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Why is the boot drive letter not C: after installing Windows XP on a blank drive?

The Windows setup process did not assign drive letter C: to the hard drive during the Windows XP/2000/NT installation process. WHY did this happen?

During the installation of Windows XP (2000 and NT use the same process) after a BLANK hard disk drive has been installed in the system, the setup process does not AUTOMATICALLY assign drive letter C: to the HDD. This can happen because an existing hard drive partition was not detected by setup and one of the following:

1. There is a Media Card Reader in the system
2. There is a Zip Drive in the system
3. There is a USB Flash Drive connected to the system
4. There is a USB Printer connected to the system that has a media card reader
5. There is an External Hard Drive connected to the system

If, any of these devices are in the system, setup will assign drive letter C: to one of these devices and then the hard disk drive (HDD) ends up with drive letter H or such. The boot drive letter in and of itself is not a big deal. Anyone with a multi-boot system like mine at home is familiar with non-C: boot drives and they per se cause no problems (You just have to know the drive letter of your boot drive).

To prevent this from happening, boot to your Windows CD and run the setup thru the creation and formatting of the hard drive. Power the system off manually, then restart the Windows installation. The partition you created on the last install will be detected and assigned drive letter C:

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when installing XP to a blank HDD, that has no existing partition, If windows detects other drives (another HDD that has a partition, USB Thumbdrive, zip drive ot media card reader (I suspect your system has a 4 in one card reader) then XP install will see those drives and assign them drive letters and then assign the new partition created C: To avoid this, the simplest step is after creating the new partition on the new hdd in the XP install process, reboot the system and start the XP install again, this time it will see an existing partition on the new HDD and assign it drive letter C:
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