Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to change the System Drive Disk Management Windows 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    How to change the System Drive Disk Management Windows 8.1


    I just bought a new SSD and did a fresh install of windows going from Windows 7 to 8.1.

    I simply took out my old SSD and put in the new one, and installed windows 8.1 pro from a USB stick onto the new ssd.

    2 existing HDDs were left on there, I'm also replacing them but I want to format them first to remove all data.

    Disk 1 is the new SSD that windows was installed on. It is "Healthy (Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Drump, Primary Partition)"

    Disk 2 is the drive I want to reformat and replace, it is "Health (System, Primary Partition)"

    How do I make the C drive (Disk 1) the System disk?

    I have backed up all the files I want to keep onto an external hdd.

    Click image for larger version

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    The easiest way is to disconnect the other drives then redo the install to the SSD. Once complete, re-connect the drives and format them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


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


    Always best to remove all drives, before installing a OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    From what I saw, the installation was using MBR style. Normally, if you installed correctly then it should look like the screen shot 1 below with 350MB System reserved partition which contains the Recovery, BCD, and space for use with bitlocker and the Windows OS C:. If you don't use the bitlocker feature then you can install without the reserved partition.
    In your case, since you installed Windows with Disk 2 set as Active at the time, the files/folders from the reserved partition are now sitting in Disk 2 so if you format Disk 2 now, your Windows will become unbootable. Folder & Files from the reserved partition are shown in screen 2

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    So, you have 2 choices:
    1. Reinstall Windows with only the SSD connected.
    2. Use:EasyBCD 2.2 - Neowin to move the Reserved Partition from Disk 2 to Disk 1 before reformating Disk 2.Use this post on how to move reserved partition: Create system reserved partition after installation
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Disk 1 looks to me like a good system disk with a valid C partition. That partition was probably predefined and that's why there is no seperate 300MB system partition. If you are asking on how to boot from Disk 1, you will probably have to change the bootorder in the BIOS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    If you run the command below, it will place the boot files in the C: partition. Since it is already active, if it is set to first priority in the bios it should boot. Use and Administrative Command Window.

    bcdboot C:\Windows /s C:
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Great thanks guys, I unplugged the other drives and all devices and deleted the existing partition on the C drive and did a fresh install and it's all sorted.

    Although something weird happened to my external HDD at some point during all this (didn't have it plugged in when doing the fresh install though) and it got converted to RAW somehow and now I'm running testdisk to fix its boot sector which is taking a super amazingly long time.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    something weird happened to my external HDD at some point during all this (didn't have it plugged in when doing the fresh install though) and it got converted to RAW
    This is a separate and coincident problem. Did you unplug the Elements without safely remove it ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Yeah I think I must have, I had a lot of things plugged in and was switching them around a lot between the laptop and the desktop. Anyway I think I should be able to fix it with testdisk. Cheers!

    EDIT: External HDD back to normal after rebuilding boot sector with testdisk.
    Last edited by Zigster; 02 Sep 2014 at 09:10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How to change the System Drive Disk Management Windows 8.1
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