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Windows 7: Disk Image & System Reserved Partition

31 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Disk Image & System Reserved Partition

In the past I used Norton Ghost 2003 to create images of my installation to allow me a very quick reinstallation of Windows and the most important programs. I might retire NG 2003 and instead use DriveImage XML. In any case, Windows 7 creates a new partition "System Reserved" (100MB) but DriveImage XML does not see it for backup. Do I need to image that or is it enough to image C which I could play back on a newly partitioned HD, i.e. "System Reserved" is missing? What is that partition for anyways? Note that I have Windows 7 Home Premium.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello hama, welcome to Seven Forums!



The Windows 7 created "System Reserved" partition is where the boot files needed to boot/start Windows are stored and if it is not included in a created image of Windows 7 you will not be able to use that image and Windows 7 will not start without doing startup repairs to create new boot files to the re-imaged Windows 7 partition.

Below is an excellent free program fully compatible with Windows 7 for creating system images; have a look at this tutorial at the link below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Bare Foot Kid, thanks for the reply. I just found the "Backup and Restore" feature built into Windows 7. It looks like this will create an image with Windows and all my programs and I can also create a repair disc which I assume allows me to partition the HD before putting the image back. How does the "Backup and Restore" differ with the program you mentioned?

Btw, the link you gave indicates there is an option not to have this separate 100Mbyte partition. Windows 7 did not give me any option NOT to have that partition. So how do you achieve not to have it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2010   #4

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Create a partition, format it as NTFS, install Windows to it - instead of just selecting a disk and be done with it...

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

If you have the 100MB System reserved partition it is best left in place and included in the created images; removing it is more trouble than it's worth.


I'm not really the best at backup questions, keep checking back though as I'm sure someone will answer these questions for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Generally there is no need to image the 100MB boot partition. It is enough if you image your C partition and leave the little partition alone. Just make sure that you do not mark the C partition as "active" and do not check "restore MBR" during a possible recovery. Both those functions pertain to the 100MB boot partition. If you read the instructions of the tutorial and follow the video, you will know what I am talking about.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
Create a partition, format it as NTFS, install Windows to it - instead of just selecting a disk and be done with it...

zzz2496
That is what I did. I booted from the Windows 7 DVD, created a partition for the OS as I want the data on a different partition and then installed Windows 7 on the OS partition I just created. However, Windows 7 still insisted on that 100Mbyte partition. What am I missing?

Btw, I am using an upgrade (Windows 7 Home Premium). The original HD only had one partition so I had to delete it and create the OS partition as described above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

When Windows 7 is installed to a new (unallocated) Hard Disk Drive it automatically creates the System reserved partition.



If you really want to recover that space, have a look at Option Two in this tutorial at the link below.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #9

Windows 7
 
 

I actually don't care too much about having these last 100Mbytes. The only thing I want to avoid is any complications later on when putting the image back on the machine. It seems to me there is much less risk doing this if you only have one partition to recover than some 'secret' additional partition.

Having said all that, I guess the built in "Backup and Restore" should work just fine. That actually makes me wonder why there is this Macrium software. What is the advantage over the "Backup and Restore" function for simple disk images and restores? I checked their website but did not find a clear answer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hama View Post
I actually don't care too much about having these last 100Mbytes. The only thing I want to avoid is any complications later on when putting the image back on the machine. It seems to me there is much less risk doing this if you only have one partition to recover than some 'secret' additional partition.

Having said all that, I guess the built in "Backup and Restore" should work just fine. That actually makes me wonder why there is this Macrium software. What is the advantage over the "Backup and Restore" function for simple disk images and restores? I checked their website but did not find a clear answer.
The difference is complicated versus easy. If you are a seasoned Geek and can wrestle with the /7 imaging, then use it. If you want to make your life easy, use Macrium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Disk Image & System Reserved Partition




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