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Windows 7: Computer changed HD letter and will not Boot


16 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Computer changed HD letter and will not Boot

Hey All,
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read my nerve-racking conundrum, Im at witts end.

I was on my computer when I noticed that the file icons were not what I had picked. This was my first inclination that something was amiss. I opened a program I have used for years, File Type Manager, to fix it. Thats when things started getting screwey. Noton's "Sonar" didnt like the program and deleted it. Then I made the mistake of re-booting it, thinking I could just restore it from a previous point if it was too messed up.

Well, from then on I get the computer's splash screen and it goes strait to a black screen with a cursur in the upper left corner that does a whole bunch of nothing.
When I booted it off the Restore disk I see that it had my boot hard drive (I have only one) listed as D: instead of C:. Using the command prompt I was able to see that my hard drive appears to have all my data there, just under the wrong drive letter. The "C:" drive has nothing on it and is labeled as being SYSTEM RESERVED.

Now, I looked at it's BIOS and I cant assign a drive letter from there. I have tried to restore my computer from an earlier point from System Recovery Options. No change. It still looks at my Hard Drive as D:. It will not boot off the Hard Drive at all, so I cant even go into safe mode. I have seen similar problems to this elsewhere on the net, but have found no answers that would be applicable to my situation. I am dumbfounded and would appreciate any help or advice anybody is willing to give. I am about to loose it give my 'puter a terribly violent reprograming.

Thanks Alot,
Geneo713

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Jan 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 


Likely your C: was renamed to D: because you booted from a DVD. The boot drive is, or should be, C:.
Is that an ACER factory recover disk?

Oops! I forgot to say Welcome to Seven Forums!
EDIT: The C: is the boot partition Windows creates but it shouldn't have any drive lteer, but that may be from booting from the recover disk. Try booting to safe mode, repeatedly tapping F8 during reboot and choose Safe Mode with networking. Run a Norton full scan from there.
Antoher thing to try is the Startup Repair accessed in the same way as above. It may need 3 attempts to repair the boot partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

I think the Drive letters can be changed using a Partition Manager Boot Disk. Have you tried doing that and renaming your original C drive as C and making it active?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


17 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the Welcome and the help. Been lurking here every once in a while when the stuff hits the fan, technichly speaking, with my 'puter. Usualy get the problem resolved from someone else's similar problem, but this one has me stumped. I can not get it into safe mode as it will not even try to boot from my hard drive. Ive tried mashing F8 during startup, and get no response. I used startup repair once I booted using recovery disks (not acer rec disks, they gave me nothing) and the startup repair said everything was fine and asked if I had added any new USB perifirals (which I had not). I just tried it a third time and still get "Startup Repair could not detect a problem"

The only way I can get it to boot at all its with the Boot Recovery disk and when I goto the Command prompt in system recovery options, it starts me out in
X:\windows\system32> (with X: labeled Boot)
I can goto D: and see what looks like all my HD data, and when I goto C: it very difenitly labels it as C: "C is SYSTEM RESERVED"

I am using a program called VMware, that makes a virtual XP OS and virtual partition when in use, but I dont think that this is the problem as it is not an accual partition. But I am not rulling anything out. Any Ideas?
Thanks Again,
Geneo713

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post

Likely your C: was renamed to D: because you booted from a DVD. The boot drive is, or should be, C:.
Is that an ACER factory recover disk?

Oops! I forgot to say Welcome to Seven Forums!
EDIT: The C: is the boot partition Windows creates but it shouldn't have any drive lteer, but that may be from booting from the recover disk. Try booting to safe mode, repeatedly tapping F8 during reboot and choose Safe Mode with networking. Run a Norton full scan from there.
Antoher thing to try is the Startup Repair accessed in the same way as above. It may need 3 attempts to repair the boot partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #5

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the Help,
No I havent tried that, I do not have a partition manager boot disk. It is reading a drive called C: at the moment, would it refuse to name D: (my boot and only HD) C: as I already have a volume named that? Where could I get a partition manager boot disk? I am not familiar with them.

Geneo713

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wanchoo View Post
I think the Drive letters can be changed using a Partition Manager Boot Disk. Have you tried doing that and renaming your original C drive as C and making it active?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote:
The only way I can get it to boot at all its with the Boot Recovery disk and when I goto the Command prompt in system recovery options, it starts me out in
X:\windows\system32> (with X: labeled Boot)
I can goto D: and see what looks like all my HD data, and when I goto C: it very difenitly labels it as C: "C is SYSTEM RESERVED"
The drive letters are OK.

Computer changed HD letter and will not Boot-rp-delete001.png

I would Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

There seems to be no Active, Primary Drive. Try booting from System Reserved Drive if you can if booting from C fails.

There is an excellent shareware boot disk of Acronis Disk Director Suite and another free one of Partition Wizard that too is excellent. Both programs can be downloaded from the Net.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Quote:
The only way I can get it to boot at all its with the Boot Recovery disk and when I goto the Command prompt in system recovery options, it starts me out in
X:\windows\system32> (with X: labeled Boot)
I can goto D: and see what looks like all my HD data, and when I goto C: it very difenitly labels it as C: "C is SYSTEM RESERVED"
The drive letters are OK.

Attachment 193602

I would Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

Thanks for all the help guys, but I cant seem to get anywhere with this.

@Theog - I downloaded the diagnostic tools for my Western Digital HD, but I cant get any of them to work through the command prompt, nor are they bootable. I tried the Windows and DOS versions and neither woud work. I get "subsystem needed to support the image type is not present" from the Windows version.

@Wanchoo - I have C: drive listed as primary boot (& only HD) in BIOS and it will not boot from it, When I check it with command prompt, there is nothing there, but it is labeled as System Reserved. In the System Recovery Options screen after a Recovery Disk boot it has my OS listed as "Location-(D Primary Hard Drive" Is there a way to boot from it. I havent been able to do much with only the Recovery boot disk to boot from. I cant even use safe mode. It goes strait from the Acer splash screen to blank & blinking cursur.

So that I am up with what is happening, my only hard drive that I have, always used as c: and booted from has no data. It is listed as system reserved, and what I see in comand prompt as D drive, with all my data, but not being booted from is my C: drives data? And is supposed to be that way? Could it be trying to boot from C: and not finding anythng because it is looking at the c: drive with no data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote:
@Theog - I downloaded the diagnostic tools for my Western Digital HD, but I cant get any of them to work through the command prompt, nor are they bootable. I tried the Windows and DOS versions and neither woud work. I get "subsystem needed to support the image type is not present" from the Windows version.
Download the bootable DOS ISO & burn to CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

Please read the thread "Windows 7 Forums > Windows 7 help and support > Installation & Setup BOOTMGR is Missing". The Thread Starter was unable to boot till he tried to boot from the System Reserved Partition. Did you try that?

And finally when all avenues seem closed then the last option remaining is to start all over again by deleting all the partitions and then repartitioning the HD and reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch. This never fails if all the hardware in the computer is functioning properly.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Geneo713 View Post
Thanks for all the help guys, but I cant seem to get anywhere with this.

@Wanchoo - I have C: drive listed as primary boot (& only HD) in BIOS and it will not boot from it, When I check it with command prompt, there is nothing there, but it is labeled as System Reserved. In the System Recovery Options screen after a Recovery Disk boot it has my OS listed as "Location-(D Primary Hard Drive" Is there a way to boot from it. I havent been able to do much with only the Recovery boot disk to boot from. I cant even use safe mode. It goes strait from the Acer splash screen to blank & blinking cursur.

So that I am up with what is happening, my only hard drive that I have, always used as c: and booted from has no data. It is listed as system reserved, and what I see in comand prompt as D drive, with all my data, but not being booted from is my C: drives data? And is supposed to be that way? Could it be trying to boot from C: and not finding anythng because it is looking at the c: drive with no data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer changed HD letter and will not Boot




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