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System and boot volumes on different drives - how do I change it?

By anddbez ·
I had some hardware issues requiring me to reinstall Windows several times over the past few months, and after resolving those issues Microsoft pulled a good one on me. For some odd reason, it chose one of my drives for a system volume seemingly at random. In the past, it's always placed the system and boot volumes on the same drive, no matter how many I had plugged in during install (I have 6).

Problem is, the system volume it chose is the oldest drive I own, is a refurbished RMA drive and gives SMART failures all the time. How do I switch the system volume to another drive (preferably the boot) before disaster strikes?

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Have you tried the fixmbr command?

by nepenthe0 In reply to System and boot volumes o ...

I am not particularly expert at command line repairs, but fixmbr is supposed to be a valid command in XP.

1) Boot the computer from the installation/repair CD

2) When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Press the R key to repair a Windows XP Pro installation.

3) To replace the Master Boot Record (MBR), at the Recovery Console commant prompt, type fixmbr

4) Verify whethe you want to proceed. Depending upon the location and the cause of the corruption within a damaged MBR, this operation can cause the data on the hard disk to become inaccessible.

Alternatively, use DiskProbe to replace the MBR and Partition Table. If you have backed up the MBR by using DiskProbe, you can use it to restore the MBR on any disk that is not used to start the computer. Restoring the backup MBR rewrites the entire sector, including the partition table.

For more infomration about restoring backed up MBRs by using DiskProbe, click Tools in Help and Support Center and then click Windows Support Tools.

To replace the Boot Sector:

1) Boot computer from installation/recovery CD
2) Press R to repair
3) At the command prompt, type: fixboot [drive]

The preceding was transcribed from the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 3rd ed., 2005), ch. 28 (Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems), pp 1146-1150.

Hope this helps.

Rick/Portland, OR

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When windows loads it gives you a choice.

Of where you want the system to run from.
If the drive is giving you Failures, then take it out. The boot drive you can do in the bios.
When Windows starts press either the "F1. F2. or DEL" key (depending on your system). When it boots up look at the bottom left of your screen, it will say which key to use.
When you press this key it will take you to a page that might be blue with white text or black with white text. When in go to "Boot options" (or something similar), in here you can select which drive you want to boot first. There might be two sections to this depending on the motherboard setup (hdd drive section and the boot section). On some motherboards you have to go in the drive section to bring the drive up certain levels IE: from number 6 to number 1. Number 1 is the boot level that you will need. The second section (boot section) will list your hdd's/floppy and DVD/CD drive(s), in this section you need to select (something like) "first boot device", press the "enter" key and select your DVD drive (for installing your Windows system). "Second boot device", press the "enter" key and select your hdd.
When finished press the key "F10" on your keyboard, this will bring up a little page that will ask you if you want to save the changes, press the "Y" (for yes)key, this will make your motherboard reboot with the new changes and your first boot device will be your dvd drive and the second will be your hdd from which your computer will/should boot from. Hope this helps you.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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