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Windows 7: Change System Drive letter without breaking PC


25 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 
Change System Drive letter without breaking PC

I installed Windows Server 2008 R2 onto a computer that was running Windows 7. I installed it onto the secondary partition, D:\. I assumed Windows would automatically switch the drive letters around to make the System Drive C:\. It didn't.

How can I change the system drive letter without breaking everything and without a complete reinstall? I've tried the obvious method of 'just' changing the drive letter but that ended with the PC not being able to boot at all.

If some one can enlighten me I would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance .

osholt

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I would try changing the Drive letter to C: and then run Startup Repair - you may need to run it up to 3 times.

Startup Repair
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

I found this article that may or may not offer a solution to your dilemma:

Dual Boot from VHD Using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 - Keith Combs' Blahg - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

If the existing C drive is active then would that explain why you couldn't change the drive letter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


26 Jun 2011   #4

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
I found this article that may or may not offer a solution to your dilemma:

Dual Boot from VHD Using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 - Keith Combs' Blahg - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

If the existing C drive is active then would that explain why you couldn't change the drive letter?
I changed the drive letter of the seven partition the first time but I will look into it again.
I'm more concerned with all the programs and, more importantly, user accounts being accessible without some serious reinstalling.

I will look into the start up repair idea further.

thanks.

osholt
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

If you dual Vista & Windows 7 will always see the OS partition as C:, in each OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
If you dual Vista & Windows 7 will always see the OS partition as C:, in each OS.
Exactly - I wonder why it is different with Server 2008.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jun 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

My understanding is the Startup Repair only recreates the boot files and Master Boot Record for Windows. Barefoot Kid describes it well in the first paragraph here: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times . It only corrects the path errors caused when the OS is moved or the drive structure changes.

I never got the impression that the process changes any other settings of the OS, but I defer to the Windows 7 OS experts here on those details.

You are running Windows 7 in a VHD (I assume) on a Mac so I don't know if that has any bearing on the partition structure in the virtual environment, but I doubt it since I believe Windows just ignores non-NTFS partitions anyway. Not my cup of tea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
If you dual Vista & Windows 7 will always see the OS partition as C:, in each OS.
Exactly - I wonder why it is different with Server 2008.
Exactly, it is the same.

Change System Drive letter without breaking PC-2008-r2-001.png

Change System Drive letter without breaking PC-2008-r2-002.png


Have you been using 3rd Party Partitioning tools?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

Sorry for the MASSIVE delay. I've been out of the country for various reasons.

To clear up any issues about hardware etc.The Hardware in question is an Acer Veriton X275 which came with a pre-partitioned hard disk like many PCs these days. One partition showed up in Windows 7 as C:\ and one as D:\. I installed Server 2008 R2 on the second partition, D:/. It just seems to have kept the original drive letter for reasons I don't know.

I now finally have time to give these solutions a go.

I will report back soonish.

Sorry again for the massive delay.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

I think I've found out why it was on D:\ and not C:\ now. I originally started the installation through the Windows 7 install which shows the drive letters Windows 7 uses when selecting an install disk. As I installed it on D:\ it thought that the drive letter should stay the same.

Starting the installation straight from the disk, however, does not give you the list of drive letters so whatever partition you choose it installs on C:\.

I decided to backup all the stuff I use on the server and just do a clean install (IIS was giving me grief as well about me completely changing how I wanted it to host my websites) and hopefully I can put this problem behind me now; trying to fix it "properly" is just to much of a pain.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Change System Drive letter without breaking PC




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