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Change Page File location outside of Win NT

Posted on 2004-08-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have a Win NT workstation which needs to have its PageFile location changed.  Originally, since the C drive was overloaded, I switched the location of the PageFile to the D Drive.  I then tried to install a Zip drive, which, by default became the D drive, and pushed the D drive to Drive E, and the CD (originally the E drive) to the F drive.  While I was in the process of trying to figure out how to assign a different drive letter to the Zip drive, I switched the page file location over to the E drive (the former D dirve).  I then figured how to switch the Zip drive to the J drive, and set the hard drive and the cd back to their normal drive letter assignments.
     However, after rebooting, the system is still looking to the E drive for the page file, and can't obviously find it on the current e drive (the CD rom drive).  The system boots, but is unusable.  I can't even open the system applet to change the page file location back to the D drive.  I found out that there is registry key that I can edit (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE | System | CurrentControlSet | Control | Session Manager | Memory Management | PagingFiles)  However, the system is so ununsable that I can't even run the registry editor.  I don't have a recovery disk, or backup.  Is there anyway to edit the registry from DOS, or to otherwise get the system back to where it should be?
      Your help is urgently need, and much appreciated.

:) David
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Question by:dapperry
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oBdA earned 1000 total points
ID: 11910528
Maybe the easiest solution: Temporarily put a (formatted) hard drive into the machine to move the drive letters back again. Fix the pagefile setting, shut down, remove the new drive.
Other possibility: Put the drive into another NT machine, then start regedt32. Highlight "HKEY_LOACL_MACHINE", and choose "load hive" from the file menu. On your old drive, browse to %Systemroot%\system32\config, open the "system" file (no extension; you might want to make a backup before opening it in regedt32). Name the new hive "Repair" (or whatever). Fix your setting (HKLM\Repair\...). Highlight the "Repair" hive, choose "Unload hive" from the file menu. Put the drive back into the old machine, and it should work again.
If this is the only machine, you can try to do a parallel installation of NT4 (preferably not on the C drive!) and fix your original installation as described above.

How and Why to Perform a Parallel Installation of Windows NT 4.0
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=259003
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by:dapperry
ID: 11913332
Thanks - it worked.  I replaced the CD-ROM drive temporarily with an old formatted hard drive, which temporarily became the E drive.  I was then able to boot and get a usable system.  I switched the Paging FIle location to the D drive.  I then took the old hard drive out, and put the CD back in, and everything is cool!!! Thanks again.

:) David
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