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Why did Windows 7 make the 100MB "System Reserved" partition on my second hard drive instead of the hard drive windows was being installed on?

    Question

  • I have a Dell laptop with two physical hard drives. When I installed Windows 7, I deleted all the partitions on both physical disks. I installed windows and left the second disk unallocated. So why did the installer decide to place the 100MB System Reserved partition on the disk that wasn't being used?

    http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/8403/partitionsi.jpg
    Friday, October 30, 2009 7:11 PM

Answers

  • I'm not sure why TrekDozer's response was marked as the answer, but it doesn't answer my question. My question was why did the installer place the partition on the second disk instead of the disk windows was being installed on? I know why the partition is made, I just don't know why it was made there.
    Hi

    The System Reserved partition is always placed on the 'first physical hard drive or partition'.

    From the image you posted, even though you are using the 'DISK 0' as the second drive, it's obvious that this drive occupies the number one position on that system.

    Besides being used for the Bitlocker component, the System Reserved drives main purpose is to provide a safe place to keep the boot and WinPE files that may be needed for recovery in case of a disaster. This is why it must be placed on the first drive.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    • Marked as answer by J15BIG Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:33 PM
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:26 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • This 100MB partition is where the Windows boot loader resides. This is needed if you’re going to implement Bitlocker and installation now by default, prepares the installation for Bitlocker even if you're not going to use it. If you format your drives before starting the Windows 7 installation it's possible to avoid having this extra partition. Although with two physical hard drives you may have to remove the second one during the installation, I haven't read anything about this situation with dual hard drives.
    Friday, October 30, 2009 7:22 PM
  • Thanks for the response. I know why the installer makes the partition, I just want to know why it was put on my other disk instead of the same one windows is installed on.
    Friday, October 30, 2009 7:28 PM
  • I'm not sure why TrekDozer's response was marked as the answer, but it doesn't answer my question. My question was why did the installer place the partition on the second disk instead of the disk windows was being installed on? I know why the partition is made, I just don't know why it was made there.
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:59 PM
  • I'm not sure why TrekDozer's response was marked as the answer, but it doesn't answer my question. My question was why did the installer place the partition on the second disk instead of the disk windows was being installed on? I know why the partition is made, I just don't know why it was made there.
    Hi

    The System Reserved partition is always placed on the 'first physical hard drive or partition'.

    From the image you posted, even though you are using the 'DISK 0' as the second drive, it's obvious that this drive occupies the number one position on that system.

    Besides being used for the Bitlocker component, the System Reserved drives main purpose is to provide a safe place to keep the boot and WinPE files that may be needed for recovery in case of a disaster. This is why it must be placed on the first drive.

    Hope this helps.

    Thank You for using Windows 7

    Ronnie Vernon MVP
    • Marked as answer by J15BIG Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:33 PM
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks! That answered my question. What are the WinPE files? Edit: nevermind, I looked up the WinPE and read about it. Thanks again!
    Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:35 PM
  • im a sysyems installer for a large pc company and install 50 windows 7 systems a day, and this is one of the most stupid idea's ever, the System Reserved partition should always install to the same drive as the operating system and im not sure why microsoft did it the way they did, and it seems to be a bit random, ive had a order of 2 pc's built exactly the same and set up the same and it installed the system reserved partition to different drives, we have also tested by different set ups and the only sure way to get it on the same drive as your os is to always unplug all secondry drives.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011 8:44 AM
  • but we really don't need it and that extra is useless for us. i don't know why windows7 company makes troubles to people, as first we proud of them, but when i 'm facing with problem, i don't how to say to windows7 company
    Monday, October 10, 2011 11:03 AM
  • it isn't possible without that extra drive? can we delete it?
    Monday, October 10, 2011 11:04 AM
  • the installer looks for the first disk, maybe prioritising from BIOS which of course is not logical (nor physical usually).

    But i've always removed the 100MB partition - we dont use BitLocker - so during installation we make one partition, let windows create 100MB 'system reserved' and the 'primary' partition. Then delete 'primary' and extend 'system'. All done. Just one Partition.

    i've never found a way of removing 'reserved' after installation.


    If I am all here, does that mean I am not all there?
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:36 PM
  • the installer looks for the first disk, maybe prioritising from BIOS which of course is not logical (nor physical usually).

    But i've always removed the 100MB partition - we dont use BitLocker - so during installation we make one partition, let windows create 100MB 'system reserved' and the 'primary' partition. Then delete 'primary' and extend 'system'. All done. Just one Partition.

    i've never found a way of removing 'reserved' after installation.


    If I am all here, does that mean I am not all there?
    Last night I installed Windows 7 Pro on a machine with two hard drives. Of course, Windows created the Reserved Partition on a drive I'm planning to use for data replication only (Hard Disk 0). Anyways to make a long story short, I want to pull the drive off the machine but it contains the Reserved Partiton. If I pull\disable the drive the system won't boot correctly. What is the best way to move or recreate this partition without having to reinstall Windows. btw I read into why this partition is created and it trully makes no sense why MS is choosing the first HD to save this partition to. In my case, the first HD is an old 200GB EIDE drive i had laying arround, in my system the best drive is a SATA 500GB (Hard Disk 1) where I'm installing the OS on.
    Ncruz1980
    Friday, December 09, 2011 5:07 PM
  • Hi,

    Already having 4 primary (or 3 primary + 1 Logical) partitions on a drive will avoid creation of system reserved partition. ;)

    Saturday, August 17, 2013 10:27 PM
  • I confirm that it does use another Hard Drive, if it cannot create it on the first one.

    Sunday, February 09, 2014 6:55 PM
  • I believe that I have the same problem as Ncruz1980. I installed Windows 7 with two new SSD drives. Drives were configured by Windows as follows:

    Drive 0: (C:) 476.94 GB NTFS, Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition

    Drive 1: System Reserved 100 MB NTFS (System, Active, Primary Partition.

    When I remove one of the drives, I get a Boot Error asking me to Repair.

    When I remove the other drive, I get no bootable media found error

    When I replace the two drives (one-by-one) with a new SSD Drive of the same type, I get the same errors as above. So clearly both drives from the initial Windows 7 install are needed to boot my system. I believe that this is because the System Reserved Partition was installed on Drive 1 instead of Drive 0. (can you please confirm this?)

    If that's true, then the important question really is "how do I create the System Reserved Partition (and its associated files) onto Drive 0?"

    I need a foolproof way, if one exists, or I will wait until after tax season and re-install Windows 7 with only one disk installed. Please help!

    Kindly, George 

    Saturday, January 03, 2015 9:46 PM
  • I found the solution to the problem I described above. Here was the approach to resolve.

    1. Install SATA Y-Power cable jumper on one of the SATA connectors. This gives me capability to power 3 SATA SSD drives
    2. Install the third drive.
    3. Start Windows and initialize the new drive. Now I have 3 drives.
    4. Clone Drive C (Drive 0) to the new (third) Hard Drive (call it Drive 2). I used Acronis True Image Home.
    5. Remove Hard Drives 0 and 1  - the current drives required to boot Windows and that have my Images and data
    6. Install the Cloned Drive as Drive 0  and restart
    7. Windows should prompt me (hopefully) to repair this drive after the boot error.
    8. Run Startup Repair on this drive (drive 2) by loading the Windows Media CD and selecting the only drive installed (Drive 2)

    If successful, I would have created a Drive that can boot on its own and has my image and data. If unsuccessful, I put back in Drives 0 and 1 and I am back up and running. I this is a zero risk approach.

    Here are the results:

    Success!

    I got the power jumper cable in and executed the steps below. The below procedure worked flawlessly. The loading of the Windows CD took me to a Repair option that sensed a problem with Startup. If failed to see the Windows installation on the Cloned drive (now drive 0). This was expected. It asked me if I wanted to fix it. I said yes. The system restarted and there was another boot error. I loaded the Windows CD again. This time it saw the Windows 7 Installation and told me there were Startup problems that needed to be fixed. I said yes again. The system restarted and Windows came right up!

    So now I can boot from one drive. I am going to run like this for a couple of days just to be sure. Then I am going to reconnect the other two drives as drives 1 and 2 and figure a way to use them effectively.

    Good luck!

    George

    Friday, January 09, 2015 12:19 AM