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Two copies of XP

By build ยท 5 replies
Jan 11, 2012
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  1. Hello
    What I had was two partitions on one hard drive C: and E:

    On both partitions I had win xp pro which I could duel boot.

    Partition c: got a virus and was wiped clean and deleted.

    Now when I boot it boots partition e: BUT assigns the letter C: to it.

    Which is no good as all links and short cuts and the regedit statements are pointing to e:

    Is there any way to put this back so when partition E: boots it points to E:

    Hope I have made my self clear.

    Thank you
  2. build

    build TS Rookie Topic Starter


    has this got every one stumped then?
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Not stumped, but this is one of those fixes that is easier to do that to write about.
    We need to know more. You can do a repair install of Windows XP if you have the right Windows XP install disk... and fix it in less than an hour. But describing all the steps is more than space allows. You might look for a decent Windows XP book... such as XP Inside Out. You can actually change the drive reference.
    We need to know your computer brand and model, hard drive, memory, age, and configuration.
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    A repair installation will not fix this issue. The recovery console environment will see the system partition exactly as Windows currently does, on E:\

    The problem occurs because Windows uses a unique "disk signature" to determine previously assigned drive letters. I have seen similar problems resulting from disk cloning jobs where the old HDD remained connected and the computer was booted into the cloned system.

    I have never endeavored to actually solve an issue like this, but I think this may be your answer. I know it does not say it applies to Windows XP, but it does.

    I have never tried this procedure before, so exercise caution.

    Normally, switching the drive letters on a Windows system partition causes a many strange issues (as I think you discovered). However, since your remaining XP install was originally on what it believed to be C:\, changing it back from E:\ to C:\ ought to be straight forward and fix your problems without any issues.

    Before you do ANYTHING like this though, please have a plan to recover from the changes you're about to make. I would strongly suggest making a bootable clone/image of your system partition before following through with the above instructions.
  5. build

    build TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for getting back but "repair install of Windows XP" does not work,
  6. build

    build TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Rick
    Many thanks for coming back to my problem.

    Yes you are correct Rick BUT I did not switch the drive letters. It was the fact that the C: partition got wiped with the the worm then when I booted up the e: partition loaded but under the drive letter c:

    You got me confused on this Rick, how it was I had two partitions c: and e: c: was wiped and left only e:. then when booted up e: was loaded BUT with letter c: so all short cuts, reg edit statements etc etc was pointing to e:.

    I have a back up of partition e:, so what I have done is deleted partition e: and then installed xp pro on partition c: then restored partition e: back which I thought would work, BUT it does not.
    I cannot see why this should not work.

    Rick thanks for all help and time

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