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Master Drive Assigned To G:\ Not C:\


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#1 xpanded

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 11:13 PM

Hi,

Ive recently had a computer built for me by a friend, its a performance system and everything else is working fine, but the master/boot drive where windows is installed is G:\ instead of the usual default C:\
I was ensured at the time that this shouldn't be a problem, yet i am coming across difficulties when installing programs.

Basically, most programs install ok, but some are trying to install by default to C:\, where at the moment i have an 8in1 card reader. Obviously the programs cant be installed to an empty 8in1 card reader so im getting errors or the installshield is crashing and spewing out an windows error send report box :thumbsup:
These things are crashing before i get any chance to decide which drive to install to, as though they are trying to write some temporary files to a non-existant C:\ drive

Is there any way i can reassign my master drive as C:\ ? Ive tried Control Panel>Administrative tools>Computer management>Disk management and reassigning it in there, but firstly it says i can't rename a primary/boot disk, and secondly i wouldnt be able to rename to C:\ anyway because its being used up by the 8in1 card reader :S

This is annoying me mostly with a game that im trying to install, which will run on my laptop, gf's laptop which are older and slower etc, but do both use C:\ as primary. Thats the only solution i can think of that im trying to install on G:\

Sorry for the long winded question, tried to make it as clear as possible. Any help would by greatly appreciated!

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:37 AM

This may help -

The system partition may be assigned a drive letter other than the one that you expect when you install Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/326683/en-us

In addition to a zip drive it can also apply if any other drives are connected while you install the op system.

#3 xpanded

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:42 AM

Thanks for looking into it enthusiast, looks like thats what whats happened. If i do a full windows reinstall, what will i lose? Will i have to format everything on that drive? That would be pretty gutting :thumbsup:

#4 RichieP

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:43 AM

If you're confident enough about changing the registry you can set G: as the default drive to install new programs.

Go to Start > Run and type in regedit

1. Navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

2. Find ProgramFilesDir whose default should be C:\Program Files

3. Change this to whatever directory you wish. I changed mine to D:\Program Files for example, as I have 2 hard drives.

Backup your registry first, then reboot after you've changed it.

#5 xpanded

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:52 AM

Cheers Rich, good idea, just checked it out but unfortunately it is already set to G:\Program Files. Guess windows knew to do that, but the programs im installing dont. Might try sticking a memory card into the removable C:\ and see if it tries to write any temp files there until i can tell it to install to G:\

#6 xpanded

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:54 AM

hmm nope that didnt work :thumbsup:

#7 Enthusiast

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:21 AM

You can reassign the drive letters. Do some research first as it's complicated.

BASIC Disk - Drive Letter Assignment Rules
The following are the basic disk drive letter assignment rules for Windows 2000:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234048

This may help.

#8 pascor22234

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:48 PM

I just had a similar situation where the Windows directory was on D: but the boot files were on C:. First, to help simplify the situation, unplug the card reader cable from the motherboard. Reboot. Windows will reassign drive letters, but it probably won't fix your problem.

You didn't mention if you had more than one hard disk and whether you have multiple partitions on any of the hard drives. I suspect you have multiple partitions and/or multiple drives. I'm wondering what is now assigned to drive letters C:, D:, E: and F:. Two CD or DVD drives ? And what else ?

When installing the OS, did your friend use -only- the XP utility to create partitions and format them ? I suspect he used some other program to first configure partitions on your hard drive. If so, you may have to "bite the bullet" and wipe the disk and start over again. This is what I recommend:

1) Locate all your data files to be later saved onto a CD. This is very important if some of your data files are -not- located under your "So-and-So's Documents" folder.

2) Save all your settings and data files under your "So-and-So's Documents" folder by using the "File and Settings Transfer Wizard". Create a new folder called "My Files and Setting", for example, anywhere that is convenient. Run the wizard: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Files and Settings Transfer Wizard. Now choose: Next > Old Computer > "Other (for example...". Now, browse to that new folder you just created and click OK and then click Next. The wizard will take some minutes to collect all Explorer and other system settings you have set up as well as all the data files under your account's Documents folder. You didn't mention whether there are multiple accounts set up on your computer. If so, create separate files and settings folders for each additional account folders and run the Wizard for each one of them.

3) To back up any additionl files and folders: Burn all your data files and folders that you located in step 1) that are -not- under your Documents folder as well as the backup wizard's "My Files and Setting" folder to a blank CD. After you wipe the hard drive (yes, that's right) and re-partition it, it will be very easy to restore your data and system settings using the CD and running the wizard again.

If you use Outlook Express, learn how to back up your mail files and address book. Google "XP BACK UP OUTLOOK EXPRESS". Burn these files to your backup CD disc, too.

4) Re-install XP: Make sure that if your hard drive is an S-ATA style drive that you have the special S-ATA install driver copied to a formatted diskette used for the upcoming XP install procedure. This driver is always found somewhere on the driver install CD that came with your motherboard. Make sure the cable for your card reader is UNPLUGGED. Reboot. By tapping the Delete or F2 key or whatever, enter the motherboard BIOS program and make sure the device startup boot order is set to look at the CD (DVD) drive before the hard drive. Put your XP CD into the Master CD or DVD drive. Save the BIOS settings and reboot.

The message "press any key to boot from CD" will appear for 5 seconds. Do so. The XP install program will start. Be alert for the message that says to press the F6 key to install any special drivers from a floppy diskette. If you determined that you have an S-ATA hard drive then load the diskette into the floppy drive and press F6. Otherwise just let the install procede. After a few minutes and the license aggrement screen the install program will show you all the partitions currently set up on the hard drive. Navigate through this wizard to delete all the existing partitions. You may see a partition that is about 8 MB in size that you can't delete. Ignore this and continue.

Creating new partitions is just as easy. Create the first partition that will hold the OS. It will fisrt default to showing a size in MB that uses up the entire hard drive. Reduce this value to 20GB by changing the value to 20000 when it asks. Create a second partition that will hold all your data files that will be retored when the OS is up and running. When the wizard asks how large to make it use the value it shows so that this partition uses the rest of the space left on the hard drive. You will see that it now list drives C: and D:. Choose drive (really a partition) C: to install the OS on.

The rest of the OS installation is cake ! Let it proceed and answer the few questions it raises. When the next reboot happens the statement "press any key to boot from the CD" will happen again. Just let it time out so that this doesn't happen again. The windows GUI will appear and will continue to install Windows. After 39 minutes or less it will prompt you for the CD key and a couple of other answers. Eventually there will be another reboot and Windows will start for real. This will take an unusually long time since it is performing a one-time install of drivers and such. Be patient.

5) Eventually you will be able to log on. Open Explorer to verify that the WINDOWS folder is, indeed, on drive C:. Click the baloon to "Tour XP" and close it down at first opportunity. It will never reappear. Now is a good time to restore your settings. Run the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard again, but this time select "New Computer", navigate to the CD or DVD drive that is loaded with your backup files on it. Navigate to the folder you named that holds your files and settings that you created with the wizard and select it. Let the wizard do it's thing. After its done you will see the wallpaper displayed that you had set up on your old install.

Load your motherboard driver files from the motherboard CD. You may have to reboot one or more times. Now you will have internet access through your motherboard's LAN interface port. When you see the yellowish shield icon on the right side of the taskbar, click it to install the Windows Updates. Do so. This may require several restarts and 10 or 15 minutes.

5a) Oh, yeah: Shut down the computer and plug the cable for the card reader back in. The new drive letter for it should be just past the ones for your CD and/or DVD drives.

6) Re-install your data files you saved on you restoration CD you created. Drag-and-drop them somewhere on disk D:. Note This is the best time to start organizing your data files. All your photos, music, program installs and documents should go somewhere on D:, *NOT* the My Documents folder !!

7) Unlock the task bar by right-clicking on it by selecting "Unlock the taskbar". Why this is not so by defualt is beyond me. Right-click again on the taskbar and select "Properties". Then check off "Show QuickLaunch". Uncheck "Hide inacive icons". Set or unset any other options.

8) Reinstall all your applications. Remember to point to drive D: when saving data when using your applications.

9) Set up your email account in Internet Explorer orr whatever email program you use. From here on you only need to tweak XP to your tastes. Reinstall your mail files and address bok that you may have previously saved.

This procedure will probably take you up to 3 hours. If you need any help, get it from your friend that did the original install. If he balks, slap him upside the head and remind him that he's that screwed your computer up in the first place.

Good luck

#9 hididdle

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:55 PM

Unplug all the drives except the one you want to be the C drive. Reboot and it is now the C drive. I had the same problem and that is what I did.




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