This article was previously published under Q100525
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314470.
The names commonly used for the partitions containing Windows startup and operating system filesare for the system and boot partitions, respectively.
The system partition refers to the disk volume containing hardwarespecific files needed to boot Windows (NTLDR, BOOT.INI, and so on).On Intel x86-based machines, it must be a primary partition that hasbeen marked active. On x86 machines, this is always drive 0, the drivethe system BIOS searches during system boot for the operating system.
The boot partition contains the Windows operating system files(usually \WINNT) and it support files (usually \WINNT\SYSTEM32). Itcan be the same partition as the system partition.