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Previous Title

How can I assign a drive letter with the Windows XP recovery console?

I've read older post on this question but didn't help me to fix it so I'm asking it here again. I tried to install XP by removing external HD but didn't worked the same error is occurring.

While trying to install Windows XP I faced a new problem:

When I deleted the partition and made a new one the system assigned the drive letter J: to C: and my bootable disk's drive letter became C:. I now get the following error:

This partition is not compatible to install Windows XP.

I'm able to open the Recovery Console, so is it possible to assign the drive letter through it? I'm in big trouble as I also can't install Windows 7.


I had a backup of windows 7 through which I got my system back but the problem is still exist that the setup is showing error continuously with installation of Windows XP.

Disk Selection


When I select the C: partition to install XP it gives the error and when trying on J: giving me the same error. While in Windows 7 C: is C: and J: is E:, K: is F:, E: is H:, F: is I:, G: is J:, H: is K:, and the bootable USB is D: at the time of boot while I've assign it X:.

So now how can I fix it to get rid of from this problem.

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Unfortunately this is a long-standing problem with the Windows OS and its dependency on drive letters (which originated with DOS). If Microsoft included a function in the installer to select the drive letter to assign, this could solve some OS setup problems, but the only way I know to control this is to set up a series of small partitions on a separate hard drive and have it connected as the primary drive temporarily so that it occupies the initial drive letters before installing Windows (this approach has some frustrating limitations too). – Randolf Richardson Aug 19 '11 at 14:24
The setup program doesn't care what letter the drive is. Did you create the partition in setup or outside setup? – surfasb Aug 19 '11 at 16:05
@surfasb I've mentioned it in question that I deleted the partition at the boot time. And now I overcome to this problem through windows 7 backup. – avirk Aug 19 '11 at 16:09

If you can access the DISKPART command, select the disk of interest, and also select the partition/volume. Then you can use the ASSIGN command (in DiskPart) to assign the partition a drive letter.

To list all disks, type list disk. To select the disk, type select disk X.

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In recovery console I can access the command diskpart but there was no way for me to hit the another command at that time because it was showing me the list of drive as at the time of installing the windows. So I can only press Enter delete or create partition. – avirk Aug 19 '11 at 16:11
up vote 0 down vote accepted

So finally I overcome on this problem after restore from Windows 7 backup I was still not able to install the Xp on my system so I booted from Windows 7 USB and deleted all partition on my system drive and then booted from Windows XP USB and created the partition and get back on Windows XP.

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