By Lily / Last Updated May 7, 2020

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The issue: active partition not found
How to fix active partition not found in Windows 10 efficiently?
Further reading: backup Windows in case that errors occur
To sum up

The issue: active partition not found

An active partition is a partition on a hard drive which is set as the bootable partition and contains the operating system. Only one partition on each hard drive can be set as an active partition or bootable partition. If there is a problem with the active partition, your computer won’t boot successfully. Active partition not found is a common issue reported by a lot of users. Here is a real case:

“I keep getting ‘Active partition not found’ error. It says press any key and then shows the message again. What do I do to fix it??”

Following are possible causes for the error of “Active partition not found! Press any key…”:

  • Windows installation hard drive is not detected by BIOS.

  • BIOS settings are set improperly.

  • System files are damaged or lost.

  • Windows boot files in system partition are no longer active…

Then, how to fix the boot partition not found error efficiently?

How to fix active partition not found in Windows 10 efficiently?

According to the causes, there are four effective solutions for your reference:

Solution 1: Check if the Windows installation hard drive is detected by BIOS
Solution 2: Set BIOS to default settings
Solution 3: Repair system files via Startup Repair
Solution 4: Set the system partition active

Solution 1: Check if the Windows installation hard drive is detected by BIOS

1. Restart the computer and continuously press a specific key to get into BIOS. The key to open BIOS can be listed on the first screen that appears, before the Windows logo shows up. It is likely to be Esc, Del, F2, F8, F10 or F12.

2. Find Primary IDE Master, Primary IDE Slave, Secondary IDE Master, and Secondary IDE Slave, which can be listed under the Advanced tab. Then, check if they are detected or not.

3. If they are shown as None/Not Detected, it means that the BIOS doesn’t detect the hard drive. You can select None/Not Detected to Auto and restart your computer to see if the error is fixed. If the system disk information is displayed after IDE Master/Slave, it means that the BIOS can detect the hard drive and you can try other solutions below.

Check in BIOS

Solution 2: Set BIOS to default settings

1. Restart your PC and enter BIOS as you do in Solution 1.

2. You might see a line at the bottom that says Setup DefaultsF9 on many PCs. Press this key and confirm with OK or Yes to restore the default BIOS settings.

Set BIOS Default Settings

Tips: On some machines, you may find the “default settings” option under the Security, Initialize, or Reset tab. Look for an option like Restore Factory Defaults or Reset All Settings.

3. Press F10 to Save and Exit. Restart your PC to see if the active partition not found error is fixed.

Solution 3: Repair system files via Startup Repair

1. Insert Windows 10 installation media and boot your computer from it.

2. Choose the correct time and keyboard type and click Next.

3. In the next screen, choose Repair your computer.

4. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair. Wait for the repair process to complete.

Startup Repair

Solution 4: Set the system partition active

1. Insert Windows 10 installation media and boot from it.

2. Navigate to Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

3. In Command Prompt, type following commands and press Enter after each:

  • diskpart

  • list disk

  • select disk 0 (replace 0 with your computer’s primary disk)

  • list partition

  • select partition 1 (replace 1 with the system partition’s number on your computer)

  • active

  • exit

4. Restart your computer to see if the problem is solved.

If all the solutions fail, you can try system restore Windows 10 from boot if you have created restore points before.

Further reading: backup Windows in case that errors occur

Apart from the active partition not found error, you may encounter other unexpected errors. System restore can be the last resort to fix your issues, so it’s necessary to backup Windows regularly. The best free backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, offers you all-around backup solutions:

▶ There are four types of backup available: System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, and File Backup. You can choose one type based on your needs.
▶ You can set your backup tasks to run automatically with the Schedule feature.
▶ You are allowed to do incremental and differential backups to improve the backup efficiency and save storage space.

All Windows PC operating systems including Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported. Just download this freeware to have a try.

Use two functions in AOMEI Backupper to protect your computer from now on:

1. Create bootable media to boot your computer in case of boot failure.

Create Bootable Media

2. Perform system backup when the computer is in good condition.

System Backup

To sum up

You can resort to the four solutions offered in this article to fix the issue of active partition not found in Windows 10. To get prepared for potential errors, you’d better backup Windows with AOMEI Backupper regularly. You can also use AOMEI Backupper as free PC clone software. Try it now to discover more!