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Overview: I use a backup storage enclosure with 6 backup drives incrementally backup up and taken off-site. One day I noticed that the backup process was failing. I logged onto the server that is connected to the drives. I then noticed that none of the backup drives were currently mapped when the next one numerically should have been.

At first I chalked it up to a simple mistake of not mapping the drive previously. However, when I had attempted to map the drive BAK6 I received an error of: "parameter incorrect". BAK6 also had a specific flag of "active" in it's Status" where all the others are simply "Primary Partition".

I was able to map the other drives fine so I mapped BAK1 to E. When I removed and re-added the drive physically it auto mapped E to BAK6 unmapping it from BAK1. Then, BAK1 could not be mapped giving the same error. I ended up restarting the server and things started working again but now BAK6 is still marked as active.

Question: How do I remove this flag of active from the drive?

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It really couldn't hurt to mention what OS you're dealing with. – John Gardeniers Jun 1 '11 at 22:06

1.) Start>Run..

2.) “CMD”

3.) “diskpart” to load up the utility

4.) “list disk” to list all the disks

5.) “Select disk X” where X is the desired disk

6.) “list partition” to list partitions on the selected disk

7.) “select partition X” where X is the desired partition that is currently marked active

8.) “inactive”

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Using Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 – swagner88 Jun 3 '11 at 20:42
This doesn't seem to work for UEFI. It says "The INACTIVE command can only be used on fixed MBR disk". How can we get it to work for UEFI? – Pacerier May 1 '15 at 16:10
  1. Windows +R
  2. Type "cmd"
  3. At the prompt type "diskpart"
  4. then after the ">" symbol type " list disk"

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt

Disk 0 Online 28 GB 1536 KB Disk 1 Online 233 GB 993 KB

5.Now select the disk which you want to make INACTIVE (For instance if i want to make my Disk 1 as active i.e where the OS is installed and REQUIRED to boot, i need to select the drive which i want to make INACTIVE. In my example DISK 0)

DISKPART> SELECT DISK 0 Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

  1. Type "list partition"

DISKPART> list partition

Partition ### Type Size Offset

Partition 1 Primary 28 GB 1024 KB

  1. Since there is a single partition on DISK 0, select it by issuing the command "select partition 1"

DISKPART> select partition 1

Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

8.Type "inactive" - this will make disk 0 partition 1 as inactive

============================= Explanation : This error crops up because you have been in Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management and selected more than 1 drive as ACTIVE together with the one which was already active- the one where your OS was .


***************IMPORTANT THING TO DO FIRST ********************** Also since you cant get your OS to boot you must specifically select the boot disk from where to boot. On my PC it was F12-> then i selected "hard disk" from where i had all my drives listed. From here you must select the drive where your OS was initially installed Finally run the command 1-8 above the disable the other drives as ACTIVE.

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For 2 drives with separate Windows Installations where one volume needs to be removed, and the OS is being stubborn this should work.

After setting the drive to inactive, if the drive is giving you trouble the MBR may need to be changed. If you are using GRUB or another bootloader this most likely will be destroyed.

  1. Run DISKPART elevated.
  3. Type SELECT VOLUME # (Desired Volume to Remove), this automatically selects the associated partition as well)
  4. Type INACTIVE
  5. Type SELECT VOLUME # (Desired Volume to Boot From)
  6. Type ACTIVE
  7. Type EXIT
  8. Run CMD Elevated
  9. Type BCDBOOT C:\windows /s C: [Replace C: and C:\Windows with desired booting drive and windows directory, add /f UEFI if using UEFI mode in BIOS)
  10. Type BOOTSECT /nt60 [/nt52 for Win7] ALL /force /mbr
  11. Restart the computer

Another thing I did in diskpart (Probably not mandatory, but I'll put this out here) was the following:

After I selected the partition to remove I did this (This might remove any system-based flags, but probably not needed): SETID DISK ID=01 OVERRIDE

Now the drive should be able to be deleted.

BE CAREFUL with this, you can destroy your system if this issue doesn't apply to what you are trying to fix.

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Although not listed in the document below, use the switch inactive. I can't be 100% sure that still works for 2008, but it does for XP/Server 2003. You could also use 3-rd party tools like Acronis Disk Director.

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Great! I was able to use diskpart to mark the partition as inactive. Just for future reference, here are the steps I took: – swagner88 Jun 3 '11 at 20:32
Start>Run.. “CMD” “diskpart” to load up the utility “list disk” to list all the disks “Select disk X” where X is the desired disk “list partition” to list partitions on the selected disk “select partition X” where X is the desired partition that is currently marked active “inactive” – swagner88 Jun 3 '11 at 20:37
Wow, apparently I need to ask how to format with line breaks on serverfault comments. – swagner88 Jun 3 '11 at 20:39

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