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Windows 7: Disk Image & System Reserved Partition

01 Nov 2010   #21
Ponmayilal

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

It is always the best strategy to do away with the System reserved partition when clean installing Windows 7.

I do not know whether this has been mentioned before or exists in some form here. Even if, I consider it is worth repeating and give it repeated visibility.

I always resort to method 3 enunciated in this article for a clean install of Windows 7. Another nice tutorial on this here.

Bye bye System Reserved Partition. Don't bother me ever.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
01 Nov 2010   #22
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
It is always the best strategy to do away with the System reserved partition when clean installing Windows 7.

I do not know whether this has been mentioned before or exists in some form here. Even if, I consider it is worth repeating and give it repeated visibility.

I always resort to method 3 enunciated in this article for a clean install of Windows 7. Another nice tutorial on this here.

Bye bye System Reserved Partition. Don't bother me ever.
It depends what your criteria for "best" is. It has roles and if you don't need or want them then it's easy to move it's basic booting function and get rid of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #23
Ponmayilal

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

While doing the install as mentioned one is not curtailing anything.

It is as good as creating a partition and formatting it beforehand using any other tool/utility and then installing Windows 7 on it - which is the normal method suggested when one is averse to seeing an ugly 100 MB System Reserved Partition.

Here without taking recourse to any other tool/utility, we are using the in-built functionality of the set-up disk to do the same and create a single partition , format it and then install Windows 7, all at one go.

That said, I stand to be corrected, if anyone can categorically establish that the install as mentioned does away with any role that is played by the System Reserved Partition. So far, I have not come across any mention of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

01 Nov 2010   #24
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ponmayilal View Post
While doing the install as mentioned one is not deleting or curtailing anything.

It is as good as creating a partition and formatting it beforehand using any other tool/utility and then installing Windows 7 on it - which is the normal method suggested when one is averse to seeing an ugly 100 MB System Reserved Partition.

Here without taking recourse to any other tool/utility, we are using the in-built functionality of the set-up disk to do the same and create a single partition , format it and then install Windows 7, all at one go.

That said, I stand to be corrected, if anyone can categorically establish that the install as mentioned does away with any role that is played by the System Reserved Partition. So far, I have not come across any mention of it.
You can argue it is better to have this system reserved partition separate from any specific OS in a multiboot environment. The only negative is that 200MB is a better size for it.

Here's a specific example where it is quite useful.
Boot Logical Partitions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #25
Ponmayilal

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Agreed, that in a multiboot environment, it may be preferable to keep it in tact.

But then think of it, that almost 90% of the users are one-OS oriented and then questions like in this thread emanate. For all of them, it is better to get away with it.

I have done away with it in all my systems. No problemo.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #26
zzz2496

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Looking at the 100MB reserved boot partition, it really reminds me how MS took many cues from *nix world. Maybe in the next version of Windows, MS will finally let go of Win32 compatibility altogether, and lets go of the drive letters...

Btw, for those who are curious - the 100MB boot partition is used when you need to boot Windows 7 contained in VHD.

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #27
gregrocker

 

The 100mb System Reserved partition also makes the Repair My Computer console on DVD and Repair CD conveniently available on Advanced Boot Tools accessed by tapping F8 at bootup. This may be reason enough to accept it during install - you can repair your laptop in a coffee shop, etc.

If an imaging app won't let you include that partition in your C image, then choose to include MBR which should cover it. If not and reimaged Win7 won't start, mark it's partition active and run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to write the System MBR to Win7.

To avoid the Sys Reserved partition during install: either pre-partition, or delete the install partition and enlarge the 100mb partiition the installer creates to install Win7 upon it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #28
Ponmayilal

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The 100mb System Reserved partition also makes the Repair My Computer console on DVD and Repair CD conveniently available on Advanced Boot Tools accessed by tapping F8 at bootup. This may be reason enough to accept it during install - you can repair your laptop in a coffee shop, etc.
Its all OK for a tech-savvy and computer-savvy user. (even they fumble and tumble using these). Route a doctor-user to this and other tutorials referenced therein, hmmmm.......... he is gonna throw me out of the window. It is as good as asking him to make a journey to the moon.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If an imaging app won't let you include that partition in your C image, then choose to include MBR which should cover it. ...
My two cents on it. Even an ordinary non-technical user is very receptive to imaging. Install the free Paragon recovery software, give him a demo on how to take the image (MBR included), use that image to restore and show that it really works, he catches on to it. It is much more easier for him. He is also happy that he has got something free in addition (who is not). Psychology plus ease of use works magic. In addition to keeping the latest image in one partition, I also advise them to copy it to an external drive and keep the latest three on it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
To avoid the Sys Reserved partition during install: either pre-partition, or delete the install partition and enlarge the 100mb partiition the installer creates to install Win7 upon it.
This is what exactly I had made out. Doing away with that SRP eliminates one confusion when imaging is one's primary method of restore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #29
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Here is the boot sequence of a BIOS booted PC (virtually every PC out there)

BIOS --> MBR (inc partition table) at start of disk --> [ PBR (at start of active partition) --> Boot Manager (Using BCD) ] --> C:\windows\system32\winload.exe

[....] Key elements of 100MB system reserved for booting

The Master Boot Record (MBR) is on the first physical sector of your boot HDD. Windows imaging copies it automatically when you make an image and replaces it automatically when you reimage. It does the same thing for the system reserved partition. You have no choice and most non technical users don't even know they exist.
Macrium also makes a copy of the MBR when it creates a partition image set. It lets the user decide whether to replace it or not when you reimage. Macrium does not automatically select the 100MB system reserved partition you must select it. When you backup your Windows Operating system (eg. C: (Boot,...)) with Macrium I firmly believe you should also select the System reserved active partition if you have one. When you reimage you can either select it or not.


Ponmayilad,
You made a sweeping statement about the 100MB system reserved partition which was clearly incorrect as I politely demonstrated to you. It has a purpose and unless it is causing a problem just leave it alone.
For most users the inbuilt Windows imaging program works and couldn't be easier for the non technical user. They don't need to know the existence of anything called an MBR or a system reserved partition. They just need to press a couple of buttons. With this ease of use comes some lack of flexibility which doesn't suite some more technically aware.
Next comes Macrium Reflect (Free edition) in terms of ease of use but more flexibility.
After that comes Paragon (Free edition). This has more complexity and flexibility again in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend it over the others to the non technical in a pink fit.
All 3 imaging programs are good in their own right.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2010   #30
Ponmayilal

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

^Your viewpoint is well taken. By the same token, my appreciation goes to gregrocker who put everything in a nice little package.

I have also gone through a related thread here which reinforces my perception that except in a mutiboot environment and in Windows Ultimate in which it plays some role in bitlocker encryption, it is safe to do away with the SRP if one is averse to it and that it makes life that much easier and less confusing when imaging.

On the question of using the Windows in-built backup, I am now perplexed. If it were that sufficient and capable even for a novice, why at all one should look at Macriumreflect or for any other imaging software and discuss the how-to in multiple posts just for the simple task of imaging and restoring?? I also refer to post #10 in this thread.

Sorry, I stick to my perception. Individual mileage varies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Disk Image & System Reserved Partition




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