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Windows 7: How to Avoid Placing System Reserved Partition on Wrong Hard Drive?


07 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
How to Avoid Placing System Reserved Partition on Wrong Hard Drive?

Hi guys,

I want to do a clean install of Windows 7 Home Premium on my HP Envy 17 laptop in order to get rid of bloatware.

The problem is that my laptop has two identical 300GB hard drives, so it is virtually impossible to distinguish them at the drive options window during installation. Another problem is that the installation detects the two drives in a different order than the BIOS does (it switches them).

How can I know that Windows 7 AND the System Reserved partition will be installed to the same drive during installation?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jun 2012   #2

Win7 Ultimate X64
 
 

the system reserved partition is automatically created by the installer program during win setup so cant be placed on the wromg drive as you dont get a choice where to place it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jun 2012   #3

7 x64
 
 

Disconnect All Other Drive before you start the Win 7 Installer. that is the Only way to assure the System Reserve partition is created on the same drive as the OS is being installed to.

If there is another drive connected and the drive you want to install Win 7 on is not partitioned and formatted the installer will see the other drive as C (even if it isn't connected to SATA Port Zero) and the installer will place the System Reserve partition on that drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jun 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

If you cannot physically unplug the other HD then see if you can disable it in BIOS setup. Otherwise you can partition the drive you don't want involved because the installer will not install System Reserved partition to an already partitioned HD. If you want to skip SysReserved altogether you can partition both drives ahead of install. Partition Wizard Use the Bootable CD

But the fact that you have two 300gb HD's in a laptop makes me wonder if it wasn't originally set up as RAID. If so you'll need to be sure the SATA controlller is set to AHCI in BIOS setup, which you should do anyway before install. A RAID controller may also be popping up at boot if it's not been already disabled.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks for the responses, guys. As it turns out, HP makes it rather difficult to unplug a hard drive from this model laptop, and they don't allow me to disable it since they use a crappy home-made BIOS that is notorious for its limited settings (doesn't even allow RAID 0 configuration).

It seems my only option is to partition both drives beforehand since I don't even want the System Recovery partition. I just have a couple questions:

1) Can the partitions I create with the bootable CD before installation be removed after installation without negative effects?

2) Will Windows boot faster if I keep the System Reserved partition (assuming it's on the same drive as the installation)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jun 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

There is no advantage or disadvantage to having the SysReserved partition.

If you don't want the other HD included, boot PW CD to create a full-disk Logical NTFS partition on it, label it. This will be perfect for storage or data.

If you don't want SysReserved partition, then on the target HD create a Primary NTFS partition of the size you want for Windows 7, any other partitions as Logical. If you do want SysReserved then leave that HD blank.

OS Boot files cannot be placed on Logical. But watch carefully which partition/HD you select during installation.

You can delete or change any of these afterwards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks to your advice, I was able to successfully install Windows 7 without that annoying System Reserved partition. However, there is just one peculiarity that remains: Disk Manager reports my D drive as "System" even though my C drive is the one that contains the Windows 7 installation. Both drives are marked as "Active" and "Primary Partition," and my C drive is marked as "Boot," as it should.

How can it be that my C drive is marked as "Boot," yet my D drive is marked as "System"? How can I change my C drive to be marked as both "Boot" and "System"?

Finally, I should mention that Disk Manager also reports Disk0 as the D drive, and Disk1 as the C drive (on which Windows 7 is installed). I strongly suspect that the installation detected my drives in the wrong order, since the one I use less would obviously be a bit faster. Could this be the reason why D is marked as "System"?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Post a screenshot of Disk Management, maximized and columns/panes adjusted to display maximum info.

Sounds like it didn't go quite right based on your descritpion. Did you have the second hard drive (the one you want to use for data only) physically disconnected or disabled in BIOS when you performed the install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

I can neither physically remove the second hard drive nor disable it in the BIOS.

In hindsight, I think I did not format my second HDD as "logical" because I did not know how to. I may have mistakenly formatted it as "NTFS," as I did with the primary HDD.

Is there a way to remedy this or am I forced to do another clean install?


Attached Thumbnails
How to Avoid Placing System Reserved Partition on Wrong Hard Drive?-diskmgmt.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Easiest and cleanest is to do it over again.

You cannot skip any steps if you expect to achieve success. If you cannot perform a step or are unsure about it you have to stop and get resolution.

Kind of odd about your drives in that HP laptop. I've got two, one newer and one quite old, and both have the option in BIOS to disable the HD. The older one has two drives and the only problem with physically removing one or the other is there are no markings to indicate which is which (although it's specified in the manual).

I've not used Partition Wizard that much, but since logical partitions must be contained within an extended partition, PW may require you to create an extended first before letting you make a logical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to Avoid Placing System Reserved Partition on Wrong Hard Drive?




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