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System Reserved Partition Management Tools

    Question

  • What tools are available to manage the contents of the System Reserved partition? I encountered the dreaded backup issue with the System Reserved partition having less than 40Mb of free space. None of the work-arounds solved the issue. The only solution available to me is to perform a clean install and use a larger partition for the System Reserved. After some digging, I found these guidelines for the size of the partition.

    System Partition Requirements

    Basic system partition requirements are:

    • Must have at least 100 megabytes (MB) of hard drive space.
    • Must have enough free space to create shadow copies of the partition.
      • If the partition is less than 500 MB, it must have at least 50 MB of free space.
      • If the partition is 500 MB or larger, it must have at least 320 MB of free space.
      • If the partition is larger than 1 gigabyte (GB), we recommend that it should have at least 1 GB free.
      Note
      We recommend that no other files are placed on the system volume, and we recommend that you discourage end-users from storing files on this partition, to avoid filling up this space.
    • Must be configured as the active partition.
    • Must not be an encrypted partition.
    • Must be formatted as NTFS for BIOS-based systems. (For file-system recommendations for UEFI-based systems, see the MSDN topic: Choosing a file system: NTFS, FAT, or FAT32.)

    That's fine, now at least I have some guidelines. The problem is that I don't have control over how the System Reserved partition is used by services, for example, BitDefender 2010. I have BitDefender 2010 installed and apparently it stores information on the System Reserved partition. I don't want to go through the trouble of a clean install with a larger System Reserved partition only to find myself in the same situation later. I also don't want to create an excessively large System Reserved partition just to safeguard myself against every random application/service that decides it needs to store information on that partition. What I do want to do is be able to manage the contents of the System Reserved partition so that I don't have to increase the size of the partition and perform a clean install every time it runs out of space.

    Thank you,

    ~ Tom

     

    • Edited by Thomas M. Hermann Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:44 PM Cleaned up formatting of pasted content.
    Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:39 PM

Answers

  • Hi Tom,

     

    As I know, there is no such tool to manage the system reserved partition in Microsoft. Also, we don’t recommend to manage it as the change of system reserved partition will relate with the backup and Windows Repair Environment. However, if you still would like to use the third party tool, you need to run at your own risk.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, September 06, 2010 9:53 AM

All replies

  • Hi Tom,

     

    Hope the following article can give you some hints:

     

    What is the Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7 System Reserved Partition?

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2010/03/13/what-is-the-windows-server-2008-r2-windows-7-system-reserved-partition.aspx

     

    We also have a FAQ about the 100M System Reserved Partition:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/5f9e147e-32de-4a69-80eb-86f1b10f1c4c

     

    Please also let me know the detailed symptom of the backup issue “the System Reserved partition having less than 40Mb of free space”. Would you like to capture a screenshot of the error for our further research?

     

    How to capture a screenshot
    ======================
    1. If there is any error received, please press the Print Screen key (PrtScn) on your keyboard.
    2. Click the "Start" Button, type "mspaint" in the Search Bar and Press Enter.
    3. In the Paint program, click the "Edit" menu, click "Paste". Then click the "File" menu, and click "Save".
    4. The "Save As" dialogue box will appear. Type a file name in the "File name:" box, for example: "screenshot".
    5. Make sure "JPEG (*.JPG;*.JPEG;*.JPE;*.JFIF)" is selected in the "Save as type" box, click "Desktop" on the left pane and then click "Save".

     

    You can refer to the following link to upload the information:

     

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/4fc10639-02db-4665-993a-08d865088d65

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Friday, September 03, 2010 8:32 AM
  • Sabrina,

    Thank you for the response, neither of those articles are useful. The issue has been fully covered in another thread, w7x64rc backup fails with error code 0x81000019. In particular, read the responses by Sneha.

    In the thread that I linked to, Sneha describes one component of the issue is that third party applications are activating the USN journal on the system partition. The applications are writing to the USN journal consuming space on the System Reserved partition. In my case, that application is most likely BitDefender.

    I understand the purpose of the System Reserved partition. What I want to know is what tools are available for management of the System Reserved partition. I want a tool that allows me to limit access to the System Reserved partition by services such as BitDefender. I want a tool that allows me to audit the information on the System Reserved partition and remove unnecessary information when the System Reserved partition becomes low on free space.

    One set of available tools are the command line utilities for managing the USN journal. When I used those, though, I was not able to free any space on the System Reserved partition. What other tools are available to me for managing the System Reserved partition?

    Thank you,

     

    ~ Tom

    Friday, September 03, 2010 1:12 PM
  • Hi Tom,

     

    As I know, there is no such tool to manage the system reserved partition in Microsoft. Also, we don’t recommend to manage it as the change of system reserved partition will relate with the backup and Windows Repair Environment. However, if you still would like to use the third party tool, you need to run at your own risk.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, September 06, 2010 9:53 AM
  • Sabrina,

    Thank you for the response. I appreciate the recommendation that the System Reserved partition should not be managed. It would be my preference not to manually manage the System Reserved partition. Unfortunately, the System Reserved partition is not properly being managed automatically. This leaves the end-user in an unacceptable position.

    When the System Reserved partition does not have sufficient free space, the end-user is unable to perform backups of the System partition. Furthermore, there may be other consequences of lack of free space on the System Reserved partition. Compounding the problem, third-party applications, such as BitDefender 2010, apparently utilize the System Reserved partition. The end-user has no ability to monitor or control access to the System Reserved partition. Consequently, the only feedback that the end-user receives that the System Reserved partition has insufficient free space is when an application or service that relies on the System Reserved partition generates an error. At that point, there are a couple options that may free space on the System Reserved partition. If those options do not free space, the end-user is left with increasing the System Reserved partition size and performing a clean install.

    This is not acceptable.

    Regards,

    ~ Tom

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010 4:31 PM
  • I've looked at my Systems Reserved partition of 100mb, and while the system tells me that there are only 12mb free, total space I can see being used is maybe 15mb, which should leave about 85mb free.  How can I get a true, detailed list of what is in the partition?  Please, don't refer me to all the non-answers above.  I need to understand how a partition with only 15mb worth of files, etc. is supposedly using over 80mb.

    Ron

    Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:52 PM