We help IT Professionals succeed at work.
Get Started

Resintallatino of Win XP - boot drive (c:) keeps on installing as e: drive!?!

jimbojr asked
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Ok. I'm an old dog at this and have never encountered this situation before.

I decided to a clean install of Win XP Pro on my Compaq laptop *after* deleting the primary partition using BootIT NG.

After reinstalling WinXP SP1, the C: drive is now the E: drive.

Just a couple of things you can rule out off the bat:

1. I only have one hard drive in this laptop and its on the primary IDE controller.
2. There are no other devices except the floppy drive and CDRom/DVD drive (D:)
3. I cannot change the drive designation using the windows management console as e: is the boot drive for WinXP. The Disk Manager component will not let me change it.
4. The registry hack on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices recommended by Microsoft to change the drive letter doesn't work. Since this is a reinstall of Windows, system files point to the new drive letter E:. If I change it through the registry, the system will not boot.
5. I've attempted a 2nd  re-install where I again deleted the primary partition. The only other partition on the hard drive is my 8MB EMB partition used by BooIT NG.
6. FYI, WinXP Home edition came pre-installed on the laptop orginally from Compaq. I'm installing WinXP pro off of a CD.

Is Windows leaving behind some mysterious secret partition that contains information on any previous intallations? Is there a secret backup copy of the registry somewhere? Or, is the installation process just incorrectly assigning drive letter E:, and if so, why?

I'm at the point that a reinstall is not a big deal.  I really don't want to live with an E: drive as my primary drive as so much software wants to, by default, work with drive C:. And, I don't want to have to remember to type in E: before everything -- call me lazy.

Can I force the boot drive to be C: during the installation?


Watch Question
Top Expert 2004
This problem has been solved!
Unlock 3 Answers and 9 Comments.
See Answers
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE