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Change drive letter of windows 2000 boot/system disk

Posted on 2004-03-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I am running a windows 2000 server with four disks, two of which are connected to an adaptec 1200A raid controller for mirroring.  This works fine.
The other two disks are both on the same IDE controller (not on the raid for the moment).  I tried to use ghost to copy the contents of my current boot disk C:  to the other disk which I had assigned the drive letter H:
Ghost aborted for some reason.
The server rebooted seemingly without problem but I got a service startup error and was unable to log in.  A check with the disk administrator of another machine on the network of the server disks showed that the drive letters on these two disks had been swapped !  Meaning I am now booting from disk H: and disk C: is now an empty volume (NTFS formatted and available).  The result of course is that I cannot log in and services do not start correctly because they all refer to C: on which there are no files.
I tried to remotely change the drive letters again, but while this works for the empty volume, I cannot change the letter on the system disk back to C:

I can map the server hard disks remotely as H$ or C$, so I can edit the boot.ini etc..  I can also get to the registry remotely, and suspect I can change that there, but do not know where to look.

In summary, my question is : how do I change the drive letter of my boot/system disk back to C: ?

My boot.ini file looks like this :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server" /fastdetect
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Question by:wilfrieds
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Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 10698295
Wow - that's an interesting problem.  :)
Presumably you've tried both safe mode (append /SAFEBOOT instead of /fastdetect) and LKG (Last Known Good)?
Try booting into the recovery console (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=229716) and type

FIXBOOT
FIXMBR
BOOTCFG /Rebuild

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Fatal_Exception earned 500 total points
ID: 10698326
This might work..  Not going to test it on my sytem, for obvious reasons..  :)

HOW TO: Restore the System/Boot Drive Letter in Windows

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;223188
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10698342
What the heck...   Just reread that article, and since I had broke my mirror in my test box yesterday, I went ahead and tried the registry fix..  I believe this is exactly what you need to do...  follow the directions and you should be fine..

FE

Good morning SB..!!!
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by:sirbounty
ID: 10698346
Well cut my legs off and call me Shorty.
Good one FE...
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10698353
I do so love your wit, SB...   Good to start the day with a chuckle..  Thanks..
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10698570
I saw a Microsoft article once that claimed to boot with a Windows 98 disk and use fdisk to reset the active partition.

An interesting solution for Microsoft W2k server KB article but it works.
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by:wilfrieds
ID: 10701449
I tried the microsoft article and it worked .... to some extent : when I rebooted the server it gave me the message there was something wrong with my SAM and advised me to reboot in Directory Repair mode.  Which I did, but which didn't solve a thing.
Since I was running out of time, I had to reghost the disk from a previous configuration and reinstall some programs that I had installed between ghost versions.  Now the system comes up fine, but my clients cannot log in anylonger.  It is not the first time I notice that when you ghost a disk, the clients do not seem to recognize the domain controller as the original thing.  
Before I accept FE's answer, I was hoping you could point me in the best direction for this one too.
Thanks.
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10701486
Was it already a domain controller or did you have to re-promote it? If you did you will need to rejoin all clients to the domain. :(
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by:wilfrieds
ID: 10702259
Diggisaur : it was already a domain controller.
The directory lists all computer accounts available in my domain.
I already tried the following : log on locally to a workstation with the administrator account, try to rejoin the domain; system tells me there is already a computer account and do I wish to use that account; when I say "yes", system tells me it is impossible to execute that command as more than one user with the same name are logged on at that time (which is of course not true).
I think that if I delete the computer account manually from the server, I will probably be able to rejoin the domain after that, but needless to say I do not like to do that (and it is not a very elegant solution either).
The situation makes me wonder if this will happen as well if I mirror and one of the hard disks fails and I want to use the other part of the mirror.
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by:wilfrieds
ID: 10702263
I'll make it a separate question : seems more fair.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 10702659
Thanks, Wil...  Post the link to your other question, and we will follow you over..

FE
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by:wilfrieds
ID: 10702949
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