View Full Version : Win XP - Swapped drives!

02-22-2003, 01:03 AM
Hi, I just re-installed XP. My 2nd Hard drive is working now, however it has made my primary hard drive which windows XP is installed on, my F drive, and my 2nd hard drive my C drive. I have a:\ as floppy, d:\ as DVD-ROM drive, and E drive as my CD-burner-rom drive. How can I make my primary hard drive which is currently F, into C, and C into F???

02-22-2003, 02:31 AM
Is the old drive set as Master and do you have a boot partition on the new drive? Is the new drive on the secondary IDE while the old one is on the primary IDE? I believe that Windoze assigns C: to the primary boot drive set as Master on the primary IDE.

02-22-2003, 03:43 AM
hey, no, i've got my 80 gig hard drive set as master, and 20 gig set as secondary, therefore the 80 should be known as C drive not F. and yes both were partitioned using the windows xp partitioner during installation. so yeah I'm kind of confused!!

Paul Komski
02-22-2003, 10:39 AM
The way WinXP (and 2K) assigns drive letters is complicated by the fact that once installed, the drive letters assigned to all partitions on the pc AT THAT TIME are remembered and reused every time you boot into these OSes. They don't assign the drive letters dynamically as in Win9x. In addition these letters are stored on the HDD, where they "suggest" to a new installation which letter it should use for itself.

You can change all the drive letters from the disk manager EXCEPT for the WinXP/2K partition that you have booted into. Strictly speaking it can be changed by a registry hack but almost certainly the pc will then not boot. So without another clean install I'm afraid you are stuck with the letter F for WinXP.

There are a number of ways of achieving what you want with a clean install if you are using XP to delete/create partitions but it is more easily achieved by:-

1) Removing the slave while you install onto the master and add it back on afterwards.


2) Use a third party partition manager to create a logical (or hidden) and not an active partiton on the slave drive before you install onto the master.


3) Use a third party partition manager to create and format the partion on the master and then choose specifically to install WinXP onto this patition during the installation. Ensure that you look at the advanced button on the 2nd or 3rd installation screen and ENABLE that you can choose where to install the new OS.

Alternatively (and to be safest - in any case), you could "bump-up" all the drive lettes to a higher position using the disk-manager, reboot, and not use XP to create the partion on the slave until after you have installed WinXP. You could change the slave to say M and the Opticals to X and Y before starting. A will always be the floppy unless you want it to be something else.

After XP is happily sitting on C: you can change and shuffle all the other letters back to how you like them and reformat/repartition the slave drive, etc, etc.


BTW What happened to you was that the C,D, and E had already been "assigned"/"suggested" to the installation as being currently in use; so XP just chose the next available letter, after B, for itself!

02-22-2003, 10:36 PM
I previously only had partitioned the C drive master and then I couldn't get the 2nd hard drive to work as it hadn't been partitioned during the installation. Are u saying I have to do this again and then somehow try and partition the 2nd hard drive after installation?

Paul Komski
02-23-2003, 05:50 AM
Just to be sure about configurations. Remove the middle connector on IDE#1 from the 20G drive (now called C) and boot-up with just the 80G (now called F). If XP is correctly installed on 80G, then detatching the 20G should cause its C drive letter to either disappear-from or to appear in windows explorer as a Ghost Device, which you of course wont be able to access.

If this happens and it is important to you to get 80G back to a C drive-letter then you will have to reinstall WinXP onto it and (with the history of what happened last time) doing this with the slave disconnected might be wisest.

Either format or zero-fill the 80G and then install XP onto it as you did previously or just put in the install CD, select new installation, choose the advanced button and choose to select where you will install to and let the files get copied and the pc reboot. Read the following screens carefully and then delete the current partition; there should now only be unallocated space on the drive so choose to install into the unallocated space. When completed you should have a clean installation on C on your 80G master.

Re-attach the 20G to the middle IDE connector and reboot and it should now be assigned the next available drive letter F by the OS. If you want it to be D (or any other letter), then you can shuffle the drive letters (except for the one assigned to XP) using the disk manager.

Good Luck.