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Drive Management - Which Partition Should be marked as Active?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Texan, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Texan

    Texan Private First Class

    I am panicking. I was trying to get an external hard drive to start working again but like a dumb-dumb, I marked it as active. (It's working now but that may be because I reassigned the drive letter.)

    Now I am reading that only the partition with the boot bios can be marked active or my computer will not reboot.

    Please look at this screen shot and tell me which should be mark 'Active'


    Lastly, if I need to un-mark the R drive from being active, how do I do that?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I am terrified to reboot right now.
  2. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I don't think you have anything to worry about. Since the external is a separate HD it is perfectly fine to have an active partition on it. The rule is one active partition per disk. Disk Management won't let you mark two partitions active on the same disk.

    Your boot order tells your PC to start from the internal HD so it will look for the active partition there which is still that little 100mb partition put there by Win7 and that will transfer control over to C:.

    This thread explains it a couple different ways that might make sense to you. It is just the same as having a bootable CD in your tray. It doesn't matter that the CD is bootable unless you tell the PC in BIOS to boot from the CD. It doesn't matter that the USB drive has an active partition unless you tell the computer to boot from the USB device.
  3. Texan

    Texan Private First Class

    That makes sense. I guess that active '100mb Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)' is the one that needs to be active.
    I was worried it would be the C drive (Healthy, Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) was the one that needed to be active.

    I guess I will give it a shot.

  4. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    One of these days I going to read up on exactly what that 100mb partition does...I'm guessing it has something to do with stability such as two copies of boot files or similar. I haven't stumbled on an explanation so maybe it is time I looked.
  5. Texan

    Texan Private First Class

    It forced a scan disc on reboot but everything is fine.

    Thanks again!
  6. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    Its to do with Bitlocker and also stores the System Recovery/WinRE tools, it helps folk who didnt get the actual Win7 DVD that has the tools onboard to access the tools via the HDD. (F8 and Repair your PC)

    It can vary in size from 100mb - 500mb

    Was trying to find you a definitive link to Technet or MSDN with the info over a random website posting the info, better from the source, so HERE is the only one I have found so far, but it answers the question.

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