Microsoft KB Archive/830577

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How to set the drive letter for the system drive when you install Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Article ID: 830577

Article Last Modified on 10/30/2006


  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)


When you use the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 CD to start your computer in order to install Windows Server 2003, the drive letter that represents the system drive may be different from the one that you expect. For example, Windows Server 2003 may be installed on drive F instead of on drive C.
This article describes how to set the drive letter for the system drive when you install Windows Server 2003.


To ensure that the Windows Server 2003 system drive is represented by the drive letter of your choice, use one of the following methods:

  • Method 1: If you want to install Windows Server 2003 on drive C, and you do not have any valuable data on other drives, delete all drives other than the one where you want to install Windows. You can delete the drives during the installation process.
  • Method 2: Install Windows Server 2003 twice. To do so, follow these steps:
    1. Install Windows Server 2003 to a partition other than the one that you want to use for the final installation.
    2. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
    3. Click Disk Management, right-click the drive that you want to assign a different letter to, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.
    4. Click Change, and then in the Assign the following drive letter list, click the drive letter that you want. Click OK two times.
    5. Run the installer to install Windows on the appropriate partition. When you run the Winnt32.exe installer, all existing drive letters are preserved.


For additional information about modifying the system or the boot drive letter, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

223188 HOW TO: Restore the System/Boot Drive Letter in Windows

Additional query words: boot

Keywords: kbwinservsetup kbwinservnetwork kbinfo kbhowto KB830577