Definition of System and Boot Partition

The names commonly used for the partitions containing Windows startup and operating system files are for the system and boot partitions, respectively.


System Partition
The system partition refers to the disk volume containing hardware specific files needed to boot Windows (NTLDR, BOOT.INI, and so on). On Intel x86-based machines, it must be a primary partition that has been marked active. On x86 machines, this is always drive 0, the drive the system BIOS searches during system boot for the operating system.

Boot Partition
The boot partition contains the Windows operating system files (usually \WINNT) and it support files (usually \WINNT\SYSTEM32). It can be the same partition as the system partition.


? Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
? Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
? Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
? Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
? Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
? Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
? Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
? Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
? Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
? Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
? Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
? Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
? Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1