Windows 7 Scrambles Drive Letters !?!?!

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,548
716
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After many months of running Windows 7 Ultimate on my existing configuration, it suddenly can't boot (even in safe mode) and it can't be repaired either.

I notice while trying to repair (through booting via the DVD) that my operating system drive is now shown as E: instead of C: I then find using the command line that the other drive letters have been scambled too. No wonder I can't boot!

I disconnect all my other hard drives (leaving my SSD and DVD drives) and still find that the operating system on D : and that System Reserved partition on C: (both are on the SDD) -- which is just the reverse of what they are supposed to be.

So:

What the heck happened here? Anyone else experienced this?

Am I right that the BIOS does not assign the drive letters?

How can I trick Windows into going back to the original drive letters?

Please don't tell me I need to reinstall Windows 7! :colbert:

Thanks!
 

dualsmp

Golden Member
Aug 16, 2003
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Is C: partition (Win7 install) marked as active partition? I usually use a Linux live CD to change it if it wasn't marked properly.

Possibly you could delete the reserved partition which is holding on to C:? Not totally sure whether it would bork your Win7 install in the process. Might be a last resort.
 
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PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,548
716
136
I wish I could delete that System Reserved partition, but I gather it's an integral part of some functionality for Ultimate.

I'm going to give tbhis a try when I get home:

From recovery console:

Enter "diskpart" then issue the command "list volume"

Bring the volume you want to change the drive letter for into focus by entering "select volume x" where x is the volume with the drive letter needing to be renamed.

Enter the command "assign letter=x" where x is the new drive letter assignment you need.

Hopefully this will allow me to get them rearranged.

Otherwise, something like a Linux live CD that allows me to temporarily boot up something other than Windows will be next.
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
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716
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Well, that worked but didn't work.

I was able to reassign the drive letters by using the DISKPART, but they reverted back when the PC reboots (even when booting with the DVD). Looks like there's some boot information stored somewhere that also needs fixing.

One step closer to reinstalling...:$

EDIT:

What the heck is going on here!

This post was made based on my futile efforts last night.

This morning I was going to attempt to fix the boot record, but the BIOS missed my boot menu keystroke and went right back to the SSD. And it booted up!

The operating system is back on C: Rebooted a couple of times and reconnected the other hard drives; all letter assignments back to normal. I'm making this edit using the PC right now.

I guess it's fixed... :whiste:

Time to take my restore points and images very seriously.
 
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