active partition

Definition of active partition in The Network Encyclopedia.

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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