Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Installing new motherboard resulted boot drive letter being changed

Last response: in Windows 7
Share
June 27, 2010 9:54:15 AM

Hello,

When I changed from XP to Vista a couple of years ago, I inadvertently changed my boot drive's letter from c: to e:. (I'm not crazy about that, but I can deal with that later.)

A few months ago I bought a new drive and used Acronis to create a clone. My new, faster drive, still carries the moniker e:. (The old drive is no longer being used.) I then upgraded from Vista to Win7, on the same drive - it's still e:. Everything has been running just fine, until...

I just installed a new motherboard (Asus P6X58D-E), and I cannot log into Win7, not even into safe mode. When I get into System Repair and then either run System Restore or open a command prompt and run bcdedit, I see that my boot volume is now identified as c:. E: does not even exist.

A number of other people have run into a similar problem, usually when they install a new drive and/or install a new OS. I did neither: I just installed a new mobo and plugged my exisiting drive into a SATA port. I tried plugging into different SATA ports, I tried with my DVD drive (the only other drive in my system) unplugged, I tried with the HD in SATA port 1 and DVD in 0 (and vice versa), I tried changing the boot order in the BIOS, I tried IDE mode, AHCI mode, but nothing helps.

If someone has some general guidance on the topic, I'd appreciate it. I'm pretty tired now, but If necessary I can be more specific about the steps I have taken.

Thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2010 11:28:17 AM

It's not the drive letter assignment that's stopping it booting.
You have replaced the motherboard so Windows doesn't recognise the hardware.
You can't just swap in a new mobo and expect it to work. Going by what you have said the board in that system was quite old.
You will need to reinstall Windows and any additional drivers for the new board.
m
0
l
June 27, 2010 5:58:49 PM

Thanks jonmor68.

In other threads, folks say they were able to do just that - install new mobos and drives w/o installing new OS. But, there are many who disagree!

I'm fine with the idea that I need to reinstall the OS, and I am going ahead with that plan. I don't have a Win7 disk - when I upgraded from Vista to Win7, I downloaded the install image, installed, and then deleted the image from the drive. No biggie, I can just download it again - if I could connect to the Internet! And I did not make a Win7 startup disk. I know - my BAD.

I do have a Vista install DVD (not a startup disk, but the install disk that came with Vista), and my old HD with Vista installed on it. I am attempting to boot from the DVD, but when it starts I have two choices: install Vista, or repair. I don't want to install Vista, because I am afraid it won't give me the option to specify the drive letter I need to use (e:, because of the registry settings). And repair mode fails again, albeit with a different problem signature: WrpRepaire instead of NoRootCauseFound. And again, it thinks my drive is C:

And the install Vista option didn't work, either! Because my Vista OS DVD is an upgrade (from XP), it won't let me install. It says I have to start the install from XP, but I can't boot the system to XP because 1) XP is no longer on the drive, and 2) even if it were, there is still the drive letter problem!

It seems to me that if I could just get the OS (in repair mode, or whatever) to see the drive as E:, I'd be fine, or at least at a good point from which to proceed. Why is the drive now seen as c:? Did the mobo magically change a setting? If so, where would that setting be? It couldn't be on the drive itself, could it?

The magic question: How can I change the drive letter that is seen by the ... what, the BIOS? the Windows kernel, or whatever it is that runs repair mode? I really don't want to write off the $$ I spent on the Win7 upgrade, buy a full version of Win7, and then do a clean install, at which point I would certainly make the drive letter C:, which would require my re-installing ALL of my applications and probably lose tons of data owing to the fact that everything in the registry points to E:. I mean, is that my only option? It seems inconceivable that the new BIOS can just change the drive letter of the boot volume!
m
0
l
Related resources
June 27, 2010 6:42:03 PM

*** MORE INFO ***

I am thinking I can pop my old mobo back in and restart, then ake sure there is nothing wrong with my HD.

Then, I can try starting over with the new mobo. Will this accomplish anything? And even if starting over with the new mobo is a good idea, HOW WOULD I DO IT WITHOUT MY DRIVE LETTER GETTING CHANGED AGAIN?

Would it help, while running on the old mobo, to create a Win7 startup disk, and then use it after I pop in the new mobo?

m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
June 27, 2010 8:09:26 PM

Stop being fixated on the drive letter, Windows will determine what letter it wants.
First thing to do is get diagnostic tools for your hdd from Seagate, WD or whoever it is onto a floppy disk and check that drive is ok.
At this stage I'm wondering what made you get a new board, a problem or just to upgrade, because the problem may have been the drive.
No point in doing anything untill you make sure the drive is ok.
m
0
l
June 27, 2010 11:45:14 PM

Well, the drive letter is an issue, so it is not surprsing that I am concerned about it.

I got a new board because I wanted to upgrade my system (new mobo, cpu, memory, drive).

I there *could* be a problem with the drive, but it is only a few weeks old and has worked just fine. Also, in one of the "advanced" repair modes, where I am able to open a command prompt, I can see the drive, and its contents. No way to know for sure if it's a problem w/o running a diagnostic, but my feeling is that it is likely not a factor. I'll keep it in mind, though.

I was able to create a bootable Win7 USB drive; I'll try that next.

m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
June 28, 2010 12:06:39 AM

Looks as if drive is ok, so lets start from the beginning.
Download your upgrade again, this time create a bootable dvd from the iso file.
Boot the W7 dvd, use custom install, if there are no data files on there you need format it from the W7 disk tools and continue instalation.
As you still have an OS sytem on there even if it is a mess, you shouldn't have a problem using the upgrade.
If there are files you need, just do a clean install(without formating), Windows will put everything in a folder called Windows.old where you can recover your data files. Delete the folder when finished with it.
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
June 28, 2010 12:39:45 AM

shrike37 said:
Hello,

When I changed from XP to Vista a couple of years ago, I inadvertently changed my boot drive's letter from c: to e:. (I'm not crazy about that, but I can deal with that later.)

A few months ago I bought a new drive and used Acronis to create a clone. My new, faster drive, still carries the moniker e:. (The old drive is no longer being used.) I then upgraded from Vista to Win7, on the same drive - it's still e:. Everything has been running just fine, until...

I just installed a new motherboard (Asus P6X58D-E), and I cannot log into Win7, not even into safe mode. When I get into System Repair and then either run System Restore or open a command prompt and run bcdedit, I see that my boot volume is now identified as c:. E: does not even exist.

A number of other people have run into a similar problem, usually when they install a new drive and/or install a new OS. I did neither: I just installed a new mobo and plugged my exisiting drive into a SATA port. I tried plugging into different SATA ports, I tried with my DVD drive (the only other drive in my system) unplugged, I tried with the HD in SATA port 1 and DVD in 0 (and vice versa), I tried changing the boot order in the BIOS, I tried IDE mode, AHCI mode, but nothing helps.

If someone has some general guidance on the topic, I'd appreciate it. I'm pretty tired now, but If necessary I can be more specific about the steps I have taken.

Thanks!


In all actuality the drive letter doesn't truly matter. When you reinstall the OS you should automatically see the drive letter C: again.

Also, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to also check the threads available there for additional assistance and guidance.

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team
m
0
l
a b $ Windows 7
June 28, 2010 12:53:22 AM

JessicaD said:
In all actuality the drive letter doesn't truly matter. When you reinstall the OS you should automatically see the drive letter C: again.

Also, Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here http://tinyurl.com/9fhdl5 . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You may want to also check the threads available there for additional assistance and guidance.

Jessica
Microsoft Windows Client Team

Thanks for adding that, maybe now he will believe it. He seems to think it's the drive letter causing all his problems.
m
0
l
!