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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
while trying to initialize a new external hard disk- I changed the C name for the OS drive to N. Now, I can't access anything, inlcuding disk management. I'm afraid to turn off my computer- as I fear I won't be able to access anything, so I can't take it to a specialist. HELP!!!!!
 

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You can't just go to My Computer, right-click on the drive and rename it? I think even if you turn it off and restart the computer, you would be able to go into the BIOS and change the master hard drive to "N" or whatever. It's complicated, so I suggest you get someone knowledgeable with computer hardware to help you.
 

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Have you sorted out your Problem Linda ??

If you accidentally changed the drive designation from C to N there is a way back ..

Click on the Start Button, SETTINGS, Control Panel. (You may want to select CLASSIC VIEW) Select ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS, COMPUTER MANAGEMENT, DISK MANAGEMENT.

a list of your drives will now appear. You can "right click" with your mouse on the drive that you want to change the designation and select change drive designation. you wll then be allowed to select a new drive letter and revert it to C: unless another drive or partition is using that allocation already
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I have NOT sorted it out yet. The problem is that none of the original C OS items are functioning: like Start-control panal... for example. Only items in control panal that work is the printer/faxes and connections. The other items are looking for files that are defined as C and no longer exist (now they are "N")
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
:sigh:no access to anything in control panal accept for printers/faxes and network connections. I assume that those items are not threaded thru files in "C"- so that's why they still work. I tried to access the required changes that are usually made in the disk management, thru the command prompt. Either I don't have the correct language/commands or it's not an option. thanks, again. Linda
 

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CAn you tell me whether when you go start / run type msconfig (then hit Enter key) whether a window called System Configuration Utility opens up after a few seconds delay. If it does then look for the Launch System Restore button towards the bottom of the panel and click on it.
Select "restore my system to an earlier time". Check for a date in the calendar that is highlighted that is a restore point. You won't lose any files by doing this but you will possibly lose any installed programs that had been made between that date & today. Follow the instructions and restart your PC. Let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. I'm feeling that the situation is quite hopeless. I can't run from the start button. I get the message that the windows could not create the shortcut. Again a situation where something is built into the need to have a correctly named OS drive. BUT, I did find a way into the command prompt because I can open the N (previously named C) drive. I wrote msconfig and the response was the following sentence: 'msconfig' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. Any ideas what I can try next? :4-dontkno
 

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As the old song goes .. " It ain't over - til it's over!"

Just don't start pulling your hair out yet .. we have many way s to try yet and our only enemy is TIME !! The rest is a learning experience that will leave both of us feeling more confident about handling computers.

Can you Search for msconfig.exe on the old c drive (now N) make sure you select to search with hidden files
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
found it - 3 actually. 2 of them under service pack files - unfortuately, as with all the other items, the computer won't/can't run it. I get the message :this application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.
Linda
 

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Seems like most of our options are going to have the problem that the program source has now changed and the program "data" has effectively moved to another drive.
Should we need to do a repair install do we have the Windows XP Install CD at hand or is it perhaps a pre-installed purchased system?
 

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Ok .. I'm hoping you won't need to use it.
are you using the "faulty" computer to talk with us or is it close by
take a look at this article that Lindeman wrote. Print it out if you can.
let me know if there is anything you don't understand or don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks. I'll read it now. I have an additional computer to help me thru this- though I can't print out. :wave: Really appreciate your help. once again
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can't access the article: this is the message that I get when I try. Could be due to a firewall- this is a work computer that I'm using right now. :(
Linda Tadir, you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:

Your user account may not have sufficient privileges to access this page. Are you trying to edit someone else's post, access administrative features or some other privileged system?
If you are trying to post, the administrator may have disabled your account, or it may be awaiting activation.
 

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sorry .. thought that article was in public access

this is addressed at changing the registry .. so extreme care is required
unfortunately due to the situation we are in .. backup is not possible

How to change the system/boot drive letter in XP

If you break a mirror volume or for some other reason the drive letter of your system and/or boot drive gets changed so that the drive now has the wrong letter (not the one assigned to it when you installed the OS), you'll find that the Disk Manager won't let you change the letter of those drives. This is to protect you from making changes that render the OS unbootable, and you should make those changes only if the drive let gets changed as described above. To do so, you have to edit the registry. Be sure to back it up first.
Log on with an administrative account.


Click Start | Run and type regedt32.exe to open the registry editor.
Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM
In the right pane, click MountedDevices.
On the Security menu, click Permissions and ensure that Administrators have full control.
Close regedt32.exe and run regedit.exe. Navigate back to the same registry key.
Locate the drive letter you want to change (such as \DosDevices\C:), right click it and select Rename.
Rename it to the letter you want it to have (such as \DosDevices\D:).
Close regedit.exe and run regedt32.exe again to change the permissions on the key back to Read Only.
You'll need to restart the computer for the change to take effect. Be very careful about renaming drive letters of system/boot drives.
 

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Hi Linda Tadir,

Sorry about your unfortunate situation.

One way that I would try to approach this is from the (DOS) command prompt. There are dozens if not 100+ DOS type commands still around and functional within windows that just may help.

I have a few ideas - that I would welcome any input from anyone - negative or positive - as to why these would work or not work so that you don't waste additional precious time - and maybe give someone else an idea as to how to solve this. I'm going to go through these quickly, so if these is anything you would like clarification on, please ask.

There are a few items that may prevent <some> functionality:

A. Vista's User Access Control (UAC) - I would activiate the hidden Administrator's account via the "net user" command to assure top admin level priviledges. Just one sub-directory not copying/moving back to c: because of authority level could ruin everything.

B. File permissions may be a problem in conjunction with/ addition to the UAC. I would use the ICACLS command to change all file permissions.

C. Boot-up using SAFEMODE (unlikely, given current predicament), or at the very least suspend or kill unecessary System Services that are not required for this mission.


Here are some of my ideas:

1. Use the DOS "RENAME" command renaming drive N: to C: drive.

2. Use the DOS "SUBST" command to substitute drive C: for N: - so any program looking for C: will be referred to N: This may give you functionality. Re-boot would kill this, but there are ways to place commands into re-boot, if this works.

3. Use COPY vs. MOVE to get the files from N: back to C: drive. Is there enough hard disk space?

4. Boot-up using DOS to be able to issue 1, 2, or 3. File attributes may be an issue.

5. Continue from where you are - but get access to windows functionality using the executable (*.exe) and driver (*.dll) files directly executing them from the command prompt (drivers use RUNDLL32.exe). For example - to launch Internet Explorer, the command is :
"%drive%\ProgramFiles\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
- you would have to use the SUBST command in here as the programs will be looking to c: for files.

There is a listing of the *.exe and *.dll files in the registry at:

REG:\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3623929278-1183198723-2560370784-500_Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache

Here is a screen shot to give you an look:





Hope this can help you. . .

regards... jcgriff2
 

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thanks for your input

Hi Linda Tadir,

Sorry about your unfortunate situation.

One way that I would try to approach this is from the (DOS) command prompt. There are dozens if not 100+ DOS type commands still around and functional within windows that just may help.

I have a few ideas - that I would welcome any input from anyone - negative or positive - as to why these would work or not work so that you don't waste additional precious time - and maybe give someone else an idea as to how to solve this. I'm going to go through these quickly, so if these is anything you would like clarification on, please ask.

There are a few items that may prevent <some> functionality:

A. Vista's User Access Control (UAC) - I would activiate the hidden Administrator's account via the "net user" command to assure top admin level priviledges. Just one sub-directory not copying/moving back to c: because of authority level could ruin everything.

B. File permissions may be a problem in conjunction with/ addition to the UAC. I would use the ICACLS command to change all file permissions.

C. Boot-up using SAFEMODE (unlikely, given current predicament), or at the very least suspend or kill unecessary System Services that are not required for this mission.
we are in an XP environment and not Vista. I am not sure if the Vista command exists in XP

Here are some of my ideas:

1. Use the DOS "RENAME" command renaming drive N: to C: drive.

RENAME (REN) [d:][path]filename filename

Purpose: Changes the filename under which a file is stored.
I have never seen a command in DOS that changes the drive letter although it is possible that there is one.
2. Use the DOS "SUBST" command to substitute drive C: for N: - so any program looking for C: will be referred to N: This may give you functionality. Re-boot would kill this, but there are ways to place commands into re-boot, if this works.
Definition of: DOS Subst

An external command that creates a virtual drive and provides a shortcut for referencing long path names. For example, to reference C:\KAREN\BUDGETS with drive K:, type:

subst k: c:\karen\budgets

If you were in the root, you could display MYFILE by typing:

C:\>type k:myfile
instead of

C:\>type c:\karen\budgets\myfile

To cancel the K disk, type:

subst k: /d

3. Use COPY vs. MOVE to get the files from N: back to C: drive. Is there enough hard disk space?
Nice idea but we need to put the C: drive back where it was .. I don't think at this time creating a new partition and copying or moving all the files is either necessary or wise

4. Boot-up using DOS to be able to issue 1, 2, or 3. File attributes may be an issue.
The norm for Xp would be NTFS file system which ISN'T accessible from DOS .. NTFS DOS is a possibility but it would require a shutdown restart. This is something I would only do should I have no other recourse and then go through a repair installation using the CD that I have already asked about.

5. Continue from where you are - but get access to windows functionality using the executable (*.exe) and driver (*.dll) files directly executing them from the command prompt (drivers use RUNDLL32.exe). For example - to launch Internet Explorer, the command is :
"%drive%\ProgramFiles\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
- you would have to use the SUBST command in here as the programs will be looking to c: for files.

There is a listing of the *.exe and *.dll files in the registry at:

REG:\HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3623929278-1183198723-2560370784-500_Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache
at the present time most of the commands that could be used are tied to the C: drive and are inoperable from the current N: drive

There is a possibility that a shutdown / restart will allow Windows to boot from the newly allocated N: drive but at the moment I am not willing to take that risk with someone else's PC.

your ideas though are very good and if you have any other idea that might help please don't hesitate to proffer it. If MSCONFIG or ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS were accessible it wouldn't be a problem at all.

Of course it is possible that the commands you have given will do the tasks you suggest however my experience of DOS coincides with the searches I made to see if I was mistaken. I am always ready to re-learn should you have information to the contrary.
 

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To: Linda Tadir - I hope you found something that worked towards your immediate goal(s)...

To: Done_Fishin

I greatly appreciate the input... honestly.. It was exactly what I was looking for. . . Thank you.

My 13 year-old and I were about to leave the house when she informed me that there was an "urgent post"! I went and read it and wrote what came to mind rather quickly.

Apologies to all for the XP -Vista mixup.


regards. . .

jcgriff2
 

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@jcgriff2 No prob ... if you have anything else to offer .. please say it ,, all suggestions welcome

@Linda Any news .. regret am going to be slow in reply due to a Cisco Networking Seminar I will be attending all this week (evenings after work from 5pm to 10pm) but will be keeping a check. I'll ask the other techs to watch for news and see if they can help

Other items that might help are the UBCD for windows CD and the ERD Commander CD which means you'll have to reboot and start from CD, However I haven't checked out if they allow renaming drives, also shutdown restart might work since windows doesn't look for the drive designation to boot but the "logical address" on the IDE. Care needs to be taken here though, as you already realise.
 
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