Partition shows as "system" in Disk Management Console

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TheManuel

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Nov 25, 2007
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Hello.

Yesterday, I had to perform a new installation of Windows XP because I somehow corrupted some system files beyond repair. Now I have everything up and running anew and have made all the Windows updates and it's all honky dory. However, I just went to the Disk Managent Console with the intention of re-assigning drive letter for my storage partitions (not the one that contains Windows) and ran into a problem.

I have a partition set up on my main hard disk to use exclusively for Window's pagefile. I have not yet set up Windows to put the pagefile there. This is the next partition after the primary partition that contains the OS. I wanted to set the drive letter of this partition to Z: to get it out of the way in Windows Explorer. However, the partitions shows as:
Healthy (System)
whereas the main Windows partition shows as:
Healtyh (Boot)

This is really weird because in the past, only the Windows partition would show up as (System). I'm afraid I might have somehow screwed up during the Windows installation.
Does anybody know why this is ocurring and any possible solutions that do not include re-installing Windows?

If it's any help, when I set Windows Explorer to show all files here are the files that are on that partition:
RECYCLER (folder)
System Volume Information (folder)
boot.ini
NTDETECT.COM
ntldr

Thank you.
 
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Aug 1, 2003
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51,988
Do you see a copy of the page file on that drive? Even if not being used, the page file may have been detected by setup and then made the drive a "system" drive. Assign a page file to that drive explicitly, reboot, and then remove it, reboot.

If it doesn't disappear then remove it from a bootable medium while XP is not running.
 

TheManuel

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Nov 25, 2007
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Elvandil:

That was a clever idea and I tried it even though the old pagefile wasn't there anymore since I had re-formatted that partition during Windows setup but it did not work. Thank you for suggesting it.

I wonder if somehow Windows thinks this partition contains another operating system...
 

TheManuel

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Interesting...

When I run bootcfg, I get the following:

" Boot Loader Settings
--------------------

Boot Entries
------------
ERROR: Unable to reset file permissions of BOOT.INI file. "
 
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The page file will be hidden, so see if it is present on the drive. Unhide hidden files in Folder Options. If it is, remove it. Maybe the best way would be to repartition the drive from either a bootable XP CD with autofmt.exe on it or with another partitioner.

I don't see any reason why any boot files would have ended up on that drive, but look in the root, anyway. The presence of that page file or boot files are the only reasons that partition would be classified as "system".

XP Recovery Console CD Image with autofmt.exe for formatting
Recovery Console ISO Image (original)

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Spotmau Partition Genius
 

TheManuel

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Nov 25, 2007
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Yes. There is that boot.ini file I mentioned on the first post. That might be the culprit but is there a way to move it back to C:?
There is definitely no pagefile there anymore.
 
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Boot.ini is the only file there? What about ntldr and ntdetect.com? Where are they?

You probably should format that drive and disconnect it. Then use the Recovery Console, fixboot, bootcfg, and fixmbr to make the main drive bootable. Then, reconnect the other drive once the boot is all straightened out.
 

managed

Allan
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To see which Boot.ini file is actually being used try editing the one on your 'pagefile' partition, add this extra line as the last line as shown in bold below :-
-----
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect
-----
If this Boot.ini is being used you will see a boot menu with 2 choices and a 30 second countdown will run.

Does C also have Boot.ini NTDETECT.COM and ntldr files on it ?

A screen-shot of your Disk Management window might be helpful.
 

TheManuel

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
16
Thanks for all those answers.
I have either been sleeping or working since I last posted.

I will post a screen shot of the disk manager when I get home.

To answer some of the questions:
The partition with the problem is in the same physical hard drive as the Windows partition.
I formatted both paritions with the Windows XP setup program.
I think there is not a boot.ini in the main Windows partition.
I can try and merge both partitions using QParted (booting from a Linux disc) and then create the pertition again if that is likely to solve the problem.

Thanks.
 

TheManuel

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Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
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Well, GParted does not allow you to merge partitions so that did not work.
I also tried moving the files from the small partition to the Windows partition and got myself in trouble. Luckily, I have an old computer I was able to use to move the files back.

I attached a screenshot of my Disk Management console.

Any way to manipulate the boot setup so that the boot files reside in the main Windows partition?
 

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