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Windows XP (x2) dual boot drive letter confusion


I have two copies of XP installed, one will be stripped down for audio use (Audio OS), and one for general use (General OS). When I boot from the boot manager list into my audio OS, and go to disk management, the drives are setup as I expect:-

C: Audio OS D: General OS E-L My other partitions

When I log into my general OS, the drive letters are muddled:-

C: Audio OS L: General OS Other Drives: not in order

Here, I expected General OS to be on C: (as I am booted into it) and the Audio OS on D: Would this be right? How do I go about swapping L: to C: and C: to D: without causing boot problems?

I have already tried this once by changing the names in the registry
(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices) but this went wrong and wouldn't allow me to boot into the general OS anymore.

I am now back to the stage where I was before it went wrong and am really nervous to change anything!

Some guidance would be really appreciated

Many thanks


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No. Don't do that.

In reply to: Windows XP (x2) dual boot drive letter confusion

Drive letters are assigned in each OS and are not shared or ordered by any single OS. You MAY NOT change the OS drive letter without deep registry editing and the work is so involved that the answer is "no" and "don't do that".

Non-OS drive letters can change. But what you want is not going to happen without consequences. The best you can hope for is the data drive to be the same letter.

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Drive letter confusion

In reply to: No. Don't do that.

Would I be able to format the general OS partition and rename it to D: instead of L: somehow?

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I'm going with no.

In reply to: Drive letter confusion

While you might try installing to such a partition, the lettering is not entirely up to you. I fear all this has been discussed many times but as asked (format) the answer is no. But if one would boot from the XP CD and have unpartitioned disk space to install to the letters might change. But all this is mostly an annoyance item and for the 3 weeks you'll spend on this, the choice is up to you to try a fresh install.

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XP drive letter confusion

In reply to: I'm going with no.

Many thanks for your help


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