34337: Need to change primary partition drive letter back to C:, can I?

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Phil Davies
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Long story short I couldn't boot from a Windows 7 DVD so I hooked the drive up in an empty bay, started the DVD in my current Windows 7 setup and installed on the second HDD. It assigned drive letter E to the new hard drive and left my old drive as C. The goal is to get off my old drive altogether so I changed my old C: to G: but it wouldn't let me change the new drive to C. So now I have my (new) primary drive as E and the old drive as G.

To complicate matters even worse, the boot manager is actually a second partition on the OLD hard drive labeled F:. So if I unplug my old hard drive it says boot manager not found at startup.

My questions ...

1. Can I change my new drive from E to C? I have a niche Quickbooks integration software that won't install unless its C and its driving me nuts I need this software and the developer will not change it.
2. Should I even do it? I have already installed some programs I'm sure the registry is peaking in E:. Again though, super important I get this other software working.
3. How do I get the existing boot manager from this 2nd partition on the old drive to the new drive so I can take out the old drive and still boot to my new OS? Checked around and saw a few threads to copy it over but BCD wouldn't copy and then gave me an access denied when I tried in command prompt.

Any help would be appreciated ...

MudCrab
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Can you post a screenshot of what Disk Management shows when booted to the new installation?

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Phil Davies
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Sure, attached.

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Phil Davies
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Odd, I can't see my previous post unless I'm logged in. maybe because it has an attachment? At any rate, I posted it.

MudCrab
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Moving the booting files is not difficult. However, changing the drive letter assigned to the Windows partition is not something recommended to do. If you need to have C: I would recommend reinstalling Windows 7 (do it by booting to the Windows 7 DVD, not from a running Windows system).

In your case, delete the partition on the 500GB drive and create a new Primary, Active partition. Set that drive as the booting drive in the BIOS and then install to the new partition. If you want to make absolutely sure the other drive doesn't get in the way you could disable or disconnect it until the install has completed.

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Phil Davies
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I think I'll heed your advice and leave the drive letter assignments alone. i installed the niche software ona different machine already. How do I move the boot record from the old G: drive to the new E: drive?

MudCrab
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Here are the instructions:

  1. Create a backup image of the Windows 7 partition and the System Reserved partition. This is just a general recommendation before making partitioning changes.
  2. Boot into Windows 7.
  3. Start an Administrator Command Prompt and run the following commands to fix the BCD file:
    bcdedit /set {current} device partition=E:
    bcdedit /set {current} osdevice partition=E:

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=E:

    bcdedit /set {memdiag} device partition=E:

  4. Copy the Windows 7 booting files to the Windows 7 partition by running the following commands:
    reg unload HKLM\BCD00000000
    robocopy  F:\  E:\  bootmgr
    robocopy  F:\Boot  E:\Boot  /s
  5. Start Disk Management and make the Windows 7 partition Active partition (this would be the E: partition).
  6. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS. Make sure the Windows 7 drive (Disk 0) is set as the booting drive.
  7. Boot into Windows 7.
  8. Start Disk Management and make sure the Windows 7 partition is showing that it's the System partition.
  9. If everything looks okay, you can now delete the System Reserved partition. This can be done using DD or Disk Management.
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Phil Davies
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You're a genius, worked like a charm. Thanks.