Solved diskmgmt no active or system flag

June 28, 2019 at 06:26:04
Specs: Windows 7, 8GB
I'm having a working configuration of Windows 7 with multiple disks, no dual boot or anything, and when I'm looking at my config in DISKMGMT.msc I'm not seeing the flags that are explained to be present in such a config.

For example, the "System" flag is missing, and also the "Active" flag is missing.

Normally my C: drive would have these flags. My question now is: why are they missing, and should they be set ?

<img> https://send.firefox.com/download/b... </img>

For information: I had my C and D drives switched in the past (they are similar disks), and recently I had a boot issue, after formatting my D: drive. I'm not even sure what I did to fix, but it involved Diskmgmt and MiniTool. I still have this idea something is wrong, maybe the above ?


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#1
June 28, 2019 at 07:15:09
✔ Best Answer
It's fine; you have an EFI System partition, which handles the role those flags did.

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#2
June 28, 2019 at 07:29:45
OK, got .. .One question : with EFI, should I have all disks to be GPT (not MBR) ?

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#3
June 28, 2019 at 10:31:19
It doesn't matter what you have for the data disks since you're not trying to boot off of them. Whatever you have for your boot disk (GPT presumably) seems to be working, so that's what you should go with. The only time data disks require GPT is when they hit 2TB.

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#4
June 29, 2019 at 02:32:33
These past days I've read some about the MBR/GPT thing and it indeed is mostly about booting, but there is impact for non-boot disks as well. MBR has more compatibility, be it with old-style BIOS systems (which is not what I have on this PC), or with Linux/whatever-non-or-old-Windows multi-booting (which I don't do either).

It is clearly stated GPT is "more secure", but the fine details I'm querying myself. And you can actually use 4+ partitions (without using trickery) on a GPT. And, drives/partitions with 2+ GB.

That last thing, will become an issue in some years, when SSD's get bigger. Currently my biggest SSD is 240 Gig only, but we'll see in some years.

It's not as much about MBR versus GPT, but more to be aware of what is happening. For example : if you format in Windows (using the GUI tool, or the command line) does that create MBR's or GPT's ?

And what mode does the Windows (7) installer format its C drive in, MBR or GPT ? I've come to the conclusion he chooses that on your decision to boot from a MBR or GPT device, and your BIOS mode chosen.


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#5
June 29, 2019 at 20:46:50
I believe Windows 10 defaults to GPT and W7 defaults to MBR unless it detects a larger drive. If you are installing from an install Disk you go to Custom/Partition-Format and manually choose the type you want or need. Your BIOS mode is chosen by you when you first boot up before installing your hard drive/SSD drive and correct the default settings to your specific hardware and set up requirements and set the date and time.

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#6
June 30, 2019 at 19:08:05
Before we go any further we need to get the terminology down. Hard disks are initialized with a partition list standard (MBR vs GPT). This list is populated when the drive is divided up into partitions. Partitions are formatted with a file system (FAT vs NTFS in Windows). These file systems are mounted as volumes, and these volumes with recognized file systems are what receive drive letters.

The security GPT enjoys is a backup copy of the partition table and a CRC32 checksum, so the security is less protection from malice as much as it's protection from a bit randomly swapping.

As for defaults, I'm pretty sure Fingers is correct. The installer will pick MBR if it detects a BIOS boot, or GPT if it detects UEFI. As for initializing data disks in the OS itself, Win7's GUI defaults to MBR. Win10's GUI defaults to GPT. DISKPART (assumed to be the command line tool you're asking about) doesn't offer a default. Initialize-Disk (Win10 only) defaults to GPT.

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#7
July 3, 2019 at 07:21:48
I think that sums it up nicely, but I was wondering how I end up with an MBR disk (that used to be a boot disk) on my computer on which I think it is UEFI all along.

But then I got to think : I used to re-install Windows (7) from my DVD drive. Now, I had (and still have) weird issues just trying to boot from a DVD (which should be easy), and I remember this involved UEFI mode at some point.

Somewhere I read the installer booting media also influences the resulting type of the system drive. Because if you set your BIOS to UEFI mode, it can actually handle Legacy BIOS and UEFI, and if you happen to boot with ... something Legacy, that would result in ... MBR. I guess.

I also understood the "security" aspect of GPT to be like : when things go wrong in that area, GPT offers much more chance of corruption recovery, compared to MBR.

message edited by Looge


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#8
July 3, 2019 at 16:28:01
I have installed Windows 7 from original OEM DVD disks with UEFI BIOS to GPT hard drive and SSD drives, later to clone it over to PCIe NVMe SSD drive after tweaking the install to be bootable off the PCIe (both for Windows 7 and Z98 chipset's requirements). The SATA DVD drive as the source was not an issue installing to the GPT disk.
And for those interested:
https://www.computing.net/howtos/sh...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
July 4, 2019 at 00:34:04
Thanks for that info Fingers. I never really looked at the MBR / GPT thing, I find it a bit of a shame Windows does a bad job reporting on it, but I also got to figure out Microsoft itself is not the biggest fan of UEFI standards. The way I see it, they had to support it against their way of thinking. Inside the Diskmgmt tool, for such an important aspect, it's hidden pretty well.

The Diskpart tool does a better job at this, and it is with this tool I actually made my D: drive inactive, because Diskpart was still listing my GTP D: drive as being "Active". In the start of this thread, I stated my Active and System flag missing, but Diskpart did state at least one drive having such an Active flag.

Nothing happened (I mean, nothing stopped working), but my D: drive is "Inactive" now. Note it was converted to GPT before that.

You would think that formatting and converting to GPT would remove such a flag, well it didn't for my case. So I think I can finally say my D: drive is no longer a bootable drive anymore ...


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