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Vista Boot Drive Letter is Incorrect

Posted on 2012-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
Have a Gateway LX5810 running Vista Home Pro.

Every time I boot the PC the boot drive is the E drive and the recovery partition is the C drive. Windows won't run any of the programs. All I really want to do is get the partitions straight so I can do a system restore, but the recovery partition won't boot now. It's a real mess. When I try MSCONFIG it says it can't find it on the E drive. Even when I find it and try to open it (or anything else) it says not on the edrive.

I messed with the BCD records and tried to delete and rebuild with no luck.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:ss6766
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Expert Comment

by:Raymond Peng
ID: 37753999
start > run > compmgmt.msc

go to storage > disk management, what do you see?

are you able to change the drive letter / paths (right clicking) or mark one as active?
in msconfig > under boot.ini> what options do you see?
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Author Comment

by:ss6766
ID: 37754385
Response compmgmt.msc : windows cannot find (any file name I type) make sure you typed the mane correctly.

When I click my computer or ANY Windows program icon I get "not registered".

Hope this helps.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Raymond Peng
ID: 37754682
I'm a bit confused but let me see - Are you booting into the command prompt?  Do you have a Windows Vista Boot CD/DVD?  You'll probably need to repair it from there.

Do you recall what has been done prior to this error?  It could be a corrupt drive - can you scan with chkdsk /f

do you have onboard diagnostics to help scan for hardware problems?

You may need to run fixmbr and fixboot drive letter from the console.
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Author Comment

by:ss6766
ID: 37754788
Have run all the scans and the FIX MBR and BOOT. No. I am booting into Windows. I just opened a cmd prompt when nothing else worked. I believe the problem lies in the bootmgr settings, but that's just a guess. I even went as far as deleting the recover partition so there is only 1 drive/partition and it still assigns the disk to E not C.
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Expert Comment

by:Raymond Peng
ID: 37754846
can you right click on 'Computer' or my computer and select manage?  What do you see?
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Author Comment

by:ss6766
ID: 37754967
Message="CLASS NOT REGISTERED"
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Assisted Solution

by:Raymond Peng
Raymond Peng earned 1000 total points
ID: 37755016
ok - let's hope you have access to the registry.

start > run > regedit

make a backup of it.

browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

1.      Go to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices
2.      Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
3.      Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:".
This frees up drive letter C.
4.      Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
5.      Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
6.      Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".

Per discussion here:

http://www.leghumped.com/blog/2007/01/09/change-drive-letter-on-a-boot-device/
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Accepted Solution

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ss6766 earned 0 total points
ID: 37764040
Thanks for the response. I had already tried that with no luck.

Here's what did work:

1)   Delete the BCD files on all partitions. I also deleted the BCD logs.
2)   Boot from a Windows 7 or Vista CD.
3)   Get to a command prompt
4)   bootrec.exe /rebuildos

Also, the bcd files are hidden so you need to attrib -s -h -r these files.

After I did this it said it found 2 partitions and made the PE partition E: and the boot partition C:. I read that when Gateway boots into the PE partition it automatically changes the letters of the drives around. I must have screwed the BCD'c up sooo bad that they got switched.

Anyway, case closed. Thanks for the help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ss6766
ID: 37786184
Expert solutions suggested may work in some situations, but not mine. I was able to find a solution that worked for me.
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