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Old 03-15-2005, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is it possible to make active harddisk partitioned as primary ntfs, to non-active, without losing any data?

I have such a hd in my Ultra ATA controller and it tries to boot first, but I want mobo IDE 1 device to boot first!
I took this hd off from my old computer when I sold the machine.

My lousy Ultra ATA controller doesnt have any configuration options either

I tried Partition Magic 8, but it has only the options to make one active.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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when you set a primary partition active or set a new one active it does not destroy any data becuase that data is never changed. this happens within the MBR: The small program in the MBR will attempt to locate an active (bootable) partition in its partition table. If such a partition is found, the boot sector of that partition is read into memory at location 0000:7C00 and the MBR program jumps to memory location 0000:7C00. Each operating system has its own boot sector format. The small program in the boot sector must locate the first part of the operating system's kernel loader program (or perhaps the kernel itself or perhaps a "boot manager program") and read that into memory.


as long as you do not delete that partition from the MBR you have nothing to worry about. setting a partition active or non-active is very safe. there is a max of 1 active primary partition for each physical hard disk (basic disk), so if you had 4 physical hard disks installed inside your PC you could have 4 active. in that case you would have to set the boot priority (IDE0, IDE1, IDE2, IDE3) to tell your PC which physical hard disk to boot from using your BIOS setup utility. in your case you have to first make your ATA controller card to be the topmost boot device. if you have hard disks connected to the motherboard's IDE controller you have to tell the BIOS to not boot from that first so you need to make SCSI boot before the main IDE devices. after you get that to work properly there should see some options while the controller card is detecting devices (your hard drive). you need to figure out how to get into the settings/ config options so you can change the boot order of your PCI (or ISA) IDE ATA controller card. are you trying to make active a logical drive within an extended partition (not possible)? what is the program you're using to set active partition?
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not extended partition, whole hard disk is single primary partition.
I've tried partition magic and windows xp partition manager, or whatever it is called..
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can't boot from an extended partition, so I assume you cannot set it active either.

If you do not want to boot from the partition its safe to "de-activate" it, like ek/Esine said.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One more question, HOW do I deactivate it?
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think you have to set another primary partition on the harddrive to "active". Or you would have to convert it to an extended/logical partition.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have 2 active already, setting one active wont effect the other.
In fact, if you have 6 hard drives and they all have primary partitions you can set them all active!
And that is going to be mess if you can't set from bios which one boots first.

Anyway, I got rid of the problem by putting both hard drives to Ultra DMA controller, now the channel 1 drive boots first.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I meant on the same HD. I cannot remember if Partition Magic has an option to disable "active". Haven't used it in a long time actually.

Anyway, I am glad you solved it.
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