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Windows 7: Delete "System, Active, Primary Partition" in Windows7

15 May 2016   #1

Win7 32 bit
Delete "System, Active, Primary Partition" in Windows7

Hello guys,

This is my situation - I have got a computer which previously was used by some other user. While looking through the system, I see the OS is installed in C drive, while I can also see there is a 'Windows' folder in D drive too, which makes me believe that at some point of time there was another Win7 installation in D drive too.

Now I want to free up D drive for Ubuntu installation (I will make a dual-boot system). My plan is to delete the D drive, then install ubuntu there. But I when I click 'Delete Volume' from disk management, it says - "Windows cannot delete the active system partition on this disk". The reason is, OS is installed in C drive (it is tagged as "Boot, Crash Dump") but the active partition is D drive. So I guess it contains the bootable files.

Can anyone please suggest me how to proceed to get a clean system where C drive will have all that is necessary for Windows7 and D drive will be free for Ubuntu installation ? I am attaching the screenshot of my disk management.


Attached Thumbnails
Delete "System, Active, Primary Partition" in Windows7-scrnsht.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2016   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux

Windows terminology is a bit weird in this case. The "Active" partition is the one with the boot flag set in the partition table. If Windows is the only OS installed, it will also contain files needed by the Windows bootloader. The "Boot" partition is the one that contains the Windows installation you're booted to.

According to this thread the "Active" partition must be a Primary Partition, in which case you're out of luck. You may be able to move your Windows install from C: to D: but I doubt it would be easy. You may also be able to delete much of what's on D: and move the contents of I: or G: there, then install Ubuntu to one of those. But if you're not careful you could render Windows unbootable.

Your partition table looks like it was created by the Ubuntu installer when allowed to use the entire disk. I always thought it was a poor solution, TBH. If I were you, I'd backup everything to another drive and start from scratch, installing Windows first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2016   #3

Win7 32 bit

Thanks alphaniner for the response and please excuse me for the belated reply.

Can you please tell me one thing....if I install ubuntu in other drives, then would some component still get put in C or D during installation? Or will the drive exclusive have all the component of Ubuntu ? If it is the second case, then I will do that only.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 May 2016   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux

If you mean to install Ubuntu to another hard drive, it won't mess with your Windows partitions unless you specifically tell it to. But depending on your boot order, it could overwrite the Windows boot loader. To be safe, I'd recommend removing the drive with Windows when you install Ubuntu. Then reconnect it and configure GRUB to add an option to boot from it. I use Syslinux bootloader so I can't help you with that part.

If you mean to install Ubuntu to one of the partitions on the hard drive with your Windows installation, I'd recommend asking on Ubuntu forums for the safest way to go about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Delete "System, Active, Primary Partition" in Windows7

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