change disk drive designation

Maurice Brandman
Maurice Brandman used Ask the Experts™
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I have just received a new workstation with 2 physical hard disk drives and a DVD reader/writer installed.  Windows XP/SP3 is also installed.

The PC was delivered with Disk 0 designated as E, Disk 1 as C with OS installed, and DVD drive as D.

I need the system disk as C (OK but not disk 0), the second HD (1TB) is disk 0 and designated as D and the DVD drive as E.

Windows will not allow me to change the drive letter for disk 0 which is E.

How can I reconfigure this so that the OS is on C, D is the 1TB HD and E is the DVD drive?
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reformat the driver will solve the issue
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Do you mean "drive" or "driver".  Which one?  Please give detail.
I mean put the new hard disk in the motherboard with the DVD ROM only
then format it ,  make sure that its on IDE 0 to take the disk 0
after that, install the old one
and as for the drive letters its easy you can change the DVD letter and the other drive via windows utility
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Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Basically this will mean installing the OS from nothing, + all drivers and programs.  Is this right or is there a quick fix?

What do you mean by "new" hard disk.  I have 2 disks:  the 1TB is for data and should be designated "D" (rather than "E").  The smaller HD is 500MB with OS and drivers installed and should be designated "C".

Please explain.

Just to be clear, I now have

500MB HD designated "C" with OS and drivers - Disk 1 - should be "C"
1TB HD designated "E" for data - Disk 0 - should be "D"
DVD ROM designated "D" - should be "E"
Commented:
I assume that you are trying to do this from:

Control Panel...Administrative Tools...Computer Management...Disk Management?

You should be able to right click on the DVD Rom and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths" and then click on the "Change" button to change it to something like X. Do the same then on the 1TB disk and change it to D, and then change the DVD ROM Drive from X: to E: ?
Commented:
Stefanx is correct but why concern yourself about which drive is 0 or 1?  :)  That's probably a BIOS hard disk ordering issue.

Please check under Disk Management (as in Stefanx's advice above) and see if there are any roles (or whatever you call them) shown for drive E:.  I'm just wondering if that's the boot drive and the system is on C:--if that's the case you should probably fix it.
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Windows gives an error message to the effect that I cannot change the drive letter of E, which is currently the 1TB HD.  I fully understand your explanation Stefanx and I have used this in the past on other PCs but Windows will not allow it.  I was guessing that this might be because E is Disk 0.  the system is on C which is Disk 1.

Datedman, please explain in simpler words.  I am sorry but I'm not on the same page.  Are you suggesting that the config in the BIOS defines the DVD ROM as the 1st choice for boot up? and that this is the reason why I cannot change it.  In that case I can change the boot-up sequence (I assume) and then change the designations.  Will it work?

Maurice

Commented:
I'm guessing that E: is shown in disk manager as the boot drive?  Which one shows as boot?
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
C is Disk 1, Healthy, Boot drive, with OS installed and working. - also NTFS
E is Disk 0, Healthy, System drive with no data - also NTFS
D is the CD-ROM 0
Commented:
OK that's screwy.  Please open a command prompt (start/run/CMD) and type SET a nd see what your systemroot= shows.
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
SystemRoot=C:\WINDOWS
SystemDrive=C:
HOMEDRIVE=C:
windir=C:\WINDOWS
Commented:
Then why the heck is it showing E: as system?  Weird.  How hard is it to disconnect that drive and start the system?  If it starts OK, then I'd look in the BIOS with both connected and see what the order is and change it.  What kind of motherboard do you have or what kind of system?  Usually it's on the same page as boot order but will only show if there are more than one hard drive, not the list that shows to boot from CD, usually another list that shows hard drive priority for HD boot.
Are these SATA drives?  Could also be that you just need to change the connectors.
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
I have installed Partition Magic v8 but this does not relate to the CD-DVD ROM so is of little use.  It also does not seem to identify the "boot" or "system" properties.

This is a brand new workstations with Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3P main board, Q9550 2.83Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad, WD500AAKS-WD Caviar 500GB SataII, Corsair XMS3 2x2gb DHX DDR3, Windows XP/SP3.  8GB RAM.  This is built to fly but they put it together kind of weird.

Is there any chance that I can fix this or is it going back to the supplier?

Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Will it help if I convert E(system)  to a dynamic disk?  What is a dynamic disk?
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
OK, what if I reformat E.  Can I not define it as a System disk?  Can I then assign a designation of D and not E?
Owner, Manager
Commented:
I have successfully changed
D (CD-DVD) to K using Windows "manage">disks
E (System) to D using Partition Magic
K to E

so now everything is working...so it seems, but still leaving a very strange basic configuration.

I use C for system and programs, and D for data (D..data...it would be!) on all of my home and office workstations.  I have been doing this since about 1986 so that I can fix or reinstall the system and programs without wiping out data and most usually without resorting to my extensive backups.  I think it's neat.

I really appreciate your help and I have learned a lot from your remarks.  thank you.  But the points go to me this time?  don't you think?

Maurice

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