System partition and boot partition

System Partition And Boot Partition

System partition and boot partition

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In Microsoft Windows, the system partition and boot partition refer to:



  • The boot partition is the disk partition that contains the Windows operating system files and its support files, but not any files responsible for booting.


The system partition can be different from the boot partition, although they are often on the same partition (drive C:). Windows setup places the initial system partition based on motherboard BIOS settings. Bitlocker requires a separate, unencrypted system partition for booting.

The master boot record is located at physical sector 0, just before the partition table, and is therefore not contained inside any of the logical partitions or volumes.

Despite of Microsoft's idiosyncratic terminology it is possible to mark the boot partition as active and boot into it, if the partition is a primary partition, and the required files such as NTLDR and <tt>boot.ini</tt> for Windows XP or older Windows NT platforms exist on it. In a dual-boot scenario the system partition could be formatted with a FAT16 file system and contain an MS DOS operating system and a Recovery Console. The old...
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