Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues

27 Mar 2014   #1

win 7 Pro x64
Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues

first of all, let me start by saying that this forum has helped many times in the past with tutorials, usefull tips and tweaks and problem solving without the need of taking me out of lurker status, but now, after hitting google's 15th page several times already to find only loosely correlated solutions I've realized the urge for a more direct approach.

How can I set one partition as active?
(tried many methods and none worked so far)
the context:
I'm trying to recover data from a faulty HD using a linux live CD (ubuntu rescue remix) to image the data and try to retrieve it later on. Here's where the problem starts: apart from the usb from which I launched the live CD, no other devices were showing (lshw listed nothing, except the usb itself). After some research I remembered that my MBR always gets f***up after a re-install - not entirely sure if it's when amd chipset [sata] updates microsoft msahci or after I move the user folders from my ssd to my hd (symlinks), I also recall something about sata ports creating some problems - having to use port 3 for (re)install or something like that.

Anyway, I began to try fixes for this issue when the problems with the MBR started to show it's ugly teeth again. The thing is, I can't launch windows repair* (from the install CD) because it doesn't recognize the current OS. It simply doesn't list it. And I know I already had encountered this exact same issue and managed to repair it... once [I think that the sata port thingy goes in here... not sure]; but also last time it bothered me I didn't have the time/patience to search for this solution and simply formated my hd's and performed a clean install -- just so you know, I have a really bad memory. And, not sure if this is another symptom or the cause, but I also can't rebuild my MBR because:
- lauching startup repair (win7 CD) it goes straight to the command prompt. There it simply doesn't find the devices (HD's) and thus I can't use bootrec/bcdboot -it doesn't list win7 either
-- [e.g assign a letter to where I think the MBR should be and invoke "bcdboot c:/windows /s b:"]

- in command prompt, I can list the devices by using disk part, but the commands also fail [I'm pretty sure bootrec can't be invoked from inside win7, at least I couldn't launch it, but bcdedit/bootsect fail anyway], assign a letter to the vol/part where I think the MBR should be but I can't make any further changes since I always fail to make it ACTIVE
-- [e.g. diskpart -> list vol -> sel vol 3 -> list part -> sel part 1 -> assign letter=b -> sel part 1 -> active = fail] as in the 2nd img

...and this is the angle I'm trying right now. I'm asking how can I set this damned thing active .
Since I believe that once I manage to get it done I'll be able to rebuild the MBR using this method (please correct me if I'm wrong in this approach).

I have already tried to follow this but it fails exactly because I can't set the partition as active.

some stuff that might be useful:

Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues-diskmgmt.png
greyed out option in disk mgmt

Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues-diskpart.jpg
disk part
(transl) "the selected disk isn't a fixed MBR disk"
(transl) "active command can only be used on fixed mbr disks"

Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues-bcdedit.jpg
bcdedit that I'm pretty sure is messed up

*btw besides the occasional need for maintenance or the odd thing (such as this data recovering job) there's absolutely nothing noticeably wrong with my system. It boots fine (9 secs from cold boot to desktop), never hangs (can't even recall last time I had one BSOD) and it doesn't really bother me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #2

win 7 Pro x64

Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online

This tool couldn't find any drives in the same manner lshw for linux didn't.
I created an usb disk and booted from Partition Wizard to find out that the only devices it recognized/loaded were my dvd drive and the usb it was on.

this doesn't merit a new post, but I just found out that I've been using the pre-install win7 disk instead of the installation one (OEM win7 pro x64 Version). That explains why I've been going straight to the command prompt when booting from the dvd. Anyway, nothing new yet. OS isn't listed as usual, and list disk/vol/part returned no results (no disks found). And boot utils still fail because they can't find a path.



- problem:
-- MBR/bootmanager are definetely messed up (my best guess)

- symptoms:
-- can't list or find devices [hard disks] from linux live CD/similar
-- can't list or find devices [hard disks] nor the currently installed OS itself from Win7 repair disk

- thus:
- can't rebuild/repair the MBR

note worthy:
- within win7 the devices are shown and normal operations seem just fine but the tasks I need to perform are locked, not sure if by default or by fault.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #3
Microsoft MVP


Your Disk Mgmt screenshot shows that you have a UEFI install which uses the GPT disk format which doesn't use Active partitions or an MBR.

If you want to reinstall to an MBR disk you can Bypass UEFI to Install WIn7.

Otherwise if Win7 will not repair with Startup Repair with all other HD's unplugged, you can reinstall to UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Mar 2014   #4

win 7 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
...the GPT disk format which doesn't use Active partitions or an MBR.
thank you so much for this info. Simple as it may be it cleared some confusion.

Anyway, I'm trying a different angle now, trying to figure out how to inject drivers on a usb bootable win 7 image using dism or win system image manager. Reading some tutorials on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP


The easiest way is to back up a System image just after Win7 is set up and running best. Use the drivers provided by Windows Update after enabling Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3).

The imaging program most preferred here is Macrium - Image your system.

To slilpstream drivers into the installer use 7Lite. This is a cumbersome process though which still requires install, whereas imaging takes on 20 minutes and you're back up and running with the customized setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Mar 2014   #6

win 7 Pro x64

I should've paid more attention to what I myself wrote.
There was nothing wrong with my OS or its bootcfg. As I said, the system was running fine on day-to-day tasks and had no issues at all.

The solution [which I should be looking elsewhere]:
- clear CMOS

After that, the bios displayed my disks as uefi -- and I never noticed before that they didn't -- and now the OS can see the hd's.

On a different note, I'd like to point out that you shouldn't start researching subjects you aren't very familiar with under too little sleep and too much coffee. I've been taking mbr/gpt as interchangeable and I'd like to thank you Greg for pointing me such an obvious thing. After that, I changed my perspective on this and began to focus on the real problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't make an ACTIVE part + bootmgnr issues

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Make an Active drive non-active
I had an external HDD put in as an external HDD, but for some reason it is marked as active (when connected with my normal HDDs windows will not boot), can I make it inactive WITHOUT loosing all the data (It has only my movie collection ripped from DVD on it) nothing else. I only found out the...
Hardware & Devices
How to make available converting MBR to GPT on Win7 or Part. Wizard?
This problem I coudnt find at this Forum neither Google so that I wrote it here... Im an ordinary user. By mistake ive created 2 unallocated partitions on a 3T HDD that I meant to be using only as a storage HDD. I heard about the Partition Wizard Bootable CD so I booted with it to apply the...
General Discussion
Possible to covert a plain system part. copy to ISO and make bootable?
I have an Asus Eee PC, WIN7, no inst. media. The touchpad stopped working (a common problem on many Asus Eee PCs I learnt) , during an Asian trip, so I had it repaired by a local shop. However, the repairman must have damaged the recovery partition in the process, as recovery, both in terms of...
Backup and Restore
Set C:\ active instead of SystemReserv.Part.-> boot 0xc000000
Hello, in the course of troubleshooting a different problem, I was stupid enough to set C:\ active on a Win7 Prof 32bit system. Now I cannot boot. I believe I need to set the SystemReserved Partition active again. I have a Vaio X notebook without CD Rom drive. I am getting the boot manager...
BSOD Help and Support
how do i make a partition part of my c drive again
I basically have a partition thats is now unallocated space due to me deleting the volume and I would like to make it part of my c drive again how do i go about doing this?

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:07.
Twitter Facebook Google+