Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 36
  1. #16
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 932 Times in 853 Posts
    I am not in a position to advise on that question. I am not exactly sure of the difference and whether it is advisable to change the partitions to active. Perhaps someone else could explain this or a Google search could explain the difference, sorry.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  2. #17
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by royw View Post
    I have one final question. 2 of my hard drives are shown as active, the other 4 primary partitions are not. Should I change their status to active, and what difference would this make?

    Further advice would be appreciated.
    Roy,
    Hello... No ...Only one primary partition per HD can be set to "Active" .. doing otherwise will probably result in your PC not being able to boot.. Seeing how your using "MiniTool" see Active Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  3. #18
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    189
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by royw View Post
    2 of my hard drives are shown as active, the other 4 primary partitions are not. Should I change their status to active, and what difference would this make?
    FWIW, I think you've fallen victim to Microsoft's unfortunate predilection to obfuscate terminology. For 30 years they've trained people to refer to logical volumes or partitions as "drives", making a fuzzy term even more ambiguous. The term can be used in numerous hardware contexts (e.g., Hitachi drive ... floppy drive ... slave drive ... SATA drive ... ) or in a logical context (as in "C" drive). You have to be careful to be clear in what context you're using the term or you can leave people confused. For instance, when someone talks about their "D drive", do they mean a second physical hard disk, or do they mean a second partition on a single hard disk? It can make a difference in the advice you get.

    Similarly, when you say "2 of my hard drives", are you referring to partitions or physical disk drives? Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see where you stated what drive configuration you have. Reading between the lines, it appears you may have two physical disk drives subdivided into some combination of 6 partitions.

    I'm sure you know you can have more than one partition per hard disk, and the "active" partition merely designates which partition will be booted by default if you boot from that hard disk. Ergo, it should be evident that you can only have one active partition per hard disk.

    While a hard disk can only have one active partition, a computer system can have more than one active partition if you have multiple hard disks. The system will boot the active partition on whichever hard disk your BIOS is set to look for first. Active partitions on disks lower in the boot order are then ignored and treated just like non-active partitions.

  4. #19
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Birkirkara, Malta
    Posts
    1,253
    Thanks
    191
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    Hello dg1261, point taken. To make myself clear, one of my hard drives has 2 partitions, a C partition containing the operating system which is active, and one labelled Z, and I realise this should not be made active. Apart from that I have another drive, recently installed by my local computer tech which is active, and 3 other drives, 2 internal and 1 external USB connected. What difference would it make, if any, if I made those 3 active?

    Further advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards, Roy

  5. #20
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by royw View Post
    What difference would it make, if any, if I made those 3 active?
    Roy ,
    Hello ...See my post # 17.... You can only make "Active" a Drive\Partition that has a MBR associated with it ...most likely you will make your PC un-bootable if you set the others to "Active" Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  6. #21
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    189
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by royw View Post
    One of my hard drives has 2 partitions, a C partition containing the operating system which is active, and one labelled Z, and I realise this should not be made active.
    You can only have one active partition per hard disk, so if you were to try and make Z active it would change C so that it is no longer active. Then the next time you reboot it would try to boot the Z partition instead of C. (Of course, that would fail if there's no OS installed on Z.)


    [I have] 3 other drives, 2 internal and 1 external USB connected. What difference would it make, if any, if I made those 3 active?
    Again, to be precise, you don't make hard drives active, you make partitions active. I take it you're implying those other three physical hard disk drives each have a single partition and your question is, "What difference would it make if I made each of those partitions active?"

    The answer is it would make no difference at all, provided the existing C partition is on a disk drive first in the BIOS boot order. At boot time the BIOS progresses down the list of physical drives to find one with an active partition it can boot. Once it finds one, all other active partitions on devices lower in the boot order become immaterial and are treated just like any other, non-active partition. So if the disk with the C partition is first in the boot order, it doesn't matter whether or not there are active partitions on any other disk.

    Where it *would* make a difference is if one of those other disks was higher in the boot order than the disk with the C partition. In that case the BIOS would try to boot the first one it finds and wouldn't get down the list to the one with the C partition. (Aside: this is the general principle behind true multibooting--which should not be confused with Microsoft's half-baked style of pseudo-multibooting.)

    Again, the only point to designating a partition active is if you want the BIOS to try and boot from it. If a partition doesn't have an OS installed on it, there's no point making it active. There's no advantage to doing so, and the disadvantage is you risk hanging the system if the BIOS sees that particular hard disk higher in the boot order than the disk(s) with bootable OS's on them.

    BTW, as Fred mentioned, this only applies if you're working with standard (aka, legacy) hard disks that have MBR-style partition tables. However, that's quite likely the case because your main hard disk is a 500GB drive. The MBR partitioning scheme only works on hard disks less than 2TB, so it will gradually be supplanted by the newer GPT partitioning scheme as supra-2TB disks become more commonplace. On disks under 2TB you're most likely going to encounter the MBR-style scheme.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to dg1261 For This Useful Post:

    royw (2012-03-21)

  8. #22
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Birkirkara, Malta
    Posts
    1,253
    Thanks
    191
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    Thanks dg1261. My final question is if I install the Win8 CP on one of my single partition hard disks, how should I go about it from the point of view of having what you refer to as a true multi-boot arrangement?

    Advice on this would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards, Roy

  9. #23
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 932 Times in 853 Posts
    As always Roy, See my new signature and follow the advice before starting!

    Right Click the Win 8 iso file and select Burn Disk Image to burn the iso file to a DVD.

    DrWho would advocate disconnecting all other HDs power cables so only the HD that will contain Win 8 is active. At that point simply insert the DVD containing Win 8 CP, boot to it and install. This will definitely ensure no interference or interactions between the various OS's. Read a couple of his posts about this. He has some very good info.

    If you leave another OS HD connected (as in a dual boot scenario such as I have in my laptop) insert the DVD containing Win 8 CP and boot to the DVD. During the process at some point you will get to a screen to choose Upgrade or Custom Install. Choose CUSTOM INSTALL!!!! This will allow you to choose where to install Win 8 CP. Choose the unallocated HD and begin the install. This installs the Win 8 CP in the empty HD and Win 8 CP MBR on the Win 7 (or whatever OS you use) MBR. You can use EasyBCD to change back to the Win 7 MBR easily (I did this as I like the Win 7 MBR better even when I have Win 8 CP set as default OS)

    I hope this makes sense.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  10. #24
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hillsborough (San Francisco Bay area), California, USA
    Posts
    585
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 59 Times in 58 Posts
    See my new signature and follow the advice before starting!
    Ted,

    ??What new sig??

    Zig

  11. #25
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 932 Times in 853 Posts
    Backup...Backup...Backup
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  12. #26
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    189
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by royw View Post
    if I install the Win8 CP on one of my single partition hard disks, how should I go about it from the point of view of having what you refer to as a true multi-boot arrangement?
    There are several options, with pros and cons well covered in other sections of this forum, so I won't rehash details here. But to summarize, there are three basic choices:
    • true multiboot: OS's completely independent from one another, with no interference or interaction;
    • Microsoft hybrid multiboot: OS's mostly separate but intertwined to some degree;
    • Virtual machine: OS's independent, with one running virtually inside an application running on the other OS.
    There are pros and cons to each of these methods, so do some research first.

    I've followed many of DrWho's (of whom Ted mentions) opinions on various topics, and typically find he and I are of like mind on many things. DrWho and I prefer true multibooting. It takes a little more care to setup, but is easier to remove. Think back to my explanation of active partitions and boot order and you should realize you can simply install OS's separately, each on its own hard disk, and when you put them all together you can boot one or the other by simply changing the BIOS boot order.

    Ted and others seem to like the Microsoft method. If you're multibooting only Microsoft OS's, it's easy to setup, though removing can be trickier and sometimes interactions between the intertwined OS's can cause problems.

    Using a virtual machine is appealing because you can run both OS's simultaneously, and removal is as simple as deleting the virtual machine. But it's demanding on system resources so typically runs slower.

    You'll find detailed discussions of multibooting elsewhere on this forum, so explore those other threads. For additional background I might also suggest visiting my webpage, "Understanding Multibooting". In particular, you might take a look at the little javascript demo I put together for an illustration of how Microsoft's hybrid method differs from a true multiboot. The webpage is a bit dated but still valid--the same principles are still used with current OS's.


    Dan

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to dg1261 For This Useful Post:

    Medico (2012-03-21),royw (2012-03-22)

  14. #27
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 932 Times in 853 Posts
    Dan, This is a very good explanation of the options. I have read many different explanations, but this is one of the easiest to understand and I thank you for that.

    I guess the biggest reason I'm using the second alternative is the fact that I use a laptop almost exclusively and have only one HD. Plus HD's in laptops are not nearly as easy to swap as desktops so I felt that option was easiest for me in my setup. If I used my desktop more than I do, perhaps I would use the first option. At this point my desktop is in the study up stairs on the 2nd floor and is not nearly as easy for me to use while I'm sitting in front of my large screen watching my favorite show. For now the desktop is just a storage device.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  15. #28
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    189
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 42 Times in 36 Posts
    You're welcome, Ted.

    Just to clarify, in case anyone thinks true multibooting requires multiple hard disks, it does not. You can use multiple partitions on a single hard disk and install OS's independently each in its own partition without Microsoft's intertwining. However, it requires changing which partition is the active one when you want to boot a different partition. It's not as straightforward as just changing the BIOS boot order, but you can add a simple third-party boot manager to easily manage the task. As I mentioned above, it takes a little more setup work than the Microsoft hybrid method, but in return for the effort you get all the advantages of a true multiboot with complete isolation of each OS.

    My work laptop currently multiboots 5 different OS's, each completely independent and isolated from one another.


    Dan

  16. #29
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Birkirkara, Malta
    Posts
    1,253
    Thanks
    191
    Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
    I tried to install the Win 8 CP but whichever hard disk I select I am told "Windows cannot be installed to this disk.It has an MBR partition table.On EFI systems Windows can only be installed to GPT disks". How do I get around this?

    Further help would be appreciated.

    Thanks and regards, Roy

  17. #30
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 932 Times in 853 Posts
    I do not know about this one Roy. This must be one of the new type Bios systems or something. The only thing I could advise is to go into disk management and delete the partition you wish to install to so it shows as unallocated space only. This is what I installed into. Perhaps others can advise further.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •