Keeping Dual Boot but Changing Drive Letters

Discussion in 'Windows Vista General Discussion' started by hw-engineer, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. hw-engineer

    hw-engineer Guest

    Just upgraded using the clean install option. XP is on Drive C and Vista is
    on a new Drive F. I'd like to keep the dual boot for awhile but the C drive
    is making noises like it is going to fail someday. If I try to remove it the
    system will not boot. Here's what I'd like. Get the drives to swap drive
    letters, and have the system boot when I remove the old drive C.

    Also, how do I get the time to select which operating system to boot time
    down from 25 seconds to, say, 5 seconds?
    hw-engineer, Jun 12, 2007
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  2. That is not going to work.

    I would say to image drive C: and save the image to later restore to a new
    drive, but the fact that you are already hearing noises means that damage
    may have already been done. It is of no value to image a drive that is not
    known to be in a 100% reliable state. Yours isn't.

    Plan to replace the drive and to reinstall the operating system that is
    presently on the drive.



    Richard Urban
    Microsoft MVP Windows Shell/User
    (For email, remove the obvious from my address)
    Richard Urban, Jun 12, 2007
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  3. hw-engineer

    Chad Harris Guest

    Hello hw--

    As you probably know using pronouns on your posts ensures you will not be

    "If I try to remove IT IT IT IT IT [what does it stand for]--I think you
    mean Vista-- the system will not boot." That leaves us guessing. You mean
    if you try to remove Vista on F:\ it will not boot?

    Swapping drive letters will not impact the booting. The reason the drive
    letters didn't stay the same if they didn't is you didn't run Vista setup
    from the XP desktop.

    The damage Richard Urban refers to that may have been done is possibly the
    failure of the HD.

    If I were you, I'd get a new large HD since the prices are pretty economical
    and do your dual boot over.

    You certainly can backup Vista, or XP. Vista has a native backup; XP has a
    ridiculous backup but what you want to save can be burned easily to CD from
    within XP natively or with 3rd party like Nero, etc.

    I favor using Acronis True Image 10.

    You also have the option of using these procedures:

    Uninstalling Vista on Dual Boot with XP

    or you could use this:

    You cannot uninstall Windows Vista by using the "Uninstall a program" option
    of the Programs and Features Control Panel tool

    To resolve this problem, back up your files, and then perform a clean
    installation of Windows XP. To do this, follow these steps:1. Click Start,
    click All Programs, click Maintenance, and then click Backup and Restore
    2. Click Set up backup, select the location for your backup files, and then
    click Next.
    3. Continue with the wizard to select the following:• The drives and the
    file types to back up
    • How frequently to back up the drives and the file types
    • What time of day to perform the backup

    4. Finish the wizard, and then click Save Settings and Start Backup.
    5. When the back up is complete, perform a clean install of Windows XP. For
    more information about how to perform a clean installation of Windows XP,
    click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft
    Knowledge Base:
    316941 ( How to install or upgrade
    to Windows XP
    Note You cannot perform a clean installation of Windows XP by using an
    upgrade version of Windows XP. You must have the full version of the Windows

    Good luck,

    Chad Harris, Jun 12, 2007
  4. hw-engineer

    hw-engineer Guest

    OK, let me try an be more clear (sorry about the pronouns).

    XP has been running on C:. I bought the upgrade version of Vista and it
    would only allow me to install from XP. It would not allow me to install
    when booting straight from the Vista DVD.

    Vista is now on F: If I try and disconnect or disable C: (from the BIOS)
    the system will not boot. I get a message to the effect "No OS found"

    Both drives are SATA with C: in the primary, F: in the secondary. If I try
    and swap them, (C: in secondary, F: in primary) it still fails.

    I've been researching this and I believe one thing that is happening is
    that PC goes to C: first, sees there is two operating systems to choose from
    and goes from there. If I remove C: or move it to the SATA secondary
    connector, the PC will not boot. I've also tried to change drive letters
    from within XP and Vista and that is not allowed.

    So, maybe the multipart question is, how can I get the system to go to F:
    first so that I can unplug C;, move F: to the primary slot, get "it" to come
    up as Drive C:, and then plug the old C: back in and have it come up as some
    other drive letter.

    The original C: drive is not dead yet and I need to be able to dual boot
    until I'm sure all my legacy applications are working properly. I'm fine
    with re-installing XP on the old C: but I need to get the new drive running
    stand alone first.

    hw-engineer, Jun 12, 2007
  5. hw-engineer

    DP Guest

    > Also, how do I get the time to select
    which operating system to boot time

    Vista boot Pro (free, downloadable) will let you adjust that. There may be
    other ways, but that's the way I know.
    DP, Jun 13, 2007
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