OS installed to Drive E instead of C;

I forgot to unplug my zip drive when replacing my fried hard drive, so the installation of the system OS was assigned "E drive".I had already partitioned it, and was able to install another version of XP on the other partition, thinking I could just delete the first one, but it didn't work. I can't install or uninstall anything because all the installation programs are looking for C to be the system partition, which it's not. If I can wipe out everything (no data to lose), and start over, it'd be easier, but I can't uninstall XP for the same reason. Any suggestions? I've already spent hours trying to find a solution, and it may be cheaper to buy another new hard drive.

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  1. You should be able to boot off of the OS disc and delete or format the existing partitions.
  2. aford10 said:
    You should be able to boot off of the OS disc and delete or format the existing partitions.

    Thanks for your response, but they won't let me delete the "E" drive/because it's the primary partition. It doesn't even show up in the ADD/DELETE Programs. (I am able to delete the OS I put on the partition called C, but that doesn't make it the primary even if I can get rid of the other one. I still have the wrong drive letter to install anything else, like NIC cards, etc.. ) I know there's a way to redirect anything to read E as C, but I don't remember how. When I was able to get to Repair, it just overinstalls the same OS over the old one, which doesn't solve my problem.

    The problem isn't getting the OS installed, it's being able to get it installed properly on "C" drive so I can reinstall everything else. Until I can get E gone, I'm stuck. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  3. If the the flash drive isn't plugged in, the HD is the only storage location for the OS install. Once it is installed, you can change the drive letter under disc management (assuming it doesn't default the new install to C).
  4. Neither installation, E or C, allows me to add programs or hardware. I can't simply change E to C in disk management because its the primary boot drive. I either need to redirect any programs looking for the root directory to E( so that I'm fooling them into thinking it's C, which they are looking for) , or do a clean install the correct way, which is my preference. You're right, I could (and did) install the OS without the zip drive, but even with the different letter drive, the original one is still the primary, labelled E, and it still doesn't work. At this point re-formatting and erasing everything would be more productive than running the install program again.

    Thanks for your help.

  5. ^ that's what I was talking about. A clean format/install to the HD w/ the HD as C.
  6. perfect, but I don't know how. Using the Command prompt within the OS won't work, and I'm not sure if I can do it using an old version of Partition magic or not. (I built the system about 10 years ago and haven't really touched anything since. (pretty good testimonial, but not a very good memory...I did it as a hobby) i'll give it a shot and let you know.

  7. Oops, the versions I have are pre-NT, and are looking for FAT and FAT32 files. So much for that. (Also means I can throw away some pretty old stuff.) I know my way around Windows, but not DOS, so I'm giving up here.

  8. Do you have an OS disc & key? If you format/install windows, you'll need one. You're right, you can't format your primary partition when you are inside windows. That's why I mentioned booting off your OS disc. When you do that, you can format your primary partition and do a fresh install.

    You can't do the format inside windows, but you don't need to use DOS either.
  9. I had already changed the boot sequence to CD, then the hard drives, but I get the "can't find NTLDR" line on startup, then it bypasses the disc and boots from the installed OS. ( I am using the original OEM disk and key)
  10. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320397

    ^ my recommended fix

    You can download ntldr or a repair program to fix it, but I would be cautious about that. It would be my last resort to fix it.
  11. thanks - I think I've exceeded the value of the old system with the value of my time. Probably time to invest in a new system. Thanks for your time and help.
  12. Your welcome, good luck
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