There are generally two types of partition: System partition and boot partition. When you install an operating system on your computer, the disk and only the one from which your device boots will be defined as the system partition. However, you may choose to have the boot partition on the same or another disk.
What Is a System Partition?
When creating a partition, you can define it as the system partition, boot partition, or both. The files you need to boot your computer, such as Ntldr, Boot.ini, Ntdetect.com, bootmgr, BCD, etc., will be stored on the system partition (also known as system volume).
Your computer uses these files when you power up or restart it. Since the system partition locates in the disk where your operating system is installed - typically drive C, one disk can only host one system partition. Notice that this partition cannot be formatted under Windows.
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The Difference between System Partition and Boot Partition
On the other hand, we can define a boot partition as the volume of your computer. It includes the files that are used to start your operating system. Learn more about boot partition.
The system volume contains the boot files, so they are first accessed, and your computer gets started. However, the system files are located on the boot partition, and your operating system begins working after accessing them. Thus, your computer first accesses the boot files and then the system files located on the system partition and boot partition, respectively.
Note: You can have the system and boot partitions as separate partitions on a single device or on distinct volumes.
Common System Partition Problems and How to Fix
System partition problems may have two common causes: Drive failures or other related issues. Here, we introduce the following troubles with system partition:
- Failure to access the system partition
- Crashed system partition
If the system fails to access the system partition: This problem can happen if access to the system partition fails on one or more drives. In this case, you will receive the following message on the Overview page:
"Failed to access the system partition. Please repair it by clicking the following link. "
You also find that the allocations' status of drives on the HDD/SDD page has changed to System Partition Failed.
If the system partition crashes: In this case, you can access none of your drives and encounter the following message on the Overview page:
"System partition has crashed. Please back up the data and replace the damaged disks as soon as possible. Then reinstall the system with Synology Assistant."
You will also find an identical status change for all your drives on the HDD/SDD page.
On the other hand, it can have several reasons if your computer has faced a boot partition problem. Every computer device goes through some phases to get started, so your computer may get stuck in any step. For example, we can name the following phases:
- Windows Boot Manager
- Windows OS Loader
- Windows NT OS Kernel
If you want to troubleshoot the problem, you should first determine the step in which it has occurred. Then, get the fixes in this page.
How to Hide System Partition
You can hide your system partition with Group Policy Editor. It can be easily performed in a few steps. If you want to do so, complete the following steps:
- Open the Run window, type gpedit.msx, and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
- Follow the these steps: Open User Configuration > Administrative > Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer.
- Find and double-click on the Hide These Specified Drives in My Computer.
- Select the option Enabled.
- Choose the option that the user wants.
- Go for Apply.
Now you have the system partition hidden.
Bonus-Tip: How to Recover a Deleted or Lost Partition
For Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11
For macOS X 10.10 - macOS 13
We reviewed the system partition and boot partition in this blog post. These are the general sorts of partitions that users usually get in trouble with. However, you can now create a new one by following what you have learned if you need to. Of course, you may want to have your partitions on different disks. It is possible, but you may ask how to do it? Let's figure it out by researching more!