Installing OS on SSD from HDD

Started Dec 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
Birk Binnard
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Don't forget to mark the old Windows partition Inactive
In reply to indusphoto, Dec 9, 2012

Every partition on every disk drive is either Active or Inactive.  This information is in the partition header and is not normally accessible.  A system should have only one Active partition because the boot loader searches each partition for Active status and then proceeds to load the OS (whatever it is) from that partition.

When you clone Windows from one disk to another, or even do a clean install of Windows on a new disk, the old one will still be marked as Active.  Since the new Windows disk will be higher in the boot order there is usually no problem with the old one still being Active because the boot loader will find the new one first.  But if something odd happens and the boot loader finds the second/old disk it will try to boot from there.

So it's best to mark the old Windows partition as Inactive. You have to do this from a DOS prompt, and the only tricky part is making sure you select the correct partition to mark as Inactive.  If you mark the current one Inactive your system will fail to boot (because the boot loader won't know to load winders from that partition.)

Here's how to do it:

  1.  Open up a command prompt and type DISKPART.
  2. Type LIST DISK
  3. Type SELECT DISK n (where n is the number of the old Windows drive)
  4. Type LIST PARTITION
  5. Type SELECT PARTITION n (where n is the number of the active partition you wish to make inactive)
  6. Type INACTIVE
  7. Type EXIT to exit DISKPART
  8. Type EXIT again to exit the command prompt
  9. Reboot

If you have DiskManager open when you do this you will see the change reflected on the disk diagram as soon as you make the change.  This is a good way to verify you have changed the correct disk.

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Birk Binnard
www.birkbinnard.com/photography;

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