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 In Windows XP the boot drive is F: instead of C: - How can I change the boot drive's letter back to C:?

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PostSubject: In Windows XP the boot drive is F: instead of C: - How can I change the boot drive's letter back to C:?   Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:55 pm

Problem

My hard drive failed irrecoverably and I reinstalled everything on a new hard drive, but unfortunately I left my USB card reader installed. So, now the hard drive is drive F: because the reader is drive C: and D: and the CD/DVD drive is drive E:. It's not a major problem, but it does cause problems with some software, such as Spybot Search & Destroy, because it wants to check the C: drive. I work around it by unplugging the USB card reader.


Answer

Changing the drive-letter assignments for actual additional hard drives installed in a system or non-boot partitions that Windows gives a drive letter is usually easy, but changing the boot drive's letter, which is usually the C: drive, is more involved, because the installed software has usually been installed to work from it. When users install software, they usually accept the default location for the installation, which is under the Program Files folder on the C: drive. But in this case, Windows itself has changed the drive letter of the boot drive from C: to F:, so it would also have changed its program references that point the programs to the C: drive to the F: drive. You therefore need to know how to restore the C: drive as the boot drive.

Read this MS Knowledge Base article: How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=223188.

The article applies to Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition, not to the earlier versions of Windows.

"This article describes how to change the system or boot drive letter in Windows. For the most part, this is not recommended, especially if the drive letter is the same as when Windows was installed. The only time that you may want to do this is when the drive letters get changed without any user intervention. This may happen when you break a mirror volume or there is a drive configuration change. This should be a rare occurrence and you should change the drive letters back to match the initial installation."

The procedure for non-boot drives is provided in this article: How to change drive letter assignments in Windows XP at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307844&sd=tech.

This Google search should produce many more links that provide relevant information: http://www.google.com/search?q=assign+drive+letters+xp.

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In Windows XP the boot drive is F: instead of C: - How can I change the boot drive's letter back to C:?
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