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Boot drive letter changed after cloning XP to new SATA drive

Tags:
  • Configuration
  • Boot
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
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May 25, 2004 12:22:46 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.configuration_manage (More info?)

I installed a Serial ATA hard drive. Booted from floppy,
partitioned and formatted 120mb HD,with 2 partitions.
Connected my old IDE drive and booted from Norton Ghost
disc, cloned my old drive to the new one. Removed all
drives and USB card readers except the new SATA drive.
Windows will not fully boot, it halts at the blue Windows
intro screen. Restarted Windows, and scandisk ran, but
indicated drive letter "H" not "C", so I guess the windows
installation is still looking in the original place for
it's files, ie. the "C" drive, that's why it won't boot.
You cannot change the "System" drive letter from "Computer
Management" within XP, and I cannot get into Windows
anyway. Is there a "work around" for this, other than a
clean install? Even then, is it still going to be
drive "H"? And that means another Windows activation. How
many goes do you get for activation? I tried a windows
repair installation, and reactivation (wasted). Windows
then worked, sort of. Lots of things were missing and
programs unuseable,as they were looking for their files
on "C": so I went back to square 1, put my old drive back
in for the moment. Anyone know how to get around this?
Thanks.

More about : boot drive letter changed cloning sata drive

August 8, 2010 9:31:09 AM

Well known issue (once you know it hehe)
See here for the solution: http://www.hha.co.nz/blog/?p=138
or to summarise:

when a cloning an IDE to a new bigger better faster SATA drive, all goes well until the system is rebooted. Assuming you remember to set the bios boot options to chose the sata disk, then you'd think all would be well.
But if you leave the old ide source disk connected, then Windows in its wisdom enumerates the original partitions drive on the old drive from C, resulting in the new operating system on the sata drive with a drive letter other then C - sometimes way down the alphabet (if there are partitions more or usb media card readers) .
I don't know about you, but I found it unnerving to have windows on the J drive!

Granted it may actually work, but why mess with things you don't gotta mess with? (Especially on a customer's system where you cannot possibly test all the programs)?!

The trick is to UNplug the old ide drive the first time you boot the system after cloning. AND you need to delete the partitions or format the old drive as well before plugging it back in.
August 8, 2010 3:08:49 PM

Wow.. after over 6 years, the answer finally came in. I hope the OP is still watching.
!