Partion active

Don’t mark the windows partion to active, unless you have a windows install disk lieing around. Upon restart, windows WILL NOT BOOT.

Source: Just did it to see what it does.

1 Like

Since I removed windows from my desktop:

These partitions are permanently locked. Seems that windows before I killed it, locked them in some kind of safe mode … . Just 1.4TB of disk space that is lost. Thank you microsoft :smiley:.

To make sure nobody is offended. I unmarked the boot flag of my root partition once. Also a lot of hassle to fix it. Or enabled ext4 encryption and forgot the password. Awesome times with partitions :stuck_out_tongue:.

Can we get a little context to this? Because… you’re always supposed to mark the OS as active. If it’s not active, it won’t start on boot.

That’s not a Windows rule, either. Only active partitions are loaded at boot, no matter what the contents are. Though, of course, if the active partition contains a corrupted or invalid OS, it won’t load properly.

I used to have windows 7 dual booted on my computer but It just broke.

Hi there all,

On a standard Windows 7 installation the hard drive should contain two partitions. A 100MB partition containing a bootloader and another partition that will contain what you would know of as the “C:/” drive. The 100MB partition by default does not have a drive letter assigned to it and is by default inaccessible to the user.

Hence if you give the partition containing the operating system the “boot” flag, windows will not boot. It’s the 100MB partition that contains the bootloader, ergo should have the boot flag assigned.

Additionally, you don’t necessarily need a windows installation disc to assign flags to partitions. This picture is the GUI of GParted, an incredibly powerful partition editor. It’s like 250mb - download it and write it to a USB (or burn it to a CD/DVD) and boot to that.


Sounds like your win partition is NTFS formatted. Habe you tried to install NTFS support on your Linux (if not built in by default)?

Oh and volition is right. Windows defaults to 2 partitions: bootloader + “c:”. Mark the bootloader as active and everything should be fine.

Its all installed. The only solution I could find on the internet is install windows and resize them in windows. Somehow the linux libs for ntfs refuse to resize/modify partitions that are locked like this.

@FerusGrim @Volition21has it right, i marked the non-bootloader partion as active, basically breaking my windows install.

I wouldn’t consider it broken, but more or less just improperly configured. Your Windows install and MBR are unharmed by the change

This kind of separated partitioning scheme is part of the new GUID Partition Table (GPT) standard being adopted across the board by any new computer running with EUFI instead of the classic BIOS. It’s not just windows, in fact Unix/Linux/Mac all use it now too.

@The_Doctors_Life As Volition21 stated this can very easily be fixed with GParted, which everybody, everywhere should have a copy of anyway. It’s a fantastic tool that has been my go-to for years. Burning it to a liveCD is almost the hardest part of actually using it. If you’re having trouble loading it up though, there is an excellent manual here.

@thomas15v I’m assuming your computer came with windows 8 pre-installed and you’ve since installed linux on a different partition then removed windows hoping to recover the disk space? If that is correct, is the 2nd OS installed on the same disk or a separate disk? I ask because that space can very easily be recovered by converting the drives partition table to MBR instead of GPT, but that usually requires wiping the disk if I recall correctly.

Once i had the automatic repair go through & fix the active label for me, it works just fine now. I’m just posting this for anyone messing with partions not to label the C: drive as active, since Windows boot loader isn’t in that partion, it’s in system reserved.

If you ever have a broken partition that gui stuff won’t remove, there are things you can install on a usb to “nuke” your hdd/ssd.