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Windows 7: Is it OK to recover 100MB System Reserved partition?


11 Feb 2013   #11

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
It's not the waste of space that is the problem. It is usually the limit of 4 primary partitions.
Exactly, and if you have a large drive you just may want 4 Primary Partitions.

If you don`t use those 2 features, what`s the point of having it.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Feb 2013   #12

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 

Ah, learn something every day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #13

Win7-64
 
 

I am beginning to think that my large partition on my C: drive already has the necessary boot code in it (as a result of making it Active) because from what I've read the boot loader software looks for the first Active partition on the boot drive and loads the OS from there.

When I first created my SSD boot drive Windows 7 made the 2 partitions: the 100 MB one and the big one with Windows that took up all the remaining space. At that time the 100 MB partition was marked as Active; this coincides with the MS explanation of how this partition contains the necessary boot software.

But when I made the Windows partition Active using Disk Manager I think what happened was Disk Manager copied the boot stuff into the Windows partition (somewhere, but exactly where I don't know.) Since I now have only one Active partition I think my system must actually be booting from the Windows partition, and not the 100MB one.

If this is true I should be able to just delete the 100MB partition and then merge the space with the big partition. Of course this will only work if it's actually true that making a partition Active puts the boot code in that partition.

I can't tell if that's the case or not, even with those command line routines that list out what's in the boot sectors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Feb 2013   #14

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

You have to mark it active then run startup repair. Tooo many beers have been had.. nite nite..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #15
Microsoft MVP

 

Looking at the Partition Wizard screenshot provided we see that System Reserved is no longer Active or booting the system, as signified by the Active and Boot (same as System flag in Disk Mgmt) flags now being on C. So the boot files have already been moved and C is booting itself.

(You cut off the third flag on C, but check now that it is System, which in PW means that's what's booted at the moment - same as the Boot flag in Disk Mgmt).

So yes, judging by that screenshot you can delete SysReserved and resize C into its space: Partition Wizard Resize Partition - Video Help.

But first i would confirm with Disk Mgmt that there are no System Active labels on SysReserved and C is labeled boot meaning its the one booting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #16

Win7-64
 
 
Change completed - no sweat!

It was surprisingly easy to get rid of that old 100MB partition using the MinTool Patition Wizard :

1. Delete the 100MB partition and turn it into unallocated space
2. Reboot PC to verify my big partition is still bootable - it was
3. Expand Active/Boot partition to max size by absorbing the 100MB from Step 1
4. Commit changes which required reboot to change boot partition size
5. Wait for DOS Boot function to resize boot partition (about 4 min.)
6. Reboot back to normal Windows

The whole process took less than 10 min. Now my disks look like this:

Is it OK to recover 100MB System Reserved partition?-capture.jpg

In other words - perfect!

I think the key to my success was previously using Disk Manager to mark my main partition as Active. As I noted before, I believe this puts the required boot code somewhere in that partition. If I had not done this, and had not used

bcdboot c:\windows /s c: <== even though this is just one command I never used it

my sense is my system would not have booted since the required boot code would have been lost in Step 1 above.

A suggestion I have for every maker of partitioning software is to include a check that verifies that the boot code is in fact in the partition if that partition is the only one on the boot drive. I understand you can boot from the Windows Install CD to get this boot code back if it's gone, but it would be a lot cleaner of the partitioning software checked for this.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #17
Microsoft MVP

 

If the System Active flags were originally on System Reserved partition as one would assume, then in order to move the boot files to C it requires not only moving the Active flag, but also the boot files while making it bootable. This is done best by running Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times which writes the boot files to the partition while making the necessary adjustments, testing all parameters to apply multiple fixes and commands.

This would not happen merely by moving the Active flag unless the System boot files had already been moved to C in some previous operation, or were moved at different times with a combination of moving the Active flag and running one or more Repairs. PW also has Rebuild MBR on its Disk tab which sometimes works but doesn't do the job completely as the Repairs do.

To know this is done completely as only the automated Startup Repairs can do, reboot and tap the F8 key to see if the Repair My Computer option is on the Advanced Boot Options menu. If not run the Repairs until it is.

These are not mysteries to us as we deal with them by the thousands here since before Windows 7 was released.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #18

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

He did do it the long way.

If you`re good, mark the thread as solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2013   #19

Win7-64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If the System Active flags were originally on System Reserved partition as one would assume, then in order to move the boot files to C it requires not only moving the Active flag, but also the boot files while making it bootable. This is done best by running Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times which writes the boot files to the partition while making the necessary adjustments, testing all parameters to apply multiple fixes and commands.
Yes, I understand this, but I originally created my 128GB SSD drive by cloning the older 64GB SSD boot drive on which I had done a clean Windows 7-64 install. This install created the separate 100MB partition and, of course the requisite boot code.

After I cloned the 64GB SSD onto the 128GB SSD I changed my BIOS to boot off the 128GB SSD. I remember I did have to run the Windows 7 Startup Repair because for some odd reason the drive letters for all my drives got fouled up. I really don't understand how this happened or what caused it, but I assume it was because I had, at that time, 2 SSD's, each of which had their 100MB partition marked as Active.

That is when I learned that Active did not mean "online and running", but instead told the boot manager code which partition to boot from. So I used Disk Manager to take "Active" off both of the 100MB partitions on both SSDs and instead assign it only to the large partition on the 128GB SSD. After doing that my system booted A-OK off the 128GB SSD and I simply formatted the 64GB SSD.

That's what led me to the point of wanting the 100MB partition back. I see I was mistaken in my thinking that marking the 128GB SSD's large partition as Active is what put the required boot code into that partition. In fact, it was (as you said) the running of the Windows 7 Repair Disk that did that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is it OK to recover 100MB System Reserved partition?




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