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de-activate NTFS on Win XP?

Posted on 2004-04-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi

can I de-activate a HDD with winxp-ntfs on it, WITHOUT destroying the data 'thereon'??

Also, perhaps change it to a logical drive instead of the current primary??

This is because it's just used as a storage dump only.

many thanks.
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Question by:isetta345
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by:beaker67
ID: 10849869
What do you mean "de-activate"? Do you mean convert ntfs to FAT32 (which I believe can't be done)? Or just keep it as a data drive rather than the main Windows boot drive?
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by:isetta345
ID: 10849988
Hi

no I don't want to convert it to FAT.

I made a NTFS primary partition and set it to active [active as in a boot disk] but as I use it for storage only I wanted to change the active status to none active [as in non boot disk].

Is that clearer please?
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by:Timotheus1
ID: 10850190
Umm, are we talking about a drive that you want to install as a slave in another machine?

If the drive is question is installed in a slave, it doesn't matter that the partition is marked as active. that is just a flag placed in the partition table for one of the primary partitions, indicating which one contains the boot code.

Jsetta: Partition Magic can convert an NTFS drive to FAT32, but you lose certain information, (NTFS permissions, and some metadata.)

Fdisk can mark a different partition on the drive as active, (If there's another primary partition) but I don'y think It's possible to "Clear" the active flag.
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by:MTXperience
ID: 10850790
If your talking about a drive with multiple partitions (the NTFS one in question + whatever other ones), then I strongly recommend grabbing a copy of PowerQuests's Partition Magic.  It's not a free util, but I use it extensively professionally and fine it to be powerful and reliable.

If I understand your question correctly, you should be able to accomplish this using PartitionMagic.  Worse comes to worse, and if you have another HDD, you could copy the contents of your non-system partition to that spare drive, and use Partition Magic to move/re-size partitions as you please so your system partition is active (and near the front of the drive).
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by:isetta345
ID: 10851247
tim, mtx........

2 HDDs, 1 PC.

1 drive is primary active with O/S on it.

1 drive is primary active with stored data/files on it.(*)
I wanted to know if I could de-activate this drive (*) because I've read on here somewhere (?) that 2 active drives will conflict with each other and cause incompatability issues! However, you advise that this is not the case in your above post?

many thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:MTXperience
ID: 10851941
Ohh... if this is the case... then you can "de-activate" the the data drive without any concerns.  Just be sure you don't accidently mark it hidden as well.

De-activating the drive will have no impact on the drive's data.
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by:MTXperience
ID: 10851946
Additionally, since the data is on a second HDD... I see no need to switch it from a primary partition to a logical one, assuming of course that it's the only partition on that physical drive.
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by:Timotheus1
ID: 10851976
I've had as many as 6 hard drives that all had a primary partition that was marked as active in one system. never had a problem because the computer always booted to the same one.

Two partitions on one physical dist that are both marked active is a problem, but having one active partition on each physical drive is not.
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by:isetta345
ID: 10853336
tim, mtx........Sorry! - ADDENDUM:

there is only one [100%] primary partition on each of the two drives.

2 HDDs, 1 PC.

1 drive is primary active with O/S on it. It has one partition, taking 100% of the space.

1 drive is primary active with stored data/files on it.(*)  It has one partition, taking 100% of the space.

I wanted to know if I could de-activate this drive (*) because I've read on here somewhere (?) that 2 active drives will conflict with each other and cause incompatability issues! However, you advise that this is not the case in your above post?

many thanks! - HOPE THIS IS A LITTLE CLEARER NOW? RSVP..........
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by:Timotheus1
ID: 10866209
Like I said before. I've not had a problem having multiple drives with active partitions in the same computer. unless you are having problems I would suggest you leave things as they are.

only thing I can think of to eliminate that "Active partition would be to re-partition the drive, as one extended partition with one logical drive inside the extended partition, but that will erase all data contained on that drive.
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ampcats earned 500 total points
ID: 10867453
from   http://linux.org.mt/article/partnames

>MS-DOS and Windows use a special flag to indicate whether a primary partition is "active" or not. Active partitions can
>be booted from. Only primary partitions can be marked as active, and there can be only one active partition per hard
>disk. The "active" flag has no meaning for other operating systems.

http://www.ata-atapi.com/hiwtab.htm explains how partition table is laid out...

if you really want to disable the partition flag AFTER reading the above...

***** changes are YOUR own responsibility - i take no responsibility for your own actions*****
***** make a backup before you proceed!!! this is YOUR data - if you value it, BACKUP....*****

load up sector 1 of your drive into an editor..... http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~roadkil/sectedit.htm will do

open disk 'physical 1' -  at the right hand side of the center pane of the screen in the bottom line starting '1f0' is '55 aa' - these are signature bytes... you have the wrong sector if these are not here - do not proceed.... if you look 4 rows above the '55' (address '1be')you will see '80 01'....  

the '80' - bit 7 set - is what designates the drive as active (you did read the above article didn't you??)

if you want to, you can change that to a 00 (i.e not marked active) but there really is no point.


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