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Last post Author Topic: changing label from E: to C: in the primary boot partition (windows XP). How?  (Read 11532 times)

urlwolf

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Hi,

After sacrificing a goat, I have a working installation of win XP on my new laptop (ex vista).
I like to have an OS partition, and a data partition. I created these with one of the partitioning programs that come in the Siren boot CD.
Now, for some reason, XP has intalled itself in the smaller partition (correct) but it's named E: (!).

Since many programs default to install in C:\program files, I'd like my OS partition to be C:. However, Partition Magic warns me that if change the boot partition label, the OS may not even boot.

What to do? Do you have any idea how to go from here?

Thanks!

urlwolf

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I forgot. To get my XP cd to actually see the HDs, I had to disable sata in the BIOS. Am I going to have worse performance? Should I set SATA back on in the BIOS once all is said and done and windows runs fine?

THanks!

cmpm

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Man this is over my head!

Try geekstogo.com they probably know.

One thing though, I have one comp where the master is drive F and installs default to drive F. No problems.

urlwolf

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Thanks cmpm!

wreckedcarzz

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Go ahead and change the drive letter, but before you reboot, (after changing the letter), do this:

BACKUP DATA!
Start
Run
msconfig
Boot.ini (or Boot)
Check All Boot Paths (the button)
It should correct itself, then do a reboot and see if it works.

Josh

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Changing the boot partition drive letter, from my understanding, is not possible. The reason for this is windows has several things hard coded during install as to where it is installed at. While there might be ways to achieve this, generally, they result in a lot of errors which will crop up after you do so. I recommend not doing this.

Josh

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Also, from what I am reading, it seems you are having an incompatibility with your SATA drivers, is this true? If so, what you can do is copy your SATA drivers to a floppy disk (if you have a drive still) and when the installer starts, hit F6 when prompted and it will ask you to insert a disk containing drivers. Hit ok, select the driver, and windows will load it allowing you to boot off your SATA drive. If you require further assistance with this, feel free to pm me and I will shoot you my IM info so I can walk you through this.

steeladept

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I agree with Josh.  I would reinstall from scratch the way he suggests.  However, I would create just the C:\ partition. Once created and everything is working in the C: drive (yes, boot into it and verify installation was successful - indeed, I even patch the machine to current first), right click on "My Computer" and choose "Manage".  From there, you can go to "Disk Management" under "Storage".  Then right click on the "RAW" drive space and proceed with creating a new simple partition.  This method guarantees the partition loaded is the C: drive, and it also allows you to worry about only one partition at a time.  The only down side is you must know how big you want your C: partition to be.  Determining size for Windows, any updates, and any programs can be tricky if you are trying to maximize your space.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 08:56:27 PM by steeladept »

biox

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I have a working installation of win XP on my new laptop (ex vista).
Congratulations! Wise move :D
I like to have an OS partition, and a data partition.
Pardon my ignorance but what's the idea behind this? Is system crash your fear? Wouldn't it be easier and much safer to just install Win XP on C: and then install Linux on a partition. The installer takes care of everything and there is no way to mess Linux up that you can't 'resurrect' it with the live CD. From there you can access all your Win data and back them up if necessary. then format C: and re-install Win. You might have to put the live CD of Linux in one more time after that to get the Grub loader going again, but that's already it.

Any constructive comments are most welcome as most of you are much younger than me and definitely know more about computers. When I did my MSc. Industrial Engineering we had to use real paper and real pencils to design something. :(

Josh

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Doing what you state isnt really a solution to his issue. He isnt looking to dual boot, merely setup an "OS" partition and a "Data" partition. This is something that is very common and very easy to do. What he is trying to figure out now is how to get XP's boot drive (SYSTEM Partition) to be renamed from E to C. Installing linux really isnt even a needed option in this case, from my point of view.

biox

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Doing what you state isnt really a solution to his issue. He isnt looking to dual boot, merely setup an "OS" partition and a "Data" partition. This is something that is very common and very easy to do. What he is trying to figure out now is how to get XP's boot drive (SYSTEM Partition) to be renamed from E to C. Installing linux really isnt even a needed option in this case, from my point of view.
I got that :) I even realised that he didn't want a dual boot. It was just a suggestion as IMHO a data partition may make you feel safe but is actually suicidal. HDDs don't crash selectively and it would in this case (maybe) render the Linux partition useless as well. 'Maybe' because you don't boot from the HDD but from the CD and might be able to recover something.

Why a data partition anyway. Surely a virus or spy ware would find it. So what's the point? I know it's very common but nobody ever has been able to explain to me what the advantage is.
If you can, I'm listening. No, I'm not teasing you, I'm dead serious. The only use I can see is if the com is on a network.

Why not just simply an automated and scanned external data backup? I've been doing this on all my machines for centuries, be it pure Win or Win/Linux or pure Linux. The latter is a bit paranoid I must admit. :-[ 

urlwolf

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advantages:
(1) if you use FirstDefense, then your OS partition is tiny. (about 10 GB), so it's fast to upgrade the image.
(2) if you want to do a fresh reinstall of the OS, your data will be there, no need to copy them again
(3) it's just clearer to see how much space you allocate to each thing (programs/data)

I'm sure there are more...

BTW, thanks to all who answered. I reinstalled and now have a C: partition. My data partition used to be E: (and all my ahk scripts, etc assume E:). However, in my new install, E: is nowhere to be found (!). No partition/CD etc, has the E label, but still not available in the dropdown list. Anyone knows how to bring it back?

tomos

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I'm curious,
when you say your data, do you mean your Application data, or your data as in docs/files etc.

I'm reading up a bit at the moment for an install/partitioning on a new computer
this could be of help (lower half of page)
http://fdisk.radified.com/fdisk_02.htm
this here not the same scenario but -
Quote
One of the tools that comes with Partition Magic, called DriveMapper, can help in the event the installation of a new hard drive causes drive letters to change on existing drives/partitions. From the Partition Magic Help file:

    Drive letters can change when you create, delete, hide, or unhide partitions, which can cause applications not to run because application shortcuts, initialization files, and registry entries refer to incorrect drives. DriveMapper is a wizard that lets you easily update drive letter references.
and
Quote
For more info about drive letter assignments, see here (annoyances.org). A freeware letter-assigner is posted here (I have not tried it). Ed K. from Topeka, Kansas writes to mention a free utility named COA (Change of Address). He says:

    PCMag has a great little program that I've used many times under Windows W9x. It modifies registry entries, ini files, etc., so that, when adding a new drive letter, changes the system is updated with changes to previous drive letters. For example, you can tell COA to replace all D:\ with E:\ The program can be found at Hotfiles.com, search for COA. They also have a 32bit version available.
those three links are:
http://www.annoyance...c/show/article02-024
http://www.v72735.f2...sig/Screenshots.html
http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/
Tom

urlwolf

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I mean data as in docs/files etc. I'm checking those links... Thanks!

Josh

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Biox, in the situation you mention, the only use I could see for linux was using a livecd to recover data, in which case you dont even need linux installed at all. There are also many windows based bootcds that one can use to recover, linux is far from the best choice if you ask me in this matter (especially if you use dynamic disks (such as is the default in windows vista), ntfs partitions (which linux still has problems with), or a software raid array)). Tools like Ultimate BootCD and Hirens Boot CD both include tools that are designed for a windows system and include data access to these types of partitions or disks.

As for advantages, having a data partition means you can reinstall your OS at any time and not lose your data. I have my primary HD partitioned in 5 sections, one for different types of data. This has helped me as now, I can transfer data off my os partition (whatever there is), and reinstall without affecting the other partition. My data will remain in tact, and if windows chooses to remap the drive letter after a reinstall on that drive, I can simply change it back and go about working the way I had previously.

biox

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Thanks to everybody. :up: Even I understand that. :o

Carol Haynes

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Changing the system drive label can be done but it is difficult to acheive without some headaches. It isn't sufficient to change the boot stuff - but also there are lots of explicit references in the registry that will need need to be changed and also you will need to update all your shortcuts on you hard disc - that will affect almost all software you have installed. There may also be INI files and other 'config' type files for some software that have explicit references - if they aren't plain text files that you can find and edit manually you will probably find the software will need to be reintsalled - and it may prove difficult to uninstall if uninstall references are hidden from normal areas such as the MS Installer registration.

There are some utilities (the used to be one in Partition Magic) that can help but the whole process is non-trivial and prone to probems - even with utilities. Personally I would leave well alone or reinstall Windows from scratch - probably quicker in the long run.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 09:10:18 AM by Carol Haynes »

urlwolf

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Ok, I think I know where the problem is.
the data partition is embedded into an extended partition. No idea why the OS did that.
Is there any way of removing a primary partition from within an extended partition?
Or should I just remove the entire extended partition, and create anew a primary partition?

Thanks

Carol Haynes

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There is no such thing as a primary partition embedded in an extended partition (if you really have that situation your partition table is screwed).

If it is inside an extended partition then it is a logical partition. Many partition managers will convert Logical to Primary if you want/need that.

urlwolf

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partitions.pngchanging label from E: to C: in the primary boot partition (windows XP). How?
Well, it looks like it's inside the extended partition. I have attached a picture using paragon partition manager. I haven't been able to find a way to change this ext partition into a primary. But maybe there's one?

Darwin

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Quote
There are some utilities (the used to be one in Partition Magic) that can help but the whole process is non-trivial and prone to probems - even with utilities. Personally I would leave well alone or reinstall Windows from scratch - probably quicker in the long run.

Very true. Even at the most superficial level (for from the perspective of annoyance), whicl while PM will offer to change all references to a changed partition (so F:\My Documets becomes E:\My Documents for example), in practice it misses lots of them. I spent three months uncovering problems and longer than that fixing them!

Be careful...

EDIT: corrected typos...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 11:16:24 AM by Darwin »

tomos

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looks confusing alright ..

I know you can actually install OS to logical drive but from what I've read there has to be one primary drive in computer - sounds like it wont/shouldnt even work without it

can you double check with some other app - or with windows itself
see Carols post in "other" partitioning thread
http://www.donationc...32.msg72561#msg72561
Tom

Carol Haynes

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(see attachment in previous post)Well, it looks like it's inside the extended partition. I have attached a picture using paragon partition manager. I haven't been able to find a way to change this ext partition into a primary. But maybe there's one?

Yep - it is inside the extended partition - but it is a "Logical Partition" not a "Primary Partition" - it's just terminology. The difference arose because the original partitioning methods (typically using FDISK under MSDOS) only allowed 4 primary partitions on a disc (there were no other kinds of partition). To get round this limitation as disks grew in size and people demanded more flexibility extended partitions (a form of Primary partition) were developed. An extended partition can contain "Logical Partitions" - so that you can effectively break the 4 partition rule. Logical partitions aren't true partitions they are just a way of breaking up a large primary partition into what look like partitions. You still can't have more than 4 primary partitions on a drive - it is just that one of those primary partitions can be an extended partition which can contain more 'virtual' partitions. It is a typical MS fudge - rather than fix the original problem they cobbled a solution and it has remained until today.

I am surprised if Paragon can't convert between logical and primary partitions (check the help files). Otherwise try Acronis Disk Director - there is a free trial version - though whether it will let you do that during a trial I don't know.

As with ALL partition alterations a backup is recommended before doing anything radical.

There is a whole page of partition tools at http://www.thefreeco...rtitioneditors.shtml - though you use them at your own risk!

Partition Magic can do the job - there is a free 15 day demo version: see http://www.click-now...l/PartitionMagic.htm


PS: Looking again at your image I think Paragon have clouded the image somewhat. Drives C and D are what everyone else in the industry would call Primary partitions. Why Paragon call them logical is beyond me - and very confusing.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 11:33:02 AM by Carol Haynes »

urlwolf

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@biox
More advantages of having different partitions:
3. defragging is faster

4. If you share files over a network, you can restrict access by only allowing sharing on one partition.
@carol
Thanks a lot for the pointer. It seems I'm wrong: I have converted the extended partition to a primary one; E: still doesn't show up in the dropdown list!
I wonder where E: is. It's certainly not used by any partition or CD/DVD (at least it doesn't show!).
Maybe there's a hidden partition?

Carol Haynes

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Does paragon not show hidden partitions?

You should be able to see a hidden partition using windows disk management console (Start > RUN > diskmgmt.msc)

Any partitions not appearing in windows will appear as partitions without letters.

What happens if you open a command windows (START > RUN > CMD.EXE) and type E: (press return) DIR (press return) ?

Actually if you only have drives C: D: and G: in windows (open START > My computer) then the letter assignment G: must have been done manually at some time (unless you have used an external drive of some kind - ext. hard disc, flash disc, pen disk or similar and that was assigned E: when it was first used - if so E: would be reserved for that use in future within the registry). Is your optical drives F: ?

Looking back at your original post I think you will find that if you run Windows from Drive E: then program installers should (and most will) automatically choose E:\Program Files to do any installations. You should check as a matter of course when you install programs but it is usually automatic (it is a good idea to check locations where ever you have windows installed).
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 12:11:54 PM by Carol Haynes »