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Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to repost this question to continue my previous post:

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f10/how-to-make-xp-partition-bootable-548841.html

note: i did follow spunk funk directions but they were not what I needed.

and I also wanted to report how I was able to resolve my problem

problem

I have 1 disk (1 hd), hd 0, and I ended up having 2 partitions in there: c and d

c is where my windows folder is (this is what ms calls my boot partition... I know.. it should be called something else... that was my mistake on my previous post)

d is where my ntldr, boot.ini and ntdetect files were (I'm not sure how they got there but there they were), this is what ms calls the system partition.

issue: I wanted to have only one partition that would act as my boot and and system partition... just for kicks and consistency.

I tried to move the files on d to c and tried to make c as my active partition this did not work, I tried mbrfix and bootfix... did not work.

what did work comes next.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: how to make an xp partition bootable (continuation and resolution)

this is how I resolve my issue (I hope this can help some in the future)

but first of all I wanted to thank spunk.funk's input as this allowed me to see a bit further (looking at diskpart made it very clear).. Thank you so much for that!!!

2nd of all and very important advice: do a back up of your hd... I used clonezilla (free download)... if I hadn't done the back up I would've lost everything because I tried a few things that did not work and got my machine all screwed up MORE THAN ONCE so it was good to be able to go back and start from the beginning.. so clone your hd first

resolution

1. as spunk.funk suggested I checked with diskpart my partitions
diskpart > list disk 0 (I only have one disk)
diskpart> list partition
I found that I had one basic, one logical and one extended partition
***?? it turns out that my boot partition (the one with my windows folder) was in the extendeded/logical partition... ohhh (that's why when I made that partition active with gpart (from knopixx) I was not able to boot at all. my system partition (d) the one that was corrently active, was my only basic partition.. that's why that partition boot up correctly, my d drive was my system drive.

2. I proceeded to make a copy of my boot partition (c drive) to another a basic partition. I used partition master (free download) to resize my d drive (the one almost empty holding my boot/system critical files, ntldr, boot, ntdetect) and then I created a basic partition (called R) big enough to hold the contents of my c drive. I could've used linux to dump the files from c to r but I used again partition master which created the partition and makd a replica of c in r, this time r will be a basic partiton which is what I needed to be able to make it active and boot from it.

3. after r had my windows folder and all contents of c I put my boot files from d into r and repointed my boot.ini file to boot from my new basic partition holding my system and windows files. (I had to play around with my boot.ini file as I was not sure what partition number to use... but this playing around was something knopix live cd helped me with as I had to try and err a couple of times)

4. when I finally got my r partition to boot and deleted my d partition, the machine boot from R but my windows was not all there yet... some errors came up and applications would hang.. I figured the issue now had to do with my system letter ( I was left with r and c partitions) and my system and boot partition was R now, the problem was to make my r partition my new c partition. I googled how to change the system drive letter and came up with this article
How to restore the system/boot drive letter in Windows

5. I proceed to change my r partition and turn it into c with the kb above. (I did have to change my previous c partition to another letter and I also had to change my page file to point to another partition while I did this since it was residing on my old c partition... so it was good that I did not delete my old c partition until this was accomplished).. a reboot was required after I change the system drive letter in the registry.

6. after I reboot.. all was fine.. I had a system(boot) drive on my new C partition. all was left to do was to get rid of my old c partition (which had been renamed to T) and with the help of partition master I move my new c partition to the beginning of the disk. (which is what I wanted), a reboot was required, partition master did its thing.. and the final result is a boot/system/active drive C at the beginning of my disk, no other drives.. all working as it should

It took a couple of days of trial an error... I learned a lot which is awesome.. about 8 hours in total.

conclusion
1. do a back up of your entire working hd before you go any further messing around with system and boot files.
2. boot partition: where windows folder resides. can be located in a basic or extended/logical partition. (I know it's counter-intuitive)
3. system partition: where ntldr, ntdetect and boot.ini file reside.. It needs to be on a basic partition so you can make this partition active and boot from it.. boot.ini needs can point to the same partition (if the same partition holds your windows folder) or to another partition (where ever you put the windows folder on)

this thread can be close now

thank you!
 

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I am glad that some information I gave you helped you find a solution, though I didn't solve your problem. Anyways, your welcome!
 
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