I currently have 3 hardrives. Harddrive 1: C (original windows install) & E drive, hardrive 2: D & F (new 2nd windows installation) drive and harddrive 3: G drive. I've had to reinstall windows xp onto F drive and now want to rename F drive to C and delete harddrive 1's partition to have a larger E drive.
However C drive is listed as my system volume and F as the boot volume and as such cannot be renamed. I am hesistant to format C as it contains the boot.ini etc. files needed for F to start.
I would greatly appreciate some advice on the matter,
Do not rename F to C, you had two xp installations and their registrys and indexes are not the same, and not interchangeable, it will make you sad.
Confirm that C is no longer the windows drive by disconnecting its drive cables, and re-starting the system.
1) If you successfully boot to windows, then F has become the xp drive. Experiment with manipulating files and folders on HDDs 2 and 3. When you are confident that your new installation of xp works as you intended, re-connect the cables to HDD1, and extend the E partition to include the entire C partition on HDD1 (that way you won't lose any data on the E partition).
2) If it does not boot to your new xp installation, xp got really confused during the re-installation. I would then disconnect the cable to HDD3 (G) (HHD1 remains disconnected here), and do a repair install on the F partition of HDD2, then go to step 1) and check the success of the repair. If it's fixed, then re-connect HDDs1 and 3, extend the E partition to include the entire C partition, etc.
I've been toying around with things today, disconnecting hdd's and booting from the CD. It can't boot from hdd2 as NTLDR is missing. If I leave only HDD2 connected and boot from the CD, it registers former D drive (partition 2) as C and former F (partition 1) as D. I have a few more ideas I want to try to get hdd2 partition 1 to be C drive.
My data on hdd1 is not important and has either been backed up or wiped, so if I cant get the partition on hdd2 to become my new C drive, I'll probably have to go back to using hdd1 for the new xp install. Its just hdd1 is getting rather old and is a bit slower & noisier than my newer hdd2 & hdd3. I really want the boot and system volumes to both be C drive, so if push comes to shove hdd1 it will have to be, as I don't have the space to back up the data on partition 2 on hdd2.
Whatever you decide for your config, don't change the drive letter for the partition with the windows installation. You can safely change the HDD letters for partitions that contain only data (not program installations). I learned the hard way not to use logical partitions, use primary partitions.