Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Dual Boot System - Which Partition Holds Windows 8

  1. #1


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1

    Dual Boot System - Which Partition Holds Windows 8


    I'm a little embarrassed to say that I can't figure out which partition holds Windows 8 on my Dual Boot 7/8 system. I want to delete Windows 8 64 bit and reinstall Windows 8 32 bit, then update to Windows 8.1. I'm doing this because the system's old enough that 64 bit 8.1 won't install but maybe 32 bit will. I won't know unless I try.

    Soooo . . . I need to figure out which partition Windows 8 is on so I can format the drive and reinstall.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    You will usually find there is a windows flag icon on the drive you are currently booted into.

    Or check disk management for the word Boot on one of the partitions - that is the one you are currently in.

    Or have a look at the partitions in windows explorer. 8 will have a thing on it called swapfile.sys (you need to have hidden and system files showing to see it ).

    When you have figured that out, probably a good idea to label the partitions so you know what they are.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you, SIW2. And, hahaha, the joke's on me. If I'd clicked one more time, the partition would have identified itself.

    I used Disk Management and it identified each partition and told me how much space was left. So, I then started the reinstall, clicked on the partition with the right amount of space and, voila!, it identified itself as Windows 8.

    It's downloading and installing 65 or so updates, with one more not clicked, which usually means that one should be left until last.

    Thanks again. Much appreciated.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Whooooeeee, this is going to be a looooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggg download and install, but at least it didn't tell me it won't work.

    Anyhoo, that system is my backup, so I don't actually need it for anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    You will usually find there is a windows flag icon on the drive you are currently booted into.

    Or check disk management for the word Boot on one of the partitions - that is the one you are currently in.
    A-Ha! One of my systems has that Flag, the other doesn't, cos it boots from another (IDE) drive. But the Drive holding the Windows 8 partition, says "Boot, Pagefile, Crashdump, Primary Partition" but not "Active"

    The IDE drive is the one that says "Active, Primary partition", thats cos the bootloader is on that drive? This is what I have been trying to figure out for months.

    (Edit) All three of my mounted drives on this system (The one with the Windows Flag) are all marked "Active" - I have stand alone OS's on two of the drives, 7 and 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    The IDE drive is the one that says "Active, Primary partition", thats cos the bootloader is on that drive?
    Not necessarily.

    It will be on the drive marked System.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    The IDE drive is the one that says "Active, Primary partition", thats cos the bootloader is on that drive?
    Not necessarily.

    It will be on the drive marked System.
    YES! the "E" drive on that system, the IDE drive, is marked "System"!

    Ok I think I got it figured out now, I have no idea how that happened, but that's how it is.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Windows installer will use an existing active partition as system. It then deposits the windows files on the partition you pointed it at. System will be an active partition. You may have several disks , each of them with an Active partition. Only one will be system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    I can't get to the stuff on the dual boot system, but on this 500-056, I have:

    Disk 0
    1023 MB Healthy (Recovery Partition)
    360 MB Healthy (EFI System Partition)
    Windows (C 912.17 GB NTFS Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)
    Recovery Image (D 17.86 GB NTFS Healthy (OEM Partition)

    Disk 1
    101 MB Unallocated
    TOSHIBA EXT (I 465.66 GB NTFS (Active, Primary Partition)

    And, of course, Disk 1 is my external Toshiba drive that holds only data. I use this one so that when I travel, I can take my files with me without problems. There is no data on any of my computers other than this. And it's backed up to my SkyDrive account.

    And, BTW, I didn't go in from the Metro search when I looked for Disk Manager on the other computer. I somehow backed into it, but can't remember exactly how, and the poor thing's trying to download Windows 8.1 so I'll leave it be for now.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Wynona View Post
    Whooooeeee, this is going to be a looooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggg download and install, but at least it didn't tell me it won't work.

    Anyhoo, that system is my backup, so I don't actually need it for anything.
    Well, I guess nine hours isn't so bad, seeing as how Windows 7 upgraded itself in 45 minutes, now, is it?

    I haven't had time to check, but it looks like things are OK so far. Email works, although it didn't ask me if it could use Windows 8's email app. I use Thunderbird.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Dual Boot System - Which Partition Holds Windows 8
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