Removing the 100Mb System Reserved Partition after Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 has been installed

Posted By on Jun 17, 2010 | 14 comments


When you install either Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 onto a un-partitioned hard drive Windows will create a 100Mb System Reserved Partition that does not have a drive letter. This 100Mb partition is mainly there in case you are going to use the Bitlocker feature however Windows also puts its boot loader on this partition meaning you cant just delete it.

I found that after creating a 2008 R2 server on VMWare I was unable to  back up the server using VCB because of this partition, I believe VMware expects the operation system to be the first partition. Once the partition was removed VCB worked as normal
I was getting messages such as the below when trying to mount the server using VCB.

You may also want to remove this partition to have a single clean partition to make imaging a client machine easier.
If you can it is  best to stop Windows creating the partition during the install, however if you have already installed Windows and need to remove the System reserved partition for whatever reason the below steps should do the trick.
I have done this several times and have not had any issues but I would say;
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP \ SNAPSHOT THERE IS THE POTENTIAL YOU MACHINE WILL NOT BOOT AFTER FOLLOWING THESE STEPS

  • Open a command prompt with administrator privileges (right click => run as administrator)  and enter the commnd;

You should get a message similar to;
Boot files successfully created.

  • Open the Disk Management GUI (you could use diskpart for scripts), locate the  C:\ partition right-click and select “Mark Partition as Active”, select yes to the “do you want to continue message”
  • Reboot to confirm that everything is ok.
  • In Disk Management you can now delete the 100Mb System Reserved partition by right clicking on it and selecting “Delete volume

Optional

  • To re-claim the 100Mb you can use a partitioning tool such as partition magic or gparted

14 Comments

  1. you are awesome man! thank you so much.

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  2. No problem, glad you found it of use.

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  3. Excellent post. Saved me re-formatting my hard drive re-installing windows etc.

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  4. You made my day…have been going through the pain of bpfis logs for vcb backups and snapshot errors, trying to install the backup agent on my customer's server and all possible things. Finally figured out the likely cause was the system reserved partition and your instructions helped me delete it cautiously. Thank you, I appreciate your posting of the solution.

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  5. Glad you found it of use

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  6. I have looking for a way to get rid the System Reserved partition for weeks! Thanks man!! I have had a number of issuesd with MDT Task Sequence and it has been failing because WinPE was trying to copy to this System Reserved partition and there was no easy way to work around it.

    Great work!!

    Shameem

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  7. Also works on Windows 8 Preview 64 bit build 6.2.8250. Thanks!
    And it’s 350mb in size now.
    As a side note, you MUST reboot prior to doing step 4.

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  8. as far as the comment “If you can it is best to stop Windows creating the partition during the install”, any idea on how this can be done… with Windows 7 or 8

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  9. How to stop Windows creating the 100MB system partition…

    After clicking on “Install now”, click on “Advanced” and you will see some extra buttons (Format, Delete, Extend).

    Select your unallocated space and click on Format. Let Windows go ahead and create its two partitions (100MB plus the other big one).

    Select the big one and delete it.

    Then select the 100MB partition and click on Extend. Extend it to fill the entire space available.

    Voila! You have one partition for Windows.

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  10. Thank you very much for this post, I use Replay 4 and baremetal recovery is much more cumbersome on a server with the SRRP partition. I was able to successfully remove it from 20 servers is a very short time and I much better peace of mind.

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  11. Thanks, my brother needed an extra primary partition to create an extended partition for his linux-based system and this helped.

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