What are the system and boot partitions?

A. Windows uses a system partition and a boot partition during start-up. The system partition contains core files (i.e., NTLDR, boot.ini, ntdetect.com) that the OS requires for the first stage of system start-up. The system partition is always partition 0 (active), which is typically the C drive. The boot partition contains the OS files, which are typically located in the \winnt folder, the \windows folder, and the \system32 subfolder. On a dynamic disk, the system and boot partitions are known as the system and boot volumes.

The system and boot partitions or volumes can be the same partition, but they don't have to be. There can be only one system partition. However, you can have multiple boot partitions in a multiboot environment--one boot partition for each OS you install on the system.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.