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Windows 7: Specific pros and cons of system reserved partition for me

16 Aug 2010   #1
RoseRodent

Windows 7
 
 
Specific pros and cons of system reserved partition for me

I have read around various sites and tutorials and all for the Windows 7 system reserved partition, but I am still not entirely clear on what are the pros and cons of having them. I have heard many arguments each way, but all from each person's own individual perspective, and would really like someone to clear up what I don't understand. Hopefully this doesn't come over like I haven't bothered searching for myself, I did, but I still don't quite get it.

OK. If I delete the system reserved partition, can I extend the other partition into the space using Windows 7 own tools? (No third party for partition management for me, it always, always totally wrecks my machine, leaving me having to nuke the drive and reinstall). I can't see the point of deleting it otherwise, but nobody has so far said you do anything other than delete it and then run the startup repair.

What is in that partition - I mean, other than "recovery environment" - I've read that, but what is it? I don't carry the drive with my system images on it when I am outside the house anyway, so no benefit in being able to run recovery without the disc. I can get into the restore tools from my Win7 installation disc, is there anything on the system partition that is not on the upgrade version of the installation DVD for W7 Pro Student Upgrade 32 bit?

If I get rid of the system partition, does W7's native system image creation tool still work as before? (obviously you only image one partition, but does it still work?)

Is there any situation where Windows will get upset about the absence of this partition? I don't want to do anything which is essentially a "hack" I want W7 to be running as closely as possible to the tried and tested, stable methods, as I have had a lot of trouble with hacks and third party software making a mess of my system.

Does this process ever go wrong for people? I currently have a working system, and on the old adage "if it aint broke, don't fix it" I don't really feel like faffing with the system. OTOH I find it hard to correctly image and restore this setup with Acronis True Image Home 2009, and that's my primary backup and restore method, so I would rather take the risk now so that Acronis will work well in future. Is it a "risky" thing to delete this partition or does it always work that startup recovery will put the boot files back? Did anyone try it and find that didn't happen?

Bear in mind that I have a special relationship with the impossible - I used to have a Windows machine whose mouse didn't work until I loaded a particular building society's mortgage calculator web page, which I could then shut down and the mouse continued working, but would stop working again at next reboot until I loaded that mortgage calculator. That level of impossible happens to me all the time!

I have a single boot W7 laptop, 250GB sata drive, no other OS, no GRUB, no anything complex and don't intend installing any other OS on here in the future. It's a Packard Bell Easynote LJ61 in case that helps, but the manufacturer partition has been nuked, so it's just W7 main and W7 system reserved on here now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello RoseRodent, welcome to Seven Forums!





The program in the tutorial at the link below does an excellent job deleting the system reserved partition and then resizing the Windows 7 partition into that space, Windows will not do it natively; I have not heard of any issues with it so far; have a look at Option Two.

Just be aware: that you will need to run a startup repair as many as 3 separate times with system restarts between the repairs to write the boot files to the Windows 7 partition.
Be sure to keep us informed.


Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I always thought the main advantage of the little partition was to protect the MBR. There are some other functions that use the partition like BitLocker. But that is only of interest to owners of the Ultimate edition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Aug 2010   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I always thought the main advantage of the little partition was to protect the MBR. There are some other functions that use the partition like BitLocker. But that is only of interest to owners of the Ultimate edition.


But it's not needed though, right.

Name:  BitLocker.jpg
Views: 11
Size:  75.4 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #5
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

I have found no need for that partition and always eliminate same. Null Problemo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #6
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

System Reserved contains all the boot files and what not for Windows 7, if you delete it the system cannot boot.

If you do not want the System Reserved you should partition the hard drive using DISKPART from the command line (SHIFT + F10) when installing Windows 7. (Before picking the drive to install to.) Instead of doing it after the fact. Less problematic that way.

Or just leave it be. It won't harm anything by being there. As for Acronis, image both partitions together and restore both.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
System Reserved contains all the boot files and what not for Windows 7, if you delete it the system cannot boot.

If you do not want the System Reserved you should partition the hard drive using DISKPART from the command line (SHIFT + F10) when installing Windows 7. (Before picking the drive to install to.) Instead of doing it after the fact. Less problematic that way.

Or just leave it be. It won't harm anything by being there. As for Acronis, image both partitions together and restore both.



In the tutorial at the link below at Step Two are instructions for this.


SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #8
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
System Reserved contains all the boot files and what not for Windows 7, if you delete it the system cannot boot.
I do not have a System Reserved partition.

My computers always boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #9
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
I do not have a System Reserved partition.

My computers always boot.
On default installations when configuring partitions from the GUI in the Windows 7 installer creates System Reserved. If the Hard Drive is setup prior to that moment it will not create a System Reserved partition it will use the existing "Active" partition.

System Reserved is not required to be there, it is just the default behavior of the installer to create it when setting partitions up though the GUI. The fact you do not have suggest the Hard Drive was already setup with an active partition before installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
System Reserved contains all the boot files and what not for Windows 7, if you delete it the system cannot boot.
I do not have a System Reserved partition.

My computers always boot.
karl, if you system never had this partition (e.g. if you installed it into a predefined partition), then your MBR is on C. But if you install on a "blank" disk or if it is an OEM installation, you often end up with the MBR in the system reserved partition. And if you delete that, the system will not boot. To cure that you have to create an MBR on C (there are various ways to do that).

Edit: I guess logicearth types faster - LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Specific pros and cons of system reserved partition for me




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