[SOLVED] Changing drive letters from command prompt for a chance of fixing Win Install - is it worth it?

mickrc3

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Mar 20, 2016
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My friend dropped off his computer for an upgrade of the CPU/MB/SSD. He was going from a Ryzen 7 2700X on a Gigabyte Aorus 7 X470 with a WD 500GB Gen 3 NVMe SSD to a Ryzen 9 3900 on a MSI X570 Gaming with a WD 1TB 770 Black Gen 4 NVMe SSD. I cloned the SSD with no problem, removed the old components and installed the new parts. However on boot the system failed to run. According to the error message the Windows install was unable to boot because necessary parts were not found. I asked my friend and found out that he had "saved" space on his original SSD by installing some software on his two SATA drives. And just to make things a little more complex one drive has two partitions while the other has three. And he seems to remember that the boot drive was E: instead of C: So now I think I am looking at possible combinations of six drive letters in order to find the right drive order for Windows to boot from. Personally I would just do a fresh install and call it a day but he doesn't want to have to reinstall all of his software as he is one of those guys who fails to save things even when they are important.

So I think I can use the command prompt after booting from the Windows CD to use the command line to change drive letters but I think I may be wasting a lot of time over just reinstalling windows and telling him that it was necessary because of the messed up drive letter assignments and the new hardware.
 

USAFRet

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No.

To start, changing the motherboard often/usually requires a full reinstall. Not a clone.

Where you are now, going into the Reg will just make things far far worse.

Personally I would just do a fresh install and call it a day but he doesn't want to have to reinstall all of his software as he is one of those guys who fails to save things even when they are important.
Maybe this will be the impetus for him to change that mindset.

From where I sit, I see no way around that.
 
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ex_bubblehead

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Unless you know with 100% certainty where EVERY SINGLE drive reference exists in the registry (there are hundreds, if not thousands) then you are simply creating an unfixable situation. You're changing platforms, this is a clean installation situation anyway. Whether or not he wants to do this is irrelevant. Time to back up the important files and pull out all of the pertinent serial numbers and get to it.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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No.

To start, changing the motherboard often/usually requires a full reinstall. Not a clone.

Where you are now, going into the Reg will just make things far far worse.

Personally I would just do a fresh install and call it a day but he doesn't want to have to reinstall all of his software as he is one of those guys who fails to save things even when they are important.
Maybe this will be the impetus for him to change that mindset.

From where I sit, I see no way around that.
 
Reactions: Mandark
My friend dropped off his computer for an upgrade of the CPU/MB/SSD. He was going from a Ryzen 7 2700X on a Gigabyte Aorus 7 X470 with a WD 500GB Gen 3 NVMe SSD to a Ryzen 9 3900 on a MSI X570 Gaming with a WD 1TB 770 Black Gen 4 NVMe SSD. I cloned the SSD with no problem, removed the old components and installed the new parts. However on boot the system failed to run. According to the error message the Windows install was unable to boot because necessary parts were not found. I asked my friend and found out that he had "saved" space on his original SSD by installing some software on his two SATA drives. And just to make things a little more complex one drive has two partitions while the other has three. And he seems to remember that the boot drive was E: instead of C: So now I think I am looking at possible combinations of six drive letters in order to find the right drive order for Windows to boot from. Personally I would just do a fresh install and call it a day but he doesn't want to have to reinstall all of his software as he is one of those guys who fails to save things even when they are important.

So I think I can use the command prompt after booting from the Windows CD to use the command line to change drive letters but I think I may be wasting a lot of time over just reinstalling windows and telling him that it was necessary because of the messed up drive letter assignments and the new hardware.
Fresh install the OS.
Get the proper bios and drivers.
Make sure everything functions.

Give the machine back to your friend.
All his stuff will still be on the old ssd.
Let him try to copy it back if he wants.
 
However on boot the system failed to run. According to the error message the Windows install was unable to boot because necessary parts were not found. I asked my friend and found out that he had "saved" space on his original SSD by installing some software on his two SATA drives.
That would have zero influence on boot.
And he seems to remember that the boot drive was E: instead of C: So now I think I am looking at possible combinations of six drive letters in order to find the right drive order for Windows to boot from.
All you have to do is to find the boot menu key of your bios, usually F12 but the bios tells you on boot time, and go through all 6 disks, whatever one boots into windows you go into bios and make that one the boot drive.

As soon as you get into windows you can use disk management to give all the drives their old letter.
 

mickrc3

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Actually, when I went through the various disk partitions I found four (yep, four) different Windows 10 install directories plus one Win 7. But the one he claims is the newest (file dates seem to verify this) it won't start either - I think that it is because of that boot drive letter issue. And I'm not willing to blindly try to assign the drive letters. It will have to be a lesson for him to learn.
 

USAFRet

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Got his okay to do the clean install that I wanted to do in the first place.
 

mickrc3

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Not to worry about the Windows install - I've been using mainframe/mini/micro/cluster computers since 1979 and PCs since 1983. Used Win 1.0 and before that MS-DOS 2.11, though at the time I did have to maintain a program that booted on a turn-key DOS 1.25 floppy (yep, the IBM version , not MS-DOS - it barely ran on the Zenith Z-150 PC clone). Been a USAF/DOD programmer for the last 43 years with the last decade on Unix/Linux although I'm fully retired now.
 

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