Reinstall put system files on D: - not C:

  Dae 22:08 12 Apr 2004

I had to do a reinstall of WinXP Pro, following a software disaster. C:was reported as being "damaged or unformatted" and setup needed to
format this drive to continue. This option was accepted.

I have two HDDs, previously the System files were on C:, and D:was used for backups.
The reinstall, however, (from the WinXP CD-ROM) has put the System Files (and all other files) on D: thus making D: the boot partition.

Now C: is empty. D: still contains the files that were previously on D:, but now plus the Windows system files.

I rather felt that lots of applications are set up to look for C:\System Files by default, and that it is not a good idea to change this
location, so I would like to get the System Files folder/boot partition off D: and onto C:.

How can I get this to happen please? Now that C: has been repaired, is it likely that repeating the install would result in the System Files
etc.going onto C:, or do I need to do something different?


  jimv7 22:13 12 Apr 2004

Disconnect 'D' drive prior to doing the install, reconnect it when xp fully loaded on 'C'.

  Dae 22:32 12 Apr 2004

Thanks for that, jimv7. How, and at what stage, do you think I should get rid of the system files on D:? At the moment D: also has on it some data and backup files, which I would be willing to lose if I had to but it would be nice if they could be saved.

  jimv7 08:35 13 Apr 2004

After loading win on 'C' drive and setting it up, connect the 2nd drive in place of cd drive on the secondary cable, copy all files you wish to save from the 2nd drive to 'C', then format 'D', replace as slave on the primary channel.

  temp003 08:49 13 Apr 2004

What happened to you was rather strange. Can you check one thing first. In My Computer, click Tools, Folder Options, View tab, (1) tick Show hidden files and folders (2) untick Hide file extensions for known file types (3) untick Hide protected operating system files and say yes to confirm that's what you want to do (4) click OK.

Then go to your C drive and D drive, and see if there are these files ntldr, and boot.ini on either or both of these drives. Report back.

Also, click Start, Run, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. Have a look at the description in the Status column against the C and D partitions (expand the column if necessary). See which is described as System, and which is described as Boot.

  Dae 09:55 13 Apr 2004

Thanks for all the help. I have just read the last two responses, and have not had time to act on them yet, but I wanted to add as soon as possible that the two drives are SATA drives, hence PM and SM. I am sorry if not saying this earlier caused any confusion - it is that compromise between trying to be brief but yet stating all relevant information.



  temp003 10:55 13 Apr 2004

Whether C has the 3 files or not, you can still follow jimv7's suggestion. Remember to disconnect D as suggested.

But if the 3 files are there on C, then my own further suggestion is to delete the 3 files from C - and confirm that's what you want to do. Then go on with jimv7's suggestion.

The reason for deleting the files from C if they exist is to avoid a daul boot after you install XP on C (without formatting C again - which you have just done). If you're going to format C again anyway, then it doesn't matter.

After new XP is installed on C, boot into it and make sure it loads properly. Then turn off computer, reconnect D drive. Boot into XP.

Then to remove the XP files on D, one way is to back up the other data files first, then format D.

Alternatively, you can simply delete the XP files and folders on D. They are D:\Documents and Settings, D:\Program Files, and D:\WINDOWS folders. Also delete the file D:\pagefile.sys (which is hidden protected os file). Then do a defrag of the D drive.

  Dae 12:03 13 Apr 2004

To temp003.

The results are these.
C Healthy (system). D Healthy (boot).

Total files that now show on C are ntldr,, boot.ini, recycler, system vol info, autoexec.bat, config.sys, IO.sys, msdos.sys.

None of the files you mention (ntldr, ntdetect, boot.ini) show up on D.

I have now read your most recent post; will follow the advice. I wonder if there anything special I need to know about deleting system files – will they delete like ordinary files?

Thank you for your interest in my problem.


  temp003 15:14 13 Apr 2004

Your computer is still booting from C (where the boot files are).

XP rather confusingly calls the partition the computer boots up from, the System partition, while the partition where XP is actually installed, the Boot partition (you would expect them the other way round).

To delete the three files ntldr,, and boot.ini from C, just delete them as usual. You will get a warning about deleting these files. Confirm it. I've done it before, you can delete them. If you want, you can copy the files to floppy first before deletion.

Then follow jimv7's instructions. During installation to C, when given formatting options, select Leave existing file system intact. This way, you don't need to format C again, which can take a long time with a large hdd.

  Dae 01:35 15 Apr 2004

Thank you for the help folks. I have now got the system up and running again in a basic way, and it seems to work fine, but have not got all the drivers etc. installed yet.

I did not post earlier because the computer has been out of action whilst I puzzle over why a Drive Image 7 back-up on DVD did not work. From work-arounds I have tried, it looks like most files have been copied, but the computer fails to boot. I get an error message just like one I got with my original problem. There is always something to keep one involved.



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