Can I swap hard drive letters?

  Jean-Marc Boulier 04:45 05 Apr 2018


I have cloned my system SSD C: on a new SSD currently named E:

I want to format the older SSD so that I can use it as a storage drive. Can I do this in Windows 10 and how?

  wiganken2 08:05 05 Apr 2018

Assuming you have the two SSDs installed inside your computer then simply switch the SATA cables over. After rebooting your new SSD should become your C: drive and, even if it doesn't work then you can switch the SATA cables back to how you are now. If successful your old SSD will become E: and you can then reformat it from your new C: drive.

  Jean-Marc Boulier 03:55 06 Apr 2018

Actually before reading your answer I had already tried the following:

  • unplug the old SSD
  • plug the new SSD with the old one's SATA cable
  • booted unsuccessfully (blue screen stating that the system must be repaired)

Then I tried booting from the new SSD again, this time plugged on the new SATA port, and I get the same blue error screen.

So I finally reverted to the first setup: old SSD on original SATA port, new SSD on new SATA port. And whit this setup, when I select the new SSD to boot from in the BIOS, Windows starts just fine.

Is there a way to actually know what disk is actually the one I've booted from once in Windows? Necause I suspect the new SSD doesn't work and the BIOS might switch to the old one without warning me. When I look in the disk manager, I see that the old SSD is named C: and the new one is E:

I'm a little confused here...

  wiganken2 08:58 06 Apr 2018

Did you also include the "System Reserved" partition in your clone? This is where the MBR is stored and the computer cannot boot without it. It may be that your Partition Table is the GUID type or GPT. Either is required to boot so if you only cloned C: partition then it will not boot up.

  Jean-Marc Boulier 09:02 06 Apr 2018

Yes I did.

  wiganken2 09:11 06 Apr 2018

OK. See if this click here is any help.

  alanrwood 10:34 06 Apr 2018

Just to answer the question. You can give whatever letter you like to a partition. In disk Management as above, select the required partition and right click then select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".

  beeuuem~2 16:22 06 Apr 2018

The SSD you have booted to is the one with the C Drive. Although you can change drive letters for drives/partitions Windows will always show the drive it has booted into as the C drive.

For example, I have W7 and W10 on partitions on my SSD. If I boot into W7 that is the C drive and the W10 partition shows as drive X.

Should I boot into W10 that is on the C drive and W7 is displayed as drive Y.

From your image your PC has booted to the 250Gb SSD, which I take it is your 'old' SSD.

  Jean-Marc Boulier 16:41 07 Apr 2018

Since I couldn't get the cloned disk to boot, I tried to clone the current system disk on it again but this time Macrium Reflect won't let me clone it. It says that the drive is currently in use. I understand it has to be unlocked but have no clue about how to do this.

I'm starting to think it would be easier to reinstall Windows from scratch but this would be a last resort solution as I have a few expensive licences I have bought and am only allowed a limited number of re-installations for these.

Can't I just format the new drive and try cloning the current drive on it again? Windows won't let me.

  Jean-Marc Boulier 18:17 07 Apr 2018

I see, but will the USB connection solve the "locked" problem? I would think that this lock is on because the new SSD has an active OS on it.

  Jean-Marc Boulier 09:22 08 Apr 2018

Well I think I'm going to go for a Windows reinstall after all. It won't hurt to start with a fresh system.

How do I format the old SSD when the installation is completed? I'd like to use it for storage (not bootable) so how can I format it since there is an active bootable partition on it?

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