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What is the difference between a boot partition and system partition?

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Answered 2010-12-06 14:05:34

Boot partition = Boot files

System partition =System files

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The system partition is the active partition of the hard drive and it contains the OS boot record. The boot partition is the partition where the Windows operating system is stored.


Most operating systems uses the boot partition to boot the computer. In some operating systems, both the system partition and the boot partition are used to boot up the system.


On MS platforms, the system partition is used to hold the boot files. The boot partition holds all the windows operating system files. Leave it to Microsuck to mis-lable the partition hiearchy. The system partition holds what is loaded and executed first after the computer runs through its preliminary BIOS boot sequence. It tells the computer where to start loading the operating system from; the boot partition. The boot partition is where all the program files (thousands of them) needed by the operating system are stored. If the system partition is deleted; the computer will not find the operating system. If the boot partition is deleted, again; the computer will not find the operating system.


/boot is where the Linux kernel images, as well as parts of the bootloader are stored. The "root" is simply the uppermost directory in a Unix/Linux file system. Any directory that is not given it's own partition will be placed as a subdirectory in the file system on the "root" partition. Assuming you gave a partition to /etc, /bin, /boot, /usr, and so on, you wouldn't need a "root" partition at all.


First of all boot partition must be active by default or your system will not boot. Second, there is not such thing as a system partition. There is a system disk which is usually located on boot partition. If you are asking about whether you can change size of boot partition in cost of another partition the answer is yes. The best way to do that is to use one utilities designed for such purposes, for instance, Acronis Disk Director.



boot partitionThe boot partition is the disk partition that contains the Windows operating system files and its support files, but not any files responsible for booting.


Information for BIOS: the active partition is the partition from which an operating system (or another boot-loader) should be boot-loaded.



the BootMgr file and the BCD file are stored in the system partition


In a Windws PC, a sysem partition contains hardware level details of the hard disk and other partitions. It contains files that tell the Bios where to look for the boot loader, hence all disks must always have a system partition.A boot partition is any bootable partition in your hard drive that contains an Operating system or a bootable utility.The active Prtition in your case is the partition that contains the boot loader (Most cases the partition that contains the first installation of windows) inyour case windows 2000.This s also the System Partition not the boot partition


Most of the time the boot partition and the system partition are the same partition on the drive C.


The active partition is the partition which is marked as Active in Index table. the status and locations of partitions are stored in MBR(master boot record). The active status tells the system which partition to boot from. System boots from the partition which contains the Operating System(windows XP, 2003.....). So the partition which contains the Operating System is Active partition and it is the Primary partition. So we can call the active partition as Bootable Partition or Primary Partition.


This is dependent on your OS. Windows: 'C:\, C:\system' *nix:; /, /bin, /root, or /boot Mac: ?dont know? Usually this will be in the first physical partition(boot partition).


What is the difference between a hard boot and a soft boot?A Hard Boot is performed by manually pressing the Power-On button.A Soft Boot is another name for a reboot, which is performed via the Operating System.


A hard boot, or cold boot, involves turning on the power with the on/off switch, A soft boot, or warm boot, involves using the operating system to reboot.


Yes, you can. But you have to be careful and make sure that boot files are on another partition.


partition the drive to allow space for both OS'es. Install both. Then at boot time press f12 and select the system you want to boot.


The first sector of a floppy disk or logical drive in a partition; it contains information about the disk or logical drive. On a hard drive, if the boot sector is the active partition, then it is used to boot the OS (Operating System; i.g Windows Vista is an OS). Boot sector is also called the boot record.


The second operating system should be on a different partition or disk. If you format the partition/disk that the unwanted operating system is on, the machine will have no choice but to boot to the remaining operating system.



The MBR can point to any physical partition on the drive. It may even be able to point to any logical partition. It's usually best to have it point to the partition with the stage 2 bootloader, however, otherwise the system won't boot.


This is most often the system partition, or the "C" drive, alternatives include the optical drive if you select that drive, or the floppy disk drive ("A" Drive) on older computers.


The BIOS, having completed its functions, loads the boot code in the master boot record and transfers control to it. The master boot record code begins execution. If the boot device is a floppy disk, the process continues with step 6.The master boot code examines the master partition table. It is searching for two things. First, it must determine if there is an extended DOS partition. Second, it must determine if there is a bootable partition specified in the partition table.If the master boot code finds an extended partition on the disk, it loads the extended partition table that describes the first logical volume in the extended partition. This extended partition table is examined to see if it points to another extended partition table. If it does, then that table contains information about the second logical volume in the extended partition, so it is loaded and examined. (Recall that logical volumes in the extended partition have their extended partition table chained one to the next.) This process is continued until all of the extended partitions have been loaded and recognized by the system.After loading the extended partition information (if any), the code attempts to boot the primary partition that is marked active (bootable). If there are no partitions marked active, then the boot process will terminate with an error. The error message is often the same one that occurs if the BIOS finds no boot device, and is generally something like "No boot device", but can be the infamous "NO ROM BASIC - SYSTEM HALTED".If there is a primary partition marked active, the code will boot it. The rest of the steps assume this is a DOS primary partition.The volume boot sector is loaded into memory and tested, and the boot code that it contains is given control of the remainder of the boot process.The volume boot code examines the structures on the disk that it is booting to ensure that everything is correct and in the right place. If not, the boot process will end in an error here as well.The code searches the root directory of the device being booted for the operating system files that contain the operating system. For a system running MS-DOS these are the files "IO.SYS", "MSDOS.SYS" and "COMMAND.COM".If the operating system files are not found, the boot program will display an error message, which is usually something like "Non-system disk or disk error - Replace and press any key when ready". Some people think that this message means the system was never booted, that the BIOS examined the floppy disk for example and just rejected it because it couldn't boot it. As you can see from this description of the boot process, the volume boot code was indeed loaded and executed, and in fact it is what prints the message when it can't find the operating system files! See here for an explanation of why this distinction is so important.If the operating system files are found, the boot program will load them into memory and transfer control to them. First, IO.SYS is loaded and its code executed. IO.SYS will then executed MSDOS.SYS (in pure DOS systems, MSDOS.SYS is just a text file in Windows 95 and later.) Then the more complete operating system code loads and initializes the rest of the operating system structures. For MS-DOS, this means loading the command interpreter (COMMAND.COM) and then reading and interpreting the contents of the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT system control files.


Answer: Do you mean you want to restore an OS which was overwritten by another? You can't. Once all of the important files have been overwritten, there's nothing much you can do except reinstall the original operating system from scratch.Answer: A typical hard disk can only have one partition set to be the active boot partition, even though there may be boot programs on more than one partition.Sometimes during installation of an OS, the boot location is changed to the new partition/OS bootstrap program. This leaves the previous partition/OS bootstrap program inaccessible. This may be corrected by configuring a Dual-boot option in the new bootstrap program to reach both OS.You may be able to alter the active boot partition to reach the original bootstrap program, and add a dual-boot option to the original bootstrap program to reach both OS. I can recommend using the free/open software gPartEd to change this boot partition and SuperGrub to modify a GNU/Linux boot program.



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