HDD Drive letters - end of week bonus!

  wotbus@ 17:02 30 Oct 2009

Until a short while ago I had XP Home as my master OS, on (C).
On a separate HDD, I had Win7 32bit (F).
As I have trialled Win7 32bit for a week I decided install the 64bit version to compare; the obvious place being the spare space on (F).
I went ahead and noted my 32bit version would be marked Windows.Old and unusuable. OK so far...
Everything went perfectly until I decided to navitgate to my Win7.old to get some drivers and shock, horror, Windows has rearranged my drive letters in a way I don't like or want.
I now have Win7 64bit (and Win7 32bit.old) labelled as (C) and my master OS of XP is now (D), which used to be my CD Drive!
Can I simply change the letters to suit myself?
Will everything run OK as it is? I think not as all the old (C) paths are now non-existent!
If I just un-plug the Win7 HDD and boot up, will Windows rename the only HDD (old master) as (C)?
Why do these things happen on Friday afternoons?

  wotbus@ 17:35 30 Oct 2009

I have now twigged why the renaming took place. It's because I left the old (F) and created another partition on it by installing the 64bit OS on the same HDD.
I should have just reformatted it and installed on to a clean HDD.
Unless I can just change the letters I will disconnect the 2nd HDD and get the orginal (C) back to normal, and worry about Win7 later.
I will however, make a mug of tea and reflect the meaning of life in case someone comes up with an easy solution - if there is such a thing...

  GaT7 17:37 30 Oct 2009

"Can I simply change the letters to suit myself?" - no you usually cannot on drives containing an OS.

"Will everything run OK as it is?" - did you try running either OS to see if it will?

"If I just un-plug the Win7 HDD and boot up, will Windows rename the only HDD (old master) as (C)?" - interesting question. Why don't you do so to see how that's the case. G

  GaT7 17:40 30 Oct 2009

"I should have just reformatted it and installed on to a clean HDD." - yes, I think that may have worked out better.

Correction to my previous post - 'Why don't you do so to see if that's the case'. G

  wotbus@ 18:17 30 Oct 2009

Thanks Crossbow7.
I have decided to try the "unplug" option and take it from there. I didn't try it right away because after one "senior moment" I decided to take time out ;-)
Lesson learned.
Suitably fortified with a mug of PG Tips I shall proceed.

  wotbus@ 18:20 30 Oct 2009

PS: Win7 (C) runs fine but I won't try the XP OS until it is labelled correctly. Once that's sorted I will deal with the Win7 install again.

  wotbus@ 20:21 30 Oct 2009

What a saga?
Booted up with only master HDD connected.
Correctly shows as (C).
Booted up into "previous version of Windows" with Win7 HDD connected.
Everything now looks how it was!
Boot up again with only Win7 HDD connected and it's changed to (C) again!
Booted back into "previous version of Windows" with both HDD's connected.
Back to normal!
Launched Partition Magic and restored the (F) Win7 HDD back to virgin.
At this point, (C) is master OS XP and (F) is just a blank partition.
I inserted my new Win7 disc, booted from DVD drive and installed Win7 again onto (F) using the installation prompts.
Went through all the nause of updates and installed AV then checked My Computer only to find my Win7 HDD is now (C), again...
My XP HDD is now (D).
My DVD drive which was (D) is now (F).
Anyone reading this far must be as brain dead bored as I am, so I sympathise but thanks anyway.
OK, if I boot into my XP HDD all drives are labelled correctly. How do I get them to stay that way when I use the dual-boot prompt to boot into Win7?

  GaT7 20:52 30 Oct 2009

"Anyone reading this far must be as brain dead bored as I am,.." - not at all, as that's very good info for those of us who haven't done it as yet. Like yours truly, who will be setting up a dual-boot very similar to yours very soon.

It appears that a Windows dual-boot system will always behave this way no matter what you do to change it. The present loaded OS will always default to the C: partition. Hence (unless anyone knows differently & has actually done it), there may not be a way to change it to how you want it to be.

I guess as long as either is booting up correctly & behaving well in its respective partition, there shouldn't be any more cause for alarm. G

  Zeppelyn 20:53 30 Oct 2009

OK, Wish Id seen this earlier as would have saved you a bit of bother. When you boot from the Win 7 DVD (or Vista for that matter) it will ALWAYS use "C" for itself and assign your other OS as "D" or nect available. To do what you require so both OSes have XP as "C" and Win 7 as "F" you need to start the Win 7 install from within XP and point the install to "F". It must be a custom install.

Hope you can follow that.

  GaT7 20:54 30 Oct 2009

There, Zeppelyn has provided a way to do it whilst always retaining the C: partition as the XP one - thanks for that Z. G

  wotbus@ 10:39 31 Oct 2009

Hi Guys.
Last night when I should have been sleeping ;-) I came to the same conclusion: As long as it's all working properly, which it is, what does it matter as long as I am aware? Of course Zeppelyn is right.
Maybe it was like this before I decided to change between the two different "bit" versions but never noticed or did notice and paid no attention.
What threw me was the fact I was naming the drive in Partition Manager and Windows was changing it.
So I will put it down to a "Senior" moment, move back into Relax mode and carry on trialling. Ultimately the new Win 7 will be installed onto a new PC which I am currently assembling primarily for games - hence the reason for seeing just how my games perform on the 64bit version and to know in advance which version to use.
Thanks again.

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