On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 19:17:25 -0800 (PST), email@example.com
>I had an issue with one of my disk drives this past weekend and ended
>up re-installing Vista. My system has two drives; one that I use as
>the system drive and the other is used for data backup. Well the re-
>install went fairly well but when I tried to do a complete image
>backup my data drive today, the one that has the drive letter D: ...
>My question: is there a way to make the C: drive the system partition
>withput a complete reinstallation?
The first thing to make clear is that Microsoft decided to call
the partition that has the boot files and from which the
computer's BIOS starts to boot, "system partition". The
partition that has the Windows system files they call "boot
partition". You have to mentally swap those two to make them
In Windows XP, making a partition bootable used to be very
simple. The partition from which you initially boot has to have:
1. A suitable master boot record. (Actually that's on the hard
disk, not the partition. Safest way to put it in place is to
install Windows on the drive.)
2. The boot files, boot.ini, ntdetect.com, ntldr, and possibly a
3. The partition has to be set active.
When these three conditions are met, the computer will happily
boot from that drive, even if it is just a diskette. I always
keep such a Windows XP boot diskette nearby, just in case the
boot stuff gets clobbered on the hard disk.
See also http://winhlp.com/node/68
for info on boot diskettes.
I don't have complete experience with Vista yet, so please chime
in, anyone, to confirm or deny that this is still valid for
No mail, please.