Putting Windows on the C: Drive


OSNN Senior Addict
6 Jan 2004
Ok, just a little run down on what I have here.

One 120gig IBM HD
One 120gig Maxtor HD
One 60gig WD HD

I use the IBM and the WD for Storage, and then I have the Maxtor split into two partitions. 30gigs for Windows, and 90gigs for Storage.

Well my PC went crazy on me so I did a format / reinstall of XP.

But when when it was all done, I went to My Computer and noticed XP Install was on the D: drive, and my IBM was the C: drive.

I tried doing another format / reinstall, but this time I took out the IBM and WD drives, and I still got the same result, but with just the Maxtor (which has two partitions)

Is there any way to switch the drive letters around ?
I tried renaming the C: drive to something else, but it said it was some protected system name or something.

I also noticed that on the C: Drive (which is where I store files) XP placed AUTOEXEC.BAT, boot.ini, CONFIG.SYS, and all the other files that I assume are needed to boot. But in the picture it says D: is the boot drive and C: is the system drive. But all of XP seems to be on the d: drive (windows, Program Files, ...)


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your partitions are backwards, somehow your extended partition is first on the drive and your primary partition is second. The first partition is the boot partition since the MBR is stored at the beginning of the drive [see previous boot question in this forum], it then tells the system to look on the C:\ partition for the boot files.
Ok, i'll look into that.

I guess the only way to fix it really is to wipe the drive, and create XP's Primary Partition first.

Even so, that's what I did when I first got the drive and now I have this problem.
Is there any way to ensure that this partition is going to be the first one on the drive so it always loads up as c: in the future ?
the only way to do it is to use the registry to force the drive letter change, then you reboot to a blue screen of death and have to run a windows repair, if your prepared to go to this length i will look up the info :)
GoNzO I posted that here once, and it didn't work, and some other people tried it without regard to my warning that it might make you reinstall. I've done it before, but no guarantees. So I'll hint what to look for DosDevices
open regedit

Locate the following registry key:

Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
Right-click \DosDevices\C:, and then click Rename.

Note You must use Regedit instead of Regedt32 to rename this registry key.
Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:".

This frees up drive letter C.
Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
Right-click \DosDevices\D:, and then click Rename.
Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".
Quit Regedit,

reboot and after the operating system drops dead run windows repair.
GoNz0 said:
the only way to do it is to use the registry to force the drive letter change, then you reboot to a blue screen of death and have to run a windows repair, if your prepared to go to this length i will look up the info :)

I tried the registry force once before to fix this problem and then I got the BSOD. But I did not know you had to do a repair install.

I don't know if it would be worth it again.
Perhaps this weekend I I'll wipe the drive clean and do it correctly.

Any tips on how to do this tough ? I always just format / create partitions though XP's boot up manager.
i know that works, a friend had a bad hard drive clone and repaired windows, it make his old c drive to e. using the above we managed to get it back to c so all his installed app's would run again :)

but of course, if apps are installed to the new drive letter its gunna bum fluff it all up, its only if the drive letters have changed after stuffs installed it really works i guess :S
If you are willing to format, just grab an ME Startup disk and use fdisk to wipe out all partitions.
Well I always do a new install every 4 or 5 moths, and I don't want to have to do this every time so it's best just to correct the problem now I guess.

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