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Windows 7: Windows 7 installer sets its own path as C:\ - cannot install to C:\

27 Aug 2015   #1
Toshiko

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows 7 installer sets its own path as C:\ - cannot install to C:\

My Windows 7 installation is many years old, and gone through many hardware changes, software installations and uninstallations, and Windows itself has been getting progressively slower, buggier, and prone to odd crashes and hang ups. I decided to try repairing the installation with my original install disc, but found that my DVD drive is no longer functional. Having used the official ISO from Microsoft to create a bootable USB for my netbook worked swimmingly. For my desktop, not so much.

When booting from USB on my desktop, the Windows 7 installer mounts itself as drive C while detecting my existing Windows installation as being drive D when it is actually and most certainly C. I've tried forcing drive paths from within Windows, changing boot order, switching USB ports, all manner of UEFI options pertaining to USB... and it always sets the installer as C, unable to set the Windows install path to C because C is in use by the installer.

I'm a bit too paranoid to try repairing Windows for fear of it totally screwing everything up with the forced drive path change, and using a drive path other than C for a clean install is, at best, undesirable. Would also prefer not to spend money on a DVD drive that I will in all likelihood use exactly once.

Motherboard (which I'd wager is the culprit) is an embarrassingly flashy ASRock P67 Professional.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Aug 2015   #2
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Toshiko View Post
When booting from USB on my desktop,
That statement contradicts itself.

You don't boot from USB on the desktop.

If you are trying to do a clean install, you shutdown or restart and boot from the USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #3
Toshiko

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It's not contradictory, you misunderstood what I meant by 'desktop'. I meant 'desktop' as in 'not a laptop or notebook or tablet, but a full tower with a separate monitor'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Aug 2015   #4
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Maybe I did then, what did you mean by mounting?

That doesn't sound like it was booted to me, that sounds like an attempt at a repair or upgrade install especially since you say it was given a letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #5
Toshiko

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Okay. When you put the Windows 7 installation DVD in your DVD drive and reboot your computer, assuming the DVD drive has boot priority, it will boot up the Windows 7 installer. The installer will be ostensibly be mounted to a non-C drive path - D, or E, for example.

In my case, I cannot use my original Windows 7 installer because my DVD drive is kaput. I had to re-use a bootable USB image that I previously made for my netbook. On my netbook, the USB image mounts itself as D (which is the expected and sane behavior). On my [full tower desktop PC], the USB image mounts itself as C, and the installer claims it has found an existing Windows installation on drive D rather than its actual installation path of C:\Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #6
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Interesting. I don't get any lettered drive path when I boot an installer. Maybe someone else has seen this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #7
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

I've never seen a Windows installer use anything other than X: for itself.

Follow these directions for a clean install: How to Clean Reinstall a Factory OEM Windows 7

If you are trying to do a Repair Install then you need to run setup.exe from the flash drive while booted to the current Windows 7 installation: How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #8
Toshiko

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

> hdd0 main partition is listed as D:\
> Windows installation is listed as found at D:\Windows
> use menu to attempt to change hdd0 partition to C:\
> get error saying C:\ is in use by GRMCULXFRER_EN_DVD (Windows 7 installer)
> cannot change installer drive path because it is the current operating system in use.

Also, I cannot follow the reinstall instructions for reasons I hoped were obvious by this point. Repairing yields the same issue when computer reboots. USB is C:\ and it needs to be literally any other drive path, because my OS drive is C:\ and it should stay that way, lest the whole registry be borked beyond recognition with incorrect filepaths and so forth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #9
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

Post a snapshot of a fullscreen Disk Management Window:

To open Disk Management, press Windows key+r, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter or click GO. Make it full screen. Expand the fields as necessary so everything can be seen.

Vista and Windows 7: How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista - Vista Forums (says it's for Vista but also works with Win 7/8).

Or see here: How to Upload and Post a Screenshot and File in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2015   #10
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

What you are saying does not coincide with what should be seen when booting an installer, so there is no obvious reason we can see yet.

Can you post one of these,

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 installer sets its own path as C:\ - cannot install to C:\




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