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Windows 7: Windows 7 will not boot as drive letter changed from C: to E:

23 Apr 2015   #1

windows 7 64bit home premium
Windows 7 will not boot as drive letter changed from C: to E:

Hi support/helpers

My laptop was booting, but got locked up at one point, well it was not doing anything and seemed to be stuck. Maybe I should have left it a little longer to see if it sorted itself out but I didn't. I held the on/off button down to do a "hard restart". In hind site a dumb thing to do but you can only stare at screen for so long and move a mouse backward and forward with nothing else happening.

The laptop will now not boot, it goes into repair mode but cannot solve anything. It gives me an option to go to the C: prompt in repair mode, which I can do.

The Problem:
my original C: drive is now my E: drive, my D: drive is now my C: drive, my E: drive is now my D: drive.
Everything seems to be ok folders and files etc. just the drive letters messed up.

I guess I corrupted something. Is there a way of getting the drive letters corrected so I can boot into windows?

I cannot press F8 to get to safe mode etc.
In the bios my hard drive is seen and is the first boot drive
My hard drive does have 3 partitions, originally c,d, e. C was where windows 7 was installed too.
I see a recovery folder but dated 2009 and to scared to use it as so old, not that I know how to use it.

Any help would be appreciated, hoping for a simple free utility I can download to sort it all out.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2015   #2

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit

If you can open the Command Prompt in the Recovery Environment using a W7 install disc, you could try using Diskpart to reassign the drive letters.

I wouldn't call the procedure easy, but there should be plenty of tutorials on the Internet.
How to Use Diskpart Utility in Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2015   #3

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

Just because the drive letters are shuffled in Command Prompt doesn't mean they are also shuffled in Windows. If it's booting from a different partition in repair mode the drive letters will get shuffled. IMHO that is not your issue. Diskpart will not let you change the drive letter of the active partition anyway. For example, If you take that drive out and slave it into another PC the drive letters will change yet a again. Put it back in the original PC and they will go back to what they were originally. Is this a factory OEM install? If yes you could do a factory reset. Backup any files you don't want to lose first. Powering on and off quickly 3 times in a row is supposed to bring up a boot up repair option. I'm not sure if that's the same repair option you've already tried though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Apr 2015   #4

windows 7 64bit home premium

Thanks for trying to help.
I am not sure if it is windows changing the drive letters or the partitioning part of the boot process. I can't see how it is the initial boot as drive 0 has always been the C: drive. I can only think that some part of the system registry has gone corrupt and reassign the drives. Really I am at a loss of what to do. I was thinking of making a boot flash drive just to see if my drive C is still my original drive C. This would prove that Windows is changing the drive letters. But from there I would not know what to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2015   #5

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18.3 MATE, W10 Home, #All 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
Diskpart will not let you change the drive letter of the active partition anyway.
You need to use the Command Prompt on the W7 install disc.

Windows will change the drive letters if you have more than one Windows OS installed on your machine.
For example, when I had XP and W7 on my PC, they would both claim to be C: when they were running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2015   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Why don't you get the bootable CD of Partition Wizard and inspect what the real story is.

Bootable Partition Manger | MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2015   #7
Microsoft MVP


The drive letters are often different in the repair mode (WinRE) so that is nothing to be concerned about since the OS will not change drive letters except in a very rare case of failed imaging which I haven't seen in years here.

So you'd follow Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start which includes everything that's possible to start the OS, leading up to if necessary rescuiing your files to run Factory Recovery or do the superior Clean Reinstall Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2015   #8

windows 7 64bit home premium

Thanks will read the articles. Have a feeling a reinstall will be required. I am hoping it will come up and say install or repair. I guess I am lucky I can still get to my data.
I was hoping on something simple but that is disappearing fast.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 will not boot as drive letter changed from C: to E:

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