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Windows 7 "System Reserved" 100mb Issue.

    Question

  • I currently have Windows 7 x64 Ultimate RTM installed on an i7 platform.  I recently purchased 3 new drives to run in raid 5 but the issue is that I need to remove an older drive to make room for them on the motherboard.  Said drive is not the C: drive but apparently Windows thought is wise to put the 100MB "system reserved" partition on it.  If I remove the drive, even though the "boot" drive is still intact the system won't boot.  I would rather not do a re-format and none of the information I have found provides a solution to this specific problem. 

    All available solutions seem to suggest "upon installation you can do this or that".
    One source says once everything is installed you can remove "system reserved" while in disk management.  I do not believe this is true as I have tried many times to do so within the OS.  I loath the idea of doing it from a command prompt or dos environment as if removing the drive with said partition won't allow me to boot, manually hacking it off I suspect will result in the same issue.  I currently have 6 SATA slots and 7 drives.  I was sure to put the OS on the NON-to-be-replaced drive however Windows chose to move this phantom 100mb that I cannot seem to move or delete from within the windows environment to the "orphan drive".

    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/GettingReadyforWindows7/thread/656014d2-a516-46e6-a841-d0f9333ecb48

    and

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/51442b60-c2dc-457d-92a7-a49cbbcbbf2f

    as well as

    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/08/20/hack-to-remove-100-mb-system-reserved-partition-when-installing-windows-7/

    all address the "system reserved" file but not this particular issue.  The one statement;

    "For Windows 7 users who do not intend to use BitLocker, the 100 MB partition can be removed subsequently and easily in Disk Management, the built-in partition manager of Windows 7. However, users can stop and prevent the 100MB partition from been created in the first place during installation of Windows 7, via several workarounds and tricks or hacks. These hacks have slightly different from trick used to remove 200 MB partition in Windows 7 RC or Beta.
    "

    Is simply not true.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    I am looking for a solution that will allow me to remove the drive that has the "system reserved" partition on it.  The Main boot disk is on another drive and I don't mind moving instead of deleting the "system reserved" partition.  I am looking to avoid a reformat.

    Thanks : - )
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:31 PM

Answers

  • I was able to delete my 100mb partition:

    just boot your pc with your windvd, go to repair your system & choose a command prompt.  There use diskpart to remove the partition with the override setting.

    Then your win7 won't boot as Carey said ;) (just tested it :p)

    but when i boot again using the dvd & choose boot recovery (or whatever it is in english) windows boots once again as before!
    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:25 PM
  • The 100MB partition contains the boot files for Windows 7 Ultimate edition.  You cannot remove that partition once it is created and expect Windows 7 to boot-up.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Hamakua Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:37 PM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:06 PM
  • Yes I also ran into that same issue when looking at building new sysprepped images for Windows 7.  You can remove the 100MB partition.  Instructions below are how to avoid that hidden partition 100MB when installing.

    1. Insert your Windows 7 disc/Flash stick and boot to your install.
    2. When you are at the first window, hit the "Repair" link at the bottom left.
    3. Continue through menu to the "Command Prompt Window"
    4. Then input the following commands:
      diskpart
      list disk
      select disk 0 (assuming your main HD is disk 0)
      clean
      create partition primary
      select partition 1
      format fs=ntfs quick
      assign
      exit
      exit
      That will format your hard drive as NTFS without the 100MB partition.
    5. Then go back to the install window as you would do normally and when it comes to the window where it asks you to format hard drive don't push anything just select your hard drive and click next.  (Diskpart already formatted your hard drive; if you use Windows 7 format option it will have that 100MB partition).
    6. Now you have Windows 7 on your machine with only 1 partition! :) Enjoy
    Also if you ever capture an image of your computer with RAID/AHCI enabled you will most likely have to run the following commands to make applied image boot back up.

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
    If you have any questions just let me know, I work with WinPE boot environment on daily basis.  You can also check out my blog at http://blog.brianleejackson.com for complete tutorials on WinPE 3.0, DISM, and free WinPE 3.0 Scripts.
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 6:44 AM

All replies

  • well maybe (didn't dare to test it on my system) :P
    you can use diskpart to select the partition you want to remove & then remove partition
    i've tried it but when i say delete partition it says: device in use, use override if you want to continue...

    This is where i stopped trying cause even do'h i've selected partition 1 (the bitlock partition in my case) i can't say: delete partition 1, i have to say: delete partition
    So if anybody is sure that this command will indeed delete partition 1 you can try that.

    Diskmanager is indeed no luck :)

    update: ok  i've tried it with override, & it says not allow to delete...

    so nvm me :P

    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 1:42 PM
  • The 100MB partition contains the boot files for Windows 7 Ultimate edition.  You cannot remove that partition once it is created and expect Windows 7 to boot-up.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Hamakua Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:37 PM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:06 PM
  • Hmz why are you trying to delete it if removing the disk is an option?

    You should be able to boot win7 if you use the bcdboot command: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744347(WS.10).aspx after you remove the disk.


    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:13 PM
  • Try downloading WAIK for Windows 7 and cpature an image of your machine as it is when it works.
    You will make a bootable winpe (or WAIK) cd with the tool imagex on it.

    You boot to this cd and it will allow you capture your OS as one large file with a .wim extention.

    Then you remove the drive and you are left with new drives available etc.

    Then you boot again to the cd and "apply" the image to the remaining drives.

    After it is applied run the following:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:

    where c: should be the first drive (drive 0 partition 1) your system "sees".
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:24 PM
  • I was able to delete my 100mb partition:

    just boot your pc with your windvd, go to repair your system & choose a command prompt.  There use diskpart to remove the partition with the override setting.

    Then your win7 won't boot as Carey said ;) (just tested it :p)

    but when i boot again using the dvd & choose boot recovery (or whatever it is in english) windows boots once again as before!
    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 2:25 PM
  • I have tried what you said verbatim and understand the concepts however they failed horribly.  From what I can gather, while the bulk of the files when installed from Window 7 Ultimate 64 went to the drive I designated, apparently "windows" sees the "system reserved" partition as the boot partition.  I used diskpart off of the command prompt off of the install CD and deleted the 100mb partition, then tried to re-boot, just like me removing the offending volume, it would not boot.  I attempted then to repair the the OS but upon booting the install CD it would not list a boot partition to repair.  Previously it would only list the 100MB partition.

    Firstly, this is an absolutely idiotic implementation of the bitlocker technology. 

    Microsoft should have had both an option to add the 100mb partition, and upon selecting to have it they should have allowed the user to designate the location, disk, volume, and partition to where it would go. 

    My situation is a perfect example as to why.  There is no practical way to remove the 100MB menace nor move it or disallow it.  It's all smoke and mirrors.

    Having said that it's a minor annoyance in my case as I had not invested too much time into configuring this specific setup, mind you I now have to start from scratch again but it's not nearly as bad as if I were say, a graphics designer who after a year and a half of using windows 7 wanted to remove an older drive to replace with a newer higher capacity drive.  That windows 7 Ultimate automatically and un-unprompted installs apparently a key component on a random drive outside the known scope of an install is going to be a gripe that comes up again and again in the future.  The other thing is that Windows could have been installing to a drive I considered old and obsolete/about to fail.  Had it failed and had I not been prepared it could have lead to unforeseen downtime.

    It really seems they either went out of their way to make it more complicated and unstable than it needed to be or it was lazy system resource logistic and allocation planning in the framework of the OS.  Either way now I have to re-install the OS as well as multiple gigs of software over multiple drives.  I of course have backups of everything that should be backed up but this is just a mess.

    Thanks all for the help I appreciate it, and so far I love 7 despite this incident.
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 6:36 PM
  • I feel your pain but you should be aware how that "100MB menace" works. If you install Windows 7 on a fresh harddisk without any previous OS, this partition is created and holds both the bootfiles for Windows and the files needed to access encrypted drives (bitlocker). If you install Windows on a fresh harddisk that is not bootable, this 100 MB hidden partition will be created on the disk that is bootable at this time (BIOS). If you are into changing drives, do that and delete the "system reserved" partition on the wrong drive. You must make your Windows 7 drive bootable, then (by selecting it in BIOS), and do a system repair (not of any non-existent "boot partition" but of your Windows 7 installation). The bootfiles will then be placed on your Windows 7 drive.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:00 PM
  • I feel your pain but you should be aware how that "100MB menace" works. If you install Windows 7 on a fresh harddisk without any previous OS, this partition is created and holds both the bootfiles for Windows and the files needed to access encrypted drives (bitlocker). If you install Windows on a fresh harddisk that is not bootable, this 100 MB hidden partition will be created on the disk that is bootable at this time (BIOS). If you are into changing drives, do that and delete the "system reserved" partition on the wrong drive. You must make your Windows 7 drive bootable, then (by selecting it in BIOS), and do a system repair (not of any non-existent "boot partition" but of your Windows 7 installation). The bootfiles will then be placed on your Windows 7 drive.
    Mobile AMD64 3000+, VIA Apollo K8T800 chipset, 1 G RAM, ATIRadeonMobility 9700, 20x DVDRW, C:XPSP3 (55G),D:WIN7 (25G),F:DATA (250G)

    Its fine.  I bit the bullet and just re-formatted -started from scratch using the guide in my 3rd link above.  Like I said before I had not gotten too deep into configuration so the loss is at most 2-3 days of installs and configuring.  Not as big of a deal than if it were 18 months in with everything optimally configured and running stable.  I rather run into hiccups now than later.  I just think it's an odd oversight, that they make another partition in the process doesn't bother me at all, I think it smart actually, the idiotic thing was that it automatically chose another physical disk without prompting me or making it clear.  The OS doesn't know what is what, in this day of cheap hard drives, raid arrays, hot swap cages and who knows what else, randomly installing oneself onto something it presumes is not in use is a little scary.  Hopefully people will be able to see this thread and use it as insight rather than hindsight.

    Once again, thanks.
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 8:07 PM
  • Yes I also ran into that same issue when looking at building new sysprepped images for Windows 7.  You can remove the 100MB partition.  Instructions below are how to avoid that hidden partition 100MB when installing.

    1. Insert your Windows 7 disc/Flash stick and boot to your install.
    2. When you are at the first window, hit the "Repair" link at the bottom left.
    3. Continue through menu to the "Command Prompt Window"
    4. Then input the following commands:
      diskpart
      list disk
      select disk 0 (assuming your main HD is disk 0)
      clean
      create partition primary
      select partition 1
      format fs=ntfs quick
      assign
      exit
      exit
      That will format your hard drive as NTFS without the 100MB partition.
    5. Then go back to the install window as you would do normally and when it comes to the window where it asks you to format hard drive don't push anything just select your hard drive and click next.  (Diskpart already formatted your hard drive; if you use Windows 7 format option it will have that 100MB partition).
    6. Now you have Windows 7 on your machine with only 1 partition! :) Enjoy
    Also if you ever capture an image of your computer with RAID/AHCI enabled you will most likely have to run the following commands to make applied image boot back up.

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
    If you have any questions just let me know, I work with WinPE boot environment on daily basis.  You can also check out my blog at http://blog.brianleejackson.com for complete tutorials on WinPE 3.0, DISM, and free WinPE 3.0 Scripts.
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 6:44 AM
  • Well i'm still running my win7 with the 100mb removed without formatting so it is possible.  But if you're not going to use bitlocker i recon it's best to not let it install from the start.
    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:24 AM
  • I just actually tested this myself and yes the following commands do allow the computer to boot back up successfully after removing 100MB partition with diskpart.

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
    I guess I already had the answer within my last post haha.  Thanks Wesleedb.  But I agree, if you don't want Bitlocker, better to install without 100MB partition.  Makes it much easier if doing massive deployment of computers with Windows 7.
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:28 AM
  • I have a win7 computer, 2 SATA drives with win7 x64 RTM. C drive is win7 and D is for data and storage. I rebooted with the WinDVD and went repair/command prompt/diskpart. Under there it only shows drives 0 & 1 both showing 298GB each so I believe that these are my 2 hard drives. No where do I see the 100MB to delete and step through the rest of this, where is it or did I miss a step in here?
    Don
    • Proposed as answer by blaek Tuesday, August 17, 2010 6:48 AM
    Monday, October 19, 2009 9:13 PM
  • Hi There

    Norton ghost 15 is one of the biggest disappointment, you pay for the software to make images so you can restore it easily with no hassle but it doesn't do this .

    they should provide an update to fix the problem but so far they think the software is perfect.

     

    what i start to do now is the following

    1- install all apps and make the computer ready for imaging

    2- take the image with NG

    3- reboot ( computer will not boot because the Boot files is missing " Bootmgr" the " SRP is Missing ")

    4- use the windows installation CD to repaire the start up ( this will be repair the Boot Issue and will copy the BOOtMGR to drive C:.

    5- reboot and the windows will boot this time.

    6- use NG again to make another image ( this one will NOT have SRP ) 

    7- Use the image from step 6 for deployment

     

    • Proposed as answer by mo_anas Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:37 PM
    Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:37 PM
  • Customer deleted/lost their 100MB partition somehow... I ran the automatic repair option (twice for two different problems it found) from DVD, then did a system restore off all things to get it booting. The OS boots fine and lacks the 100MB sys reserved partition. Go figure. They have Win 7 Ultimate.


    Friday, April 22, 2011 10:30 AM
  • Yes I also ran into that same issue when looking at building new sysprepped images for Windows 7.  You can remove the 100MB partition.  Instructions below are how to avoid that hidden partition 100MB when installing.

    1. Insert your Windows 7 disc/Flash stick and boot to your install.
    2. When you are at the first window, hit the "Repair" link at the bottom left.
    3. Continue through menu to the "Command Prompt Window"
    4. Then input the following commands:
      diskpart
      list disk
      select disk 0 (assuming your main HD is disk 0)
      clean
      create partition primary
      select partition 1
      format fs=ntfs quick
      assign
      exit
      exit
      That will format your hard drive as NTFS without the 100MB partition.
    5. Then go back to the install window as you would do normally and when it comes to the window where it asks you to format hard drive don't push anything just select your hard drive and click next.  (Diskpart already formatted your hard drive; if you use Windows 7 format option it will have that 100MB partition).
    6. Now you have Windows 7 on your machine with only 1 partition! :) Enjoy
    Also if you ever capture an image of your computer with RAID/AHCI enabled you will most likely have to run the following commands to make applied image boot back up.

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:
    If you have any questions just let me know, I work with WinPE boot environment on daily basis.  You can also check out my blog at http://blog.brianleejackson.com for complete tutorials on WinPE 3.0, DISM, and free WinPE 3.0 Scripts.

    how to cmd the

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:

    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
    x:\windows\system32\bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c: " ?
    Sunday, December 04, 2011 2:01 AM
  • I was able to delete my 100mb partition:

    just boot your pc with your windvd, go to repair your system & choose a command prompt.  There use diskpart to remove the partition with the override setting.

    Then your win7 won't boot as Carey said ;) (just tested it :p)

    but when i boot again using the dvd & choose boot recovery (or whatever it is in english) windows boots once again as before!
    Don't forget about Alt+Esc!
    Perfect fix for me. Works on Windows 8 (the System Reserved Partition is 350 MB now)!
    Saturday, October 27, 2012 4:14 PM