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Thread: Can anyone suggest something? Dual-Boot problem!!

  1. #1
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    Can anyone suggest something? Dual-Boot problem!!

    Hi there, I hope someone out there may be able to help:

    I run a dual boot windows XP system so that I can keep all my audio software away from office stuff and possible virus threats.. Just recently i decided to upgrade one of the drives to a bigger drive and windows XP SP2 was clean installed on it... All seemed to be working fine, the boot.ini files were OK as I get asked which OS to boot into at start-up, even if one of the drives is unplugged.

    But then I noticed that when working on my original C:/ some of my software is not working properly because windows has changed the drive letter to F:/.

    I know this is fairly common outcome and I have read about this. So in Microsoft help pages i decided (probably at my error) to rename the drive in the registry, I followed the instructions exactly and I think it did it, but now the original C:/ will not boot into windows... I have spent all day trying to work this one out... The Boot.ini still seems OK coz i get asked which OS to boot to... I choose the Audio side and it tries to load, but stops on the Microsoft icon, just before the desktop would normally appear. Obviously i can't change the drive letter back coz I can't boot up. I need my C: drive back!!

    I have tried to boot from XP disc, and repair, I have tried fixmbr and fixboot but no luck... It seems maybe windows is looking elsewhere for something during set-up but i don't know what to do now... When i do a scan it sees the windows on the disc and all seems fine... also i can access the files when i boot into the other drive so i know all the files are there and working fine..

    Unfotunately that's where my knowledge base runs out when it come to set-ups... so maybe someone could suggest what i may have done wrong here...?? The ideal fix would be that I can get my c: running again and rename the other drive if necessary, but until then I can't seem to boot, let alone run the software

    I'd really appreciate the help... thanks

  2. #2
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    Lets try to get the set up straight...
    You have 2 hard drives right now, one with WinXP that you use for audio software, and the other (HD?) for another OS? And you upgraded the one hard drive that you use for your other OS with a new version of Windows XP SP2?

    I guess the questions I have is, obviously, why? If you have Windows XP on both drives, why not just combine them? Is this an office PC?
    I don't think there is really any way any of us are going to be able to help you. We have no way of knowing what you changed in your registry. :-\ I would say to try to reverse everything you did in the registry so you can at least get to the point you were at. Then back up everything you can/want to and just do a fresh install of the whole system.

    I can suggest a little more stable way of doing this dual boot though. My friend has this set up, and I've been trying to get around to doing it on my PC. He has a removeable hard drive bay in his computer, and he just puts in whichever hard drive he wants to use. He has one with Windows XP for games, then one with Linux for everything else. This would be how I want to set up my computer some day. You can buy the bay, and 2 cages for relatively cheap.

  3. #3
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Big Booger provided a thorough to a similar situation here

    http://www.techzonez.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16341

  4. #4
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    Ok hi guys, here's what i did to the registry...

    http://www.support.microsoft.com/kb/223188

    just gave myself the right 'permissions' and changed the drive letters as shown there... I kinda knew deep down it wouldn't be that straight forward.

    The reason for having the set-up is a long story, but basically my friend set-up that PC a long time back such that I could boot into Audio drive C: which was safe and wouldn't be under too much risk of virus, or into the other drive D: which i could pretty much do whatever else i wanted without the risk of losing all my C: data should i ever have a bad virus.... I liked the idea of it and stuck with it.. However the drives are fairly small now and I thought it wouldn't be too tricky to swap the Office to a larger disc, and do a clean install of XP SP2... But I didn't take into account what would happen with the drive letters being changed on my original C: drive.

    Thanks for looking, I'll read through the similar thread.... please believe me I've done so much reading today, I haven't just cried out for help... I'm just stuck for what to... Maybe you're right I will try to roll-back what I've done and then find another way round it..

    :-)

  5. #5
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    Ok, just to update this in case anyone else looks at the thread with the same problem, I've got my original old C: drive back to the letter it was changed to "F:" after I fitted my new drive, and so now it boots again...

    I did this using a rather cool boot disc similar to the Windows XP boot disc called UBCD4WIN. Worth a look if you can't access a drive like me, I didn't really understand what it was doing but it lets you run like a virtual windows for diagnosis software on your sick drive... kinda cool.. I accessed regedit through that.

    So I have both drives are bootable again which is kinda good but I'm still now stuck with my original problem that I really need the newly appointed F: to become C: again as it was originally and so my software doesn't keep asking me to register everything again... So just to clarify:


    If i boot into my orig 60Gb drive I have: 60Gb (F: ) and 250Gb (D: ) This is the F: and i need to be C: again
    If I boot into the new 250Gb drive I get: 60Gb (C: ) and 250 (D: )

    I've read through the link above and other related stuff and I can see that before installing windows on my second drive I should have partitioned it so that it wouldn't have a conflict in lettering and shifted my original C: to F:... Or at least that's what I think has happened.. I'm assuming there's not a quick fix for this, but I'm a little lost with what to do do now,....

    thanks for helping, any suggestions??
    Last edited by jambon squirrel; November 21st, 2006 at 01:16 AM. Reason: to clarify

  6. #6
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    There are third party boot managers that allow you to hide partitions upon boot so ya could have both hard drives loading up as C: Sorry don't remember the name off hand, though a dedicated googlist can find anything.

  7. #7
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    thanks for the info... I'm a little confused at what is causing this to happen, maybe someone could explain...

    But with my rather limited knowledge would i be right in saying that if I partitioned my new drive and installed XP on the second partition and removed it from the first, would i be removing the conflict?? and if so, is there any way for me to return my original drive back to C:, without reformatting it??

    Thanks again...

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