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Accidentally set ext. HD as active partition


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#1 Ket

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:05 AM

Hi there. I was trying to format an external HD and I accidentally set it as a primary partition. Is there a way to undo that? Also I am not sure about the status of my other partitions (inside the laptop) before I did that. Now it is like this:

(C:) Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump,Logical Drive) This is where the OS is (windows ultimate 7) and where I istall all programs and system files
(G:) Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) This is where I keep all my files like music, pictures, documents etc. I only have these in this partition
HP_Recovery(E:) Healthy (primary Partition) This is HP's recovery partition (nothing else in here too)
HP_Tools(D:) Healthy (primary partition) Only HP Tools in here (partitioned by default)
(H:) Healthy (active, primary partition) This is the external HD which I accidentally set as active

Do the above look alright to you or could they have changed automatically when I set the external HD as active?Why is (G:) set as system active when I only keep my documents (as mentioned earlier) in it? Is that normal? It is so easy to set a HD as active but how to change this back? Will a system restore undo whatever changes were made?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:11 PM

It's not important enough to be concerned about...if you are talking about multiple hard drives. If all those partitions are on one hard drive, you need to set the C: partition as the Active partition...because there can only be one active partition on a hard drive.

An active partition designation...merely indicates that a given partition is capable of being bootable...which, in turn, means that an O/S can be installed on it.

An O/S does not have to be installed on it...and a partition which is not in position to boot an O/S...acts like a regular primary partition.

In any case, the C: partition can be designated as the Active/System/Boot partition...by using Disk Management. Simply right-click on the C: and select the

Mark Partition As Active option.

Wait, those partitions look all messed up...please post a screen shot of the lower portion of Disk Management.

Your C: is reflected as a logical partition (when it should be a primary)...Windows must be installed in primary partition,

G: is reflected as System/Active/Primary when it should not be System.

D & E don't matter, look OK.

H: should not be Active, but is OK as such...since it is a separate drive.

Are you sure that Windows and programs...are on the C: partition?

I think you ought to post at the Win 7 forum for this...my answers were based on how XP works. I don't think the substance will change, but it's better not to assume that Win 7 is like XP.

Louis

#3 Ket

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:35 PM

All the partitions are on the same hard drive except of course (H:) which is the external. The thing is that there is no option to set (C:) as active. The option is there for all others (except the ones they're already active). Definitely windows 7 and programs are on (C:)
This is the sreenshot:
Posted Image
Apart from (H:) I didn't touch anything else. I just don't remember how they were set before setting (H:) as active and they do look odd. Do you think they could have changed automatically when I set the external as active? And do you know if system restore will bring back those settings

Edited by Ket, 29 November 2009 - 12:40 PM.


#4 hamluis

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 12:59 PM

I see two empty partitions...that do not have letters assigned.

I see 2 HP small partitions (no letter assigned, should be hidden).

I see a 39GB C: partition, described as the boot/page partition (meaning that the pagefile and boot.ini are there) but no system file designation.

I see a 158GB partition, claiming to be the System partition (where Windows lives) and designated as Active. Since this partition is designated as Active, no other partition on the drive can be such.

Does this system boot properly?

Logically...making a second drive an Active partition...should have no impact at all on other drives atttached to the system. Each drive is capable of having 1 active partition and 4 primary partitions.

It appears to me that...for whatever reasons...you have formerly dual-booted and eliminated the prior O/S...but left all these signs behind.

If this boots, I suppose I would not worry about it...but I don't see why it would properly boot.

But BCD is different than the boot.ini file...I again say that you should post in the Win 7 forum.

Regardless...I suggest deleting those two partitions without drive letters.

Louis

#5 Ket

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:25 PM

The empty partitions without letters are formated to accept Linux OS, which is something I will do soon. Unfortunately windows don't recognize this format. The computer still boots properly. I don't know why (G:) appears as the system partition. All program files, program data, windows are in (C:). I only have music, videos, documents and pictures in (G:). Well, I suppose I should try the win 7 forum after all. It's good that I shouldn't worry if it boots properly as you say.
Thanks a lot hamluis.




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