|Of course it wont boot if you have no operating system installed. If you have no operating system installed whether it is active or inactive is irrelevant. |
Installing an operating system makes the relevant partition active.
Actually the concept of active and inactive partitions doesn't really apply anymore. It is a throwback from DOS where you could only have one active primary partition on a physical drive. Inactive primary partitions were invisible and if you wanted more partitions you had to use extended partitions. These days you can have four primary partitions and all of them active.