Windows cannot delete active system partition on this disk

Okay, here is the skinny.

1. Some time ago, I set up a dual boot system, adding Win8 to my Win7 set up.
2. Anticipating Win10, I decided to remove Win8 using guidance from "How to Geek" and EasyBCD:
3. All went well until I tried to delete the volume holding Win8, whereupon I received this notice: "Windows cannot delete active system partition on this disk."
4. I've looked elsewhere for help with this problem. One person suggested I swap HDD cables, but I'm reluctant to do that and think there must be another way of dealing with this.
5. Copy of partition table attached. Capture5.JPG
Last edited:


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
When you added 8.1, it took control of the boot (older Windows cannot boot newer - invalid digital signature) so all of your boot files are on the E drive (that's what "system" indicates).
The "System Reserved" partition would seem to indicate that the original W7 boot files are still present.
Have you tried overriding the BIOS at power up and selecting the G/C HDD ?
If that works, you'll find that the "system" flag will appear on G instead of E, releasing the W8 HDD for reformatting.
If it doesn't, you can copy the boot files to G and then do the same.
Thank you for responding to my inquiry. It's unusual for me to tinker with my HDDs so it's always an anxiety-producing adventure. Your guidance proved most helpful, and all is well at this time!