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Windows 7: Puzzling Active partition situation

12 Nov 2012   #1

Win7 Ult. 32bit
Puzzling Active partition situation

I've got a Windows 7 Ultimate, 32bit installation that was upgraded from Vista Business 32bit. Everything is working pretty well, with the exception that the machine doesn't reliably go into hibernation by itself - though I can send it there via command line, and it recovers from hibernation with no problem.

So I was just poking around under the hood, and to my surprise I find that the C: drive is marked not only Boot, but Active as well. The 63MB system reserve is marked OEM partition.

I wonder if I assigned the wrong partition type to SR, and that's why it's not being used as the Active partition. And since SR handles hibernation chores, I wonder if there's an effect there as well.

Would it pay to reassign SR to a different partition type, and if so which type, and make it Active?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, click New, draw a box around full drive map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition.

Hibernation problems can often be caused by Display driver, so make sure you've updated it to latest. Then once we've sorted your partition issue turn off and on Hibernation with a reboot in between: Hibernate - Enable or Disable - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #3

Win7 Ult. 32bit

Hi Greg,

Disk 0 is the boot disk. the 63MB is supposed to be the SR. The Windows 7 is the operative C drive, which you can see is set to Active. M is a storage partition lightly used.

Disk 1 used to be the main drive, from which I cloned Disk 0 originally. It's just storage now.

Disk 2 is an external storage disk.

I should be pretty good on video drivers. I'd like to get the Active business squared away before I focus on hibernation.


Attached Thumbnails
Puzzling Active partition situation-drives.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Nov 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


In this case Paul the 63mb is not the System Reserved partition since it is too small and is recognizable as a OEM tools partition which is preinstalled at factory for other purposes. 63mb would not be large enough under any circumstances for the SysVol file required to save a Windows 7 backup image. We have to assume C is meant to hold the System boot files unless you deleted another partition.

I also don't believe this has any bearing on Hibernation. I am trying to strain my memory but cannot recall that issue coming up before except as speculation, and we see all of the issues here regarding System Reserved and pioneered most of the fixes and workarounds.

What I would do is upgrade your Display driver,

check for newer BIOS update that remedy sleep issues on your model, then check the ASCPI power state setting in your BIOS to see that it conforms to Hibernate,

Check Power Options to enable Hybrid Sleep and Hibernation,

google for hibernation issues for your exact Lenovo model,

Disable, reboot, then re-enable Hibernation: Hibernate - Enable or Disable - Windows 7 Forums.

If these don't help then use the tool the Pro's use for Gathering a Startup, Shutdown, Sleep, Hibernate, or Reboot Trace - Windows 7 Forums. If you upload the trace file to a server like Skydrive (free with each WIndows Live ID) and the link it in the tutorial comments our expert Cluberti will help you interpret it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #5

Win7 Ult. 32bit

Hi Greg,

I literally rescued this machine from the mud (it's a nice Dell Precision), and had to do a bunch of work manually restoring the boot sequence. It's quite possible that I errantly set the 63MB partition to OEM, and I even vaguely remember doing so. So I would discount its type.

In exploring the partition, I do find some Dell utilities, such as memtest and other "DIAGS". But there also is a BCD and BOOTMGR there as well. I'm attaching a screen shot of the unexpanded tree.

What I guess is happening is the 63MB is being ignored and the MBR is going straight for the C drive. It's all working, but still.

I did read somewhere that SR handles the Hibernation chores, which makes sense because it's essentially booting again. But if SR is not being used for the boot, that's not happening either.

Attached Thumbnails
Puzzling Active partition situation-sr.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


I've not seen a System Reserved partition smaller than 100mb, but it's the right size for Dell's bootable Diagnostics partition so I'd try now booting that via F12 to run it in full.

Did you perchance change the size, because I've yet to see a System Reserved partition smaller than 100mb since it would block a Windows 7 backup image file from being created. However since the boot files are clearly there if you want to extend it to 200mb after shrinking C from the left by the extra amount then you can use our favorite tool, free Partition Wizard bootable CD which is the only one as safe as Disk Mgmt: Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #7

Win7 Ult. 32bit

No, the 63MB was how it was. It was part of Vista, though; not sure if that matters. Let me see if I can try a temporary boot without setting it as Active. But then, wouldn't f12, or whatever it proves to be, only send me to what disk I want, not to a specific partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP


F12 should offer the bootable Diagnostics which is the purpose of that partition on most Dells. That's why I just suggested you run it to see if it completes and also check your hardware which is what it does.

If it was a Vista boot partition then you don't want it for Windows 7 anyway. Unless you want to keep it because Diagnostics will run from it, then it can be deleted.

What I would do in such a situation is wipe the HD with Diskpart Clean Command to take the opportunity to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. There may be corrupt boot code which causes many problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #9

Win7 Ult. 32bit

Let me think about that. But that raises a good point. Maybe when I upgraded to 7 7 rejected the original SR as too small, and instead installed the boot manager right on the C drive and marked it Active. I don't think I did so.

I don't see any signs of boot files on the root of the C drive however...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Nov 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP


Yes, I doubt Windows 7 installer would write the boot files to a too-small partition, although it's meant to look for the Active flag.

You'd have to unhide System and Hidden files in Control Panel>FOlder Options>View to see them. But I guess you'd already done this?

We have to believe that the System Active flags show us where the boot files actually are booting from. To confirm that I use PW boot CD which is rarely wrong, although swaps meaning of Boot and System flags.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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