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Boot volume drive letter

By wcp ·
I have a following system that the drive letter of a boot volume got changed and I am trying to get it back (if possible).


1. HD1 has two partitions; C and D. C has Windows XP Home. D has no OS.
2. HD2 & HD3 are set up as RAID 1 (mirrored) with an Adaptec RAID card and has Windows XP Pro.
3. CD-ROM
4. SCSI Iomega tape drive

The Windows XP Pro crashed and it was decided on reinstallation of Windows.
In the middle of installation process, there was an error message saying the installation could not continue. It was not related to any HW problem.

I managed to finish installation but found the drive letter was changed from G to F.
Now, programs like MS Office, QuickBooks Pro, and others would not run.
If I boot to Windows XP Home, the RAID HD is seen as G.

Things I tried.

1. Reinstallation of Windows.
In the middle of process, it asked to provide a file, which it was trying to find from G (CD-ROM now) and I had to point to F drive to continue. The drive letter stayed as F.

2. Renamed “Dosdevices\F:” to “Dosdevices\G:” in the Registry without success.

Reinstalling those programs would be my last resort.

Any ideas or recommendations of getting the drive letter back?

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by willcomp In reply to Boot volume drive letter

A real kludge, but could work.

Create a small (8MB or so) partition on RAID array and format it from within XP Home. Then try installing XP Pro on remainder of array.

Dalton

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by wcp In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

Your solution might work if I clean install WIndows XP Pro.
I'd rather reinstall programs.

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by razz2 In reply to Boot volume drive letter

Two things I would do.

First, I have found that having some SCSI devices connected during install cause this sometimes, so try pulling the Tape Drive during install and then adding it back.

Second, I would be curious if there is any non-existant device that is still ghosted in device manager. As per this KB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q315539

"
Device Manager displays only non-Plug and Play devices, drivers, and printers when you click Show hidden devices on the View menu. Devices that you install that are not connected to the computer (such as a Universal Serial Bus [USB] device or "ghosted" devices) are not displayed in Device Manager, even when you click Show hidden devices.

WORKAROUND
To work around this behavior and display devices when you click Show hidden devices:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
2. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
3. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER (where %SystemRoot% is the folder in which Windows XP is installed):
cd\%SystemRoot%\system32
4. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
start devmgmt.msc
5. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager.

NOTE: Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Managers before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.
6. When you finish troubleshooting, close Device Manager.
7. Type exit at the command prompt.

Note that when you close the command prompt window, Window clears the devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 variable that you set in step 2 and prevents ghosted devices from being displayed when you click Show hidden devices.
"
Good Luck,

razz

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by wcp In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

See my comment on top.

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by p.j.hutchison In reply to Boot volume drive letter

You need to remove any external drives such as the Iomega which tends to grab drive letters first before installing XP.

You will need to repartition, reformat and reinstall XP again so it will go onto C:.

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by wcp In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

C: has Windows XP Home already.
I'd like Windows XP Pro in G not in F. The programs originally were installed in G. Because the drive letter got changed (from G to F during reinstallation of Windows XP Pro), the programs would not run now.

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by dmead74 In reply to Boot volume drive letter

Have you tried simply going into the Disk Management snap-in and reassigning the drive letters how you want them?

In case you don't know, right-click My Computer, select Manage, the Disk Management from the tree. You can right-click any drive in the lower pane to change drive letters.

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by wcp In reply to

Poster rated this answer.

You cannot change drive letter of System volume or Boot volume from Disk Management.

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by wcp In reply to Boot volume drive letter

Razz,

If I remove the SCSI Iomega Tape drive, which is E in Windws XP Pro, there would be one less drive letter. If I then install Windows XP Pro, it might be installed in E not in G.
Please clarify this.

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by dmead74 In reply to Boot volume drive letter

Good point about the system drive. I see what you mean. When I've moved programs between drives, as in copy the program folder, or changed CD-ROM drive letters, I would just change the drive letter references in the registry. It's not pretty, but it works. You seem to want the same result: to get the programs working from a different drive letter.

You could try going into regedit and searching for the drive letter you want to change. It is easier if you do this on a per program basis because you can look for part of the path name as well to narrow the search. Of course, this may not work with all programs, depending on where they store their config, most should be in the registry, but some may have ini files of other custom data files. You may still be able to edit those too though.

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