Need help to install Windows 7 to alternate drive letter

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by jjo, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. jjo

    jjo Honorable Member

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    I have a brand new hard disk on which I would like to install Windows 7 (Enterprise Edition). Unlike many whose posts I've read I actually want to install the OS to a drive other than C, let's say drive L, and I need some help in order to accomplish this.

    Up through Windows XP the following method worked: In the setup, I would partition the drive and make logical drives of the minimum size from C to K, with a final one, L, big enough for the OS and everything else. I could tell the install program to install Windows in L. A few system files would be in C, all the rest in L. Then after I deleted partitions D-K and fixed a line in C:\boot.ini to compensate for that, everything was fine.

    In my brief experience trying to install Windows 7 on my new drive, this technique does not work. There is no easy way to create logical drives during the install from DVD/ISO procedure and even when I tried creating three small partitions ahead of a large partition as the target partition, Windows still installed itself in drive C.

    I know it is possible for Windows 7 to install itself to other drives (I've read other posts where people have complained about this), I just don't know how to force Windows to install itself on a drive with a specific alternate letter.

    Anyone on this forum know how to do this? Something in the setup procedure? A hack to one of the ISO files on the installation DVD?

    Thanks,

    jjo

    PS. My humblest apologies if this question has already been addressed on this forum. I looked but didn't find anything.
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    The only thing I might even guess is to use Diskpart during the install to create the partition and assign it a letter. I do not know if it even works that way, but you might try.

    To use Diskpart, hit Shift+F10 at the partitions window and type the necessary commands. When you exit diskpart refresh the partitions window to see if it holds. Or maybe use a third party software, like partition wizard, to partition and assign a letter ahead of time.
     
  3. busydog

    busydog New Member

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    Done this accidentally so this should work. From within XP, Vista or Win7, decide what driver letter you want and format a blank partition on your HD and assign the drive letter, say "X". Then insert the Win7 DVD and do a custom install to the "X" partition. You will not end up with C being assigned because you are using C for the install. Your boot record will remain in C but you now have Win7 installed to Drive "X" and can boot to it after the install.
     
  4. merlincorp

    merlincorp New Member

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    here's how you install win7 on a different partition

    No problem, boot up into your current OS. When in there, make sure you have formatted the target partition and set it as an Active one.

    Insert your Win 7 program disk and navigate to it on your DVD drive using Win Explorer. Click on the setup.exe and the installation will start. Because you are already in C: (and it's therefore locked) the installation will go to the target partition you want, just indicate which partition as you go through the installation process.

    I have C: with Vista and G: with Win 7 and every works just fine. New program that you install if you select the WIn 7 option on boot up, will go to G:\Program Files, or whatever drive you have designated.

    Adrian

     
  5. jjo

    jjo Honorable Member

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    The suggestions from busydog and merlincorp both require that the hard disk contain a previously installed bootable installation of Windows such as Windows XP. I was hoping to avoid that and just install Windows 7 by itself on the new disk.

    And it seems that if I did install Windows 7 from a previous Windows installation, I'd have to leave the old one intact after I had installed Windows 7 because (according to busydog) that's where the Windows 7 boot info resides.

    Right now I have Windows XP on an old hard disk and I can access the new hard disk via a USB interface device. I'm wondering if I can use any of the above suggestions to create a **stand alone** installation of Windows 7 with my desired drive letter on the new disk and then simply replace the old disk with the new one.
     

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