Windows 7 - Drive Letters Changed (After hard drive swap)

Asked By ChrisOfTheOT on 24-Oct-07 09:38 AM
I had a huge amount of trouble trying to clone my wife's old 60GB hard drive
to the new 100GB drive (for her Dell D400 via Norton Ghost). I gave up after
over a week and took it down our local PC shop.

They also had a lot of trouble, apparently! They had to use Partition Magic
8 and do the clone one partition at a time, and then 're-build' the
partitions onto the new drive.

Everything seemed okay but I suddenly noticed that the partitions have
different letters - 'C' is still Widows but 'D' (data), 'E' (progs.), etc.
are switched around. This is causing a couple of complicated problems...

Can I just change the drive letters back to what they used to be? (With PM7
or Disk Management in Admin. Tools.) Or will this cause other problems?

The least stressful way of dealing with this is much preferred!



ChrisOfTheOT replied on 24-Oct-07 09:48 AM

... I saw this:;EN-US;Q223188

in the MS Knowledge Base but it seems to refer to an error (where 'C' is no
longer the boot drive, etc.) but my problem is not quite the same as it was
not an error per se. Still looking...


DL replied on 24-Oct-07 11:27 AM
If your apps on E work ok, then no you wont be able to change the drive
Assuming they work, the registry will have numerous entries showning E as
the app drive etc, amending the drive letters will cause apps to fail.

I cannot see why there was any problem in Cloning the drive, Acronis True
Image has worked for me on numerous occasions without any problem
ChrisOfTheOT replied on 24-Oct-07 12:38 PM
Hi DL - thanks for the reply.

Some applications work, some don't. For instance, in addition to
re-validating the installation, MS Word re-ran part of the installation
process but MS Picture-It! will not run at all.

Since everything was originally installed to the 'E' partition (which has
now been re-lettered to 'D'), won't the registry values reflect that? Surely
copying a partition would not over-write these registry values? Or would
re-booting do something dastardly like that?

As for the problems I had with cloning & imaging the drive, I can only
assure you that I tried every-which-way before taking it to the shop. But
the guy at the shop (who I've known for many years - he's a top fella')
tried Ghost and Acronis before PM8...

Anyway, if I can't get it sorted tonight - which means in the next hour or
two - it's going back to the shop. (I hope he imaged-and-copied because then
he may still have the images - if he just cloned it, I'm stuffed...)

DL replied on 24-Oct-07 12:54 PM
If some work & others dont I would, with all respect to your friend suggest
the image operation failed in some repect.
Allthough some have reported problems with MS Office after an image, not
that I've experienced such.

If PM was used to create partitions and some how individual partitions were
imaged to new partitions any thing could have gone wrong.
I still fail to understand how a straight image failed - though iffy memory
can cause a clone/image operation to fail.

I've only ever used True Image so I cannot comment on Ghost
I'll assume your old drive is still intact, so you can start over.
ChrisOfTheOT replied on 25-Oct-07 11:40 AM

After many days of searching for answers to my problem (from memory, 'Ghost
error code 25003, relating to fragmented NTFS partitions, where the [-ntc-]
switch was ineffective) I did find one single incident where a bad stick of
RAM was suspected. However, this was not the case here since images &
restores from various caddies and PCs always returned the same error.

Still, PM8 managed it in the end. At last!


ChrisOfTheOT replied on 25-Oct-07 11:55 AM

Well, everything is okay now. Finally! To recap:

After the imaging of the hard drive, partition letters after the 'C'
(booting) partition became mixed up. This meant that programs trying to load
from 'E' could no longer find their .exe (or whatever) files and others
running from CD couldn't 'see' the CD drive because it was no longer 'D' (it
was moved to 'H', or something).

I phone the PC guy who said that changing the drive letters in THIS CASE
would be okay because everything was loaded with the previous drive letters
(all the registry entries still assumed that the CD drive was 'D', etc.).
So - with my heart in my mouth! - I changed each partition drive letter in
Disk Management (Admin. Tools). Now it's sweet as a nut!

(Remember that the important 'C' drive, which has Windows XP on it, was not
affected by this mix-up. The mix-up was not a fault, it was because on
restoring individual partition images, each partition was labelled
consecutively by default as 'C', 'D', 'E', etc. - but the 'D' should be
reserved for the CD/DVD drive on my wife's Dell.)

Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know it all panned-out.  :-)