Cannot Remove False System Partition Using Disk Management

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Article ID: 245799 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q245799
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SYMPTOMS

When you view partitions in the Disk Management tool, 2 separate volumes (such as drive C and D) may be listed as the "system" partition. Your original dynamic system disk may be listed as "Missing" - "Offline", and you may be unable to delete this "fake" system volume. If you try to delete the false system volume, you may receive the following error message:
Cannot delete the system volume on this disk.
If you try to remove the system volume status by re-formatting that partition, you may receive the following warning message:
This volume is no longer the current system volume. All data on this volume will be lost. Are you sure you want to format this volume ?
If you then click Yes to permit the format process to continue, it does not remove the false system volume status and you may still be unable to delete the volume.

CAUSE

This problem can occur for any of the following reasons:
  • After manually breaking a "system" partition mirror on a dynamic disk, the shadow drive erroneously remains flagged as a system partition in the LDM private region database.
  • The system partition was originally located on a dynamic disk and was mirrored using Windows 2000 mirroring to another dynamic disk. If the mirror fails for any reason, and both halves becomes unbootable, you may be forced to re-install Windows 2000 from scratch. Doing so creates a new system volume, but the surviving dynamic disk database still has references to the original system volume partition. This creates a condition of having two different "system" partitions on separate drives.
  • A dynamic disk set that contained a "system" partition was imported into the current system. The dynamic disk set imported still has the system partition flagged in the LDM private region database.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows 2000. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
260910 How to Obtain the Latest Windows 2000 Service Pack
To work around this issue:
  1. Because Disk Management won't permit you to delete the "false" system partition, backup all data located on any other volumes contained on that disk.
  2. Manually delete all the partitions using the Recovery Console diskpart command to permit the "raw" drive to be re-partitioned and the data restored from your backup. For additional information about how to do so, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    229716 Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
    227364 Dynamic Volumes Are Not Displayed Accurately in Text-Mode Setup
NOTE: After deleting the physical partitions on the Dynamic disk and rebooting, You will still have a Dynamic "System" disk listed as "Missing" - "Offline". This is because all remaining Dynamic disks still have records in their databases describing the missing disk. You will not be able to delete this "phantom" disk, however it will not cause any harm.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 1.

MORE INFORMATION

Before deciding to re-install Windows 2000 after a disk mirror failure, try using emergency repair procedures, a fault tolerant boot diskette, or the Recovery Console to make either half of the failed mirror bootable. Once you have a bootable system partition, you can resync or re-establish the mirror. Note that this will prevent the problem described in this article from occurring.

Properties

Article ID: 245799 - Last Review: February 28, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Keywords: 
kbbug kbfix kbui kbwin2000sp1fix KB245799

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