My Windows 10 system has two drives: drive c:, a 128 GB SSD drive containing the OS (windows 10), and drive d:, a 1 TB WD drive containing the Users folder Program Files. drive c: being kind of small, it seemed like a good idea at the time to move the users & program files folders to the bigger drive.

Drive d: has been acting up a bit (I see bad sector messages in the event log, though doing chkdsk at boottime reports 0 bad sectors). I purchased a 3TB Hitachi HD with the intent to replace the existing WD drive with the Hitachi drive.

I plugged in the Hitachi drive, and assigned it the letter F:. I imaged drive d: to drive f: using Macrium Reflect (actually it did not work (broken pipe, which could not be rectified with chkdsk) so I manually copied all the contents of drive d: to drive f: (that seems to have completed successfully); I'm not sure this is relevant).

Now, my question is, how do I make drive F: (the Hitachi drive) "become" drive D:, so that the OS starts using it instead of the WD drive? A few possibilities come to mind, but I am nervous about attempting any of them without getting confirmation...

  1. Using Windows 10's Disk Management tool to change the drive letters around (change drive d: to drive g:, then change drive f: to drive d:). I haven't tried, but somehow I doubt that would work -- it seems like Windows would get upset should the users and program files folders go missing all of a sudden in between the two steps?

  2. Remove drive d: from the system, and plug the Hitachi drive in its SATA cable. Would that make the Hitachi drive become drive d: all of a sudden? If so, could I later on plug the WD drive in the Hitachi drive's former SATA cable and have it become drive f:?

Or is there an alternative correct way to do this?

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    I like number 1 but try from command util S but it is going to get on the open files :) maybe try from command prompt and then reboot and pray :) – SeanClt Feb 14 '16 at 17:20
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    I am not familiar but if there are bootable disc util D that are available for Windows which will let you boot from cd and do these things – SeanClt Feb 14 '16 at 17:21

Yup, just switching the cable does it. I was worried that Windows was somehow associating the drive letter with the drive itself (using a serial #?), but that does not appear to be the case.

  • I not sure that switching the cable is even needed in Windows 10. Disconnecting the original and switching the cable which caused windows to complain that the user data subfolders were missing. Simply remapping the drive letter with the windows disk management tool and rebooting put everything back to normal. – Toaster Apr 17 '16 at 21:21

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