active partition

Definition of active partition in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Active Partition?

The partition that contains the boot files for the operating system you want to run, that is, the partition from which the computer starts up. On a computer running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows NT that is based on the x86 family of CPUs (an x86-based computer), the active partition must be a primary partition. In addition, on a computer running Windows 2000, the active partition must be on a basic disk.

Alpha-based computers have no active partitions; these are configured by the manufacturer-supplied configuration program.

Depending on your platform, you can use any of the following tools to make a partition active:

  • The fdisk utility from the command prompt for MS-DOS and Windows 95 or Windows 98 platforms
  • The Disk Administrator administrative tool in Windows NT
  • The Computer Management administrative console in Windows 2000
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