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Windows 7: What's on that 100MB partition? Can I delete it?

16 Oct 2010   #41
mesteele101

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

The three things that would be lost by trying to remove and recover the 100MB partition is;

1) Screws the drive alignment

Note: Use Paragon Alignment Tool or ArgusMonitor to check alignment.

2) Recovery Console at bootup

3) Bitlocker support (if you really need it)

The MBR is not a problem, just run recovery console from the Windows 7 DVD

Once you remove the partition it can NEVER be rectreated. The only way to restore it from scratch is to reinstall Windows 7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2010   #42
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mesteele101 View Post
The three things that would be lost by trying to remove and recover the 100MB partition is;

1) Screws the drive alignment

Note: Use Paragon Alignment Tool or ArgusMonitor to check alignment.

2) Recovery Console at bootup

3) Bitlocker support (if you really need it)

The MBR is not a problem, just run recovery console from the Windows 7 DVD

Once you remove the partition it can NEVER be rectreated. The only way to restore it from scratch is to reinstall Windows 7.

This is not correct at all, have a look at these 2 threads for further information.


Boot Windows 7 from a Logical Partition

Boot Windows 7 from Logical
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #43
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mesteele101 View Post
The three things that would be lost by trying to remove and recover the 100MB partition is;

1) Screws the drive alignment

Note: Use Paragon Alignment Tool or ArgusMonitor to check alignment.

2) Recovery Console at bootup

3) Bitlocker support (if you really need it)

The MBR is not a problem, just run recovery console from the Windows 7 DVD

Once you remove the partition it can NEVER be rectreated. The only way to restore it from scratch is to reinstall Windows 7.
Capabilities 2) & 3) are sometimes mentioned in connection with the 100MB partition. Can you explain, with a screen shot, how these capabilities are realized?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Oct 2010   #44
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Here's #2 WinRe linked on the F8 advanced boot options screen.
click to enlarge
What's on that 100MB partition? Can I delete it?-repair.jpg

Here's #3 this from the tutorial below.

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Windows 7 Drive - Turn On or Off with no TPM
Note   Note

Have at least two partitions. One partition must include the drive Windows 7 is installed on and must be at least 400 MB. This is the drive that BitLocker will encrypt. The other partition is the active partition, which must remain unencrypted so that the computer can be started. If you have the 100 MB System Reserved partition that Windows 7 creates during installation on a blank drive or partition, then BitLocker will store the key on it instead. If your computer does not have two partitions, BitLocker will create them for you. Both partitions must be formatted with the NTFS file system.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #45
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I was also curious as to where on the 100MB partition
1) the BitLocker key is stored
(I'm not using BitLocker so maybe that's why I can't see anything.
2) something WinRE related is supposed to reside.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #46
madtownidiot

 

The bitlocker key is not stored on the HDD when you encrypt the entire HDD. It's stored in the TPM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #47
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

If you don't have a TPM then the 100MB partition is needed to store the key, thus the 'whole' HDD can't be encrypted, I assume that's part of the reason the partition is not issued a drive letter; did you not read the Note (quote) from the tutorial I posted above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #48
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

It doesn't store anything there until you go to use the tool. Then it will hide encrpyted files on it more then likely. That's also another reason why the 100mb is larger then needed for the BCD store itself since MS is allowing access to it by other options seen in 7 depending on which edition you are running.

One thing people often forget is System Repair Disc - Create

For laptops/netbooks or any system where 7 was preinstalled but not provided with a recovery disk often seeing the full factory restore option as the only one available it's a good idea to use the option for creating one shown in the guide there.

I'm surprized no one has written a guide for removing the 100mb system reserved partition and the manual method for building a new BCD store once the next partition present on the drive like the C primary is expanded to fill in the vacant space. How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

On two different occasions one where the 7 mbr was totally wiped out when going to custom install a Linux distro onto a usb flash drive it wasn't the startup repair tool that worked to see Grub removed. When you have a custom install of 7 on a second drive and the first is removed or simply gives out you then need the new mbr and BCD store.

Likewise when the 100mb partition is removed the one time live boot from the 7 dvd or usb install key or repair cd or usb repair stick by prepping the flash drive to receive the repair files there you would run the commands to builf the new store which then would see the "boot" folder appear on C.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2010   #49
madtownidiot

 

All the more reason to either set a HDD password in bios or buy a computer with a tpm if you have a need to use bitlocker effectively. A bitlocker key stored anywhere on an unlocked HDD is about as effective at protecting documents in a computer as locking valuables in a safe but leaving the combination on your living room table.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #50
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Well if you happen to lose the key/password or something should go wrong during the encryption matters could also get much worse! Without any method of decryption you could very well end up losing everything.

The real question would be why you would want to encrypt the OS drive rather then locking things up tight on a secondary drive to start with. If the Windows installation has to be replaced such as a reformat of the drive your data is safe on the other drive signed, sealed, and delivered back to you there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 What's on that 100MB partition? Can I delete it?




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