Novice install problem - wrong directory

May 5, 2011 at 05:12:06
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3, 2.13GHz / 1GB
I'm not too proud to display my own ignorance, and would like to humbly request some help or information on how to undo my mistake.

Some background: My sister has been wanting to have a backup and storage location on the LAN to offload data. There was an older PC which has Windows XP Home edition installed, and room in the case for a new controller card and drives. I had a spare SATA controller that I donated, and my BiL purchased some new drives. These were installed, and were confirmed to be working under XP. I attempted to install Server 2003, and found that the upgrade option was not available in the Home Edition, and was prompted to do a new install. The initial install was canceled, and I went home to grab a spare PATA drive to contain the new OS. The PATA drive was set to Slave, and installed using the onboard controller, getting the drive letter "K". All should now be in place to complete installation of the OS.

The problem: I boot to XP Home and run 2003 Server setup from the CD. I indicate a "New" install, and specify "K:\Windows" as the target directory for the installation. ~37 minutes later, Server 2003 is installed. I happily go through some of the tasks I wanted to accomplish, installing drivers, applying patches, setting up users, configuring the SATA drives for Dynamic Mode, etc. It wasn't until later that I discovered that Windows was installed into a "K" directory on the "K:\" drive! I open a command prompt and issue "SET", and confirm that %SystemRoot%" does indeed reflect "K:\K\Windows".

Some of the options I have thought about:
1a) Copy entire "K:\K\Windows" to "K:\Windows"
1b) Export the entire registry, and do a replace of "K:\K\Windows" to "K:\Windows"
1c) Import modified registry

2) Attempt to reinstall the OS to "K:\Windows"

3) Live with it.

I know option one is subject to error, option two would be time consuming, and option three is lazy and not very elegant. I'm guessing the resounding majority will still advise option 3, but I'd like to hear if other options are available!

Thanks to all who contribute relevant information!

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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May 8, 2011 at 12:02:00
Rule out option 1a - have to change registry throughout - or blue screen.
1b - there are spaces in the names, sometimes. Rule this one out too.
1c - Nice thought, but.... there will be remenants...

Either live with it as is or do a complete new install. Best choices.

On the new install, just select the destination partition / drive to install to. Windows install is assuming you are wanting a custom install when you specify a path (and you thought you were specifying a drive). Don't. Keep to the suggested, default answers. It will be easier for others to help you later.

Honesty appreciated. Hope this helps!

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May 9, 2011 at 05:40:24
Thanks for the reply!
Although I mentioned option 3 (live with it) was both lazy and not very elegant, it is the safest and quickest option. If this were a Server in a enterprise, I would have re-started from scratch. But I've learned my lesson, and will not repeat the same mistake in the future.

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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