Swap drive letters between to bootable drives-Help

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WaltSm53

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Aug 19, 2015
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I'm in a pickle and need some expert advice. I upgraded my PC from W8.1 to W10, all went very smooth. I then worked on upgrading a laptop SSD drive to from W8.1 to W10 which I planned to then install in my wife's laptop. It was easier for me to upgrade the drive on my PC then swap the drives than take her laptop for awhile. Well...that created my problem. I had 2 drive C's on my PC. I was able to boot quite a few times between the drives (swapping the primary drive in BIOS). But then W10 "fixed" my drives, and now I have only one C drive (the SSD laptop drive) and my original C drive is now F. My PC now only boots to the SSD C drive and I'm not able to use Disk Mgmt to swap the letters. Disconnecting the SSD drive stops the PC from booting because the original C drive is F.

I'm looking for help to either swap the drive letters or remove the SSD drive and somehow be able to rename the F drive to C.

Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

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You have altered the boot partition by reinstalling with the other drive in your PC and will need to reinstall Windows 8.1 on your desktop target drive, then perform the upgrade to 10 over again. You will also probably need to do the process again on the laptop. Windows 10 checks for activation through the current OS product key, but also through the machine's bios id string, so if a product was used in a machine that was not registered to the product key on the OS installed on that drive, any number of issues could result. You will probably not be able to simply change the drive letter. You can try, but I doubt the system will allow you to change it's ID. Make sure the drive in your PC with the OS installed is also attached to the main, 0 or 1, SATA header. If you have it on another header besides the primary controller, as in, if you moved it to attach hers, that might affect things as well.

There are methods for repairing the boot partition but it's probably better to simply back up anything important on the drive to another location, and then simply do a clean install of 10 to that drive on the machine it's intended to stay in.
 

Darkbreeze

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But if two drives were installed, and one was used to perform an installation on, the boot partition of the other drive may have been compromised by the installer and windows boot loader, making it unusable without either repairing the boot partition or reinstalling. Again, not every case is the same, although it ought to be, it isn't.
 

James Mason

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Yeah, but it was also to address his concerns about the drive letters changing. He definitely broke it by doing the upgrade the way he did.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If the system designated the original c drive as the f drive, because another drive became designated as the c drive, it may simply be refusing to release the drive letter due to the other drive no longer having a valid boot partition, plus, you can't change the drives letter if you can't get into windows to do so with the drive you want as C also being the current boot drive.

Except maybe in DOS or using a bootable partition manager.
 
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