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Join Date: Nov 2008
Re: Just installed Windows XP SP2 - it assigned drive letter F: - How to change to C:?
The process is a little long but along the way I learned a few things and discovered a super free program "Super Grub Disk" - http://www.supergrubdisk.org/
My machine is triple boot - 2 Linux's + Windows-XP.
- I created a slipstream Windows-XP SP3 install disk to simplify re-install using nLite (http://www.nliteos.com/).
- Took a full backup of the user files.
- Opened the box and disconnected all the USB devices - a media Combo card with USB, SVHS, IEEE 1394 in my case.
- Ran through the Microsoft process to change the registry (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188/) on the existing install, swapping the devices F: and C: in the registry. If you do not do this, the Windows installer finds a previous install, looks in its registry and follows this, not what you want! The alternative is to re-format the partition so it is totally empty.
- Tried the repair route but it was a disaster - everything installed knew it was on F: not C: and failed because F: was now missing! Even if the old "Change of Address" program worked on newer systems I suspect it would have missed some script files and led to odd future errors ......
- Did the re-install which strangely did not overwrite my MBR - but when I later installed the drivers which came with my main board, that did cause the MBR to be overwritten with a Windows boot not my original Grub with 3 OS's.
- I got a machine with an almost dead graphics system - during boot-up it looked 1024x768 but then swapped to 640x480 VGA when the login screen came up and resolutely refused to move to a better resolution until I had the main-board graphics driver for Nvidia 8200 installed - probably should have built the driver into my new Windows-XP install disk when I made it from the 3 year old one I bought! Anyway, once the correct graphics driver was in place it got easier.
- The windows install was OK. I restored all the user files but again slipped up because I had not ensured the machine name/workgroup was identical to previous - the boot had come up in Domain mode so I had "username.domainname" in "Documents and Settings" instead of simple "username". So all the restores went to the wrong place - fixed almost all of this by simply copying the files forcibly to the correct places. This was a silly mistake but very easily done!
- Found a brilliant but not fool proof program to fix GRUB and overwrite the Windows MBR - Super grub Disk from http://www.supergrubdisk.org/ . This comes in several versions, an "Auto for Windows" version which works for some but not for others - it failed for me but the Wiki had a fix - use the bootable CD version. So I downloaded the ISO and burned it, booted it and simply followed the instructions. It found my GRUB files in my Linux installs, gave me a choice of which to use and re-installed the MBR. This is great program for fixing problems and also for learning about the boot process by playing with a boot able machine knowing that unless you really mess up (delete the original set-up completely at the end you can recover. Allows what you read in tutorials etc. to be applied in a relatively safe environment. It can also - I think - Remove Grub and put the Windows MBR back as the main boot control.
- Now just finishing re-installing all the software. Windows is so much more painful to do this on than Linux where I could have simply sucked the programs and data back from a dump - no need for a re-install of most things. It has taken me ages even after I copied all the install disks on to disk to speed things up a bit.
This worked for me. I hope it helps others though I suspect different minor issues will pop up.