two active partitions problem

Discussion in 'Acronis Disk Director Suite' started by leoliver, Aug 12, 2007.

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  1. leoliver

    leoliver Registered Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I think I may have discovered the cause of the disk warnings I mentioned in yesterday's post . Before installing Acronis Disk Director, I was in Computer Management to look at the properties of my new Seagate External HD, which at that time had just one primary partition on it. I right clicked on it, and I saw a "mark partition as active " command which I thought would select the partition for resizing. I believe I have since learned that "active" means boot partition. Now when my external HD is plugged in, Disk Director shows 2 active partitions. But Computer Management shows only one, the external partition as being active.
    Disk Director must be right because when I unplug the external HD, my system still boots into XP. And Computer Management shows no partitions as being active on my internal disk.(My internal disk contains 2 partitions, one is a 32 mb. Dell diagnostic partition and the other is my C drive )
    So my question is how do I reset my computer to it's original settings as pertains to which partition is active? Do I use Disk Director to delete the external primary partition that is also active ? Or use System Restore ?
    Feedback will be appreciated !
    Thanks.
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Hi, Larry:

    The warnings that you were describing in yesterday's post have nothing to do with a partition being set as Active. I still believe that this is a disk spin-down issue as described in my response to your post.

    In Windows XP Disk Management, if a partition has the boot flag set (is active) then it will display as "Healthy (Active)". Additionally, if this active partition is the one that Windows is installed to it will instead display as "Healthy (System)". Take a look at the picture in the following post:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1045409&postcount=8

    This picture shows two disks. On each disk the first primary partition is active. Disk 0 contains the Windows system partition C:.

    Is this what you see on your system?

    There is nothing wrong with having active partitions on two or more hard drives. Your PC's BIOS will determine which disk to try to boot from, so if you have the BIOS set to boot from your internal hard disk then that's what will happen. If you have it set to boot from external USB disks then it will try to boot from your external hard drive.

    You can leave the primary partition on the external drive set as "Active" and it will do no harm. If you really want to unset the "Active" or boot flag there is a way to do it with DiskDirector but it isn't obvious. I can show you how to do this if you really feel it's necessary.
     
  3. leoliver

    leoliver Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply, it contains a lot of good information.
    In Computer Management, my internal HD is listed with my 32 mb. Dell Diagnostic partition as "healthy EISA configuration" ; and my "C" partition as "healthy system" . Windows doesn't specify my "C" partition as being active, but Disk Director does. And Disk Director must be correct, since my system boots with my external HD turned off.
    Since you said it will do no harm, having a active partition on each disk, then I see no reason in trying to change things. Before reading your last reply I thought it may be a problem, which is why I was concerned.

    Which brings to my mind another question, since my primary partition is active on my external HD, does it have it's own paging file system and it's own entry on the system's MBR?
     
  4. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    As Mark said, Windows will display "Health (System)" for the "Active" partition. Disk Director will show the partition as Active.

    Each hard drive has its own MBR and its own partition table. Normally, if there is at least one primary partition on a hard drive then one of them will be marked as Active.

    For example, if your computer supports booting from a USB hard drive, then the booting partition on the USB hard drive would have to be marked as Active. If you're not booting from the hard drive, then the "Active" flag means nothing.

    I'm not quite clear on what you mean by paging file system?
     
  5. leoliver

    leoliver Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply, it cleared up some issues for me.
    By paging file, I meant virtual memory .
    Or is virtual memory only on the system partition?
    When I first hooked up my external HD, I went into System Properties>Advanced and increased my allocated mb.'s for my virtual memory,because I suspected that having a 2nd HD on my system would increase memory usage.
    Now, was that virtual memory increase needed ?
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Larry:

    I think that's the source of the problem that you're having. You should only put a paging file on an internal disk. If you have only one internal disk it should go there. If you have more than one internal disk put it on the fastest disk.

    Attaching an external disk will not increase RAM memory usage in Windows so you don't need to adjust the size of the paging file. A safe setting is to let Windows automatically determine the size.
     
  7. intrinsicmac

    intrinsicmac Registered Member

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    Hi Mark,

    I have a sudden problem where an additional drive in my computer (SATA Primary) has somehow received the Active flag and now the computer refuses to boot without manual intervention. (It's a stupid Dell that won't let me specify IDE over SATA in the boot sequence.) I think it has something to do with the FreeNAS install I attempted. (Not entirely sure what happened as FreeNAS is installed to a VMware Image and the drive is just being accessed as the data storage - not to mention it worked for days without an issue.)

    Acronis and Windows both show the IDE Primary and SATA Primary as Active - I badly need to deactivate the SATA Primary so the computer can resume booting properly on it's on. If you could provide those instructions you alluded to above, I would be most appreciative.

    -Ali
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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