Install Windows 8.1 Professional to a drive other than C:

#1
Why I want to do this isn't terribly important, but I'd like to install Windows 8.1 Pro and have the system drive be D:

With every previous version of Windows, you could do this, although it took a bit of trouble as time went by. Windows NT 4.0 was a snap -- since it allowed the installer to choose the drive letter the OS would install to -- and by Windows 7 it was trouble to do this. I had to install the OS, boot up for the first time, and then change the drive letter from C: to D: in the registry under "Mounted Devices". Once done, Windows 7 wouldn't boot to the desktop, but you could press ctrl-alt-del and bring up Task Manager when the OS hanged on bootup. Then, I'd run a new task, and point Task Manager to "setup.exe" on the Windows install disc. Windows would start to install again, naming the previous install directory "Windows.old", and the boot/system drive would now be Drive D: after the second installation. Then, I'd simply delete the "Windows.old" directory afterwards, and it was done. A lot of trouble, yes, but I've run Windows on Drive D: for over 20 years. Something else has always been on Drive C:, and I'd like to keep it that way.

The problem is, after this long explanation, is that with Windows 8.1, I can no longer do this. On the second attempted installation, after altering the Mounted Devices in the registry, I notice that Windows 8.1 setup does not preserve drive letters. It simply lists partitions without letters. So, no matter what, Windows 8.1 is always going to be on the C: drive. My question is, can EasyBCD be used to edit the boot files in such a fashion that I can install Windows 8.1 and have it be on the D: drive? Is there any way to do this?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Not with EasyBCD.
The BCD does not contain letters.
The ones you see are EasyBCD translations of the UIDs using the registry entries you mention.
If you install Windows by running setup from within a running version of Windows (don't boot the DVD), setup cannot use C (it's already in use) so will allocate the next available letter.
Just make sure that D is unused on the running OS.