Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Formatting A System, Active, Primary Partition

  1. #11

    Tropical Island Pair a Dice
    Posts : 3,030
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64/ Windows 7 Ult x64

    Windows installation will sometimes put your boot files an a different partition or HDD, if you format or delete the partition/HDD your system will not boot, ie will not be able to start up.

    This is why theog asked for the 'screen shot of Disk management', then we can tell exactly where your boot files are, and instruct you on how to get them to the correct partition/HDD.

    A partition that has the 'System' designation has the boot files, the 'Active' flag tells the BIOS where to look for the boot files.
    If your 'C' partition doesn't have 'System, Active' then it will not be able to boot.

    If you post the Disk Management screen shot requested by theog, we can help you.

    Best way to test this, is to disconnect the E drive, see if your system will boot.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12

    Arnhem, The Netherlands
    Posts : 1,412
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Media Center Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
    Best way to test this, is to disconnect the E drive, see if your system will boot.
    That's exactly what I advies the TS to do in the first place. Given the fact the topic is closed I assume the problem is solved .
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13

    Posts : 8
    Win8 Pro

    Hi All,

    I took the cowards way out and reinstalled Win 8 Pro on my C: drive which is a partition. The other drives and partitions will be used with Photoshop and the like. Additionally, I can backup with multiple 3 TB drives I use with a Granite Digital system (external HDs my computers "think" are internal drives). Regardless, I'm trying to attach a screen shot of Disk Management, as requested. Can you tell where my bootmanager is? I'm a repeat offender, unfortunately, as I inadvertently messed with my Win 7 bootmanager as well. However, the repair disc saved me, as it reestablished the bootmgr. The Win 8 repair disc failed me! I think I've learned my lesson.

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by Brink; 25 Jan 2013 at 01:26. Reason: merged posts and removed broken image
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14

    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1

    The OS's drive, should look like this.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15

    Tropical Island Pair a Dice
    Posts : 3,030
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64/ Windows 7 Ult x64

    How did the Win 8 repair disc fail you?

    You have two partitions with the 'System' designation, this is where the boot files are, with one OS there should only be one. It should be on the same physical hard drive that the OS is on, this way if you remove another HDD your OS will still boot.

    Do not delete, erase, move, or format, any hard drive or partition until you get the boot files to the hard drive with W8.

    This is assuming you only have one OS installed, Windows 8.
    • Disk 0, Backup Drive #1, has the 'System' designation (the boot files) and no OS on this HDD. This is also marked 'Active' which is what the OS installer looks for when you install an OS and will put the boot files there.
    • Disk 1, Backup Drive #3 and the C partition with the OS. This should have the 'System' designation (boot files).
    • Disk 2, This has a EFI 'System' partition and Backup Drive #2, Your motherboard cannot use UEFI BIOS, so this can be removed later.

    Since you just installed W8 and the Backup Drive #3 is empty, the easiest way to fix this will be to disconnect Disk 0 and Disk 2, then re-install W8 on Disk 1.
    When you get the option to format the HDD, format it. It's preferable to have the OS partition in the front of the HDD, your Backup partition should be in the back of the HDD.
    Once W8 is installed, and running you can shut down and connect Disk 0 and Disk 2.
    They will need to have the 'Active' flag removed, the EFI partition formatted.
    The detailed procedure can be given when you decide which way to proceed.

    The other option would be to disconnect Disk 0 and Disk 2, and run 'Automatic Repair' from your Win 8 repair disc, this must be ran at least three times with re-boots after each run, this will restore the boot files where they should be, on Disk 1.
    Read this tutorial for the procedure: How Run a "Automatic Repair" to Fix Windows 8 Startup Problems
    Once the system is booting when only Disk 1 is connected then you can re-connect the other HDDs.

    Let us know which way you want to proceed, and we can give more details and answer any questions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit

    I have a similar problem. I have 1 HDD in my laptop with 3 main partitions:
    • C - Windows 8.1 Pro
    • D - Windows 7 (installed before Windows 8.1)
    • E - Data

    I just want to format my D partition because I do not use Windows 7 anymore. Problem is that this (D) partition is marked as System and Active.

    Can anybody help me how can I mark my C partition as System and Active, or at least how can I format D partition without loosing the option to boot to my Windows 8.1?

    I attached a screenshot from my Disk management. (Partition C was not marked as primary, I did it hour ago.)
    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Formatting A System, Active, Primary Partition

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