View Full Version : Vista, change driver letter, dual boot

05-11-07, 07:25 PM
I have a dual boot system, Windows XP and Windows Vista, and I'd like to change the drive letters at little.

There are three partitions in total. I'd like each OS to be on drive C: and a shared data partition be on D:. The other OS can be anywhere else. I actually had this working during Vista Beta, but I can't do it now, or remember how I did it.

Here's what disk management looks like:

I want to make E: become D: and D: can be anything. C: is the Vista boot drive and contains the one and only page file. D: current has an active XP with its own page file.

Here's the error message when I try to rename drive D:
"Windows cannot modify the drive letter of your volume. This may happen if your volume is a system or boot volume, or has page files."

05-13-07, 11:57 AM
you can't change D drive, that the drive where boot manager is on

05-13-07, 08:50 PM
Sure you can, but it's painful. It's a matter of marking a different partition Active. At that point, you probably will not be able to boot either.

You would then run a repair for each OS which should write boot code to the new active partition and then you will be able to change drive letters.

Not for the faint of heart, but I've done it several times before.

05-14-07, 04:48 AM
Okay, thanks for your replies. I have changed active partitions and repaired boot before when swapping drives but I hesitate to do that right now. Pity there isn't another way eg. boot Vista from DVD or in Safe mode or something and modify. I'm particularly disapointed because I had this working with the Beta which I have just replaced with a final version.

05-14-07, 09:32 AM
I have a dual boot with XP and Vista. I installed XP first as C:. When I installed Vista on the 2nd partition, Vista looks at it as the C: drive as well. However, for this to work you need to install Vista from bootup and not through XP. If you install Vista from XP it will take the same driver letter configuration that XP has.

05-15-07, 05:17 AM
I installed Vista via Boot from DVD. I initially ran setup through XP, but it misses out the drive/partition options, so I could not format before install. Cancelled that and booted.