Attaching a HDD with duplicate partition labels

In my desktop PC (Win XP - yes, I know upgrading is overdue!) I have two HDDs. Both have multiple partitions. Total 17 partitions accros the two discs. There are no problems with this set-up.

I also have a Samsung laptop (Win 8) that will not boot. Before using the built-in 'Back to Square One' function, which wipes the disc, I want to back up the contents. I have in mind attaching the Samsung to a spare SATA connector in the PC.

However, the Samsung HDD also has multiple partitions, labelled with the same letters used on the PC.

My questions are:
- Will anything unwelcome happen on my Win XP PC when I attach the Samsung HDD with partition letters that not only duplicate partition labels already used on the PC, but when all partitions across the three disks total about 27?

- In Windows XP on the desktop PC, can I expect to see all those partitions on the Samsung HDD  (whether labelled with letters or not)?

Thanks in advance.
Tim D.
Tim-BerlinAsked:
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
you should see all partitions on both disks
when adding the second drive, it should have new drive letters starting where the first drive left off
if the last drive letter on the first drive is J, then the first drive letter on the second disk would be K - or possible L if your cd drive is K
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rindiCommented:
The label of a partition doesn't matter at all. It just is a help to the user so he can organize himself better.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As stated, partition labels make no difference.

I would suggest you create a backup of the disk using Disk2VHD and saving to another drive that is a few GB larger than the total GB used on your disk you want to backup.  Disk2VHD is one of the fastest ways you can backup the entire contents of the disks and it leaves things in a form that 7Zip can mount and extract OR you can mount the VHD in Windows 7 or 8 as if it were another physical disk.
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Tim-BerlinAuthor Commented:
@All: I could have been clearer: Preserving the drive letters currently assigned on my Win XP PC is important to me. The text labels are not important. I mainly want to be sure, when attaching the new physical drive resulting in a total number of partitions exceeding the available letters, that Win XP will not start re-lettering the existing drives.

@LeeW: Disk2VHD sounds a good way to go. Can you confirm that Win XP will preserve the existing drive letter assignments when I attach the 'new' disk in order to back it up?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The existing drive should not be affected - XP has no record of the other drive's letter assignments so XP won't change it's assignments.  It will assign letters where it has free letters and likely leave the remaining partitions unlettered but mountable to a path if you do so manually.
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Tim-BerlinAuthor Commented:
Thanks Lee.
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McKnifeCommented:
You should use the refresh option, it leaves your data unharmed.
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Tim-BerlinAuthor Commented:
@McKnife: Thanks for that. But, if I understand correctly, the 'Refresh' option is only available from Win 8 > Settings....

But this machine won't boot into Windows and I don't have a recovery disk. Having tried start-up with all the function keys except F4, it appears that my only option now is to use F4 to use the Samsung/Win8 'Recovery Mode'. According to the Samsung generic laptop manual, there is an option to keep the user data. But Samsung tech support insist that the F4 procdedure will wipe all user data and re-install Win 8.

Anything you can add would be welcome!

Thanks in advance
Tim D
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McKnifeCommented:
You would need a win8 disk, it doesn't need to be a recovery disk. Refresh works with any setup disk.
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Tim-BerlinAuthor Commented:
@McKnife Thank you, that's helpful to know.
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