To start with, yeah I know ... clean install is the best way to go ... Please don't go there. This shouldn't be so hard to do:
Am trying to replace a motherboard. I installed (as best I could "install") the drivers
of the new motherboard in the previous environment and for those things I couldn't install (gee, that hardware isn't present ... duhhhhhh) I copied the installation files to the hdd and then copied the inf's to the windows\inf directory, just for the halibut.
I removed/disabled all the system devices I could which were specific to the previous motherboard and then shut down.
Reboot to the new and boot fails, momentary blue screen which disappears before it can be read, reboot, and the things displays the startup repair option. I tried to do F8 so I could boot safe mode and install the drivers that way, but fricking Windows won't let me get anything other than startup repair or windows normal.
WHY WONT THE FORNICATING ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN FROM REDMOND LET ME BOOT TO SAFE MODE?!!!!
Startup Repair, of course, fails and tells me to boot from install media, which I do. That repair routine then screws the pooch by assigning the System Reserved partition the letter C, the normal C volume becomes D, and we all know how windows is going to react to that little bit of fun ...
So I go to the command prompt in the system recovery tools, run diskpart, remove the C from system reserved, make it ACTIVE, and assign C to the windows volume.
Damned if the next boot doesn't run through the same line of crap again. And yes, I have tried it running bootrec /fixboot, /fixmbr, and /rebuildbcd, and still it runs me through the same gamut of junk and assigns C to the System Reserved partition which then breaks everything again.
I would appreciate any help. In particular, how can I get windows to give me the normal F8 - Advanced Boot Options menu and how can I get it to stop making the system reserved partition the C drive? I suppose I could possibly assign it a different letter while still being active, I haven't tried that, have just tried leaving it without a letter like it is normally ...