C:\ drive designation

  toga 21:54 04 Oct 04

Hello, I have just installed a new HDD (Western Digital 200GB) into my machine and installed XP Professional. However, I had my old drive slaved to the new master.

The software installed OK but my new primary partition is designated as H: and my old drive is still designated as C:

Even when I remove the slave drive the new primary is still designated as H:

Can anyone tell me why or how to designate my new primary drive as C:

Many thanks.

  VoG II 22:01 04 Oct 04

click here might work.

  temp003 08:36 05 Oct 04

I assume your H drive is where the new XP is installed?

The easiest way may be to do a format and reinstall of XP (especially if you haven't loaded too many programs on the new XP yet).

Remove the old hdd, leaving the new hdd in. Boot up computer with XP's CD, press Enter to enter XP Setup, Choose to install a fresh copy of XP, then when asked where to install XP, highlight the existing partition, press D to delete it, confirm, then press C to create a new partition, enter the size in MB (1GB=1024MB), Enter. Then highlight the newly created partition (hopefully now called C), and press Enter to install XP there. Format with NTFS, after file copying, let computer restart, leave CD in, but restart from hdd not from CD. Follow through.

Although it sounds drastic, the alternative of trying to change the drive letter H to C from within Windows is rather more complicated.

XP's drive letters information is written into the Master Boot Record of the hard disk (what Microsoft calls the Volume GUID in the disk signature).

It may be that when you installed the new XP on the new hdd, you had the old one in as well, so XP Setup just assigns the next drive letter to the new hdd.

Unfortunately, XP's Disk Management does not allow you to change the drive letter for the active partition (from which the computer boots up), or the partition in which XP is installed.

To do this within Windows itself, you need to edit the registry, which in this case is not simple. click here

What is more, after the drive letter change, and BEFORE you restart computer, you must also go to a key in the registry HKEY Local Machine\ Software \Microsoft \WindowsNT\ Current Version\Winlogon to check the entry for Userinit. If the value is H:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe, you MUST change it to either userinit.exe or C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit (assuming you change it from H to C). Otherwise you may not be able to load Windows after a restart. See the article on Windows 2000 (works in the same way, just read WINNT for WINDOWS) click here

Another way is, change the value of Userinit in the registry first, changing it to userinit.exe or C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe. Then turn off computer. Remove old hdd. Use a 98 floppy to start the computer, and at the A:\> prompt, type

fdisk /mbr

and press Enter. This rewrites the MBR and removes the drive letter assignment. Remove floppy, restart computer. If XP loads, it should re-assign drive letters in the usual way. To make sure that the system functions properly, you may also want to change all references in the registry from H: to C: (so search for H: and change to C: in the registry).

All this registry editing, even if it works, is going to take a long time and that's why I said at the start, it's probably easier to reinstall XP.

Or, just live with the drive letter H. You'll soon get used to it (except with some programs, they insist on installing to C, but the no. of these programs are dwindling).

  toga 20:05 05 Oct 04

Hello all, I have formatted and reinstalled XP which has solved the problem. Many thanks.

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