What is an ‘active’ partition?

KamilKozyra November 24, 2012
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I have a few hard drive partition questions.

What does “make a partition active” mean? Does it put it into the boot menu? If not, how do I add a hard drive’s system image into a PC’s boot menu?

Thanks! :)

  1. Ramón García
    December 13, 2012 at 7:36 am

    This is the partition the computer boot from

  2. Joel Jacob
    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    An active partition is a partition on a hard drive set as the bootable partition that contains the operating system. Only one partition on each hard drive can be set as an active partition or bootable partition. For example, if you are using Microsoft Windows the partition that contains Windows is the active partition.

  3. Adriel Tan
    December 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    An active partition basically means that the computer will boot from that partition. DO NOT change it if you do not know what you are doing. Doing so may result in data lost.

  4. Felix Göhringer
    December 2, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    An active partition is the partition your computer will boot from. There can be only one active partition at a time.

  5. dhanunjayarao chunduri
    December 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    The MBR (Master Boot Record) contains information about the status
    and the location of all partitions on your system. The ‘active’ (active partition) status simply tells our system which partition to boot from. This partition
    must contain an OS (Operating System), otherwise it cannot be used
    as a boot able partition.

  6. Duy Nguyen Minh
    November 29, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Use Hirent boot cd active partition. it easy.

  7. Usman Mubashir
    November 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    the HDDs you can view in My Computer are active,

  8. Prasanth Mathialagan
    November 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    As everybody mentioned, active partition is the one in which operating system resides. It is possible to convert your current windows 7 operating system into a system image(vhdk file) and export into an external hard drive(so that you can carry your os with you!! sweet!! isn't it??). You can boot from it by changing the boot priority. I'm not sure whether it is possible to make the image appear in the boot menu.

  9. maria
    November 26, 2012 at 3:40 am

    The active partition is the partition where the boot flag is set.

    A boot flag is a 1-byte value in a non-extended partition record, within a master boot record. Its primary function is to indicate to a MS-DOS/MS Windows-type boot loader which partition to boot. In some cases it is used by Windows XP/2000 to assign the active partition the letter "C:"

    :)

  10. Rakesh Mishra
    November 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

    you can use Active Partition Manager which is a freeware application that helps you to manage storage devices and the logical drives or partitions that they contain. You may create, delete, format and name partitions on your computer without shutting down the system. Most configuration changes take effect immediately.

  11. Nikhil Chandak
    November 25, 2012 at 9:34 am
  12. Jim Chambers
    November 25, 2012 at 3:40 am

    You can't boot from a hard drive system image file. It must be extracted onto a HDD, SDD or suitably prepared flash drive.

  13. Abba Jee
    November 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    The MBR (Master Boot Record) contains information about the status
    and the location of all partitions on your system. The 'active' (active partition) status simply tells our system which partition to boot from. This partition
    must contain an OS (Operating System), otherwise it cannot be used
    as a boot able partition.
    Entire procedure can be different when you're using a boot manager on
    your system. A boot manager can install itself in the MBR and ignore
    the partition table, thereby also ignoring the 'active' status.

    I guess windows OS need to be installed on active partition on the other hand linux doesn't really care about it

    • Amit Sinha
      November 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      I somehow agree with you but your last line were wrong as OS is loaded by BIOS where MBR records the byte address of the boot-able files so that any os can booted

    • Abba Jee
      November 30, 2012 at 9:54 am

      bios looks for booting device instead of OS, anyway thanks for correcting me :)

    • Amit Sinha
      November 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

      if bios look for booting device then it again look for active partition of that device like in a boot-able cd rom

    • Ali Ehsan
      November 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      ok sir, thank you

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Very good explanation. thanks. I have learned something.

  14. ha14
    November 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Mark a partition as active
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Mark-a-partition-as-active
    Marking a partition as active is an advanced task that should only be performed by advanced users. Marking a partition as active on a basic disk means that the computer will use the loader (an operating system tool) on that partition to start the operating system.

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