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Windows 7: Change Drive letter: Partition containing OS

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03 Feb 2010   #1

Xp, Vista, 7
 
 
Change Drive letter: Partition containing OS

I have Windows 7 RC on my Computer. It is on Drive C:

I got this Vista Recovry disk that came with the laptop, and I was going to use it to dual boot Vist with the Windows 7. The Recovery disk will ONLY install onto drive C, there is NO OTHER intallation options.

The Question: If I change the Drive letter of my Windows 7 Drive to Drive D: and then change the Empty partition to C: will my Windows 7 still be bootable? Even if I chagne the boot loader option of Windows 7 to drive D: ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

I have never been able to change an OS to another letter without bricking the OS. The only tutorials for doing so make it clear it is only if the OS letter has slipped.

What I would do is save externally a backup image of Windows 7 using an imaging software that will allow you to select where to reimage, such as Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Free Download or Macrium Reflect.

Then go ahead and do the Vista factory restore, shrink Vista partition in Disk Management, reimage Windows 7 to the shrunken space. Now boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times to rewrite the MBR to Windows 7 and possibly configure the dual boot. If not, use EasyBCD 2.0 beta in Windows 7 to add VIsta.

Others may have an easier idea. You'll have the backup image as a path back, so it's worth a try since Windows 7's drive letter is in most cases relative anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

This may not actually be an issue

the default working method for later Microsoft operating systems is to always set the system drive to C:.

This is the case with Vista and Windows 7, but as this is an internal setting to each operating system and if you are installing from outside the actual OS, I assume this is a boot recovery system or from recovery CD/DVD, then the drive letter will not be set.

I have both vista and Windows 7 on different partitions on this machine, both show the system drive as C: when you are running them and the other OS as some other drive letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2010   #4

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Blizzerd View Post
I have Windows 7 RC on my Computer. It is on Drive C:

I got this Vista Recovry disk that came with the laptop, and I was going to use it to dual boot Vist with the Windows 7. The Recovery disk will ONLY install onto drive C, there is NO OTHER intallation options.

The Question: If I change the Drive letter of my Windows 7 Drive to Drive D: and then change the Empty partition to C: will my Windows 7 still be bootable? Even if I chagne the boot loader option of Windows 7 to drive D: ?
Hey Blizzard

Do you have a recovery partition with an image on the system?

If you change win 7 to D, you will have to use something like BcdEdit to modify the boot loader and it might even boot, but all the paths in that installation will be pointing to C:\ not D. so when you install something it will try toinstall it in vists

A better solution would be to restore vista from image and re-install win 7 clean

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I would image your current "C" drive with something like Macrium, them use your recovery disk to install Vista then make another partition and restore the Windows 7 image to the new partition. You might then need to use EasyBCD to get your boot loader looking right.

The RC expires in a month anyway, so it would be a good idea to simply upgrade to Windows 7. You will have to do a clean install at some point.

Best of luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #6

Xp, Vista, 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nate42nd View Post
I would image your current "C" drive with something like Macrium, them use your recovery disk to install Vista then make another partition and restore the Windows 7 image to the new partition. You might then need to use EasyBCD to get your boot loader looking right.

The RC expires in a month anyway, so it would be a good idea to simply upgrade to Windows 7. You will have to do a clean install at some point.

Best of luck

Yeah, I realized changing the Drive letter in disk management won't even work. So I'ma see if I can just copy the OS, I'm looking into all of your responses atm, Ty, I'll reply soon if I have questions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Change Drive letter: Partition containing OS




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