XP: Booting up: Primary and Logical partions

In Windows XP the system or boot partition must be a primary partition that is marked active.

When XP is on a logical drive, where does the system look for ntldr; boot.ini. ntdetect.com?

I think it may be on any primary drive marked as active that has XP, but boot.ini must point to the logical drive. Correct?

Mak 2.0

Staff member
The System and Boot should be the same drive. Unless you installed XP after another version of Windows or Linux and it is not the first OS on the system.

If you use a Logical Drive then it will place the boot information on the boot drive. That should be the first partition of the first drive where the MBR (Master Boot Record) is located.


Telephone Sanitizer (2nd Class)
Staff member
The MBR locates the "active" primary and executes the code in the boot sector of that partition. The rest of the XP boot files will be there and the boot.ini will point to the logical drive containing the XP Windows folder with the parameter rdisk(n), where n is the HDD number (counting the active boot drive as as 0) and partition(m) where m is the position in the partition table of the MBR on that HDD.
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