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I'm creating a new Windows Server 2003 server through VMWamre (VMWare 8, using VCentre 5.1).

I have connected to an ISO that is on a local disc, and I've got the the setup step where I can create partitions.

My problem is that whenever I create 2x partitions, I'm given C:\ and E:. I want this to be C:\ and D:\, but no matter what I do, I can't get those partitions labeled as such.

Does anybody know how to stop the installer doing this?

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The virtual CD/DVD mount point is clearly reserving D:, can you mount an .ISO as a virtual CD/DVD then right click on it in Disk Management, you should be able to change the drive letter it's assigned to - just move it to something other than D: and then try your partitioning action again (although the same trick may work on your existing E:).

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Similar option would be to remove the virtual CD/DVD from the VM, boot it, and create your partitions. Re-attach the CD/DVD to the VM if needed and it will get assigned the next drive letter. – jlehtinen Dec 9 '13 at 17:30
@jlehtinen - that doesn't always work unfortunately - and with no W2K3 VMs left any more I don't have the opportunity to test it, I have a horrid feeling that sometimes the drive letter is kept even once it's removed from the VM – Chopper3 Dec 9 '13 at 19:12
Tested here using Windows Server 2003 VM on ESXi 5.1. Booted VM with 2 VMDKs and a CD drive (C:, D:, E: respectively). Shut off VM, removed CD drive, added new VMDK, booted. Used Disk Management to detect new drive, assigned E: to this. Powered off VM, added CD drive, booted. CD drive was assigned F:. So, it works fine ... but given I had to go into Disk Management to complete this, the method I suggested is less effective/efficient then simply going to Disk Management in the first place. :) – jlehtinen Dec 9 '13 at 19:35
Thanks for trying, that was very kind of you. – Chopper3 Dec 9 '13 at 20:18
@Chopper3 - I figured as much with regard to D:\ being reserved, but I'm not sure where you are meaning for 'Disk Management'? I've never seen this option in VCentre, so pointers would be appreciated. Thanks. – David Gard Dec 10 '13 at 10:02

Thanks to those who provided answeers.

In this instance, I followed these steps -

  1. Create a new Virtual Machine and power it on.
  2. Mount the ISO for Windows Server 2003 (with SP1) and then restart the virtual machine using Ctrl, Alt + Ins so that the Server 2003 installer starts.
  3. Create the partitions to the desired size (they are initially labeled C:\ and E:\).
  4. Dismount the ISO and power off the virtual machine.
  5. Power the virtual machine on again.
  6. Mount the ISO again and then restart the virtual machine using Ctrl, Alt + Ins so that the Server 2003 installer starts.
  7. Once the installer loads again, the partitions already exist from last time and are labeled C:\ and D:\.
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