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Windows 7: Installing win7 in the right partition

11 Dec 2009   #1

windows xp windows 7
Installing win7 in the right partition

Iíve been at this for 4 days, trying to get win 7 64 bit on the right partition. I can get it installed but, it deletes C: (just the drive letter) the drive is still there, and rearranges other drive letters.

I have a 240 gig HD partitioned up to the letter N. Of these XP was installed in 3 different partitions. 1 each for the internet, games and Autocad.

Specs are: Asrock 775 dualvsta
Pentium 4 3.4 G
Nvidia 8600GT
1 G memory Corsair
Creative 7 speaker sound
Feedback joy stick
Nothing overclocked right now.

Here is what takes place. If I start the Win7 32 bit install from within XP it will install properly. This is the first thing I did. I didnít realize my machine would run 64 bit. When I found that out I installed it. Had to boot from the DVD disc, custom install, went well. Runs good, I like it, much faster. Then I realize what happened.

It put itself on C: drive. That drive wasnít partitioned big enough for that. What the, now Autocad in on F:, supposed to be on G:. Holy crap. The hair on the back of my neck is straight up. All the other drives are screwed up. I wonder if I can get into XP.

WOW, went right in, hey everything is alright. All the drives are good. Whewww. It was actually on the correct drive, it had rearranged the drive letters just for itself and eliminated the letter for drive C:. A check on the registry and everything points to C:.

Same thing will take place with the 32 bit if you boot with the DVD and do a clean install.

Question is, how can I get the Win7 64 bit install on the correct partition and leave the drive letters alone?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Just point to the partition where you want it to install on the Custom install drive screen. It should install there. The letter is irrelevant at that point anyway; you are choosing from a map. You can even use Advanced Drive tools to delete, create New and format to be sure.

Win7 will decide what letter it wants to be which will have no effect whatsoever on programs, files, etc, as it remains relative to the OS you are in at the time.

It is a bit disconcerting until you get used to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

As you discovered, running the 32-bit Win7 install SETUP from within 32-bit WinXP and then choosing the "custom" approach so you can create a brand new install on a partition of your choosing (e.g. "N") will end up with that 32-bit Win7 running from that partition when you boot to Win7. Win7 will see itself on a partition whose letter is "N" (e.g. N:\Windows) and WinXP will be on "C" (or wherever your others are). All drive letters will be retained, and you can use BCD to boot from any of them just as you'd expect.

When you run the 64-bit Win7 install SETUP, it obviously cannot be run from under the 32-bit version of any operating system. So you need to boot from the CD as you've discovered, but you'll still get to pick the target partition using the "custom" installation method. However, again as you've discovered, that installed 64-bit Win7 will see itself on its own assigned drive letter of "C" and all your other partitions will be "shuffled" and almost certainly not what you'd wanted and not what you want to end up with.

I'm afraid there's nothing you can do about it.

However at least you certainly can use Disk Management to re-letter all of your partitions to be anything you want, but you'll NOT be able to re-letter the Win7 64-bit boot partition which will simply have to be "C" in your case (i.e. one copy of 64-bit Win7 installed). But all the other partitions other than what is your "C" in the 32-bit environment can be relettered exactly as you want. Your 32-bit "C" cannot be re-lettered to "C" because your 64-bit Win7 is installed as and forced to "C".

I had the same experience. What I decided to do was call my new target partition for 64-bit Win7 as "O" when seen by my 32-bit WinXP (with 64-bit seeing itself on "C"). When booted to 32-bit WinXP (seeing itself on "C") I lettered the 64-bit Win7 partition as "O". At least "C" is the boot partition for either world, and "O" is the opposite boot partition for either world.

Through Disk Management after Win7 got installed, I corrected the "shuffle" of my other partitions and CD and removable drive letters to be 100% consistent no matter what OS I'm booted to. So the rest of the non-boot partitions on my machine (D-N) are now lettered identically in all OS's.

Nothing you can do about this, except to minimize your own confusion by lettering your non-boot drives identically from all OS's (using Disk Management). But 64-bit Win7 will force its apparent boot drive letter to C when using the install CD to run from.

Note that Win7 creates its own special un-lettered "system" partition (seems to be 100MB) to support the new BCDEDIT multi-boot capability which used to be under the control of BOOT.INI (and NTLDR, etc.) under WinXP.

If you have as many installed/bootable copies of Windows as you describe, you might investigate a free product named EasyBCD which is much friendlier than BCDEDIT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Installing win7 in the right partition

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