I accepted the offer to update my Windows gaming box to Windows 11, confident that by now Microsoft had the time to iron out any glitches in the update procedure, but...

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After booting in Safe Mode, I was able to log in, but now it got stuck at the "Just a moment..." screen.

I waited for 15 minutes and saw all sorts of reassuring messages that things are moving forward (even though they aren't).

After another reboot, I was able to log into Safe Mode, but the desktop and the taskbar failed to load, so the only way to open a file manager is via Win+R (run command).

I finally figure what's wrong with my user profile: C:\Users is now an empty directory. The horror! 😱

Ok, the Users dir is still there, but it's now in D:\Users, my second drive. How come?

The registry says it should be in %SystemDrive%\Users, but %SystemDrive% is still C:...

How can they have botched it so bad?!?

And how should I fix it? Edit the registry or move Users to C: ?

I figured what broke everything: the C: and D: drives simply got swapped. Perhaps Windows 11 detects them in reverse order?

Do I have to physically swap the drives on the motherboard, or is there a way to reassign the stupid DOS letters?

@codewiz I would copy folder to C:\ and try to boot again.

Also check Program Files and other.

@codewiz Is it that your two drives have swapped between C&D due to a misunderstanding with the BIOS about who is the first drive?

@codewiz If it is just for gaming, just switch to Linux 😏

@chfkch I _do_ use Linux for the games that work on Steam!

Elite Dangerous was always too glitchy with Proton, but now users are reporting that it works well:

Time to try again...


I was playing it about a year ago with no issues on a 3700x and GTX 1080

I know odyssey was a bit of a mess though, even on windows

@codewiz i have not had many Problems with Proton so far, but Elite Dangerous is on suspension because my hotas is still not delivered. Original Delivery Date was October 2020 lol.

@chfkch My Saitek X-55 hotas should be in one of the boxes shipped from Japan in September and hopefully arriving later this month.

Meanwhile, I could force myself to do some of those on-foot missions, but... they're just too boring 🥱

@1lyaP The last line in the article reads:

Don’t bother trying to change your C: drive, because that’s not going to work.


@Humpleupagus @codewiz well, the easiest way I see - just temporary disconnect another drive, so Windows won't have other options.

@1lyaP @codewiz I was thinking you just swap the boot drive in bios, but I can't tell if the issue is merely the user directory or the whole drive.

@Humpleupagus @1lyaP It boots off the correct drive (there's only one Windows instance on this PC), but then at some point it assigns D: to the system partition and C: to a partition where I keep a couple of games.

@codewiz @Humpleupagus It's the BCD, Windows bootloader who assigns letters after UEFI. You can try bcdedit from safe mode to fix that. Also there are two useful commands: fixboot and fixmbr.

@1lyaP @Humpleupagus You seem to have been through several Windows boot recovery sessions already 😄

I vaguely remember using these a few years ago...

@1lyaP @Humpleupagus And what should I say to get to speak with someone like you on a support call?

@codewiz @Humpleupagus Well, earlier you just called mssupport, they check windows for genuinity and create support case for your problem. Not sure if smth changed. Try 😀

@codewiz But, if there are no installation media or usb flash, you won't be able to change System drive letter, if I remember correctly. You should boot from installation media, click on Additional options on first screen and start command prompt. There enter diskpart and change letter.

@1lyaP Wait a second... this is not at all Windows 11!

The DOS prompt says "windows 10.0.17134.1246", which corresponds Windows 10 1803 from April 2018!!!

Did the Windows 11 updater resuscitate the boot manager for a zombie Windows install on one of my drives?

@1lyaP I have a couple of smallish SSD drives rescued from my old Lenovo laptops, so it's entirely possible that one of them still had the original Windows install on it...

@codewiz You tried to upgrade your system, but it failed, didn't finished. So - it's your old Windows. It's just additionally broken while migrating user data.

Or you've booted already from some installation media? Or, if a computer is a branded notebook, most have a special recovery partition to restore whole PC with a single button and it can be that version.

@1lyaP No, now I'm sure: that was *really* an old Windows instance from 2018 for which there was no UEFI boot menu entry! I see another boot entry at the bottom of the list that could very well be my freshly updated Windows 11:

@codewiz aha! looks like there are 2 Windows boot managers and 2 bcd databases on different drives of your PC 😀 that is the reason why installer got crazy and changed disk letters - by default it tries to find ALL windows installations and add them as a bootable records)

@1lyaP Fuck yeah! :windows: 🎊

I guess it's also my fault for having so many drives and trying to boot several operating systems on this old hack box 😅

UEFI made booting PCs a lot more complex. I also broke Arch Linux a couple of times in the past, and figuring out the correct Inca ration for the UEFI boot vars, along with all the files that go in the EFI boot partition, was always so painful.

The PC architecture should be taught to all engineers as a case-study of how kludgy designs lead to more and more kludges.


@codewiz Agreed. Unfortunately, there are billions of different old devices, which are used in a serious, professional and dangerous environments, and they all need compatibility. We still have 3,5 audio jacks in modern motherboards 😉

@1lyaP The 3.5mm stereo jacks are still the only reliable way to get sound from a PC to a pair of speakers.

The various coax, toslink, HDMI and Bluetooth transports still require too much configuration and troubleshooting in my experience.

Right, @Maryam? 😉

@codewiz @Maryam Well, I've changed my 3,5-RCA audiowire to fiber bout a week ago - that silent buzzing from metal wires is very annoying. Just plugged in optic, switched input on speakers, Windows 10 found it and it works. I'm lucky I guess 😉

@1lyaP @Maryam For sure it will break when you upgrade to Windows 11 😃

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@codewiz Usually Windows Upgrade can be rolled back/ No such option?

@1lyaP Ah yes, does it work reliably now? A few years ago I tried a rollback to see if it would fix a game, and it messed up the system to the point it wasn't booting any more 😂

@codewiz Yep, rollback fixes very few common errors. Doubt it will handle "another drive letter" correctly.

@jxself I only use it for Elite Dangerous, really...

@codewiz Are you seriously asking how you can simultaneously run Windows 11 *and* not be completely screwed?

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