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I've got a hard disk with only one partition I'd like to keep (NTFS). The drive has held Windows 7, XP and different GNU/Linux distros, and now all partitions have been deleted and only the one I want to keep is still there.

When trying to install Windows XP (I want to install it on a new first partition in the disk), I see the partition selection screen already shows the old partition with my data as drive C:. I've tried creating a new partition in the first section of the disk, and installing XP there. Everything goes fine, but Windows ends up installed in drive D: and all my data is in drive C:.

I've tried the MS workarounds described somewhere about changing some registry values, but didn't suceed with that. Also saw that these workarounds are more likely to cause more issues, so I think it'd be better indeed to install Windows on a C: drive in the first place.

The drive has GPT partitions if I remember correctly. What can I do to get the Windows installer to see the new partition as C: ?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The best way I know to do this is to use a partition manager to first create the new install-target partition and set it as primary, and possibly to even "hide" the existing one. Despite the current parition being hidden, Windows will still see it, but I believe that the installer will default to call the new, primary, partition C:. And the installer simply doesn't care what the order of the partitions is on the disk, it instead cares about the way the partition is configured.

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I guess I could use any partition manager on a live Linux distro. – Xavi López Oct 14 '13 at 7:30
Yes, or Easus Partition Manager (the free edition should be able to do this.) – Debra Oct 14 '13 at 16:56
I created and formatted a primary partition with GParted and set the bootable flag. The windows installer now sees it as C:. I noticed with GParted that the partition created with the windows installer was logical. Thanks for the tips, now it look quite obvious to me :) – Xavi López Oct 14 '13 at 22:08
Thanks for posting back your details for the resolution; it helps others. – Debra Oct 14 '13 at 23:53

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