Question Boot drive letter changed from C to D. Windows doesn't boot.

Nov 25, 2019
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I was cloning my boot ssd to a usb drive as a backup using MiniTool Partition Wizard's bootable image but the cloning failed because my usb drive didn't have enough storage. I try to restart and Windows won't boot. Booting into MiniTool again I see that my boot drive changed to letter D: and C: was assigned to a storage partition on my hdd.

Is there anyway I can change the letters back without having to reinstall Windows? Any help is appreciated.
 
Remove any attached USB devices and perform a Windows Startup Repair.
Use Windows Startup Repair
From the Windows 10 Advanced Startup Options menu select Troubleshoot then click Advanced options.
Click Startup Repair.
Windows will take few minutes to attempt to repair.

If you cannot access the Advanced Startup Options menu then try with a Windows 10 setup USB disk.

From the Windows 10's Advanced Startup Options menu, you could also perform a System Restore.
 
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Nov 25, 2019
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Just tried both Startup Repair and System Restore, neither one fixes the issue because it can't recognize Windows is installed.

Do you think copying the Windows partitions to an external SSD and booting from that SSD would work?
 

USAFRet

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Power OFF, disconnect the theoretical new drive, power UP.
Does the system boot correctly?

If so, redo the whole clone operation. And use a different tool.
Your mistake was trying to boot up with both drives still connected.

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Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
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Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive
Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
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Nov 25, 2019
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Thanks for the thorough answer.

To provide some context, this is a Dell G7 laptop, and the SSD on which the OS is installed on is an M.2 drive (and the laptop only had one M.2 slot). My ultimate was goal was to clone my current SSD to a new M.2 SSD, but by using an USB Drive inbetween because the laptop only has one slot.

However, the current situation is that the drive letter of the current SSD (on which Windows 10 is installed) got swapped with that of the HDD I use for storage. All I'm trying to do at the moment is to get the original SSD to boot Windows, at which point I'm failing because from what I've tried so far the Windows installion doesn't get recognized.
 
Nov 25, 2019
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If you're asking about the M.2 drives the current one is an Intel SSDSC2KF128G8 (came with the laptop) and the one I am trying to install is the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.
 

USAFRet

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If you're asking about the M.2 drives the current one is an Intel SSDSC2KF128G8 (came with the laptop) and the one I am trying to install is the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.
OK, so 2x NVMe drive.
No problem.

The better way to do this is through an Image, rather than a 'clone'.

Assuming you have another drive with sufficient free space to hold the entirety of your current m.2 drive:

  1. Download and install Macrium Reflect
  2. Run that, and create a Rescue CD or USB (you'll use this later). "Other Tasks"
  3. In the Macrium client, create an Image to some other drive. External USB HDD, maybe. Select all partitions. This results in a file of xxxx.mrimage
  4. When done, power OFF.
  5. Swap the 2 drives
  6. Boot up from the Rescue USB you created earlier.
  7. Recover, and tell it where the Image is that you created in step 3, and which drive to apply it to...the new m.2
  8. Go, and wait until it finishes.
  9. That's all...this should work.
 
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