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Windows 7: Win 7 installed on new drive as "E" Can I change?

29 Nov 2009   #1
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 
Win 7 installed on new drive as "E" Can I change?

I had Vista 64 bit on one hard drive (C). When I upgraded to Win 7 I had to do a new install as I went from Vista 64 bit Home Premium to Win 7 64 bit Professional. That wasn't a problem as I had a new 1TB drive formatted and ready to use for Win 7. However, when I installed Win 7 it installed on the new hard drive but set it up as "E". Now, I have a dual boot with Win 7 and Vista but Win 7 is drive "E". If I remove the dual boot and physically disconnect the Vista drive, can I rename the Win 7 to "C" and will all the installed software recognize "C" instead of the current "E"? I don't need the old Vista 64 bit anymore.

Obviously there is no difference on what the drive letter is, just wanted to get back to the conventional "C" drive without having to do a complete new install, now that I have everything setup and working in Win 7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2009   #2
torrentg

7600.20510 x86
 
 

You can but it has potential problems that may arise.

There is a key you can edit in the registry.

This is for XP but I've already used it fine for Windows 7 too.

Change System Drive Letter in Windows XP

In their example, substitute D: with your E:, instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #3
gregrocker

 

Unfortunately there is no way to rename the drive letter of an active system drive. MS provides a tutorial for doing so if the letter accidentally changes, but warns clearly that it will make the system unbootable otherwise. I have tried it twice and it is unrecoverably boinked.

When you unplug your Vista drive and recover the MBR to Win7, there is a chance Win7 will assume the C: drive as it has the ability to do that itself. Normally it would already view itself as C: when you are in Win7 and E: when in Vista (and vice versa) if this were the case, though.

There is no reason to not have Win7 as E: drive, however there are some simple steps for recovering the MBR to Win7 after you unplug the Vista drive. You must mark the Win7 partition active and then boot into the Win7 DVD Repair console and run Startup Repair 3 times.

This is assuming that you installed Win7 second in a dual boot with Vista and it configured the boot with the MBR remaining on Vista. If you want to know for sure, see which drive is marked Active and System in Disk Management. If you post a screenshot of the full map using the Snipping Tool on Start menu, attached here using the paper clip in reply box, we can advise you better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2009   #4
torrentg

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Unfortunately there is no way to rename the drive letter of an active system drive. MS provides a tutorial for doing so if the letter accidentally changes, but warns clearly that it will make the system unbootable otherwise. I have tried it twice and it is unrecoverably boinked.
Did you completely miss my post saying it works for me and I've done it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #5
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Unfortunately there is no way to rename the drive letter of an active system drive. MS provides a tutorial for doing so if the letter accidentally changes, but warns clearly that it will make the system unbootable otherwise. I have tried it twice and it is unrecoverably boinked.
Did you completely miss my post saying it works for me and I've done it?
Yes, sorry.

Did you miss my statement that I tried it twice and it killed my OS?

Would like to hear from others since we could have both had different luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #6
torrentg

7600.20510 x86
 
 

lol I hear ya.

It's actually quite simple to do if that page I posted is followed precisely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #7
Ztruker

Windows 10 Pro X64
 
 

How does that take care of all the other entries in the registry that point to the original drive letter? There are literally thousands of them.

Also, what about shortcuts that point to the original drive letter? They will now point to nowhere.

I don't see how this can work, but I'm willing to learn.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #8
torrentg

7600.20510 x86
 
 

It simply does what is needed by following the link I posted.

Upon a reboot, the registry is altered on the fly by the OS and things go well from there on.

Now if you have any pointers in software, you'll manually have to change them. An example is like where to save downloads in FF. You'd have to change that by hand if you had it set to the system drive previously. Minor things like that. Or uTorrent save locations etc...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #9
iseeuu

 
 

When I first installed the 7 Beta, I setup the 32 bit and the 64 bit in a dual boot on a single drive. I changed the drives letters so that when I was booted to 32 bit, that partition was C: and the 64 bit was H:. Then when I was booted to the 64 bit, that partition was C: and the 32 bit was H:. No Problems.

Robert

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My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2009   #10
gregrocker

 

This is the tutorial I followed last time I killed my OS doing this:

How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows

Afterward I posted in beta forum asking what I did wrong (twice), and got flamed as the biggest idiot on earth since MS says clearly not to do it except for temporary letter change.

So please excuse if I am still a little scorched from this experience.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7 installed on new drive as "E" Can I change?




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