Installed new hdd - drive letters changed

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by tepe2, Mar 18, 2007.

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  1. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Bought a new hdd Samsung 500 GB. The old one - Seagate 250 GB.

    BEFORE:

    C: Windows partition 48 GB
    D: MyDocuments 184 GB
    External hdd with 4 partitions - J,K,L,M.

    After replacing old hdd with new, and installing XP on the new I have...

    ...NOW:

    H: Windows partition
    C: for MyDocuments
    External still the same, which is OK.

    Is it possible to change this? What I want is my new hdd to look like this:

    C: Windows
    D: MyDocuments
    External and removeable dont care, doesnt matter
    also my DVD-ram is now D: but I want it to be another letter of course since I want MyDocuments on D:

    Tried to change H: in Windows, but get the message it is not possible.
     
  2. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    From: http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm

    Go here and read the documentation on changing drive letters. This program lets you change letters. You need a bootable floppy or CD.
     
  3. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I have been searching around, and I dont believe there is an easy way to do this. So maybe I have to reinstall all over again. But what will happen then? My Windows partition showing up as H: again?

    How can I get my Windows partition to show up as C: if I reinstall?

    Other solutions? Can I fix this with Partition Macig or with the partition tool in BING (Terabytes BootIt Next Generation) I dont have Partition Magic, but I plan to get BING as soon as I have my system OK.

    Theres no way I will have Windows on H:

    Maybe I have done something wrong when I installed the Samsung 500 GB? I just put it where the old one was, same connections.
     
  4. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Thanks. Did not see your post as I was writing my second. I will have a look, but also waiting for other opinions.
     
  5. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    see here for changing drive letters

    I think changing the drive letter of your H drive would cause problems with Windows though. I dont even know if you would be able to change it using the above method.
     
  6. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    It sounds like you installed Windows XP while the external drive was online.
    That results in unexpected drive letter assignments.
    It's better to disconnect the external drive, before you install Windows again.
     
  7. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    In Windows Disc Management I cannot change the H: because H: is my system partition. I also think changing this letter will cause problems. Thats why I think the best thing to do is to get this straight during installation. But I dont know how. And I dont know why C: became H:
     
  8. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I am not sure, but I do believe my ext hd was disconnected. And the letters of my ext hd is J,K,L,M. But I do remember that a card reader was connected, but this has no drive letter. Maybe I should disconnect everything and reinstall?
     
  9. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    You could start the installation disk and continue until you see the partitions and need to decide where to install Windows.
    At that point you still can cancel the installation, but with all external drives/memory cards connected, you are able to see what is happening. Then try the same with everything disconnected.
    It helps if your partitions have clear names (name the J: partition J, for example)
    Just don't continue with the installation yet.
     
  10. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I tried. And this is what I get:

    With ext hd and usb smartcardreader connected:

    C: Partition 1 (Osp) NTFS 39998 MB
    I: Partition 2 (Dok) NTFS 436940 MB

    Osp is what I called the system part with Windows on
    Dok is what I called the empty part ment for documents,music etc.

    The letters on the ext hd is D,J,K,L

    With ext hd and usb-stuff disconnected:

    C: Partition 1 (Osp) NTFS 39998 MB
    H: Partition 2 (Dok) NTFS 436940 MB

    So what shall I do? Let the ext hd and usb-stuff stay disconnected and reinstall? If so, should I let the largest partition for documents be, and format the Osp partition before install?
     
  11. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    So, it looks like the primary partition of the boot disk is assigned 'C:' in any case. Did you by accident install Windows on your data partition?

    I would make sure that you install on C: and [quick] format that partition. To make sure that you don't get confused in the setup, I would first name the system partition clearly (for example 'format_this').

    After Windows is installed, it's easy to change the letter assignments of the other partitions.
     
  12. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    No, I did not install Windows on the data partition.

    It should be easy to install Windows in the right partition, because of the difference in size. 39 GB vs 426 GB. And I have named the smallest partition "Osp" which means OS and programs. And the largest partition "Dok" for documents, music...

    Thank you:)

    I will get on with the job now, and come back to tell you about the result. Probably tomorrow.
     
  13. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    factors
    level 1: BIOS boot order
    level 2: Bus\physical configuration (master/slave)
    level 3: Device type
    level 4: partition type

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive_letter_assignment

    1. Assign the drive letter 'A' to the boot floppy, and 'B' to the secondary floppy.
    2. Assign a drive letter, beginning with 'C' to the first active primary partition recognized upon the first physical hard disk.
    3. Assign subsequent drive letters to the first primary partition upon each successive physical hard disk drive, if present within the system.
    4. Assign subsequent drive letters to every recognised logical partition, beginning with the first hard drive and proceeding through successive physical hard disk drives, if present within the system.
    5. Assign subsequent drive letters to any RAM Disk.
    6. Assign subsequent drive letters to any additional floppy, CD/DVD drives.

    also see
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=168772 (post 22)
    specifically forcing some partitions down below the dynamic assignment of letters to preserve forwarding
     
  14. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Im back!

    I have done a reinstall now, and things are better now

    Windows are now at my C: partition.

    But theres another "problem". I go to Disc Manager in Windows, and try to change my "Dok" H: to D: where I want MyDocuments, but this H: partition is now a System partition. So I can not change this drive letter.

    My C: where Windows is installed seems to be a logical partition. H: is a primary partition.

    It says like this:

    C: 39,05 GB NTFS OK (Oppstart)
    Dok H: 426,70 GB NTFS (System)

    I have Norwegian Windows, and (Oppstart) means something like startup or boot.

    C: is light blue, which means logical and
    H: is dark blue, which means primary

    My Dok H: is empty. I have documents and music on my external hd. So what shall I do? Format or delete H:? When I right click at this partition, the delete and format options are greyed out so I can not choose this.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that my DVD-RAM now is D:
     
  15. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Somehow the letter C: is assigned to a logical partition, where H: is your primary partition.
    You would find ntdetect and boot.ini hidden in H:\, I assume?

    Hm.

    I would backup my data and reinstall, but this time delete all partitions and just create a 40 GB C: partition.
    Somehow your partition table is causing confusing results, although it doesn't matter for Windows to function properly.
     
  16. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I dont find ntdetect and boot.ini in H: Have used the "show hidden files"-option.

    Can I delete both partitions from the XP installation CD, and then create a new partition of 40 GB, before reinstall?

    Whats the difference between primary and logical?

    Can I, from Windows or Dos, format the entire hd before I put in my XP inst.CD?
     
  17. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    You need to disable 'Hide protected operating system files (recommended)' which you find below 'show hidden files'
    When you run CMD.exe you could also try 'c:\>dir h:\ /a'.

    By design a hard disk can contain a maximum of 4 primary partitions.
    To overcome this limit you can create an extended partition which can hold an unlimited amount of logical partitions. Functionally they are the same, but older operating systems, like MS-DOS require to be installed in the first primary partition. Some components of Windows XP still need to be installed in the first primary partition. Most users install Windows complete in the first primary partition.

    Print this for in bed: http://www.terryscomputertips.com/c...tended-partitiions-and-logical-partitions.php
     
  18. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    You are right, I can see them now.

    Thank you so much for all your help :)

    I will try to delete all partitions and reinstall again. Tomorrow after work. Time to find the bed now. And hopefully I can come back tomorrow to tell you everything is all right :)
     
  19. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    Logical partitions are actually in an extended partition which is itself dependent on the primary is a child of, loose that primary and the pointers to the extended and subsequently to all the logical partitions are broken.

    natively under Windows your allowed 4 primary or 3 primary and one extended
    you can get around that with a boot manager however.

    your system partition by definition is a primary partition with the master boot record (MBR) which points to the bootstrap code ntldr (NT loader) which checks where the OS(s) are installed by refering to the boot.ini and then forwards to the intsall selected (if there are more than one) to start the ntoskrnl.exe (the OS kernel, which takes it from there)

    its all a chain, the reason your limited to 4 partitions is there is only that much room allocated to write their descriptions, thus it has to pass off to another location to define the location of additional extended partitions.

    A boot manager usurps the normal definition area for the 4 partitions to forward to its own area to deal with as many primary partitions as you want (with different filesystems as well, mixing Linux, Windows, Plan 9 :p)
     
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    My system looks like this :
    A: = floppy drive
    C: = system partition (Windows + Applications) = internal harddisk #1 (the C of Cystem)
    D: = data partition (personal data, email, ...) = internal harddisk #2 (the D of Data)
    E: = backup partition (ATI images, FDISR archived snapshots) = external harddisk (the E of external)
    F: = CD/DVD drive.

    I did all this with Windows and if the letter was wrong I changed it via Windows :
    Start / Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management :
    right click on the partition and use "Change Drive letter ..."
    What I never do is something like this A,C,D,E,X, because Windows seems to have a problem, when the letters aren't in sequence , my X was back to F after reboot.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  21. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I assigned W: to my DVD+RW and I never had problems.

    drives.jpg
     
  22. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I have done so. Deleted all partitions, and created a 40 GB C: partition, and it looks ok. (I have done nothing else, not installed drivers or anything. Im using an old computer right now just to write this post.)

    I now have:

    A: Floppy
    C: Windows
    D: DVD-RAM
    E,F,G,H removeable discs

    Disc management says:

    C: 40 GB OK (System)
    Unassigned 425,72 GB (properties - cap:476938 MB, 435936 MB Free)

    So what to do now? Probably this?:

    1. With disc manager create new primary partition maximum size?
    2. Change DVD-RAM drive letter from D to something else?
    3. Change new partition drive letter to D?
    4. And when I connect the ext hd I can change its drive letter to E if this is what I want?
     
  23. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    If you want to assign D: to your second partition, then you need to rename the current D: (DVD-RAM) first.
    Yes, you are able to reassign different letters to your liking.

    It looks like you fixed the confusion with H: and C:. :thumb:
     
  24. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    Yes I think my problems are solved:)

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you again and again and......
     
  25. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I accepted my F, instead of X and didn't want to spend time to do better.
    F or X doesn't really matter to me, both are letters and my computer is working fine.
    When I reinstall my computer, I will try again.
     
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