult to determine exactly what you actually did... So it's a little difficult to really know what is the real situation with drive partitioing at present.

You may be able to determine what's what re' partitions - via Disk. Management. This very basic tutorial my help?

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers...

And this link is much more complete and possibly clearer and easier to follow.

http://www.mcmcse.com/microsoft/gui...


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#16
January 16, 2014 at 17:45:20
I remember having to enter whatever mode it was that I was in when I deleted the hidden partition right after restarting. It was a black screen and had a list of commands, it took me a long while of entering every option until I got to a list of all the partitions and their locations and saw one that had the word "hidden" after it and went back to the command screen and typed something along the lines of Delete Partition ("whatever the name was") after doing that if I didn't have my XP disk in the screen would just stay black with a little white curser in the corner. When I did put the disk in, it would start the installation for XP. When all was said and done C Drive turned into H Drive and C Drive only shows up when I use the top USB input on the front of my PC. It is a desktop PC and an American model. I double checked the sticker on the side and it is an Acer Aspire AX1420G-U5832.

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#17
January 16, 2014 at 17:48:25
I used Acronis Disk Director Suit at one point to try to rename H: to C: but wasn't possible.

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#18
January 16, 2014 at 18:13:19
✔ Best Answer
Mmm if you have deleted the hidden partition then the alt + F10 routine won't work.

You will need either full version of win7 (retail) or go to Acer and get the recovery disc set - which is likely much cheaper. That disc set will also have all the drivers - inckuding any that are specific to your Acer; and whatever add-ons Acer usually include (although personally I can do without those).

If you get a retail win 7 it can be used on any compatible computer. It can also be installed on a second one (typically a laptop) unless the info that come with it specifically says not. MS allow that option these days with win 7 etc... If you get an OEM win 7 disc, it's essentially the same as retail - but is only valid for one computer; and if that pc dies... so does the OEM disc (it cannot be be easily transferred to use on another pc).

OEM are out there variously as downloads, and you buy a key to validate the installation. Retail is out there similarly too; and also as an actual MS retail disk - eBay etc...

Personally I'd go the Acer recovery disk set path on this occasion. It will likely talk you through the whole process very simply.

Based on what you say in your post 16 I understand what you did, and thus why xp is in "H". The " C " partition will still have the xp boot/startup files there; and quite possibly some win 7 residuals too. But when you reset using the disk from Acer... the whole system will be rebuilt as was (possibly may even rebuild the hidden partition too? But not sure biut that bit.)

message edited by trvlr


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#19
January 17, 2014 at 06:30:34
Downgrading to XP was a bad move & all you did was create a mess. Win7 ISOs can be downloaded free & legally; you just have to use your own product key for the installation. I suggest you wipe out ALL existing partitions, create one or more new ones, then reinstall Win7 & learn to love it. My guess is you had Win7 Home Premium, here's a couple of direct download links:

Win7 Home Premium 32Bit SP1: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net...

Win7 Home Premium 64Bit SP1: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net...

The ISO will have to be burned to a DVD using Imgburn or similar software:

http://www.imgburn.com/

Drivers can be found here: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content...


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#20
January 17, 2014 at 07:19:04
Agree downgrading to XP was an unnecessary and messy retrograde step. the learning curve to transfer to win-7 isn't that humungous overall.

If the key that came with this Acer was an OEM, the ISO must be OEM too…; M$ don't allow mix 'n match there.

An appropriate ISO downloaded (one that would accept the original win-7 key would save "a few pennies…" But for our friend here, I suspect the Restore disc/disk set may actually be a better and easier option overall; even if it does cost a few pennies…?

That restore disc routine is pretty well idiot-proof (no disrespect intended to our friend here) and talks one through it all. With the current situation - deleted etc. partitions etc. - I'm not entirely sure how it would pan out with a full version (Retail or OEM) approach… It may very well just go for/through a blank (new) hard drive start - and allow the user to configure the drive as preferred?

Incidentally it did occur to me that as XP is already there - and possibly in a separate partition to that where win-7 "was"… - it may be possible (viable) to actually have a dual boot win-7/XP. Win-7 going after XP will find XP and may offer/allow it to be included in the boot-menu etc.. If it does, then for the time being our friend has both OS to use…?

While ideally it is preferable to have win-7 and XP each to be in its own space/partition, it can be done (both in the same partition). I seem to recall doing it briefly but not totally sure…

This link discusses it to some degree:

http://windowsforum.com/threads/dua...

and these the more conventional approach…

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_...

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/...

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/wi...

If the drive is a single partition then, with a suitable partition manager (run from within XP), it would be possible to tweak/alter partitioning as is to create space for a second one (and install win-7 there). Ideally put win-7 ahead of the XP partition of course; as that would allow one to lose/delete XP OS at some future time without leaving a gaping hole in front of win-7 (although it would of course be formatted already and could be used as data storage?). And that "first partition would be a Primary and have the boot/start-up files permanently resident there…!

But it doth make it all rather overly complicated; and a return to win-7 - with XP in a VM (if really needing XP) is the better option?


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#21
January 17, 2014 at 21:38:13
The reason I went back to XP is because thats what I was running before I got my new PC. As soon as I started using Win7, I ran into alot of administrative confirmations repeatedly and got frustrated very quickly since XP let me do whatever I wanted weather I was hurting my PC or not. Without making me confirm anything. (God Complex?) That and I have been using XP for "Forever" I did bite the bullet though and got Win7 Ultimate and just formated all the partitions when installing and got my C: Drive back as a default.

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#22
January 18, 2014 at 03:06:13
Thnk you for update... As before i eencourage you to make an image of the installation when it's the way you want it; mabe the recovery disc set too. And of course to regularly duplicate personal files etc. off the system entirely; and occasionally to check those copies and update them too.

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