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I altered the contents of the second partition on a brand name software installation on the drive that came with the computer at all. It is there as a backup and has all the data necessary on it to restore everthing on the C partition to the way it was originally when the computer was new and untouched by the user. Even if you merely add to the data on that partition, a Rescue or Restore procedure may not even run because the checksum of the data on the partition is different from what it should be.
I suspect the data on that partition was modified such that Setup found the drive partition to be a viable Windows partition.
When you deleted the contents of what was the C partition, Setup found enough on what was the D partition to assign the logical C drive letter to it, since the original partition assigned C no longer existed at that point and the logical drive letter C was available.
Setup will not assign C to a Windows partition if that C drive letter has already been assigned to what Setup found to be a viable Windows partition, so it assigned the next available drive letter - D - to what Setup considered to be the the new, second, Windows installation.

well I need this to be a different drive letter then c so I Can do a system repair to this computer with the legit restore options. windows disk managment wont let me change the c drive to anything else
 

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As far as I know once the assigned letter is given to the operating system, it cannot be changed unless you reinstall windows.

Just to say something funny here of what I just experienced last week when
a pc was brought in to me, the customer complained he couldnt download or
even open a cd to view contents after a fresh install of windows.
The first thing I checked was my computer, the drive letters wqere backwards
on the components ...lol....it had a multimedia card in it and you guessed already
that xp setup had only 100 MB`s or so left as space for it. First time I have seen that happen.
 

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When you deleted the contents of what was the C partition, Setup found enough on what was the D partition to assign the logical C drive letter to it, since the original partition assigned C no longer existed at that point and the logical drive letter C was available.
Sounds like you have blown away the old partition that was c: drive so the first active partition is the one with setup on it.

Id suggest you try justpassingby's link instructions first if you can but I would have thought that the registry would only be loaded and the mountpoints relevent if you started XP from the second partition.

Try to create an active partition 1 before running setup and reboot before running setup. You could boot to a Windows 98 boot floppy and create and OS on the 1st partition if you have to.

I have seen a problem where the mbr has been the cause of this problem but with 2 disks. When I had the problem there was 2 disks with viable windows XP OS on them and after working on them disk 2 was c: and disk 1 was d:

When the disk 2 was removed the result was operating systm not found even when disk 1 was still there. The fix was boot with Windows 98 boot floppy and run fdisk /mbr. Not sure this is relevent to your issue closer to Risky's issue.


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