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Windows 7: Now I am really puzzled - mystery active partition


16 Sep 2010   #1
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 
Now I am really puzzled - mystery active partition

I have 2 HDDs and 1 SSD.

On HDD Disk0 I have Vista which is an active partition (F)
On SSD Disk2 I have Windows7 which is an active partition (C). Windows 7 was installed with the HDDs unplugged.
On HDD Disk1 I have 2 data partitions. One for Videos (D) and one for Macrium Images (P).

Yesterday I discovered by accident that this Image partition (P) is active. So I cranked up my trusted Partition Wizard and made it inactive. This morning my system would not boot any more. So this time I used my bootable Partition Wizard CD and changed it back to active. After that the system booted as usual.

Would anybody have an idea why a data partition would be set to active and why the system would depend on such a data partition to boot. I am completely puzzled.

Note that I have never used Disk1 for any system installation. It has always been a data disk.



Attached Thumbnails
Now I am really puzzled - mystery active partition-2010-09-16_232153.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Try searching that disk, you might find windows installation files in it. I know when win 7 is installed it puts files on another logical drive but it usually creates a 100mb partition of its own.

I don't know exactly why it has put the files there but one of my machines has done the same thing and put the boot files in a data pattition.

A fix? I'm not sure, whith that machine I will wait until I need to re-install windows, remove all other drives until installed, back up data from the other drive and then Kill Disk it and put the data back.

It hasn't caused me any problems having the boot files, you might find that is what has happened, just at a guess.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello Wolfgang.



I assume when you added the SSD Windows 7 choose the first "Active" it saw and put the boot files there but I have no way of knowing and you may never find an actual reason.


What I would do is mark the "Disk 2, C:" as active and run the 3 separate startup repairs with a system restart between each repair to the "Disk 2, C:" if that's the one you want to be "System" making Windows 7 as "System, Active" now will make it easier to remove/delete Vista later if you choose.

You may need to add an entry for Vista after though, which is no big deal.

EasyBCD

Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Also mark "Disk 1, P:" and "Disk 0 F:" as inactive before you run the repairs.
click to enlarge
Now I am really puzzled - mystery active partition-inactive2.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Sep 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hi guys, thanks for the answers. But let me remind you that I had the SSDs disconnected when Windows 7 was installed. So nothing could have gotten on there during the Installation. The MBR must have gotten on there after the installation.
I did one Macrium recovery from the P-disk (where my images are) a couple of weeks ago. I wonder whether Macrium wrote the MBR to the P-disk although the target disk for the recovery was C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello mate, have you decided what you're going to do with it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I will have to make some more tests - e.g.with my Vista partition. But I am kind of busy right now so will take a couple of days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

When you have time, I'm curious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is an interim progress report:

1. I checked out my Vista. It is not effected by the MBR on P. It works with or without.
2. I now remember (sorry for my failing memory) that I did not unplug Disk1 during the installation of Windows 7 - the plug would not give. That's why I only unlugged Disk0 with Vista on it. So the MBR must have been put on the P partition during the Windows 7 installation. Question is why because I clearly directed the installation towards Disk2, the SSD.
3. Although my Windows 7 C partition is marked as "active", Partition Wizard does not recognize it as being active. I wanted to set it to "inactive", but that option is greyed out - and the "active" option is greyed out too. I guess it is a hybrid. It must have been the Macrium recovery that set it that way because I declared C as active not knowing about the MBR on P.
4. I guess one day I will fix it with a Startup/Repair. I better unplug my Vista disk during that operation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello.







Did you have a look at the diskpart snip I put in my post #3 above?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With Diskpart I succeeded in setting the Windows 7 partition inactive - after a few detours, LOL. Thanks BFK. I will now reboot and see what happens.


Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
C:\Windows\system32>diskpart
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7600
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: WHS-PC
DISKPART> list disk
Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 232 GB 1024 KB
Disk 1 Online 232 GB 1024 KB
Disk 2 Online 59 GB 0 B
Disk 3 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 4 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 5 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 6 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 7 Online 15 GB 0 B
DISKPART> select disk 2
Disk 2 is now the selected disk.
DISKPART> list partition
Partition ### Type Size Offset
------------- ---------------- ------- -------
Partition 1 Primary 59 GB 1024 KB
DISKPART> inactive
There is no partition selected.
Please select a partition and try again.
DISKPART> select partition 2
The specified partition is not valid.
Please select a valid partition.
There is no partition selected.
DISKPART> select partition 1
Partition 1 is now the selected partition.
DISKPART> inactive
DiskPart marked the current partition as inactive.
DISKPART>
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Now I am really puzzled - mystery active partition




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