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Windows 7: Installed 7 to E:; move to C:

08 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Installed 7 to E:; move to C:

I installed Windows 7 to the drive letter (C:), but the Windows installer made the drive I wanted to use (E:) instead of (C:).

I have a 320 GB drive (E:) and 200 GB drive (C:). I would like to move Windows 7 from my 200 GB (C:) drive to my 320 GB (E:) drive, but then change my 320 GB drive so that it becomes (C:) and the 200 GB drive so it becomes (E:). See below:

200 GB (C:) Windows 7 --> 320 GB (C:) Windows 7
320 GB (E:) Archive --> 200 GB (E:) Archive

I backed up my Windows 7 and Archive partitions using Active Boot Disk, then used the Partition Tool to change the drive letter of the 200 GB (C:) to make it 200 GB (E:) and formatted the 320 GB (E:) and change the drive letter to (C:).

At this point I had:

320 GB (C:) Free space
200 GB (E:) Windows 7

I proceeded to restore the backup partition of Windows 7 to the now free 320 GB (C:) partition with Active Boot Disk.

Finally, I had:

320 (C:) Windows 7
200 (E:) Windows 7

However, after restarting, my computer still loads Windows 7 from the 200 GB Drive! Then Windows changed all the drive letters back to how they were before!

I am now stuck with:

200 (C:) Windows 7
320 (E:) Windows 7

How do I get windows to boot from the 320 GB drive and name it with the drive letter (C:)?

I would wipe the 200 GB drive free of Windows 7, but I wanted to make sure I got it working on the 320 GB drive before I erase it.

Please advise!



PS-I am not changing my hardware configuration so I was expecting that I would be able to perform this move without trouble.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jan 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Mark the new Windows 7 HD active in Disk Management.

Make sure new Windows 7 HD is set as first HD to boot in BIOS or plug the old Windows 7 HD cable into it, Unplug the old Windows 7 drive,

boot into the Windows 7 DVD Repair console, click through to Recovery Tools list and run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times to repair or rewrite the MBR to new Windows 7.

You cannot change the drive letter by assigning another, however Windows 7 may do it for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Now would be the time to do a clean install and this time unplug the drive you don't want the os on. Now Win 7 will become C:, delete the partition on the other drive from disk mgr it will become unallocated space partition the way you want, format give drive letter and your done. Be sure you backup all your important data before you start.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


I tried this but following the change, Windows will not load my user profile and it now has a watermarked background reporting that "This copy of Windows is not genuine".


Yes, I think it would be a good idea too. I just don't want to reactivate, considering I just did so last night before I realized what I had done. I'll probably need to call Microsoft and be harangued by some customer service rep. They're probably not even open!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


If that is the case, use FREE Rescue Kit Express | PARAGON Software Group

Boot the Paragon cd - select Normal Mode , then Boot Corrector.

Correct drive letters in the system registry. Assign C to the NEW copied 7 partition

If this fails, then reassign D: to be able to boot into 7.

Attached Thumbnails
Installed 7 to E:; move to C:-capture.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installed 7 to E:; move to C:

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