"John John (MVP)
Martin ©¿©¬ @
If you mean load the backup of the current Windows XP installation on H:
to the newly created C: partition it won't work, the installation may go
in a reboot loop when you try to start it or you may get a "Pagefile is
missing" error message. If you do succeed to start the installation, and
even if you don't get a Pagefile error message, that won't mean that all
is well and that your installation is in a proper working order, it won't
unless it finds itself on a partition with the drive letter H:, if it is
anything but you will have to edit the registry and restore the boot
volume to the original H: letter that Windows was installed on.
When Windows is installed it creates many pointers and references to the
installation in the registry and all these pointers on your machine point
to drive H: where Windows was installed. If you now change the location
of the installation to C: all the registry entries pointing to the
location of the installation and components will be invalid, the Windows
installation will be in a completely compromised state. You will have to
reinstall Windows, that is the only way to change the Windows drive letter
after it is installed.
I agree with your statement about the numerous pointers in the registry.
However, these pointers refer to the drive letter H:, not to the volume
name. The translation of volume name to drive letter is performed here:
HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices. When the OP restores his WinXP installation to a
different volume then there are two possible outcomes:
a) During the first startup, Windows adjusts the volume name automatically.
I think that this is the likely outcome.
b) Windows fails to adjust the volume name. This will prevent the OP from
logging on - Windows will loop from "Loading personal settings" back to the
logon prompt due to its inability to locate userinit.exe.
Condition b) is easily fixed by renaming HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\C: to
I could, of course, be wrong - time will tell. If all fails then the OP
would have to create a small dummy partition at the start of the disk in
order to maintain a similar disk structure as he had before.