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Windows 7: Change drive letter for upgraded HDD on SSD-OS/HDD-User files setup

03 Nov 2011   #1
rsteffer

Window 7 professional 64bit
 
 
Change drive letter for upgraded HDD on SSD-OS/HDD-User files setup

I recently set up a new Systemax SYX-1113 PC with a SSD (C:\) for Win 7 Pro and a 1TB HDD (G:\) for my user libraries and programs. I need to upgrade the HDD from a 1GB to a 2 GB drive so I cloned the 1TB (G:\) drive to a new 2TB (H:\) drive. My new challenge is figuring out how to switch the drive letters on the two HDDs so that Windows looks to the new drive for the user directories and program files. I tried using disk manager in Win7 and got the BSOD - I guess it didn't like me changing the location of the active user profile. I assume I need to boot the PC from something other than the C: drive to make the change. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Nov 2011   #2
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Have you tried just swaping the SATA cables?

Turn off the PC.
Unplug the power supply.
Swap the G: and H: SATA cables.
Plug in, turn on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #3
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

That won't work - Windows stores drive letter assignments in its registry, they're linked to the partitions seen on each disk and it won't matter where the physical disk is connected.

For the same reason, you won't be able to change the letters outside of Windows either.

I'd probably boot into a rescue environment and try to edit the Windows registry offline and change letter assignments that way, but it's not easy and the exact steps escape me at the moment.

An alternative solution might be to simply clone your 1TB drive to the 2TB drive again, but this time also from a boot CD instead of within Windows. Then you'd disconnect (or wipe clean) the 1TB drive before booting Windows back up so it doesn't get confused seeing two identical G: drives.

Perhaps someone has a better idea I'm not thinking of. Still early in the morning here and my coffee is slow kicking in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Nov 2011   #4
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

I'm not sure why you got the BSOD. I have done it before and windows didn't like it too much. but it worked after a reboot. You cannot have 2 drives with the same letter, So in disk management I would change the drive letter of "G" drive to the "Q" drive, then change the "H" drive to "G", the change the "Q" drive to "H". Then reboot. During the process you are going to loose all user files, Icons and everything else, but it should not BSOD. At least it didn't for me, and worked well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #5
rsteffer

Window 7 professional 64bit
 
 

Well the second time it worked! Thanks essenbe!! Used disk management to change drive letters with no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #6
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

That's great. I'm glad you have it the way you want it. Good job.
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 Change drive letter for upgraded HDD on SSD-OS/HDD-User files setup




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