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Why is Mark Partition Active greyed out in Disk Management?


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#1 sportsfan1

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:12 AM

Hi, Yesterday I used Disk Management on a couple of 16GB USB flash drives to create a New Simple Volume ran a Full Format on them both as FAT32 with a single partition. Both of them are set up as MBR drives so theres no issue there.
Then I decided I'd like to mark one of them as Active so I could set it up as a bootable installation flash drive.
On both of the flash drives when I right click on the drive the "Mark Partition as Active" option is greyed out.
Can anyone explain why?



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 08:56 AM

I always do this using diskpart. If I have a bootable iso I use Rufus.

 

Open a command prompt and type the following commands.

 

diskpart

list disk

select disk X       X is the number associated with the USB flash drive. Make sure you have selected the correct number

clean                   Wipes any existing data on the drive

create partition primary

active

format fs=fat32 quick

assign     I have found if I do not use this command a letter is still assigned. YMMV. If you want a specific letter the command would be assign letter=x

 

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/johnbaker/2010/08/30/how-to-make-your-usb-stick-drive-bootable/



#3 sportsfan1

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:40 PM

Is it OK to use the Active command before formatting. Most people put the Active command after the Format command.

I had an issue the other week when using the Active command after Format. I had just performed a Full Format instead of Quick format and I got this error after typing Active "Diskpart has encountered an error. The system cannot find the file specified. See the system event log for more information". I checked the event log and there were no errors at that time so I don't know what the issue was. It happened twice though. That's why I was trying to use Disk Management instead



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:00 PM

Active is just a flag to mark the partition as bootable. I don't think it makes a difference if done before or after formatting. I know Minitools Partition Wizard allows you to mark a partition active after formatting. I will do some experimenting on a USB flash drive and see if marking it active after format will work.

 

https://www.minitool.com/lib/hard-disk-active-partition.html

 

Edit: Marking a partition active is done immediately after the primary partition is created. When marking a partition active after a format it is required to select the partition on the USB flash drive before doing an active command. 

 

diskpart

list disk

select disk x

clean

create partition primary

format fs=fat32 quick

select partition 1

active


Edited by JohnC_21, 20 May 2018 - 01:33 PM.


#5 sportsfan1

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:57 PM

​

 

Active is just a flag to mark the partition as bootable. I don't think it makes a difference if done before or after formatting. I know Minitools Partition Wizard allows you to mark a partition active after formatting. I will do some experimenting on a USB flash drive and see if marking it active after format will work.

 

https://www.minitool.com/lib/hard-disk-active-partition.html

 

Edit: Marking a partition active is done immediately after the primary partition is created. When marking a partition active after a format it is required to select the partition on the USB flash drive before doing an active command. 

 

diskpart

list disk

select disk x

clean

create partition primary

format fs=fat32 quick

select partition 1

active

 

Aaaah...that explains why I got the error message I described above. Im guessing you must have got the exact same error when using the Active command after the format command?

Once again you've given me some great advice. Many Thanks John



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 02:03 PM

Your Welcome,

In regards to the error. I did not get your file not found error. When I attempted to mark the partition active after format diskpart told me I had to select a partition. This was with Windows 7 so I can't say if it's different for 10.



#7 sportsfan1

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 02:16 PM

Like you've just said its possibly different with Windows 7. Windows 10 threw up that error message I mentioned. After I got the error message though and I was wondering what had happened I typed in selection partition 1 and it then accepted the Active command without any problems.

The way it happens for you in Windows 7 is actually better..no error message but an instruction to select a partition which is far more helpful






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