This article shows how to setup your primary partition as active using the diskpart utility.

This how-to article applies for any of the following Windows versions: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1

The following instructions are done through Command Prompt, which you can use if you can’t boot into Windows to set the partition as active.

However, you can use Disk Management if you can boot into Windows and do the necessary changes to your partition:

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click System and Security
  4. Click Administrative Tools
  5. Double-click Computer Management
  6. Click Disk Management under the Storage tab from the left
    Select Disk Management from Storage

    Select Disk Management from Storage

  7. Right-click on the partition you want to set as partition and click Mark Partition as Active
  8. Click Yes

Use diskpart from Easy Recovery Essentials

You can use Command Prompt from Easy Recovery Essentials and run the diskpart utility to make the necessary modifications to a partition:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot Easy Recovery Essentials from the CD, DVD or USB
  4. Select Launch Command Line

    Easy Recovery Essentials screenshot

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

Set partition as active on Windows XP

In order to use diskpart and set your computer’s primary partition as active again, use your Windows XP installation disc to start Recovery Console.

If you don’t the original Windows XP CD, go to Use diskpart from Easy Recovery Essentials.

  1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD
  2. Restart the computer
  3. Press any key at the “Press any key” screen
  4. Press R at the Welcome to Setup screen
    Windows XP Press R for Recovery Console

    Windows XP Press R for Recovery Console

  5. Type 1 to log into your Windows Installation and press Enter
    Recovery Console on Windows XP

    Recovery Console on Windows XP

  6. After Recovery Console logged into the Windows Installation, type diskpart. Hit Enter to load the diskpart utility.
  7. Type list partition, press Enter
  8. Type select partition X, where X is your partition
  9. Press Enter
  10. Type active and press Enter
  11. Restart your computer

Set partition as active on Windows Vista

Marking a partition as active on Windows Vista systems follows the same steps as the steps for Windows 7 or Windows 8.

You need to use the original disc (Windows Vista install DVD) to access Command Prompt and run diskpart.

If you don’t the original Windows Vista DVD, go to Use diskpart from Easy Recovery Essentials.

  1. Insert the installation DVD and boot from it (press any key at the “Press any key” screen)
  2. Select the language and keyboard method and click Next
    Windows Vista Repair Your Computer Menu

    Windows Vista Repair Your Computer Menu

  3. Click Repair your computer
    Windows Vista System Recovery Options

    Windows Vista System Recovery Options

  4. Click Command Prompt
  5. Once Command Prompt has loaded, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk 0

    Where 0 is the disk listed by the list disk command.

  6. Type:
    list partition
  7. Press Enter
  8. Type:
    select partition 1

    Where 1 is your partition.

  9. Press Enter
  10. Type:
    active
  11. Press Enter

Set partition as active on Windows 7

To set the primary partition to be active on your Windows 7 computer, follow these steps:

If you don’t the original Windows 7 DVD, go to Use diskpart from Easy Recovery Essentials.

  1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD
  2. Restart your computer
  3. Press any key to boot from the DVD
  4. At the Install Windows screen, either click Next and then Repair your computer or press the Shift and F10 keys to open Command Prompt.
    Windows 7 System Recovery Options Screen

    Windows 7 System Recovery Options Screen

  5. Once in Command Prompt, type these commands and press Enter after each:
    diskpart
    list disk
  6. Type select disk 0, where 0 is your computer’s disk that has the partition.
  7. Press Enter
  8. Type list partition to have diskpart list all partition on the select disk and hit Enter to run the command
  9. Type select partition 1, where 1 is the number of the partition you want to set as active. Press Enter
  10. Type active to mark the partition as active. Press Enter
  11. Your partition is now active. Type exit, hit Enter and restart your computer.

Set partition as active on Windows 8

To set a primary partition as active on a Windows 8 system, follow these steps:

If you don’t the original Windows 8 DVD/USB, go to Use diskpart from Easy Recovery Essentials.

  1. Insert the Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 USB and boot form the media
  2. Click Repair your computer
    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

  3. Click Troubleshoot
  4. Click Command Prompt
  5. When at Command Prompt, type these commands:
    diskpart
    list disk
  6. Type select disk 0, replace 0 with your computer’s primary disk
  7. Type list partition
  8. Type select partition 1, replace 1 with the partition’s letter that you want to set as active
  9. Type active
  10. Type exit
  11. You can restart your computer now

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)

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