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How to change the drive letter of the boot drive in Windows XP SP3?

Posted on 2009-07-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
hi
Earlier i partitioned my 250 GB hard disk into 2 drives in my laptop. one is 50GB(C:drive) and another is 200 GB(D: drive).
OS installation files and system files are in C drive.
Recently i formatted C: drive and i tried to reinstall the OS. When i am installing OS we have an option of choosing in which partition(drive) we want to install. Under that option i got  D: drive with 50GB and C: drive with 200 GB.   my drive letters was interchanged.

Before Formatting:
C: drive = OS with 50 GB space
D: drive = Others with 200 GB space

After Formatting
C: drive = OS with 200 GB space
D: drive = Others with 50GB space

I also tried to change the drive letters in the disk management but i got an error "windows cannot modify the drive letter of your system volume or boot volume".
I also tried Microsoft help  in their website but it doesn't work.
Can any one suggest me how to change the drive letters?
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Question by:prince2002
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by:medvedd
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by:prince2002
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Hi
i already tried that one. Bu it doesn't work.
When i fallowed the above link and after restarting my PC i am not able to access OS. So i tried to install it again.
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by:noxcho
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Do I understand you correctly - you want to change the drive letters for partitions without reinstalling Windows, am I right?
What is the order of partitions in Windows Disk Management? Can you take a screen shot and post it here?
I know one way to do this but first I would like to see your current partition order.
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by:prince2002
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hi noxcho
you are right. I want to change the drive letters of partitions without reinstalling OS.


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noxcho earned 500 total points
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I recommend you reinstalling it. Copy out all data from both C: and D: partitions first.
Then boot from WinXP install CD and format the drive.
When you look on the screen shot you could see that D: drive is marked as Boot and C: as system.
This means that your OS is residing on both partitions. Believe me, trying to change or move the partition borders will cause big pain (I had in past already).
OS must live in one partition. So reinstall via repartitioning.
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by:prince2002
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hi noxcho
thanks for your advice.
Do i need to format both the drives before i install the OS?
If i format both the drives then the drive letters will change at that time?
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by:noxcho
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Not simply format but delete both partition and recreate them according to the plan of system and data partitions. In my own system I have 25GB system partition and all other for data partitions.
So boot from Windows install CD - select new installation and then when it suggests partition to install delete both and create new one. This will release the drive letters and let you install to C:
In other words your drive must be empty before you start Windows installing.
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by:noxcho
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And thanks for points.
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by:prince2002
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ho noxcho
thanks...
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