vista installed on F: (sata drive)

OK... had C: and D: drives (PATA both). Nephew shut down pc during windows updates installation, corrupted XP Pro SP2 install. Decided to upgrade to Vista. Bought a new SATA drive, installed with other two drives. Installed Vista. Vista installed on SATA as F: drive! Still have corrupted XP on C:. Non-bootable XP, pc doesn't even ask me which OS I want to boot in to, just straight to Vista! Can't format C: while running Vista. Is there an easy way to format C: and make F: (the SATA) into C:?
I don't mind wiping everything and starting fresh, but I don't want to go through all that and then end up with Vista on the SATA as F: again!
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  1. There may be some elegant way of getting out of the mess you are in . . . but if you don't mind starting fresh do this:

    1. Remove all hard drives from the system excpet the SATA you want Vista on.

    2. Boot from Vista DVD, choose to install it and when you get to the point where you are asked to select an install drive look at the bottom of the screen, you will see some sort of a tools menu - go into it and delete all your partitions (of course you will lose ALL existing data) and then choose to create one large partition. (if that's what you want. You can choose to make a smaller partition if you want another logical drive on the same disk.

    3. Install Vista to it.

    Note: After doing this you cannot easily install XP to the SAME disk if you want to dual boot. You can however install it to another physical drive by another method.

    To get your other PATA drives back in the system do this:

    1. Put your PATA drives back in the case.

    2. BEFORE attempting to boot Vista go into your BIOS and make sure that your SATA drive is the 'first drive' in the drive order. This will insure that the BIOS will attempt to boot from it and not your corrupted PATA drives.

    3. Once in Vista you can choose to either attempt to repair your other drives or else repartition and reformat them. Best not to choose quick format since there may be some question as to drive integrity. You do all of this in administrative tools. control panel > administrative tools > computer management > storage > disk management
  2. OK, I'll try that... and I'm just going to use the PATA drives as extra storage, since it's the wife's pc. No need for a dual boot on hers.
  3. cool, I hope I made it clear that you don't put the PATA drives back in until Vista is fully installed and finished. Once that whole process is done and Vista is working you shut down and put them back in, being sure to go into BIOS before Vista starts and checking to see that the Vista drive is still the 'first' drive in drive order.

    I'm sure you knew this but I just wanted to be sure. Good luck.
  4. thanks again, notherdude. got everything squared away, then had out of order drive letters on my PATA's and optical drives, but used the disk management utility to sort that out as well.
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