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I have 5 internal HDD's installed;

  1. HDD 1 IDE partitioned into C (OS) [Pri], I [Logic]
  2. HDD 2 IDE partitioned into F (Programs) Pri, G (Games) [Logic]
  3. HDD 3 SATA partition H (Empty) [Pri]
  4. HDD 4 SATA partition J (Backup) [Pri]
  5. HDD 5 SATA partition V (Video) [Pri]

I am running Windows XP SP3 - it's an older computer I use when needed - and having an issue that is baffling me.

I want to remove the SATA HDD 3 (H) to use it in another computer for installing Windows 7 OS. I have removed all data and reformatted the drive, leaving an active partition on it (so I can install the OS on the other computer). However, after I turn off the WinXP computer and remove the HDD, upon restarting my user profile is reset. Upon attempting a System Restore, I am informed that since the "H:" drive is missing, it will not be able to reset all preferences. I tried anyway, and it didn't restore my settings. Any ideas?

I use the Windows XP machine as workhorse for when I have computer issues on other machines, or between builds/rebuilds/upgrades. I'm no expert, more of a dabbler, but I can figure out most problems with a little research, and lots of patience. I appreciate any assistance, suggestions, or answers provided. Please be as verbose and descriptive as possible. Thanks.

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search the registry for ProfileImagePath and check for anything pointing to h: and/or an environment variable delimited with % (e.g. %systemroot%). If you see any environment variables, check their value by running a cmd prompt and typing e.g. echo %systemroot%. Also: have you made any mount points or junctions? Moved the default location of any libraries such as mydocuments? – horatio May 23 '12 at 17:23
    
Thanks, I'll give that a try tonight. I have migrated the MyDocuments folder to the F: drive; I use it to run most programs that don't require being on the OS (Same as with G:, I run most of my Games from). I'm starting to wonder if I should move those partitions onto the same HDD as the OS though. – Shawn Jones May 23 '12 at 17:48
    
I'm not familiar with exactly what "mount points or junctions" are. Can you clarify? – Shawn Jones May 23 '12 at 17:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

However, after I turn off the WinXP computer and remove the HDD, upon restarting my user profile is reset. Upon attempting a System Restore, I am informed that since the "H:" drive is missing, it will not be able to reset all preferences. I tried anyway, and it didn't restore my settings. Any ideas?

The simple solution is to mark one of the other partitions as H if the drive contains NO DATA then Windows won't know the difference. Do this BEFORE you remove the drive.

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Thanks, I considered doing that. Then, after having removed the HDD and rebooting - if that works - I can simply delete the new H: partition? – Shawn Jones May 23 '12 at 17:51
    
This method worked perfectly. Thanks. – Shawn Jones May 24 '12 at 13:51
    
@ShawnJones - There is a reason that Windows is using the H parition you need to figure out the reason. My guess at some point you see your profile to work off the H drive and since have changed that. You will need to find the setting and/or registery key that contains H as the storage location and change it to any drive letter you want. I just provided a simple solution to the problem. – Ramhound May 24 '12 at 14:15

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