WinXP installs boot files to another partition

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Hi!

I have an old problem:

I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions. When I reinstall
XP I have to install new windows xp systems on blank harddisks else it
put its boot and system files on the data (second primary) partition.
How can I workaround it?

Thanks!

illegal
4 answers Last reply
More about winxp installs boot files partition
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    The install will default to the C: drive unless you tell it otherwise. I
    assume your 'system' partition is C: and your data is D or E?
    When you reinstall xp searches for any instances of previous windows
    software. If or when it finds it it displays the partition details. In your
    case two partitions will be visible - system and data. Are you sure you are
    not selecting the wrong partition. I have four operating systems on my
    machine and 7 partitions and any time i've reinstalled xp it has always
    installed to the partition i have selected, not one that i haven't.

    --
    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org


    "illegal" <illegal@maffia.hu> wrote in message
    news:u2bc71p559jcggacp3jra4in2ip7h8qqps@4ax.com...
    > Hi!
    >
    > I have an old problem:
    >
    > I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions. When I reinstall
    > XP I have to install new windows xp systems on blank harddisks else it
    > put its boot and system files on the data (second primary) partition.
    > How can I workaround it?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > illegal
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Hi, Illegal.

    > I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions.

    YOU may think of them as "system" and "data" partitions. But Windows sees
    them only as Primary or Extended partitions. Each time you boot, the BIOS
    detects your HD and reads the partition table on it. That table is just 64
    bytes long and has room for only 16 bytes of data for each partition. It
    knows the starting and ending locations, whether the partition is Primary or
    Extended, and which Primary partition is the Active (bootable) partition.
    There's no room here for other data, such as the volume label.

    WinXP does have a "System Partition", but it probably doesn't mean what you
    expect. WinXP typically has only 3 "system files": NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and
    Boot.ini. These go into the Root of the System Partition, which is the
    first Active partition on the first (or only) HD, typically C:\. All the
    rest of WinXP (the "boot files") are in the "boot folder" (named \Windows,
    by default), and whichever volume (primary partition or logical drive) you
    select during Setup becomes the "boot volume", and Setup puts all the
    gigabyte or so of files there. Often, C: is both the System Partition and
    the Boot Volume, and all of WinXP is in C:\Windows.

    An Extended partition can contain one or more logical drives and any logical
    drive or any Primary partition may become the Boot Volume. But a logical
    drive cannot be marked Active (bootable). Usually the FIRST Primary
    partition is marked Active and becomes the System Partition. But any one
    Primary partition may be Active at any one time, and whichever is Active
    when Setup is run becomes the WinXP System Partition.

    If you have multiple hard disks, the process gets more complex. Many users
    have tried to install WinXP onto their big new HD, installed as Primary
    Master, while their old HD is plugged in as a secondary or slave drive. In
    this case, WinXP Setup finds the Active partition on the old HD, assigns it
    drive letter C:, and assigns some other letter (G:?) to the first partition
    on their new HD. The user usually wanted the first partition on the new HD
    to become C: and there's no good way to fix this except to run Setup all
    over again, making sure that the second HD is not connected or enabled until
    after WinXP is installed on the new HD.

    In your case, you may somehow have designated your second primary partition
    as the Active partition. In WinXP, run Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) to
    check which partition is Active. Right-click your first primary partition
    and click Mark Partition as Active. Then do an "in-place upgrade" or a
    "repair reinstall", and is described in this KB article:
    How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q315341

    Post back if you have questions.

    RC
    --
    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX
    rc@corridor.net
    Microsoft Windows MVP

    "illegal" <illegal@maffia.hu> wrote in message
    news:u2bc71p559jcggacp3jra4in2ip7h8qqps@4ax.com...
    > Hi!
    >
    > I have an old problem:
    >
    > I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions. When I reinstall
    > XP I have to install new windows xp systems on blank harddisks else it
    > put its boot and system files on the data (second primary) partition.
    > How can I workaround it?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > illegal
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    In article <u2bc71p559jcggacp3jra4in2ip7h8qqps@4ax.com>,
    illegal@maffia.hu, illegal says...

    > Hi!
    >
    > I have an old problem:
    >
    > I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions. When I reinstall
    > XP I have to install new windows xp systems on blank harddisks else it
    > put its boot and system files on the data (second primary) partition.
    > How can I workaround it?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > illegal
    >

    When you say divide do you mean you split "one" HDrive? Or you have two
    seperate physical drives?
    If you have one split drive than I would strongly suggest changing the
    data portion to a "logical" not primary.......You cannot have "Two"
    primary "active" partitions running at once.....Maybe this is why it
    resorts to your data drive first.
    Are you using partitioning software other than windows?
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    In article <u2bc71p559jcggacp3jra4in2ip7h8qqps@4ax.com>,
    illegal@maffia.hu, illegal says...

    > Hi!
    >
    > I have an old problem:
    >
    > I divide my hard disk to system and data partitions. When I reinstall
    > XP I have to install new windows xp systems on blank harddisks else it
    > put its boot and system files on the data (second primary) partition.
    > How can I workaround it?
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > illegal
    >

    And you're re-posting your original problem again for a reason?
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