Hi, I'm new here, but I heard these might be good forums in which to ask, so I hope some expert will see something I'm missing.
I originally was running Windows Vista x64 as my sole operating system. When the Windows 7 beta came out, I created a new partition and began dual-booting. I have been using that beta as my primary OS for several months, I think, keeping the other drive and the dual boot capability. I can't remember for sure, since I have blank DVDs but can't find a Windows 7 beta DVD, but I -think- that my method of installing the Windows 7 beta was as follows:
1. Mount Windows 7 beta ISO with Daemon Tools Lite
2. Run the setup program from it (or maybe I extracted the ISO to a directory and then ran the setup)
3. Install Windows 7 to the D: partition that I had created, while running Vista
4. The beta automatically configured dual boot. If I booted Vista, Vista viewed "itself" as drive C, and Windows 7 as something like drive D. If I booted Windows 7, it viewed "itself" as drive C, and Windows Vista as drive E. This was perfect.
I've been putting off installing the RC due to being busy/lazy, but I finally tried doing it over the weekend. I have tried four times, and all four have met with the same fate. The dual-boot configuration that gets generated looks right. Windows Vista boots viewing "itself" as drive C, and 7 as drive D. Windows 7, however, views "itself" as drive D, and Windows Vista as drive C.
This might work okay for a little bit, but I REALLY don't want to install anything on it since I'm afraid that something might mess up by depending on a C drive letter. Also, it's just far simpler to have the Windows 7 drive be C when it's actually booted. I've done a fair bit of searching in different places, and I can't find ANYONE who has had the same problem as me, which kind of boggles my mind. The only thing I have found so far that is almost similar is this thread/post: 7even System partition letter change.
But that confuses me, since I definitely installed the beta, and it definitely worked great with appropriate drive letters, and I'm almost positive that I started the installation from within Vista, not from a burned DVD. The four methods that I have tried and failed for intalling the RC are as follows:
1. Reformat old windows 7 beta partition. Use daemon tools lite to mount windows 7 RC ISO. Run windows 7 install, installing to the "D:" partition that I intended to be for windows 7.
2. I think I basically did the same thing again. I might have made sure to delete the partition this time and recreate it, same result. Might have messed around some trying to change drive letters, messing up boot managers, etc., recovering from Vista boot CD.
3. Tried manually deleting the old Windows 7 beta boot entry (technically, this was probably the Windows 7 RC boot entry by now) from the boot menu, using msconfig. Verified that it was gone with bcdedit. Reformatted Windows 7 partition (might have deleted and recreated it too). Tried using daemon tools lite virtual mount to install windows 7 again, same result, messed-up drive letters in Windows 7.
4. Tried extracting the ISO files for the RC installation. Manually copied them to a directory on the D: partition (which I again reformatted), after seeing the post I referenced above. Started installation from there, while booted into Vista. Same result.
So, hopefully I've been clear enough with information. SURELY there is some way for me to boot both OSes with C: as the primary drive? Will installing from a DVD magically fix it? If so, why didn't it work before? I'd rather not take the time to burn a DVD if it might have the same weird installation result as my previous four attempts, but I might try it anyway.
If it helps, here's my bcdedit information for my current ("messed-up") boot configuration, sans GUIDs:
Windows Boot Manager
description Windows Boot Manager
Windows Boot Loader
description Windows 7
Windows Boot Loader
description Microsoft Windows Vista